I headed out last Saturday morning, later than
usual, for my normal fishing excursion. We took
a load of junk to the dump that was in the garage
and shed. I did a 'honey do', before I went fishing.
Actually the rest of the story is that the temperature
was up about 15 degrees by the time I headed out.
I was getting ready to leave when my wife brought
the phone out to me. One of the cattlemen that I
know was calling, he said that he was going to have
to drain a lot of water out of one pond and wondered
if I could go in and catch some of the fish. What a
terrible burden to be put on me. I told him that I
would suffer as I did this. He said to meet him at
the gate and he would let me in and give me a key so
I could lock the gate again.
When I got to the pond I saw that he had started
to take water out already. The water was down about
five feet. Made launching the canoe a little more
interesting. I got out on the pond and started
casting to see what I might pickup. I had a Marabou
Miss on, and the little bass just loved it. I caught
bass from about 7 to 12 inches on every other cast.
I changed to a Thief (Muddler variation) and started
casting. My third cast was hit by a green sunfish with
an attitude. This fish was about 9-inches long and did
not like to be on the line. I then went a long time
without another strike.
As per my usual way of finding things I did a cast
that did not go where I wanted it to. I went into a
big sneezing fit and the line went sideways instead
of fairly straight ahead. When I got done sneezing
and started to retrieve the line I had a 14-inch
crappie on the line. This got my heart pumping.
It also caused me to cast toward the bank again to
see if this was a fluke or some sort of pattern. This
cast resulted in an nice fat bluegill hitting the fly.
The next few casts resulted in no fish.
The next cast I sent a little too far and it landed
on the shore. I flipped the fly a little so it would
go over the weeds at the edge of the pond and let it
hit the water. There was an immediate swirl. I had a
12-inch crappie this time.
It finally hit me, the fish were tucked in right on the
edge of the weeds. Many of the weeds had been exposed
by the drop of the water level. The place I was fishing
was a break line that had been about five feet deep. Now
it was the edge of the pond and the fish were stacked
My casts after that were right to the edge of the
weeds. I would let the fly drop about 2 to 3 feet
and then start a slow retrieve. Crappie hit on the
fall and the bluegills and a few more green sunfish
hit on the retrieve. When ever the action slowed
down I would move down the shoreline a little ways
and it would go great guns again. I did try some
other flies but the Thief worked the best. I think
it was dark like a minnow and that was the trigger.
After I finished fishing the break line I continued
down the bank. I found that if I cast near the edge
of the weeds I would continue to catch fish. It was
not as fast as on the break line but still a good
number of fish. I did cast out into the center of
the pond, but that was controlled by the small bass.
I ended up with a nice mess of fish. I did have a
little trouble getting the canoe out of the pond.
The rich dark Iowa dirt when wet sticks like glue.
I did get in out and left the pond.
I locked the gate behind me again and returned the
key to the landowner. I might have a chance to go
there again this weekend. I may fish from the shore
if the pond has dropped again.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick