On Saturday I decided to get up early and drive my wife to work up in Grant County. It just so happens that we have to drive past one of my favorite places to fish, a couple of warmwater lakes in a sea of trout holes. When I used to live up that way, I spent a day or two out there every week. It's part of the reason for my return to fly fishing and totally the reason I learned to build my own fly rod - A 2 weight, perfect for dealing with hungry bluegill. I loaded the pontoon boat into the truck, dropped off my wife and was on the water by 8am. I have a basic litmus test for this place. If there are bluegill milling about in the shallow water of the primitive boat launch I should have a good day of fishing. Turns out there were a bunch of them sitting there looking up at me when I wandered down to the water's edge, along with a couple nice largemouth. I couldn't resist a quick flip of a fly out there and on my first cast, before I had even gotten into the water I had my first fish of the day in hand. I launched and headed straight for the upper lake, it gets less pressure and would likely make for a quieter day. Rather than rush out, I kicked along and trolled. Not a lot going on away from the shore, it's a bit deep and my floating line wouldn't get down near the bottom, but mostly any cast up into the reeds resulted in at least a strike or two. Once I made it to my first stop in the upper lake I decided to tie on a popper. There was cloud cover, so I thought I might entice a bass to come up. A handful of casts all resulted in the same: The abundant 'gills would attack the tail of the popper and try to pull it under, even though it was too big for even the largest of them. Finally, though, after letting the rings disperse from the water on splashdown, there was a good swirl of water and my popper was gone. That weren't no bluegill! Sure enough, a spunky little largemouth had swallowed it whole. I didn't have any luck with the popper after that, so I switched it up and went with a double fly setup that I favor for this place. It's a bit of a hassle dealing with two flies, but there are a bunch of different kinds of fish in here and I like to fish stuff that has a chance to catch em all. In my 7 hours on the water, the species list ended up being: largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and perch. Also, these panfish tend to go into a feeding frenzy when something edible-looking hits the water. The result sometimes ends up like this: Doubles are always entertaining. I wasn't able to find the big female bluegill on their beds like I had in the past, but there were more small fish than I could shake a stick at. Many were 5" or so, some up to 7" and fat. This was a pretty average sized fish. The highlight for me, though, was getting into a couple schools of crappie. Iv'e caught plenty of them here in the past, but never consistently, it was always an occasional thing. Once I had found the first one on this day, though, I found plenty more along with them. This is the first of the bunch that I picked up. Put a nice bend in Eagle Claw. This one measured 10" on the ruler. At first I was just releasing them, but after 4 or five of these I decided that I was letting a perfectly good fish fry swim away and started keeping them. In the end I took home 7 of them, a decent start to a bag of fillets. I paddled back out in early afternoon to make it in time to pick my wife back up from work. Now I'm really anxious to get back up there and a little bummed that I haven't made the trip in the past couple years. It kind of felt like putting on an old comfy pair of shoes. This place just fits, and has a bunch of good memories in our history together.