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1 wt Baptized


Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

Saturday, April 8 turned out to be a beautiful day. Even though the tiller had to go to the shop and some other things did not work out like we wanted it was still a glorious spring day. On top of that my wife told me that I needed to head to a pond and catch the "fishies." Who I am to argue with my wife?

I grabbed one of my 3 wt, a 5 wt and the 1 wt that I had finished a month ago. Off to the pond we went. The only problem that I might encounter would be the wind. It was gusting up to 30 mph. That is not real helpful to my lack of casting ability.

In any case I was out to the pond and had everything in the canoe, ready to launch in 25 minutes. This is one of my favorite ponds. Joe Hyde, anglerdave and Kevin Slater have been to this pond.

I tried the 1 wt but the wind was just too strong to use it. I did manage to get a few decent casts with the 5 wt. Even with the decent casts I was not finding any fish. I tried two or three patterns as I moved around on the pond. The wind was slowly beginning to die down.

I went to a little bay that is on the far side of the pond from where I put in. The guys who have been there will remember it as it is over by the big stump. My thought was that the wind had been blowing the waves into this spot all day long. It just might be that the food would be concentrated there and the fish would be there using it as a buffet line. In any case it sounds like sound reasoning and seemed like a good thing to do.

I picked up the 3 wt, with a black boa yarn leech on it and tossed it near one of the fence posts that is in the water. The fly had barely started to move when I missed the first strike. In fact I missed the next three strikes. It was time to evaluate what I was doing, or not doing. I began to wonder if the fish were following the fly and what I was feeling was the fish spitting the fly out and that is what I felt.

Time to test this theory. The fly went back into the water. I let it drop a few seconds and then slowly started to retrieve the fly. After the fly had moved a few inches, I set the hook. I was into the first bluegill of the day. This fish did not act like he was in cool water. He cut every dido that I had seen from a gill before and then created a few more. He was 9 inches of pugnaciousness on the end of the line.

I cast out again about 10 feet to the side of where I had cast before and started retrieving the fly. This time the fly moved about a foot and then got hammered. This was another nice bluegill that wanted nothing to do with being on the end of the line and tried to head for China. This is just not the behavior of fish that are supposed to be coming out of cool water.

The next cast headed off toward the stump that sits at the edge of the waterline. I wondered if any fish might be there. Just after the fly hit the water there was a big swirl and I was into a good sized largemouth bass. I got to see her a couple of times before she went into some wood in the pond and broke the leader off. But it was fun while it lasted.

I put on another leech and cast back into the bay. Again the fly got hammered by another good size gill that wanted to show that he was tougher than the other two that had come to the canoe.

By now the wind had died down to a gentle breeze and I went for the 1 wt. It took a few times before I got the casting motion to work with this as it sure is a thin, limber little rod. But after a few tries I got a cast of about 25 feet out and had a bluegill decide to make sure that little leech did not swim any farther. What a blast on the 1 wt. I can tell you that as much fun as a 3 wt is a 1 wt is even more.

I stayed around this area and continued to pick up fish on the 1 wt. I would still be there if I had not looked at my watch and decided that I should head home. It is easier to fillet fish while it is light than to try to do it in the dark.

I did check the stomach contents of the fish and there was not much in them. My guess is that they are in a research mode for food right now and the fishing should continue to improve over the next few weeks.

I must report that I am now a 1 wt addict. If there is a cure keep it away from me. I may be further cursed in the future if I ever cast Joe's 00 wt, but I may try to stifle myself from trying something like that so the temptation is not in front of me.

We had fresh fish for dinner and I was able to share fillets with some other folks.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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