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Gills, Gills, Gills

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
I got to go out Saturday morning for the first time in a month. SowBug, illness and Continuing Education took care of three weekends. I had the itch bad and it was time to get out.

I headed off to a pond with no promises of when I would get home. I did get out on the pond about 6:30 am. There was a slight breeze and I could see a little activity around the edge of the pond. I got the canoe off the truck and loaded with everything. I then went down the pond and cast to the edge to see what I might get before launching the canoe. With fish close to the edge I like to try to cast to them before I spook them. No such luck.

I finally went out in the canoe and started working around the pond. I finally got to the place where we had sunk a few tree branches in about 8 feet of water. By casting over this area I thought I might get a crappie or two. I tried several casts with several different flies and had no luck.

I then decided to try a few other flies and see if there might be a bluegill around. The first one I tried was a marabou leech that I had used earlier in the year. When I cast this fly out and moved it back with a few strips of about 5 to 6 inches and then let it drop the gills would take it.

These were gills from about 8 to 12 inches long. Most were from 8 to 10 inches but very thick. They also had an attitude and wanted to dive deep and turn a lot of circles. I had caught several gills when I decided to move and see if I could find a crappie or two.

I fished all over the pond, at all depths and at all speeds. I used 15 different flies and did not get a single crappie. I did get a few bass and picked up some gills as I moved around. I finally gave up and headed back to the place where I had been catching the gills in the first place. This is a pond that needs to have fish taken out of.

The best fly I found to use was the leech fly. I continued to use it. I did find that I had to let the fly drop a little deeper before I started to retrieve. My guess was this happened because the sun was higher in the sky. Most of the fish hit while the fly was dropping.

At this time I did start to loose some of the fish as I was swinging them into the canoe. I was also doing several LLR (long line releases). I might have been hooking a few crappie at this time, but they did not take any of the crappie flies that I tried to use.

What brought an end to all of this was that the wind started to really kickup. This pond is in a valley so when the wind hits 15 to 20 mph the funnel effect of the hills makes it much faster across the water.

It was a fun day. Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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