Most of our freshwater ponds have a healthy bass population. Even if never stocked, wading birds transport tiny eggs or fry to give panfish a start. The surface activity on your local community water impoundment will provide a clue. Bright, sunny days can help locate fish because they're often concentrated. Shallow ponds don't have a deep water escape from sun and heat. Docks, rafts, bridges, lily pads, undercut banks and logs provide a comfortable, shaded resting place for bass. Concentrate your efforts there. Use a 6- or 7-weight fly rod with a floating weight-forward line. Many companies offer a bass taper. Include a 9-foot knotless tapered leader with a 10-pound tippet. Foam or cork poppers that imitate frogs are great, but white, yellow, black and chartreuse, especially with rubber legs, will work. A weed guard prevents grass and floating debris from fouling. Cast from a stealthy position, avoiding your shadow. After landing on the surface, wait for ripples to disappear before giving it a small twitch, imitating a stunned food source. Work it slowly, pausing often. Walk softly on the shore to prevent vibration that will alert cautious fish.
Fly fisherman Pat Damico charters lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpat.com or (727) 504-8649.