Rick Zieger - Mar 6, 2017

The first tries of the year are very easy to describe; there was lots of casting practice, but no fish. It was the early part of February and the ice was just off. That means that it was time to put some flies in the water. Several flies were tired, but the fish were not cooperative.

After that trip I picked up a cold and had to wait 11 days before going out again. It was a very nice afternoon to give it a try. It was shirt sleeve weather so I grabbed a couple of rods and headed for a pond. That a pond was one that I have not fished in a few years and the land had traded hands but so it was available again. The only request of the landowner is to leave any bass in the pond. He would like crappie and bluegill to come out. I called him and tell him that I was going to try the pond so if he saw the truck he would know who was on the land.

When I arrived at the pond I was amazed to see the amount of green algae already in the pond. There was a green carpet across the bottom of the pond and several places there where columns of green coming up toward the surface. The mild winter did not seem to kill any of this off.

I went to the dam end of the pond to start fishing. I had a slump buster on one rod to fish deep and I tried a white Rubber Legged Dragon on the other rod to try shallower in the water column. I moved both flies back very slowly as the water was still cold. On about the fifth cast, with the slump buster, I thought I had hit some algae but set the hook and had a nice bluegill come to hand. It was very nice to have the rod tip dance again.

It took several more casts before hooking another fish but it got off. After a few more casts it was time to move on. I moved about 30 feet along the dam and tried again. I had the slump buster coming in and felt some weight on the line. I set the hook and the rod tip went down and stayed there. The lined moved around a lot and it took a few minutes before the line could start coming back in. By the reaction I knew this was a big fish. When I got to the place where I could first see the fish I could see that I had a very large bass on the line. I managed to get the fish to come in between a couple of clumps of algae and holding the fish up against the rod I tried to get an idea of the length. I have a couple of ferrules that are 24 inches apart and this fish was about three inches longer than that. Very easily I slid the fish back in the water and moved her around a little. After a short time the fish flipped hard and that was my clue to let go.

I did not catch any more fish there so I moved along the dam again. I came to a spot where every time the fly would come through it a fish would hit. All of those were on the slump buster and an even split between gills and small bass. It was fun to have them on the line.

That spot gave up so it was time to move along the dam again. I made a few casts and had the line feel heavy again. I set the hook and again the rod tip stayed down. This seemed to be another large fish. While letting the fish move around some before trying to land it the landowner came by and wondered how I was doing. When I got that fish in he was very excited to see it; it was just a hair over 24 inches long, but fatter than the first big bass. I put this one back in the pond and told him about the other bass. He was very excited to know about the bass being in there.

I came home with a few gills to eat and share but had a lot of fun. It looks like 2017 is off to a good start.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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