Rick Zieger - January 17, 2011

It was a good day with warm temperatures and the wind blowing some. The weather forecast said the wind would get harder later in the day so I decided that it might be smarter to go out earlier.

I got everything in the canoe and headed out. I went to a pond that I have not fished for a while. The crops were out so the landowner said that I could go into the pond. Someone had taken a four-wheel drive truck through the field and had great fun running things down. He asked me to stay away to see if they might come back and he could catch them. I drove in and got the canoe off the truck and all the stuff into the canoe.

When I got near the water and saw that it was clear. I could see the bottom out for about 10 feet. Then the waves on the surface did not let me see any farther. This was the clearest water I have seen for a while. I tried a black furl tailed mohair leech for several casts. I got no interest in the fly, but did hook a few weeds.

I got the canoe in the water and got a little farther out in the pond. I could cast along the weeds in both directions and cast out over some deeper water. I tied the mohair leech again and then three other flies. These were the flies on the rods that I had used the last time I had taken them out. They were odd colors that had caught fish, but not this time. I moved two more times and managed to get one decent crappie. Not what I was expecting to happen in this pond. I know this pond has a good population of fish.

Time to change flies again. I put on a white boa yarn fly, a yellow boa yarn fly, a streamer nymph and a hares ear type fly. The white boa fly was the last to go on so I cast it out, because the rod was in my hand. The fly did have a small bead head on it to get it to drop and little faster and deeper.

Let the fly drop for several seconds and then started to retrieve it. The fly had not moved far when there was a solid hit. I set the hook and brought the fish in. It turned out to be a nice crappie. As the fish got close I could see the fly in the corner of its mouth, and I could also see a few other fish swimming near this fish. Where they trying to get the fly? I got this fish in and flipped out the yellow boa yarn fly to see if they would take it. No such luck.

I quickly took the fish off the white boa fly, flipped the line out so it would not tangle with things in the canoe and put the crappie in the fish basket. I picked up the rod to make another cast and had another crappie on the line. This was just from flipping the line out so it would not be in the canoe and hook on something. I took this fish off and flipped the line out again. I put the fish in the basket and watched the line. I saw the line twitch and had another fish on the line. I got this fish in and tried it again, but it did not work this time.

I cast the line out and let the fly drop again. When I saw the line twitch I had another fish on the line. When I got this fish close I saw a couple more swimming with it. I unhooked this crappie and dropped the line back in the water. The fly was down about two feet when I saw the other crappie come up and take the fly. The fish then stopped for a few seconds and then moved off. I landed this fish and dropped the fly over the side again. Immediately I had another crappie come up and take the fly. This fish then very slowly moved off. It took a few seconds before I could see that the leader was moving. I might be onto a pattern. Get one fish in and a few more were following.

When I dropped the fly back in the water and the others might take it. It worked on the next few casts. Then either I had caught all the fish or they got wise about what was happening. Then I moved about 30 feet and got into more fish.

At each place I found that other fish would follow the hooked fish in. Over half the time I was able to get at least one more fish by dropping the fly back in the water. There were some bass that also took the fly when I did this.

The wind was coming up harder and the thought of fighting the canoe back thorough the wind was not exciting so I decided to head back. Fishing had been fun. When I started to bring the basket back in I did not realize how many fish were in it. It was heavier than I thought.

Paddling back I stopped at one placed to try a fly again for gills. There is a whole bunch of brush at this place in the pond. Tied the fly on and I had wrapped brown punch yarn on the hook shank and had peacock tied in a “V” shape on each side of the hook.

I cast the fly out and let it drop and I had a fish attack it. It turned out to be a very big gill. I picked up a huge gill on almost every cast, and I returned all of them to the pond to keep those genetics in. Nice to know the fish had grown that much.

When I got home and I had a lot of fish to filet. I’m glad I left some with the pond owner, who said he would take care of them.

Good eating and fillets to share with several folks. With what I brought home and the fish that were returned to the pond I was into three figures.

It was a great day on the water. Wonder what would have happened I had not spent the first hour using other colors?

Hope you can get out on the water.


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