It was early evening on a Tuesday. I had just gotten the kids in bed (the older boys were still awake) and swept the floor. This quarantine thing had been tough, work was different, kids have more needs, the house needs more cleaning. I was being selfish, but I hadn't done anything for me in weeks. I had to get out of the house somehow and the 3 wt I had built was calling my name.
It was too late to travel any distance, so I determined that the local ponds near my house were my best option. I wasn't going to catch anything big, but that didn't matter.
The ponds are heavily fished. At times, anglers of the conventional variety line the banks and cast from every opening in the grass they can. And that pressure and lack of casting locations (tall grass, short trees, and steep banks) make it a little more difficult for someone flinging a bug, like me. And to add on to that, the wind wasn't exactly ideal. But that didn't matter.
I grabbed the rod, tied on a bug, and hit the first opening in the water I could find. Just as I was about to cast, I hear someone over my should ask, "have you caught anything? Because I haven't seen anyone catch anything all afternoon?"
"I haven't even made a cast," I responded as I started to strip out a very limited amount of line. As soon as he was far enough away, I lifted my rod tip, sending the line behind me and then made my cast. The bug hit the water, sat for a 1, 2 count, and then disappeared. A strip set, and the (small) fight was on.
The ponds are full of all sorts of grass, weeds, and lilly-pads. Not exactly easy for someone with a 3 wt. rod. But that didn't matter.
I get the fish up, a little bass, and all my annoyance was gone. Nowhere in sight, the guy who "hadn't seen anyone catch anything all afternoon," still hadn't seen anyone catch anything. But that didn't matter.
I kept working around these suburban ponds, maintaining the "social distancing" required, but I would have done that anyway. I don't usually like to talk to strangers when I want to fish for an escape.
A few more fish, bass and sunfish, and then the swallows began to get louder, a pair of Yellow-crowned Night Herons descended to the metal safety rails near me, and the people fishing began to disappear. It was getting darker. But that didn't matter.
I reeled up my line, attached the fly to the rod, and started the walk back to my truck. I walked through the tunnels under a bridge and heard the unmistakable pinging of bats. I decided to hang out a few minutes in anticipation. It was worth it as they evacuated their dwelling and flew around me in search of a meal. Pretty cool, unexpected.
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