Muddy Water - Part 4 of 4

Rick Zieger, Iowa - July 06, 2009

First 100+ Fish Day of the Year

It had not rained for a few days, but I knew that I would not be driving into any ponds. I do miss being out in the canoe and fishing some of my favorite ponds.

Just as I came into the house to put on sun screen, so I can wash my hands before handling flies, the phone rang. A gentleman on the phone wanted to know if I was the guy who did a lot of fly fishing in this area. I admitted to that and was told that he had four ponds on some property he had just purchased and wanted to know when I could go fish in them. When I told him I was headed out the door, he asked if I would meet him and try the ponds.

I met him and we drove to where the property is. He had a 3/4 ton 4-wheel drive pickup so we took that to go back into the ponds. He went through a couple of places that my Ranger would not have made it. As we went, he told me that this farm had been in his family a few generations back and that he had purchased it to have a place to hunt and fish.

He wants to get it into pasture and see if he can get some birds to start living on this land. He will rent out the hunting rights to some of his friends. He wanted to see if there were fish in the ponds and how the ponds might be taken care of so the people could fish in them also. We got to the first pond and got our rods out. He went toward the dam to try for bass and I went the other way to see what I might find. I had noticed a few little swirls on the pond as we pulled up. I took a few minutes to just look at the water. I did notice something coming along a few feet of shore. When it got closer I could see that it was a leech. At that point a big gill came up and took it. Do you want to guess how long it took me to get a leech pattern on the line and out in the water?

The fly would not more than hit the water and start to move when a fish would take it. It had gills, crappie, bass and one little channel cat take this fly. Every one of these fish meant to do a great deal of harm to that leech. That meant a lot of fun for me. After about 20 minutes the gentleman wanted to try another pond. He was amazed at the number of fish that I had in the basket. He had not done that well.

It was much of the same story at the second pond. The fish could not wait to hit the leech pattern.

I used the furled tail mohair leech, a marabou leech, and boa yarn leeches. All of them were attacked with justo. I was almost landing a fish a cast.

After about another 20 minutes we headed to the third pond. When the landowner saw the number of fish I had, he said he was fishing with me. He wanted to see what was going on.

We got to the third pond. It was like the other two, a little bigger than a football field. This one was full of little skinny bass. These fish hit anything that went into the pond. We would see several more fish with everyone that we brought into land. Not a single panfish in the time we were there. I did dump in about a dozen gills from the fish basket.

I did tell him that he needed to catch some of the bass out and bury them or put them in other ponds. I also told him of a few ponds that could use the bass. They were too skinny to clean. The fourth pond is a nice place. It is about five acres in size. There are a few trees standing in the water. There are trees around about half this pond that overhand the water. I want to do some top water fishing from the canoe in those areas.

This pond produced fish like the first two had. Almost a fish a cast. The landowner asked me how fun it was to catch fish on a fly rod. I had just cast, so after the fish hit and was hooked, I handed him the fly rod and told him to bring it in. I think that another person just might be hooked on fly fishing. He had a ball. In fact I would cast the one rod, hand it to him, cast the second rod and we would both bring a fish in almost every time.

We had so much fun that I finally had to tell him that we needed to quit. The fish basket was almost full. The fish had to be pushed in under the floating cap of the basket it was so full. When we got back to where my pickup was, he told me that I would be getting a key to go through the gates. I could fish the ponds. He also quizzed me as to the cost of a fly rod and where to get the flies like what we used today. We talked about it some and gave him a few places to look for an outfit, and we would work on the flies.

He said he wished he had brought a basket at a fish dinner would have been good. I got a plastic bag out of my truck and he took about a dozen fish with him. A little argument as he said they were my fish, and I told him they were his fish and I had just caught them. Besides that he had caught some and I was just hauling them for him.

When I got home, I filleted a lot of fish. With the ones tossed into the third pond, and those that went in the plastic bag, it was more than a hundred fish. It was a very fun day, but I was tired of filleting also.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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Muddy Water (part 1)

Muddy Water (part 2)

Muddy Water (part 3)

Muddy Water (part 4)

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