A few years later, I moved to the south and my drawl only got thicker. I spent my high school years jumping fences to fish the farm ponds of northern Texas. These were the ponds dreams are made of. Bass, bluegill, and green sunfish abound. Although most of my fishing was done with a rubber worm, Zara Spook, or some other large piece of plastic clad in treble hooks, Texas is where I began fly fishing in earnest. I'd stand on hay bales casting to feisty nesting pan fish all afternoon instead of doing my biology homework. Or I'd spend the weekend with a buddy hiding between bulrushes throwing poppers up against downed trees. Of course one of us always had an eye peeled for a rancher with a shot gun!
In college, it was more of the same. My buddy and I would sneak onto one of those ponds they put in the middle of new housing complexes and catch bass until the sun set. Since moving away from college (that was over a decade ago) I've done very little fishing for bass. During this season of my life, the trout of Northern California and the Sierra are the object of my affection.
About fifteen minutes into casting poppers off the grassy shoreline, I had a tiny little bass sip my popper from the surface. The 6/7wt rod barely bent, but the skunk was off my back! Soon after that, we came around a point into the main lake. There was a nice little grassy shallow section followed by a deeper drop off. Low and behold, that's exactly where Aaron had a nice one crash his popper. As the morning went on, I switched to a brown wooly bugger (you can't go wrong with a bugger, right?) and let it sink deep before slowly retrieving back up the drop offs. Sure enough, the tecnique worked wonders!
The rest of the morning Aaron and I kept our streamers deep and slow. The bass fought hard, looked healthy, and were plentiful. To make things even better, we had the lake to ourselves. A perfect morning of solitude just minutes from our homes in the middle of San Francisco. As we walked back to the car, I couldn't help reminisce about the bass ponds of my youth. There's no doubt I'll be back here for more!