Its officially fall in the lowcountry. The foliage is slowly beginning to change hue, oysters are being roasted and college football is on the screen. Nature begins to prepare for the long cold winter as the temperatures wan. There is no better time to take a break from the artist block and enjoy the bounty of the local bass and bream ponds, especially with one of your best friends!
Fishing the small roadside ponds is anything but a push over. Bream, like their cohorts (bass and crappie) are feeding to bulk up for the winter but that does not mean they are not going to be picky eaters. During this time of year, the high sun will keep them deeper and off the normal shallows. In the evening however, just as the sun starts to set they slowly make their way back.
Fly selections during the late morning through the early evening are assorted soft-hackled nymphs or the olive and black wooly buggers. Dry flies will occasionally entice a strike but more often than not, dry flies in the evening or night are better.
I prefer light tackle like a three to a five-weight fly rod and two pound test tippets. The secret to catching the larger fish whether bass or bream, is to patiently scan the surface of the pond. Look for the tell all “v” of a cruising fish or the nervous water caused by bait fish corralled in a corner shallow. It is at this time I like to throw a flashy, beadhead wooly bugger just ahead of the anticipated escape route. Strikes, when they come are fierce! I try not to strike hard on the fish as the lighter tippets will snap and the fish usually set themselves on the take. The fight is fast and furious and the release immediate.
So even though my heart would rather have me on a trout stream in the mountains, settling for feisty bream from a lowcountry pond will fit the mood just fine.