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Sore Knees II

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

Went out Saturday morning for my normal relaxation time. I had a key to get into a pond I had not been into for a couple of months. The land owner decided that I should go in again. I think he was hungry for fish.

Got to the pond and the wind was blowing. This pond sets between to hills. The hills act like a funnel when the wind is blowing. The surface was being churned by the wind on the water.

I got everything loaded and launched my canoe out into the pond. The only way I could paddle was backwards. When I got about 40 feet from shore I dropped the anchor and stated to cast.

With so much wind, it was easier to cast with the wind. I had a few fish come up and hit the fly. I knew that the fish must be deeper in the water but the wind was strong enough that the flies would not drop when cast with the wind.

Now is the time to tie the anchor rope off and then turn around and cast into the wind. My thought was that the flies would drop lower in the water column. I did manage to get about thirty feet of line out. I tried to retrieve the line at the same speed that the wind was blowing it in. I still had some slack in the line. I did have several fish hit the flies. I managed to hook many of them. Big problem was they came to the surface and twisted off the hook. Many more crappie did this than gills.

I had four fly rods with me. I change rods and not flies, that is my wife's assessment. I decided to try a bigger fly and see it they would be hooked better. Did not do any better on the crappie but it was to big for the gills to really get a hold of it. I decided to go smaller.

This seemed to work a little better. I was landing about one out of five fish that hit. I was hooking about fourteen out of fifteen, but still losing a lot of fish on the surface. At this point I decided to see how many different flies I could catch fish on. I tied a new fly on each rod and set about casting. As soon as I caught a fish, I took that fly off and tied another one on.

I ended up catching fish on twenty seven different flies. They varied from size 6 to size 20 hooks. I used nymphs, streamers and wets. Most of the fish hit as the fly was dropping.

After two hours my knees were numb to my armpits. Also my arm was tired of casting into the wind. I decided that I would head home. I got turned around in the canoe and sat on the seat. I dropped a couple of flies over the side of the canoe and started to drift to the end of the pond where my truck was.

I had moved about five feet when I had a gill hit one of the flies. While I was getting this one in the other rod tip went down. I did manage to get both of the gills in. I then tossed one of the flies on another rod over the side. Before I could get both gills off the hooks, I had another fish on. This one was a crappie.

By now I was very near the end of the pond. I figured it was time to go to the other end and drift across the pond again. I did get back across the pond, but it was a fight against the wind. I may have to look for a trolling motor for my canoe.

When I started to drift again I put all four rods out just to see what would happen. It turned into a "Chinese fire drill." Many times I had four fish on at a time. In fact it got so busy that I put two rods away and just used two.

I put the anchor over the side, to slow me down. I then held a rod in each hand and slowly drifted across the pond. When the fish hit I would swing them into the canoe. I got several crappie this way. They usually came off the hook just as I got them into the canoe. That way I could flip out to get another one.

When I got to the end of the pond I decided that I was through for the day. I had several fish and I did not want to paddle across the pond again. I did have some trouble loading the canoe in the wind. I finally got everything loaded.

At that point I had a small fillet board with me and cleaned half a dozen gills and put them in a plastic sack. On my way home I stopped at the landowners house and left him the fish and the key. I also left him with my thanks for being able to fish the pond.

Total for the day was 45 gills and 24 crappie. Also tossed several bass back in. Not bad after having had two weeks of very hot weather.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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