Grilling and Pond Fishing

It took less than 20 minutes for the 500 degree grill to turn two chickens into something resembling the discard pile at a Goodyear plant – rubbery and black. We ate it anyway, boosted by crisp asparagus and sliced apples and pears.

To help erase the lingering taste of scorched chicken I strung up my TFO 2-weight and walked to my neighbor’s pond. My wife went with me.

The breeze had died and the sun was just below the tree line but the heat remained oven like. I’d tied on a fly a friend has given me during a recent trip to Missouri. It’s fashioned from alpaca fibers and resembles nothing I’ve ever seen that flies, swims or crawls that a fish might eat or want to. It is pretty.

The rectangle shaped pond floods about one-third of an acre and is usually good for some bluegill action. There used to be catfish in the pond but I think they’ve been removed. I’ve never caught one. The pond itself is clean and well kept; manicured in a farming sort of way. A bird house stands at one corner and a re-circulating pump keeps a small stream of water flowing.

The surroundings could have been copied from a Norman Rockwell work. Acres of corn, soybeans and tobacco with patches of woods here and there; everything bathed in the fading light and distilled humidity of a summer sunset. The rolling landscape is dotted with a half dozen or so farmhouses, although a few of the neighbors, like me, aren’t farmers. We were just like living here and our farming neighbors have been gracious enough to welcome us.

The corn has suffered terribly from the drought and heat but the soybeans and tobacco look surprisingly good. We had a decent rain last week and it seemed like the soybeans grew six inches overnight.

My wife and I exchange stories about our day, something of late that we haven’t done enough of. She asks about some tiny bubbles that appear on the surface. I have no answer. I offer Katy the rod but she shakes her head. Sometimes she fishes but usually she doesn’t. She grew up in a fishing household but has never been much of a fisherman. The fly rod does interest her. I think it’s the technique. She spins and knits and somehow relates these ancient activities to the flexing power generated and expended by the rod.

Something seems amiss then I realize that the willow tree on the south side of the pond is gone. Even the stump has been cleared. It was here a few days ago. I must remember to ask my neighbor about this. He’s not one to remove trees without reason.

I cast here and there but the fish apparently have no interest in alpaca. I don’t mind. I just like fishing here.