I fished on one of my clearest lakes yesterday as part of my early spring check out. I round a few bass holding on the shallow flats but not much to get excited about. When I got into one of my favorite deeper coves I was surprised to see a school of bass all between roughly 3 and 5 pounds patrolling along the edge of a flat. I’m sure that like me you are thinking well this will surely result in a bunch of fish coming to the boat and we are both wrong.
I was able to see the school of maybe 25 fish pretty clearly because of the water clarity, cloud cover and polarized glasses. I was about to get a lesson. My first cast landed the fly ten feet in front of the patrolling school of fish. Immediately one of the smaller (but still respectable) fish darted forward and engulfed the fly.
I was conscious of scaring the rest of the fish and played that one quickly to the boat and released it. I could still see the school of fish but on repeated casts no luck. I even moved off and let them rest for 10 minutes but still not luck! Even changing the fly did not make a difference. My takeaway was that those fish learned quickly that whatever got tossed out of the boat was trouble that day.
It is amazing what you can see if you watch carefully.