Rick Zieger - Aug 29, 2011

I had a day off and that means that a pond will be visited. It has been very hot so the decision was made to go out early, and that way I could be home before it got real hot. Also that would let me get some things done in the garden. I can plant a few and the sit in the shade for a while.

It is still wet so I hike into one of my favorite ponds. If it does not rain much I will be able to drive in in the next few weeks. I got in and saw that the pond had algae and weeds around the edge in places, which means that the water has warmed up. However, the water was fairly clear.

I had taken two 3 weights with me. There was no wind so the water was flat. I wanted to tag up with some crappie, and I know that crappie reside in this pond. I had a Goldie Jr and a yellow boa yarn fly on the two rods.

The pond lies east/west with the dam at the east end. I was on the south side as the north side has trees that are about 10 feet from the edge of the pond. Those trees have a nasty habit of eating flies. I headed up toward the shallow end of the pond. If the fish were not there then I could head back to the deeper water.

I made several casts and picked up one bluegill, so I decided to move about 40 feet and try this again. I walked over there and made a cast. I retrieved the fly by a weed showing on the surface and had a crappie nail it; a nice fat 11 inch crappie. I made another cast and had another crappie take the fly. This fish just barely nicked the fly. Why one fish smashes a fly and the other just sips at it continues to confuse me. I made more casts and got a crappie on about every other cast. Most of them were not hitting the fly very hard, but they only wanted the yellow fly. After I caught several fish I tried the Goldie Jr.  I caught a couple of gills on it, but not a single crappie. I moved up the pond to the other side of a tree that grows near the pond.

I started with the yellow fly. I made a lousy cast and had the fly drop about 10 feet from shore. As a result I had to take a half-hitch knot off the end of the rod tip. I told you it was a lousy cast. When I started to pick up the line to make another cast I had a fish on the line. It was another fat crappie. I made another short cast and had another crappie take the fly, and I did this several times before the fish turned off. I made a slightly longer cast and picked up a few more fish. I did this each time the fishing slowed down. I was not sure how many fish were there, but each time I extended the cast I picked up some more fish. I stayed at that same place and had a ball. If I missed one fish, then there was another one ready to take the fly. It was great fun to do this. The fish closer to the shore either turned on again or other fish rotated through.

I tried the Goldie Jr and got some nice gills on it. Crappie did not take this fly, but the gills made the rod tip do some fancy dancing. The gills were 9 inches long and football fat.

I had been doing this for a while when the call of nature came. That seems to happen after drinking water before leaving home. When I went back to the rods, I decided to lift the fish basket. I am half a mile from the truck, and the basket is heavy. As much as I hate to leave fish that are taking the fly it is time to go. I have to shift the basket from hand to hand several times, I have to stop a few times to let me arms rest.

When I arrived at home I set about filleting the fish, and I didn't even try to count them as I cleaned them. After the fillets were washed off I counted 77 crappie and 39 gills. I did not even fish the best places on the pond. I decided that I need to get back there with the canoe.

I had fish to eat and plenty to share. It was a good day and got about half the things I needed to set in the garden done. The next day I rested, and now I'm looking forward to  fresh garden produce with fresh fish.

Hope you can get out on the water.


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