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Dumb Move


Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I went out to a pond on Saturday morning. This was a new pond to me and 18 miles from the house. This will be very important in a minute. This is a pond that the land owner gave me permission to fish in. I can only go to it when I am by myself. This is the way he wants it and I am not going to argue.

In any case, I got to the pond and started taking the canoe off when I heard the first bluegill slurping something down. That sound does cause me a problem. I want to see the fish doing that, but then I want to get everything into the canoe and get out on the water to start catching them. Today the getting everything loaded won out and I hurried to do that.

I had the canoe down on the ground, the anchors were set up, three of the rods were in the canoe, the paddle and fish basket were there also. Then the problem came up. I wanted to change the fly on one rod and when I put my vest on and reached for the bluegill box, but it was not there.

I looked in the truck and in back seat, but no box. Then the vision came to me. I had been restocking the box during the week. I had just finished putting flies into it, when I had to take a phone call and then seen a patient. After that I forgot to put the box back into my vest. I could see it sitting on my tying table.

I was too far away to drive back and get it. Time to go to the emergency kit. I have two fly boxes in a fanny pack that I carry in the pickup that I use a lot over the noon hour. But those boxes were going to get re-supplied on Monday morning. What a stupid, dumb move to make. It was time to really go to work and see what flies I could get to work on these fish.

When I got out on the water, I found the water to be colored with a lot of algae in it. This just means that it will be a little harder for the fish to see the fly, but still possible to get them to hit the flies. I had a black boa yarn leech, a Skip Morris Panfish fly, an olive-yellow legged bugger type fly, and I tried a midge pattern under a popper body.

The midge and popper did not do anything for the day. I found out the fish would hit the other flies, but it was a guessing game. The crappie would hit the fly one time and that was it.

The bluegills would hit the fly four or five times, almost like they were working their way up the length of the fly, before they could be hooked. So the quick decision had to be made as to whether to set the hook on the first tap or to wait for a while.

For no more reason than it seemed the thing to do, I would set the hook on the first tap five times and then wait for the more taps on the next five casts. It was not perfect, but I was catching some fish. The fish were scattered and spooky. I did not catch anything on short casts. The cast had to be about 25 feet or more before the fish would hit the fly.

This is another one of those things that I cannot explain. Why they would not hit a fly that was closer to the canoe is beyond me, but if it takes longer casts to catch them, then the casts will be longer, to a point. The other thing was that it was one fish to the area. I am not sure if the fish were that scattered of if they were that spooky.

I lost the black boa yarn fly to a large bass that went into some garbage on the bottom and broke the leader. That ended my fishing with boa yarn leeches for the day. In fact I did not have another leech pattern with me, because of my own stupidity. A fact that I was reminding myself of several times through the morning.

After the sun got a little higher in the sky the best fly turned out to be the olive bugger fly( anglerdave is ecstatic hearing this). I had a lot of fish hit the fly that I would have on for a few seconds and then lose them. I can only assume that this was crappie and that they were rolling on the fly.

The morning was about 150 strikes, about half that number of hook ups, and about half of them landed. I did fillet a few of the fish there so I could leave some with the land owner as he said that he did like fish. He was not home, but his wife told me that with service like this, she knew that I would be able to fish all their ponds.

Even with my stupidity of leaving the box on my tying desk it was a fun morning. I hope to get back to this pond in a few weeks and try it again.

I hope you can get out on the water, with all the boxes you want with you. ~ Rick

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