Great stuff guys! Now if the next time I hit the pond early wtih topwaters, and my photogenic memory has perfect recall, there should be a substantial increase in the ratio of takes over shortstrikes. Once the light got fairly bright I put on my polarized specs and could see the target area where the shortstrikes were occurring and the lie is like this. Ten yards from shore at the shallow end of the pond opposite the dam with thick mossy weeds and thin clearwater(about a foot, clear) with a fairly abrupt dropoff to 4-6 feet of open water with thick mossy weeds making a shelf like break. Some downed tree structure was also present about 10 feet past this hotspot where the shortstrikes took place. I was casting about 40 feet away. The pond (almost an acre) is at least 25 years old with healthy Bluegill, Largemouth Bass (lots of small ones and up to 3 pounds have I seen come out and go back) , Crappie (10 -11 inch fish),and at least one 6 pound channel catfish. Spring fed, shallow to maybe 12 feet deep, no fishing pressure other than myself over the last 5 years. I don't wade it because of one VERY, VERY large old alligator Snapper with a head like two fists big and a briefcase sized shell lurking around that could bite a toe CLEAN OFF; but walk the bank or take my canoe. This just to fill you in on the particulars. Having never seen the shortstriking fish, I really could not tell the size only that some fish made very deep, full bodied, SWOOSHES at the popper indicative of a larger fish. The two poppers I tossed were about 5/16ths wide head and one inch long total feathers included so I don't think they were inordinately huge. The nipping scenario sounds best to me over small fish since I have yet to hook up any biscuit sized panfish from this pond. They're there I'm sure, just not getting caught by me very often unless I get desperate and tie on a bare hook to attach live terrestrials (hoppers) to. (gasp! heresy!)) Most bluegills I catch are at least 6 inches tip to tail and some push past 9 inches by just a bit as evidenced by the pix and my hand measures 9 inches fromthe center of my watch face to the tip of my middle finger.
I really should get a 3 weight to enjoy these bruiser 'gills but around here always tote the 5 wt in my truck. I will try the bead nymphs and small wooly buggers behind the poppers next time. How long should the dropper line be? 6 inches? A foot? or more? Later the topwater shuts down and I go to deepwater bass patterns or some scary creation I've tied. Most of my flies come out the front yard......I have guineas (2 colors), chickens (black, white, red) a rooster for hackles, geese, and muscovy ducks. Had some turkeys too but only feathers from them now. I also get the occasional supplement of Fox tail (chicken coop raiders donate fur), Buck tail, Squirrel tails, Groundhog (great hair source-FREE), rabbit and sometimes possums donate fur. Guess you can tell I'm describing a small homestead farm with poultry, livestock, wildlife, and predators. We have everything except the water and fish. Anybody got a Snapper fly recipe?lol!