Fairfax County, Virginia, January 9, 2009
Busy, busy, busy. I had a lot of things that needed to get done today, but I managed to squeeze in some fishing at several ponds in the area that hold a good population of bass and panfish between runs to Costco, Target, Home Depot and Giant.

The sun was out but it was very cold. I think the weather-guy on the radio said it was 29 but felt like 19 with wind chill factored in. And when I stepped out of the car at the first pond and got a dose of the wind, I knew he wasn't too far off.

The parking lot was empty and I had the place to myself. After setting up and walking in I noticed the water looked a bit funny. The pond was frozen over. There was only a very tiny sliver of water open and it was in a really lousy spot. Ice covered most of the deep water and especially a ledge that usually holds some big bass.

I fished the area for about half an hour with no takers. At one spot the rim of the ice sheet stopped at the edge of a deeper area so I would cast onto the ice then slowly drag the fly off the edge where it would slowly sink to the bottom. With no bites and feeling frustrated, I lobbed a big rock into the pond to see how thick the cover was. It hit with a loud 'thunk', sending ice chips flying, then skittered across the top of the pond. Time to try another pond.

However three other ponds were also iced over and not fishable so I took that as a sign from the fish gods to pack up the gear and finish my chores.

EQUIPMENT: I used a 3-weight rod and floating line which is usually more than enough to handle anything that swims in the area ponds.