Trip Report - 12-24-13

Today was the first mild, dry day for some time (or at least, the first one on which I didn't have to get packages into the mail). I just had to go fishing. I hadn't planned to go but it turned out to be a bit warmer than expected so I headed up to the Harlem Meer in Central Park.

Harlem Meer at the northern end of Central ParkHarlem Meer in December

Given that it was Christmas eve and a bit cold, I was the only one fishing. It only took about an hour for me to get cold and decide I'd had enough, but that hour yielded two crappies and I would guess ten bluegills. I thought I might catch a bluegill or two, but I hadn't expected the crappies since the ones I've caught before were mostly on Killer Buggers and I hadn't brought any with me.

I fished with a Daiwa LL36SF, which I love but rarely fish because I always seem to be evaluating rods or trying to get photos of a new rod with some nice fish. The rig was a CDC & Elk on a dropper and a small bead head nymph on the point.

Initially, I had a CDC & Elk, a yarn bodied soft hackle and a small bead head nymph. I really didn't expect any fish on the CDC & Elk, and it was in the rig mostly as a strike detector. I also didn't expect many fish on the small bead head, as all the bluegills I've caught (except for a very few very small ones) were on much larger flies.

Two bluegills on the lineBluegill Double

It was a bit of a surprise, then, when the first fish hit the CDC & Elk. As I was bringing it in a second fish took the bead head. I've never had a double on trout but they are not uncommon with bluegills. A bit later another took the dry but I missed it.

Most of the fish today took the little bead head. I suspect that is mostly because it was deeper rather than because it was smaller.

Angler holding bluegill with beadhead fly in its mouthSmall Bead Head Nymph was the Fly of the Day

After a bit, I moved to a different spot on the Meer and found the crappies. I don't fish the Meer much, but so far I have caught crappies on four trips there. On three out of the four they were tight to the shoreline (tight meaning within a foot). On the shorelines where I have caught them there is a wall rather than a natural shoreline, and they seem to be right up against the wall.

Double. Bluegill on the top fly, crappie on the bottom one.Second Double (Crappie in Upper Right Corner)

The first crappie was half of the second double. In the photo above, the small bluegill that was the other half of the double is almost held out of the water by the tension on the line between the rod tip and the crappie, which just visible under the surface in the upper right hand corner.

Angler holding crappie with fly in its mouthLove those Yarn Bodied Soft Hackles

The second crappie took the yarn bodied soft hackle - again, within a foot of the wall. The yarn is the Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift. The color is "Leprechaun," which is what I used to call "Green Rock Worm" yarn.

By then, the breeze had picked up a bit and the temperature had dropped a bit and I decided a couple crappies and a bunch of bluegills was enough for a cold December day.

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Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift "Leprechaun"Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift "Leprechaun"