Rick Zieger - Jul 30, 2012

I had a chance to get out to a pond. I had some limited time so went to the pond with two bamboo rods and a couple of boxes of flies. The temperature was in the mid 70's with a light breeze. I hoped the fish would be active.

I put on a black furl tailed leech and a Goldie Jr. on the other rod. This is my standard idea for a light and dark pattern to start with. I made several casts with each fly, and I had fish hit each fly, but I did not hook any of them.

I tried waiting longer to set the hook and changed retrieves. I still had lots of hits, but no hookups. I decided to us a smaller fly so I went to some patterns on size 12 and 14 hooks. I still had lots and lots of hits, but no hookups. I was beginning to think that all the would happen today was short strikes.

I had some hares' ears and other patterns with no tails that I had tied on size 16 and 18 hooks. This was the time to try those. Tied one on and cast it out. Immediately I got a strike and a hookup. I got the fish in and as I started to raise it up to take it out of the water the fish flipped off the hook. I could see that it was barely lip hooked.

On the next cast I hooked another fish. This time I was smarter and ran the fish up on the shore a little ways before I grabbed it to take it off the hook. This fish was barely lip hooked also. Hard to believe that I was lip hooking fish on a size 16 hook. Now I was catching four or five fish at each place I stopped.

It was interesting that many of the fish were fairly far off the shore. They were shallow in the water column, but it was fun to be able to find them and figure out what would get them on the line.

I arrived at one place and cast out, felt the hit and set the hook. To my surprise I had a very nice crappie on the line. Why a crappie was this shallow in the water column at this time of day is a question, but it was fun to catch. My only guess is the competition for food. It got 8 more crappie out of this area, and they were all nice sized and fat.

I moved on around the pond picking up a few gills here and there. As the breeze came up it was harder to feel the strikes so I finally decided that I wanted to leave. I had fish to clean and I was getting thirsty.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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