Today, we would celebrate Easter with my wife’s family. As I have mentioned before, My in laws have a pond. It is a quiet little piece of water that has its fair share of blue gill and small bass. It also has a very prominent population of channel catfish. With such beautiful weather, there was no reason to stay inside and watch TV. I was soon rigging up a rod and searching the shallows for some willing fish.
The water is still a bit cold and the fish were willing, but not necessarily aggressive. I was soon fighting several small bass and my share of the many blue gill in the pond. After missing a very nice bass, I switched to a large pheasant tail nymph and proceeded to catch several more bass and bluegills. I was having a ball catching these fish on the fly. As I moved around the pond, I saw three large cat fish feeding in the shallow water. I put that nymph on the nose of the closest fish and he snatched in what seemed like anger. It was a fantastic fight as the feisty cat made several runs before coming to hand.
Matthew was soon at my side and we were both enjoying the pond and the many willing fish. I decided I needed one more lap of the pond. On the back end of the pond I hooked a couple of bass and thought I was into a third. This bass proved to be a giant blue gill. This thing was a tank. It is without a doubt one of the largest blue gill I have ever caught. I was thrilled with the large fish. Trust me, the pictures do not do it justice. This was the thickest gill I have ever seen.
It was an exceptional afternoon, but the highlight of it all was watching Matthew fling the fly rod and catch fish after fish. He navigated the pond without any help and released each fish with the care and the respect it deserved. I was so proud of him. I found myself watching him and smiling. What a lucky father I am!