Part Two hundred-seventeen
Lift and Drop Revisited
By Richard Ziegeria, Iowa
Archive of Panfish
Was reading Ray Bergman's book Trout just
before I went on my lunch hour to the lake. The wind was
blowing about 20 mph and the waves were fairly good size.
I decided I had better cast with the wind than go through
the brambles with my work pants on. Things like that do not
please my wife and could shorten my life. Spent about 15
minutes with nothing happening. I was casting with nymphs
so the wave actions should not have made a difference.
I still had the material on the 'lift and drop' method from the
book in my head, so I decided to try it even though I was not
in a stream. I shortened the leader to about 4 feet, then cast
the fly out and waited until I was sure it was as deep as it
would go. I was perpendicular to the shoreline and had the rod
straight in front of me. I had the tip near the surface of the
water so there was no bow in the line. I moved the rod tip
about 6" to 8" and then let it go back with the wind. I did
this twice and then took up about 6" of line slowly. Did this
about four times when I felt a tug on the line and brought in
a 12" bass.
I continued catching bass, bluegills, crappie, and a channel
cat. I always had to move the fly at least four times. I also
found out that if I did everything very slowly it worked better.
It would take me about 5 seconds to move the rod forward and 5
seconds to let the rod go back. Anytime that I was faster than
this nothing would happen. Also tried letting the fly set longer
and nothing happened.
The only way they hit that day was with the lift and drop. Tried
other wet flies and streamers and nothing happened. Also tried
a Pheasant Tail Nymph under a foam popper but that did not work.
I think the waves might have caused to much action on the dropper
fly because the popper bounced around a fair amount.
I did have two cars stop to see what I was catching. One guy told
me he was going to get a fly rod and have me teach him how to
use it. This could be dangerous for the whole sport with my
casting ability trying to teach someone else to do it.
Also went out this morning (Saturday) after the rain storm had
gone through. The wind was blowing again and I was not getting
anything to happen. Decided it was time to try the lift and drop
again. Did it with a large, size 6, black nymph. When I figured
out to cast near any vegetation, sticks or stumps in the pond I
would hook fish. I would cast near the structure and then lift
and drop the fly a couple of times. If a fish was there I am
pretty sure they hit the fly.
Hooked several fish that got off because they jumped or I
hooked them in the side of the mouth. I know I lost at least
a dozen large crappie this way. Also sure I hooked a few large
bass that wrapped me around something and broke off. It is a
good thing I always carry at least 6 of any fly I have in my box.
When I came home and filleted the fish, I checked their stomachs.
I did not find any minnows or grasshoppers that I could identify.
It was a black mass of nymphs the best I could tell. This is one
reason that one fly rods always has a nymph pattern of some sort
on it. I think nymphs are the main food source in small ponds
most of the summer.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick
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