It was a morning for living dangerously, at least, for a middle-aged guy.
There’s a golf course pond in our town. It is tantalizingly close to the parking area, and I’ve heard from someone on “the inside” that bass are there. I’ve been thinking of fishing it for decades.
With Real Life keeping me from trout fishing the next few weeks, I became weak in the face of temptation. I mean piscatorial critters a few minutes’ drive away?
And, what really constitutes “breaking the rules”? And, what’s the penalty other than an admonishment and, perhaps, a fine?
I decided to find out.
Orvis’ Phil Monahan recently posted about what “dirty tricks” anglers use (here). Well, I figured sneaking to a golf course to fish its pond might count. And, I’d fish Mop flies. So, super dirty.
Dressed in non-fishing “civilian” clothes, and under the cover of darkness, I on Saturday morning drove silently to the parking lot. I was on a mission. The five-minute drive was loaded with anxiety, anticipation and the realization that I should leave any personal I.D. in my car in case I was caught.
I slowly drove into the parking lot. Empty. I stepped out. It was quiet, except for the occasional and faraway buzz coming from the course maintenance crew.
It was a go.
I chose to walk confidently to the pond and to try to “blend in.” I don’t know, though, how much “blending in” you can do while carrying a 9′ fly rod and its bright-yellow fly line. Oh, well.
It’s a short 50 yards from the lot to the pond. A course maintenance guy drove by. I nonchalantly nodded towards him. He didn’t stop me or ask what I was doing. Must have been that confident walk, eh?
And there it was, The Pond. It was a real beauty of a spot just as light started to creep into the sky.
Soon, I started to get nervous. In a bit, people will start to tee off, someone will call the cops, and I had fish to catch.
The water was murky due to the recent rain. I started off with an un-weighted green Mop Fly adorned with a black-hen soft hackle. That’s a fun one to fish, as you can see it. It quickly disappeared into the water, and I slowly retrieved. I felt a grab, and, soon, a fish as big as my hand flopped onto the bank.
Quickly, more panfish ended up saying hello. Some large shadows that looked like bass would trail the Mop, or trail a panfish that was on the line. But, none became hooked.
Fish after fish crushed it, but, alas, none was a bass. But, my goodness, those panfish were huge.
A golfer in a cart drove by. I thought I was dead meat. Instead, he laughed loudly and with great approval. Whew. It was getting light out, and I felt that I was pushing my luck. So, I reeled up and walked (confidently) back to the car.
Still, those elusive bass. I’ll be back. I like living dangerously.
Now, my friends, I suggest that you also keep an eye out for golf course ponds. Some ways to get access here.