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Pushing the Season


Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I did not go out to the lake on Tuesday over the noon hour. It was just to darn cold to do that. The wind was blowing about 35 mph and coming out of the southwest. That mean that it would come across a lot of water before hitting my body. That is just a little too much wind chill for me to want to be out in.

I did head out today, the first of December. The temperature is about 29 degrees and the wind is blowing about 10 mph. I have tied up a few flies with larger bead heads on them. They seem to stay deeper in the water column for me. That is working better for me now. The fish are not moving as much and will not come up to get the fly. I have fished the weighted and un-weighted flies in the same spots and the weighted ones are doing better for me now.

I got out to the end of the jetty. I was facing north and the wind was in my face. There are a couple of inches of snow on the ground and I made the only tracks to be seen in it. I had one fly rod with me, as I did not want to get the others in the snow. I had a white boa yarn leech pattern on. I had tied it so the bead was behind the last wrap of yarn at the eye of the hook. I wanted to see if this would keep the yarn fibers up a little better. I did like the way it looked as I moved it through the water just in front of me.

I cast the fly out and went through my very long drop and slow retrieve routine. I was getting ready to lift the line to make another cast when I found a fish had taken the fly. No resistance, tap, weight or anything, but a fish was on. It was one of the carbon copy crappie that are in the lake. The fly was in the corner of the mouth so I was able to twist the fly a little and release the fish without getting my hands wet.

I had just cast out again when a car came along the road and turned into the parking lot. A voice called out to me that I was wasting my time as the fish did not bite at this time of year. I thanked him for the advice, but said that I would try anyway. Again, when I lifted the rod to cast again I had another crappie on the line. I will admit that I brought this fish out of the water and turned to show it to the gentleman setting in his car. There is a little orneriness in my nature. I then bent down and released this fish without getting my hands wet again.

I got three more fish on the next three casts and then it was time to quit. My hands were getting cold and the line guides were almost full of ice. It is the first of December and I am still getting a few fish. What could be better than that?

There is the temptation to end the season on that note. You know going 5 for 5 is not a bad way to finish the year. On second thought, I will have to try again to see if they will still be there.

As long as the ice is not on the itch is still there to be out trying. I am not sure how much longer the main lake will stay open. Most of the ponds are skimmed over with ice now. We are supposed to stay under the freezing temperature for the next week at least.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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