Part Two hundred twenty-nine
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
Archive of Panfish
I got roped into helping some people move into a new
house on Saturday morning. A three hour job turned into
seven hours because some other folks decided not to show
up. Upshot of it was that I did not get out to the pond
to go fishing until Sunday afternoon.
I took my canoe but I was not sure that I would be able to
use it because the wind was starting to blow. I did get out
to a pond and started to fish. I had caught a few fish when
the wind really picked up and started moving my canoe along
even though my anchor was down. I decided that I needed to
get off the pond. I had a hard time loading the canoe on
top of the pickup with the wind blowing.
I decided that I would go to another pond and see if I
could catch anything there. I knew that the wind would
not be blowing there as hard on the one side of the pond.
This pond has large trees around it. There is about a ten
foot space between each of the trees that you can backcast
into with out catching the tree fish. The trouble is that
the casts have to be pretty much straight out into the pond
because the trees also overhang the pond.
I started casting and figured out that the wind was still
getting to my casts. I lost three flies to the tree fish
and still had not cast very far out into the pond. I decided
to approach this differently. Alan di Somma had sent me a few
strike indicators that he had made. I put one of these on with
a Rat Tail Grub and cast it out a little way and let the wind
carry it on out. The fly was about 4 feet from the strike
I know that the water drops off to about six feet deep
about four feet from shore where the trees are and about
8 feet out between the trees. It make a series of "S" curves.
I have always caught fish along these when I was in the canoe.
The wind had taken the fly out about 15 feet when I saw
the indicator move. I set the hook and had a good fish
on. I started working the fish in and the bass decided
to start jumping. She cleared water 6 times before I got
her landed. I released her and decided to move down a
little way since the water had been disturbed.
I again made about a 10 foot cast, but this time the fly
had just started to drop when the line moved. I was into
a nice sized bluegill. When I landed this one I cast again
to see if there was another one in the same place. Fly had
just started to drop when the line moved again. It was
another bluegill of about the same size. I caught seven
of them from nearly the same spot. After this the fishing
slowed at this spot.
I kept moving and casting the fly out and letting the wind
blow it out father. I continued to catch gills when the fly
was just dropping, bass when the fly was straight down and
drifting away. When I started to retrieved the fly when it
got out about 40 feet I would catch a crappie or a rock bass.
The fly was being given a lift and drop sort of retrieve.
I worked back and forth up the shore line doing this for
about two hours. I had several gills, rock bass and about
a dozen crappie. I had tossed about 25 bass back in. I did
try other flies but they did not work as well as the Rat
Tail Grub. This might be due to grubs falling out of the
trees I was fishing around.
I kept the fish, as this is another one of the ponds that
I have been working on to increase the size of the fish.
Bluegills are about two inches longer than when I started
and the crappie are about 5 inches longer. Taking a lot
of smaller fish out has definitely helped with the size issue.
On the way home I did stop at one house of a friend. I am
still working on him to get into fly fishing. He does not
believe that you can catch any thing but trout on flies.
I showed him what I had caught and that all I had with me
was the fly rod. He related that he had been out for an
hour and a half just before I got there and not caught
nymphing. I helped the situation by telling him that some
of us had talent and others didn't. I did leave him some
gills to clean for supper.
The Rat Tail Grub is a pattern that Tony Spezio shared
with me. I have caught a lot of fish around trees and
brush with this fly. It is fairly easy to tie also.
Rat Tail Grub
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick
Hook: 10 - 12.
Thread: To match dubbing.
Tail: 3 or 4 Peacock swords about shank length.
Body: Rat Rail, white, cream, yellow from a craft
store, 2mm size.
Head: Small amount of black or cream dubbing.
I do put a little Zap-a-Gap on the thread where I tie the Rat Tail in
before I wind it forward 3 or 4 times on the hook. They seem to hold up
better doing that.
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