I headed out Saturday morning to the
lake where I go to do my noon fishing.
I knew the crappie were in and with
the rain we had the previous few days
there were too many mud holes to get
to a lot of the ponds. Besides that this
would be a way to get a bunch of crappie
and to help the lake a little by
"decreasing the surplus population."
I was not real bright when I got up as I
did not look at the thermometer. I came
to the office and picked up a 5 wt rod
and the 10.5 ft 3 wt I built. I figured
it was time to really put it to use. With
my two rods, vest, hat and fish basket I
headed off. I had the radio on and when
the weather came on they said it was 40
degrees in Lamoni. I had not brought a
coat or jacket with me and I was too far
from home to go back. The first turn
around was 13 miles from home.
When I got to the lake there were three
boats out near the jetty. I know these
folks and they said the fishing was very
slow. This is not what I had expected. I
was going to fish from the shore as I had
done so well a few days before.
I went to the south end of the rip rap
along the road and started casting.
I had a Streamer Nymph and a Perch-a-bou
on the rods. This is what had worked Thursday
and I would see what might be going on with
these flies to start. I started with the
streamer nymph. It is my very favorite crappie
fly. I cast it out and started bringing it
in very slowly. I had moved it about 3 feet
when the fly disappeared. I set the hook and
saw the fly move through the water. I was
watching the fly when it disappeared again. I
waited a second to make sure and then set the
hook. This time I had a crappie.
The guys in the boats started riding me
because I had caught a fish so quickly.
They had been fishing for a long time
and had caught very few. I told them it
was superior ability. They told me to
prove it and catch another fish.
I cast toward the north because the last
cast was to the south. I was letting the
fly drop when I saw the line moving. This
time I had a crappie hooked deeply. The
guys in the boats really started giving
me a bad time now. They told me that I had
used up all my luck. I cast to the south
again and let the fly drop. I saw it
disappear and sat the hook too quickly
again. I had the fish for a second but
then it flipped off. The guys in the
boat told me that the idea was to hook
and land them. I replied that at
least I was hooking them.
I alternated casts to the north and south
and managed to catch several more fish.
Then nothing happened for several casts.
I tried the perch-a-bou and did not have
any luck. By now the sun was getting above
the horizon enough to let me see down into
the water. I could seed the flash of several
fish in the deeper water, but could not
interest them in any flies. I tried
another 13 patterns but could not get
one of them to work.
I went back to the streamer nymph and cast
to the south. Nothing happened. I cast to
the north and nothing happened until I made
a little longer cast and then I had another
crappie. I made another cast into the same
general area and picked up another fish.
I had an idea of what was going on. The wind
was starting to pick up a little and it was
beginning to feel colder than it was. Wind
coming across water has a tendency to do that.
I took the one rod back to the pickup and
put it in the cab. I went with the other
rod and started moving along the rip rap
to the north. I would make a few casts and
catch a few fish. When this stopped I would
move about 5 feet and then cast again. At
each place I stopped I would catch a few
fish. There were a few spots where I would
pick up a dozen fish. I am not sure why but
as long as they would bite I would stay at
the same place.
I worked to the north end of the rip rap
and then started back. The wind was slowly
increasing in speed. As I started back south
along the rip rap, I was able to see more
of the fish that hit the fly. I missed several
as I was too quick on the strike. When I waited
until they turned or the line moved to the side
I would catch them. If I did strike too fast,
when the fly started to drop after the strike
a fish would come up and smack it. I then
started making the cast, let it drop and
then pull it a couple of feet and let
it drop. The fly was about 4 to 5 feet
from the shore and it was fish that
were near the shore that were hitting
the fly. No fish came out of the
deeper water to hit the fly.
I think all the active fish were up near
the shore and spawning. The rest of the
fish were deeper and in a negative mood.
In any case I keep moving the fly near
shore and catching fish. My friends in
the boats were going nuts. I told them
that I felt they should go to the point
across the lake and fish the shallows
there. I know there is a flat about 3
feet deep there that is about 1200 square
feet in area. I thought that active crappie
would be in that area.
When my basket was fairly full, I decided
to quit. The wind was picking up more
speed and was going about 25 mph. It
is not easy to cast the 3 wt in
the wind at that speed.
I went home and found that I had my first
100 fish day of the year. I received a phone
call from one of the boaters that told me
they had a ball over on the point catching
crappie that were against the shore. It turned
out to be a fun day, but I was fairly cold
when I got in the pick up. I figure I got a
100 plus fish with the 10.5 ft 3 wt I built
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick firstname.lastname@example.org