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Pond Power

 

One of the unsung heroes of fishing opportunity has to be our local trout ponds. I’m talking about the little puddles, you know the ones. Some have fountains, others playgrounds, walking trails, bike trails, picnic sites, spray parks, among other cool things.  Many take less than 10 minutes to walk around, and on shore there are ample places to cast a line. The spots I’m thinking about are places like Leduc Pond, Cardiff Park Pond, Telegraph Pond, Beaumont Pond, among others that dot the landscape and near and far.

Trout ponds are unsung heroes.

Trout ponds are unsung heroes.

There are plenty of little, readily accessible ponds out and about. Thanks to stocking programs these little ponds hold rainbow trout, brown trout, tiger trout, and brook trout in whatever combination. Telegraph holds browns, brookies, and rainbows, and we like to go there just to try to catch all three species in a day.  Some days we do, which is very cool. While people may think little ponds equal little fish, this isn’t always the case.  We often catch browns approaching 20 inches, and in some ponds, a three pound rainbow is just a ‘nice’ fish.

Colourful, abundant, and willing, trout ponds offer great fishing near and far.

Colourful, abundant, and willing, trout ponds offer great fishing near and far.

But the big draw to fishing ponds is their ease of accessibility, and their plentiful trout.  On many of these ponds an afternoon’s fishing effort will yield a dozen or more fish. Especially so if the day is overcast with a little breeze. The lower light and reduced visibility caused by the wind and waves will bring trout shallow where they will eat just about anything.

At our last pond a fellow fisherman was having good luck tossing bits of minis marshmallows on his hook.  Other people were using pink PowerBait and doing well. For me, I prefer the absolute effectiveness of tossing a bead head nymph, like a bead head pheasant tail nymph or a bead head prince nymph and suspend it two to three feet under a small bobber.  Sometimes I will put on a tiny, half inch piece of worm on the end, just to sweeten it up.  I will fish the near shore areas that I see the most jumps and rarely does this rig disappoint.


A small bobber and beadhead nymph, sometimes tipped with a small piece of worm, is a great way to catch fish.

A small bobber and beadhead nymph, sometimes tipped with a small piece of worm, is a great way to catch fish.

In the absence of jumping fish, I will fish places were the wind is making waves. Even if the trout are not coming to the surface, they will be hunting the shallow areas near shore under the cover of these waves. By and large I am a small bobber and bead head nymph guy until the sun goes low, or I see signs that big fish have pushed in tight and are feeding.  When this happens I will try to get a strike by changing over my presentation to something bigger and meatier. What I’m really talking about are minnow imitations, and there are a number of ways to get this done.


A streamer fooled this dandy Beaumont Pond rainbow.

A streamer fooled this dandy Beaumont Pond rainbow.

The first is by tying on a streamer. Small streamers that look like minnows are super effective at getting big bites. A fly rod stripping in a streamer will do the job nicely, but so too, will a spinning rod with a small bobber attached a couple feet up the line. ith the bobber and streamer I like to pop the streamer back, so the bobber actually jerks and splashes in the water, creating much attention. This racket seems to bring trout in, then they see the fly and smash it. The best place and time to fish this is when there is low light (morning, evening, cloudy) and in the waves. Do this and the number of large trout that will line up to hit your fly may surprise you.


This big brown wasn’t shy about smashing a streamer in shallow.

This big brown wasn’t shy about smashing a streamer in shallow.

The other two minnow imitations I am a huge fan of are small spoons, like the Len Thompson in their smaller sizes, and floating plugs. The spoons are ideal or casting out and snap twitching them back. They cover a ton of water fast, so the lure gets in front of a lot of faces and they are excellent at drawing reaction strikes. Floating plugs, on the other hand, can be cast into the area of a feeding fish and left to float on the surface, occasionally twitched and this very low key, subtle presentation, has undone many a big trout. All trout species will smash a spoon or a plug, but if it’s big browns you are after, then these minnow imitating presentations are your must-have ticket to the show.


A frying pan full of tasty trout.

A frying pan full of tasty trout.

Perhaps one nice bonus to trout ponds is that you can keep fish. In Alberta most trout ponds allow a retention of five fish a day, any size, per person.  This is fantastic.  It means that I can take my family out; my kids can catch a few fish each and we can take home enough for a family dinner. They kids are incredibly proud to contribute, and the trout are delicious. A 12 inch filleted rainbow pan fries up into a delicious meal. Melt some butter in a hot pan, sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic salt onto the fillets, then drip in a little lemon sauce, and in a few short minutes there will be a delicious pile of fillets for all. For my family, one twelve inch trout is about right for each of us, so we try to bring home a total of four or five trout and we will cook them all up within a day or two.


Trout ponds are perfect for kids.

Trout ponds are perfect for kids.

Trout ponds. They are low investment, easy on the pocket book, don’t cost a lot in gas or time, and the fish are willing and easy to catch.  Sometimes there are big ones, most times there are plenty, and they are often ready to bite.  Bring a few home and the fishing experience will be extended and delicious, where you can share your adventures and successes with friends and family. And who knows, they may be joining you on your next trip out.

 



Previous Fishing Articles
(1) Pond Power
(2) Caddisflies
(3) In the Good Old Summertime
(4) A Southern Escape
(5) Springtime in Alberta - Can Thrill You to the Bone
(6) Sunny Day Rainbows
(7) New "Fishing" Year Resolutions
(8) Five Fine Places to Find Trout
(9) Catfishing Revisited
(10) Discover Squamish, an Outdoor Playground
(11) Falling for Cutthroat
(12) New Water and Old Friends
(13) My McLeod
(14) Temperature and Trout
(15) On the Road Again
(16) Tips That Will Make You a More Successful Fly-Fisherman
(17) 5 Ways to Catch Your Trout
(18) The Difference Maker - Reading Trout Stream Waters
(19) Rollin’ on the River
(20) Windy Day Pike
(21) Cures for Cabin Fever
(22) Snowbirding with a Fishing Rod
(23) Alberta’s Spring Creek Browns - Blessings and Curses
(24) A day on our foothill streams
(25) Fly Fishing Crowded Waters
(26) Fly Leaders
(27) In the Zone
(28) Learners Permit
(29) Flies of Summer
(30) Selecting the Right Boat
(31) The Italian Job
(32) Making a difference
(33) Pass the Salt
(34) Hopper Time - Fly-fishing’s Second Season
(35) Pike on the Fly - Fishing New Waters
(36) Fall brings the big walleye out
(37) Hoppertunity Time
(38) Becoming a Better Dry Fly Angler
(39) Make Your Own Fishing Adventure
(40) Early Season Fly Fishing
(41) Walleye Logic
(42) Fly Fishing in the Desert
(43) Grammy’s Fish
(44) Top 10 Trout Lures
(45) All I Want for Christmas – Neil Waugh's Yule Tide Fishing Gifts Wish List
(46) Muskies - The Ultimate Predator
(47) What to expect when fishing the West Coast
(48) Tips & Tricks for Fall Fly Fishing
(49) There’s No Place Like Home
(50) A Golden Opportunity
(51) The Observational Trout Fisherman
(52) Un-matching the Hatch
(53) Alberta Super Bugs
(54) Glass is Back
(55) The Bull Trout of the Athabasca
(56) Speed Kills
(57) Entering the Twilight Zone
(58) Old Man River
(59) The Pink Salmon of the Squamish River
(60) Small stream BT fishing
(61) Fly fishing beyond Trout: getting started
(62) In The Walleye Zone
(63) Zoo Trout
(64) Fly Selection for Beginners
(65) Fly Fisher's Christmas
(66) New Waters
(67) Big Bad Burbot
(68) Looking Back
(69) Out of Africa
(70) Finding Success on Crowded Trout Streams
(71) Mountain Peaks, Fast Streams, Fall Colours And Rocky Mountain Whitefish
(72) The Browns of Autumn
(73) Fly-Fishing Pike Through The Seasons
(74) Walleye Town
(75) River Fun - One Bite At A Time
(76) Fly Fishing Larger Rivers
(77) Going With The Flow
(78) Becoming A Better Fly Fisherman
(79) Swinging The Fences
(80) A View From The Aerie
(81) Dixieland Delight
(82) Atlantic Salmon - The Fish of 1000 Casts
(83) Do It Yourself Pink Salmon
(84) Montana's Cool Missouri
(85) Pretty Is As Pretty Does
(86) Toothy Critters
(87) Hard Water Lakers at Cold Lake
(88) Top Ten Flies
(89) Northern Exposure
(90) Home Water Lessons
(91) Chicken Of The Sea
(92) Sealing the Deal – How to Ensure You Land More Fish
(93) Deep In The Heart Of Texas
(94) Keep It Up!
(95) River Fishing for Fall Walleye
(96) After the Flood - A look at Southern Alberta rivers and streams one year after the 2013 flood
(97) Reindeer Lake - A Diversity of Opportunity
(98) Hawg Holes
(99) Saltwater Salmon
(100) Early Season Dry Fly Fishing
(101) Down a Lazy River - A Fly-rodding Adventure on the Lower North Saskatchewan
(102) The Fly Fishing Season Ahead
(103) IN SEARCH OF SPECKLED FOOTBALLS
(104) FISHING CANADA'S PRAIRIE CITIES
(105) Bright Fish from the Land of Silver
(106) Canada's "Other" Salmon
(107) Fall Walleye
(108) Wet Flies
(109) Versatility the Key to Success
(110) Grayling of the Boreal
(111) Teaching Kids To Fly Fish
(112) Size Matters
(113) Fly Fishing Small Streams
(114) Chasing Winter Whites One Lake At A Time
(115) Manitoba's Fishing Jewel
(116) The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas
(117) The Point Of It All
(118) Fishing With Friends-Big Weather Seizing The Day
(119) Fall Fly Fishing
(120) Personal Pontoon Boats 101
(121) Big River, Big Fish
(122) Bottom Bonanza
(123) Fishing Small Flies
(124) So Many Choices, So Little Time
(125) Four Seasons of the Bow
(126) Favourite Lakes - Some Like it Hot
(127) GEARING UP FOR SMALL STREAM TROUT
(128) Trout Hunting New Zealand style
(129) Don’t Leave Home Without Them – 10 Lures That Should Be In Everyone’s Tackle Box
(130) Edge Walleye
(131) FLY FISHING STRATEGIES FOR HIGH WATER
(132) Smallmouth Bass – An Oft Overlooked Challenge
(133) Four Corners – Four Waters
(134) Chasing Pothole Trout
(135) Springtime Stoneflies
(136) The Torrents of Spring
(137) Drift Boat Fly Fishing
(138) Bust Them With Bait
(139) Cure the Winter Blues with a Good Book
(140) Hot Strategies for the Cold Months
(141) Cutthroat: The Angler's Trout
(142) Terrestrials
(143) Fly In For Fishing Fun
(144) Rocky Mountain High
(145) Reading the clues
(146) Where the Trout Are The art of locating feeding trout in rivers and streams.
(147) K.I.S.S. and Tell Fly-fishin
(148) Fly Fishing 101
(149) To Catch a Big Halibut, or Ling Cod
(150) The Bountiful Bones of Ascension Bay
(151) Grayling in the Eye of the Beholder
(152) Fly Fishing for South Fork Clearwater Steelhead
(153) Manitoba's Red River - North America's Catfish Capital
(154) Eliminating the Spook Factor
(155) Trust Your Electronics
(156) The Most Important Hatch of the Year
(157) Early Season Nymph Fishing for Trout
(158) Finding Success for Ice Trout
(159) Walleye can be Humbling
(160) The Secret to Landing the Big One Finally Revealed
(161) Winter Flyfishing
(162) North Saskatchewan River - An Underutilized Fishing Gem
(163) Hot Fall Pike Action
(164) Tips and Tricks to Save the Summer Slow Down
(165) Reading Trout Stream Waters
(166) Frequently Asked Questions
(167) Streamer Fishing for Larger Trout
(168) The Lure of Big Walleye at Last Ice
(169) Deep Water Perch
(170) Post Spawn Brookies
(171) A Fisher's Life
(172) The River's Last Stand
(173) The Big Ones Come out at Night
(174) Coho on the Coast
(175) Chasing and Catching Halibut
(176) Summer in the Mountains
(177) Peak Walleye Season
(178) Slow and Steady Wins the Race
(179) Last Ice Rainbows
(180) The Burbot Event
(181) Tackle Matching
(182) Ice Fishing Strategy #2 - Going Light
(183) Ice Fishing Strategy #1 - Location
(184) The Lure of Brook Trout
(185) The Shallow Water Hunt is On
(186) Hot Backswimmer Action Happening Right Now
(187) Fishing Among Giants-Pursuing Lake Sturgeon on the Prairies
(188) Adventure at Davin Lake Lodge, Northern Saskatchewan
(189) The Vesatile Plug
(190) Bead Head Flies, Plugs and Shot and other Spring Favorites for Pothole Trout
(191) Planning your Upcoming Angling Adventures
(192) Good Fishing at Last Ice
(193) Maximize the Odds - Use Multiple Presentations
(194) Daily Fish Migrations
(195) Fish Migrations - Following the Spawn
(196) Lake Whitefish - An Ice Fishing All Star
(197) Pick Your Favorite Brook Trout Lake...and Go Fishing
(198) A Look Ahead to Great Trout Fishing
(199) Wrestling White Sturgeon on the Fraser
(200) The Fun in Ultra Light
(201) Flyfishing and Leadcore Lines
(202) Embrace the Spirit of Adventure
(203) Never Stop Learning
(204) Ice Fishing is Getting Hot
(205) Jigging through the Ice
(206) An Ice Fishing Unsung Hero – The Setline
(207) Rainbows on Ice
(208) The Season of Ice Begins
(209) Red Hot Fall Pike Action
(210) Hitting it Right with Water Boatman
(211) Facts On Cats
(212) West Coast Adventure
(213) June Walleye Frenzy
(214) Aerated Lakes are Big Trout Factories
(215) First Fish of the Year Pothole Rainbows and Browns
(216) Northern Exposure
(217) Sometimes There is More to Fishing Than Catching Fish
(218) Early Season Pike On The Fly
(219) Man Overboard
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