Picking blackberries on my walk uphill, I came to the secret pond, the kind that everyone should have and never talk about– except as poetry. I loaded the short fly rod with a line, a leader, and an artificial fly. The fly, a poor imitation of what could have been the first pattern tied for trout (by Greeks in the days of Roman emperors) seemed to cross the ocean as it headed toward the reeds.
Surrounded by woods at my secret pond, I felt like a mongrel of an angler… Partly pragmatic, partly poetic, and partly … nuts! Like anyone off the track and traveling. Excited, but for what– a possible sunfish, maybe a bass? Like any mixed-up soul who’s got an eye for science and a nose for nature’s mystery.
I caught a red-eared sunfish, that was it. Perhaps no one else was home. That sunfish must have sensed adventure– pulled in like a visitor from an asteroid in Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince.” Frozen for a moment, cradled in my hand. And there it went– still inside its body– with a word of warning for the bream among the reeds.
Normally I fish the streams and rivers but I took a fly rod to the lake. The reservoir is unusual for the state– cold and deep, with trout and other species. I don’t like the fact that a dam has compromised a valley and a wonderful stream for trout, but the reservoir is aged, and trout can be caught from shore.
I could have used some practical advice on how to fish this lake, or perhaps prepared myself to give some practical advice to others planning a visit, but it was quiet here. The trout had gone to the depths. A Woolly Bugger cast 50 feet from the woods picked up a bass and a sunnie or two.
Preparing to leave, I put away the flies. A splash came from the surface near the dam. A second splash had me digging for a popper with rubber legs. Science and poetry mated like dragonflies above the lake, and sunfish slammed the popper.