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5-06-05 - Actually the 2nd fish landed, a bluegill.
The urban ponds are all clearly marked by yellow signs...if you pull up and there's a bright yellow sign, you're in the right spot.
A well-framed picture of Ceylon Lagoon...it's not all "this" pretty.

5-06-05 - SE WI Urban Ponds are rockin'

Waters Fished: Ceylon Lagoon
Fish Caught: over 20 hits, easily 10 or more landed.
Outing Date: 5-06-05
Weather: Sunny & Windy
Air Temp: 70's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: normal?
Water Color: blue, visibility 3'+
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Bluegill
Pattern Fished: Tucker Nymph, Clouser Minnow
Pattern Color: Clouser in white and gray
Fishing Quality: Excellent

You can't argue with this kind of action at 2:00 PM on a Friday afternoon! I've known that locally we have a couple "Urban Ponds" and well, I figured I'd finally make my way over to check out one of the closest to home - Ceylon Lagoon.

I should note right off the bat that this is a FEE area...you'll need your WI State Parks Sticker here. It's a bit of a hike from the Parking as well - however there is very close handicap parking - this is one of the better handicap-accessible ponds I've been to. There's a dock present as well...all around a very accessible spot to those who really rely on that.

One other word of wisdom; come summer this park is PACKED with tourists..I mean by the hundreds. It's probably best to fish here prior to Memorial Day (Bigfoot State Park's campgrounds open on the 16th this year). Originally I thought about withholding the name and location of this urban pond due to it being really close to home and turning out to be a quality place to go. However, being realistic about it, by summer this place is surely pounded beyond belief. May is probably going to be the only good time of year to fish here.

With all that said, I made my way on over to the pond and found fish rising and jumping all over the place. A nice midge hatch was coming off. Another fly angler was casting from the pier, so I started looking for good casting from shore. I was glad I brought my 9' rod for this pond...it's definitely big enough to require some good long casts.

A moment after I first stood at the shore, a rise broke the surface within casting distance. 2 false casts and I landed my tandem rig within the bullseye of the riseform. WHACK - the fight was on and moments later a nice Rainbow Trout was beached.

The action continued for quite some time. After several hits on the Tucker Nymph, which was trailing behind a size 4 Clouser Minnow, I decided to change up my rig and go with dries - I wanted to get into some surface action if I could.

2 dry flies later and not a look, I went back to the Tucker Nymph. Of course, the action resumed. Several rainbows came to shore...most 9" or so but some in the 12" range.

My 2nd Stocker Rainbow Trout for the afternoon...#1 was just not a good pic. Trout #3 Trout #4!
Another Bluegill! Stocker Rainbow #5 Yet another stocker bow...
This one creamed the CLOUSER?! Yup, they keep hitting..this was the 8th one I photographed. From what I've been able to figure out, this unusual bird was a Pied-Billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps).

As the hatch wound down both fly anglers started looking for more active fish. I took a look off the dock and watched my clouser go down. If I had to estimate, I'd guess this pond is actually somewhat deep...maybe 9-10 feet? The information I could find online lists this pond as 7 Acres but doesn't list a depth.

Anyway, I'm going on a hunch that it *could* be deep enough for the stocked Rainbow Trout to hold over and grow bigger (this very well could account for some of the larger than average trout I landed). But this will only happen if folks practice catch & release. However, I'm not sure there's much hope for C&R on Ceylon - while present I watched 3 bait anglers come and go with their buckets.

There's not much else to say about Ceylon lagoon that I haven't already. It requires good casting and most likely a deep presentation. The nymph behind the streamer presentation worked better than 2 nymphs as well, so keep that in mind. After the hatch, the action was considerably slower but still consistent.

While there is no minimum size limit and a bag limit of 3 per day, I highly suggest C&R to at least extend the quality fishing season on this pond. I've contacted the Park Manager (Thomas Leith) to see if I can get more information on the holdover potential of this pond (as well as a max. depth). Within 5 MINUTES he got back to me (amazing) and here's what he had to say.

"We have had occasions that they have held over. It is about 14 feet deep", Tom responded. So yes, C&R can make a difference here. Please look to the smaller urban ponds if you'd like a few trout for the pan!

  MP 

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