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Part One hundred seventy-three

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Sunday Afternoon

By Richard D. Zieger, O.D., Lamoni, Iowa

I was going out to a pond to go fishing Sunday afternoon. The problem was there were kids shooting 22 rifles near the pond. I decided it was not a good place to be. As I was leaving I met another truck. The farmer in the truck told me I could follow him and fish in one of his ponds.

I followed him about five miles, around behind a barn, and then across a field. I had to unload the canoe over the fence and then drag it about 30 feet to the pond. I asked him if he liked fish and he said that he liked bass but did not know if fish were in the pond. Nobody had fished there for five years.

I put the canoe in and started fishing my way around the pond. I caught some gills and a few small bass.

I then did one of my wonder casts, I wonder how I got it to go in that direction. The fly landed in a little open spot in the weeds that were about two feet out from shore. When I started to retrieve the fly there was weight on it so I set the hook. I had a 14" crappie on the end of the line. Now this was cause for excitement because I am a crappie fanatic.

I decided to cast to some of the little openings and depressions in the weeds near the shore. On almost every cast I had something hit the fly. I caught several bluegill, crappie and bass doing this. The gills went to about eleven inches, the crappie to 16" and the bass to 6 lbs.

I was catching all of these on the same two flies, a white bugger and a Marabou Miss.

I did try other flies but nothing would hit them. I did run out of weeds to try so I was fishing the water near the shallow end of the pond. At this point I started to tie into the larger bass. I caught about a dozen bass that went from 3 to 6 lbs. I kept a couple for the owner of the pond and turned the rest loose.

I did tie into some large crappie in this area also but was not able to land any of them. They would roll on the fly and then come to the surface to fight and the hook would come out of the side of their mouth. I saw them hit and I am sure that a couple of them were over 20" long.

It was a fun afternoon as I was fishing with a 3 wt rod. Great fun to see the fish come up and hit the fly or to watch the line move before I could see the fish hit. Either way it was fun to do.

Most of the fish I caught were while the fly was in the top two feet of water. I don't think I was ever fishing over more than 5 feet of water. I did try some over deeper water and with flies going deeper but I did not catch very many fish.

I kept 25 gills and a dozen crappie to eat. I filleted the bass for the pond owner. When I delivered them I was invited to come back anytime. This was nice because I want to try for those large crappie again.

Get a line wet and have fun.

PS. No, I won't tell where the pond is. ~ Rick

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