Many summer days were spent in local ponds where I had permission to fish. I would usually join one of my friends and we would ride our bicycles to a pond to spend the day. We all had old jeans and tennis shoes that were just for fishing since they stayed wet and filthy most of the summer. Riding a bicycle home in wet jeans is one of the things I have tried to forget!
After a long hot bike ride slipping into the water felt wonderful. Hot feet and legs instantly cooled and relaxed. We often wadded neck deep across holes and channels, holding our rods above our heads. A shirt pocket full of hooks, sinkers and plastic worms was all the tackle we carried along, but our tackle boxes in our bicycle baskets were never too far away with plenty of supplies.
I learned about structure by feeling it with my feet. Channels, drops and humps all showed up as we eased around the pond. Cover like brush, stumps and rocks were remembered to fish later, and we figured out our path around the pond to take advantage of such hot spots.
I also learned about thermoclines with my feet. You could feel the change in temperatures with the depth of the water. Cool spots definitely held fish and channels and holes were cooler than surrounding waters. There was usually cooler water where a spring fed the pond and those spots definitely attracted fsih.
The smell of disturbed pond mud and moss always meant summer fishing to me. Sometimes I think I need to get back to those more simple times.