Rick Zieger - Mar 24, 2014

I had been invited to a fish a pond where the owner was withdrawing water for his cattle. The owner was concerned that the fish would not survive the winter. When I arrived the pond had been drawn down over four feet. The day before went to the pond we got about an inch and a half of rain; most of it in twenty minutes. There was no way I was going to drive into the pond. Going in would be OK, but coming out there would be too much mud to drive on.

I know that his pond is surrounded by trees for most of the circumference. There is no way to really cast a fly rod when fishing from the shore. I woke up in the morning and there was a 25 mph wind blowing. I figured that even roll casting is not going to be effective under these conditions, so I broke out my spin casting rod. I tied a four foot leader to the jig head on the rod and a Goldie Jr on that. I casted it out and let the fly drop before starting to retrieve. On the third cast I got a crappie to hit, but this fish was very close to the surface. It was time to keep the fly higher in the water column. I found the fish were scattered all over the place. I made the first cast about 15 feet and worked the area in front of me, and then I casted five feet farther and tried again. After each series of casts I increased the casting distance about 5 feet. I retrieved the fly in all the way as fish seem to follow the fly.

After about an hour of casting a friend showed up, and he was using twister tails and was not catching many fish. He came over to me and I set him up with a fly behind his jig. It only took him a few casts and then he was catching fish.

I continued to fish for a while longer and then looked at the fish basket. It was about a half mile hike to the pickup, and I did not I want to carry more fish than were already in the basket.

I got home and took care of the fish, and I had plenty for us and fillets to share.

Now the dilemma comes. Was it fly fishing? I used a fly with a leader to catch the fish, but the leader was connected to a mono line and a spin-cast rod. The end that caught the fish was the same thing that would be on one of my fly rods. Does what I used for the rod to cast with or what is on the end of the line make it fly fishing? My friend and I had a good time catching fish this way, but the question still remains. I am not sure so I will let you decide.

Hope you can get on the water.

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