Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Municipal Ponds Utah Part II

Let’s Revisit Municipal Ponds (Urban Fishery Utah)

But First A Quick Up-Date On Dry Flies This Week

Fly Hatch For Week Ending May Saturday 23, 2009

Midges in the morning and late evening: White body, clear wing and Black body clear wing. Quite small 20-26. Wasp and yellow jackets are also present in very very small numbers so I use a number 16 dry fly immitation. Attractor patterns include royal humpy, royal coachman, and mosquito patterns in gray and dark brown. Lunker Rainbow Trout are cruising high in the water column just below the surface and easy to spot. They are active and feeding at Sunrise and Sunset but quite wary. Strikes are hard and fast with lots of airobatics on the strike and hook set.

In the celebration of all-around-fishing-for-fun we take one more look at urban fisheries. They are located close to where we live, usually have some "easy to catch" stocked fish and are great for a quick get away with the kids or grandchildren for an hour or two any day of the week. Unfortunately no lunker rainbow trout are found here.

How Did You First Learn To Fish, Not With A Fly Rod I'd Bet

So it's time to think about how most of us got started with the sport of fishing. Using bait and lures. Sit back and enjoy the fun of teaching our youth about fishing and how someday they may choose to widen their horizons and venture into the world of fly fishing as they build memories and just have some fun. Teach kids to fish!

"Popular" Is An Under Statement At Municipal Ponds.

As I mentioned earlier, regardless of what these municipal ponds are called, they are becoming more and more important to people who like to fish. They are also a great place to start kids fishing – you can fish for an hour or two but not spend hours driving to and from the distant fishery. So, most likely, there is an urban fishery in your future and here are some additional tips and by the way, teach kids to fish.

Photo Clinton City Pond, Clinton Utah Pond


One of the disadvantages of the urban fishery is that it can often get crowded. First, try to find a suitable place to fish where you are not too close to others. If you cannot find a place, you will probably have to squeeze in between others. The best way to handle this is just ask; “Is it "OK" if we fish here?” or “Do you think there is room here for us to fish?” The worst approach is just plopping down and acting as if no one else is there. And, what if there is simply no room? Then you go home or do as I do; wait till someone leaves and as they are leaving ask;

Photo Jensen Nature Center Pond, Syracuse Utah Urban Fishery Utah
“May we take your place?”Make every effort not to cast over someone else’s line, and if someone casts over your line, don’t be a jerk about it. This is especially true if the offending party is a child. I have given several impromptu casting lessons “See, you hold the rod behind you and then cast it straight out so you don’t catch other peoples line’s. Great job!” For younger children who just need to be kept busy, I give them a casting outfit with a lure which has had the hook removed and let them cast away. Remember to be encouraging and compliment the casts they make so they will keep trying. You may also want to have an extra heavy monofiliment line so they can easily untangle knots in the line, bird nests and even reel in the weed beds from the bottom of the pond. I used to put a 20 lb test line on for my kids. It helped them to learn how to manage the rod, reel, line and hooks.


One of the best things about the municipal fisheries, or Urban Fishery Utah is how nice the people are. Generally, they are happy to tell you what is working and how much luck they have had. In addition, when certain baits aren’t working and I don’t happen to have the “hot” one, I have even had people offer me a gob of their Power Bait, some worms or even a lure or fly. I now make it a part of my fishing routine to try to carry extra and offer some to others if they are not having any luck. Having my grandson along on these excursions seems to help alot. I notice a lot of grandparents with grandchildren as well as parents taking part in spending time together in this great outdoor diversion to daily life.

What Goes Around Comes Around

It is funny, but the more you try to help others, the more pleasant the fishing experience. When it is crowded, be sure to cast straight out, perpendicular to the shore to avoid tangling up with other people’s lines!Often, the difference between having success and not, will depend on your casting ability. Unless the fish are near the shore, the ability to cast farther than anyone else will generally improve your luck. So, make sure your equipment is in good shape, your line is fresh and untangled, and light enough to land your quarry but still cast a good distance. Accuracy is also important especially if you are close to other people casting. Nothing wastes precious fishing time than a tangle created when lines get tangled!

How To Really "Whang" It Out There

My first introduction to fly fishing as a child was learning how to rig a clear bubble filled with water trailing a fly behind 4-6 feet of leader. The bubble of course kept the fly in the top of the water column while providing the necessary weight so I could cast a "mile". Since the bubble freely slides or allows the line to freely slide you may want to use a small sinker (a small split-shot works fine) between the fly and bubble to keep the bubble a set distance from the fly. To keep the fly from sinking too deep a second sinker is placed on the line above the bubble so the fly will not continue to sink to the bottom from the extra weight of the lower sinker. The water filled bubble is buoyant enough to keep both sinkers and itself very close to the surface of the water. Like many of you, this technique taught me how to cast accurately and how to maneuver a fly "slowly" across a large area of still water. I also learned the affects of "fast" or "slow" retrieves as well as "jigging" the fly to create different and unique presentations. Some times they worked and sometimes they didn't. Back in those days, I was fishing in lakes and mountain ponds (high Unita mountains of Utah). This is still a viable teaching method for someone of any age to learn the basic concept of using dry flies or nymphs and working on that all important aspect of accurate casting.


Have a variety of baits, lures and flies so you can change tactics. Having said that, I have a few “go to” flies and lures which work well just about everywhere and I usually stick with those. I also have baits about which I feel the same. Incidentally, even though I love to fly fish, I am just as happy sitting on the bank fishing for pan fish with my grandchildren as I am matching the hatch on some blue ribbon stream. So develop your own favorite flies, lures, bait and tactics. If after 30-45 minutes you have not had any luck, change tactics.


Panther Martin Gold Blade, black body with yellow or green dots.
Jake's Spin a Lure Gold.Jake's Spin a Lure Black (Great for dark or cloudy days).
Mepps spinners – several colors.
Thomas Cyclone – gold with red dots (Great Brown Trout Lure!).
Rapala’s or similar lures floating and sinking.
Lead head jigs – black, dark green, white.

The basic fly assortment is discussed on other blogs.

So, if you have an urban fishery, go out and make use of it. You already pay for it with your taxes so why not get your share of the fun. If possible, take a child fishing. If you have any questions, leave us a comment.

Fenwick Fleigenbinder & All_Tied_Up

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