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.
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
"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!