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Short Time


Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

It was another Saturday morning and time to hit a pond. I was returning to a pond that I had fished a few times before this year. I wrote about it in "Weed Top Crappie."

The landowner had contacted me about this pond. He is going to have cattle on it for about a month and will have the gates locked. He said if I wanted to fish it again before September this might be a good time to do it.

Since I was interested in getting some crappie again I thought this would be a good time to hit this pond. I had not been to it in a month. So that is where I headed for a morning of enjoyment.

I got to the pond and got everything unloaded. I knew that I would catch fish as I worked up toward the dam. I have caught fish in this area before and this day should be no different. What should be and what is are two different things.

I did not even get a little bass as I went up toward the dam. For some dumb reason I only had two fly rods with me this day. The dumb part will become apparent in a little while.

I was stating down the dam when I got the first crappie. The fish was tight up against the weeds and hit the fly just after it hit the water. That was the only fish there.

I finally decided that the fish must be deeper and I would need to let the fly drop longer to get there. I cast toward the shore and slowly retrieved the fly, hoping it would drop down the face of the drop off and at some point interest a fish. It took a few times before I got the hang of keeping the fly out of the weeds.

I did get two more crappie along the face of the dam. The crappie did seem to like the fly dropping on an arc. I moved on around the pond some and try to retrieve the fly this way. Pull it about six inches and then let it drop for a few seconds, with just a little pull on the line so it does not drop straight down, but tends to glide a little more.

I get ready to cast again and find the reason for being dumb and only having two rods. Somehow, you must have great talent to do this; I had the fly line between the spool and the housing of the fly reel. I tried to pull the spool off the reel but it would not come. I have to take the reel apart when I get back home to get the line out. I did not turn the reel or yank on the line so I would not damage it. After I got the line out and tried it again the spool came off with no trouble. The line must have put some pressure on the spool so it would not come off easily. So I am down to one rod to fish with.

I cast it out and let the fly drop like I had before. No fish seem to be in the area. Could it be that I need to be near the breakline to have this work? There is one way to find out.

I move over closer to the north side of the pond and start casting.

Just as I do this, another vehicle comes in and folks start unloading a boat. There is enough room on the pond for two boats and enough fish for several folks. I have caught about a dozen fish by the time they get the boat into the water.

The first thing they do is come down and anchor right on top of where I have been fishing. When I ask them why they did this, I am told, "We can anchor anyplace we want to.

I moved because I did not think it was worthwhile to cast in that area. The water is shallow enough that the fish probably spooked from the boat moving over them.

I was about 40 feet from them when I hooked another fish. I did not even have it in before they were parked on top of where I had hooked it.

I asked them if they were going to be that rude very time I caught a fish. I was told in language not used on this forum that I could not do anything about it.

I considered the whole situation and decided that I had been having a good time, I had caught some nice crappie, and I did not want some idiots ruining the day for me. I pulled up the anchor and headed for shore.

I got the canoe on the pickup and the rest of the equipment stored where it needs to go.

I was tying down the canoe when I was told that I was going to leave my equipment so they could catch some fish.

I tied the canoe off, turned around and told him that I did not let people use my equipment. Also I did not have to tell them anything or do anything for them. If they could anchor where they wanted, I could do what I wanted.

I got in the pickup and started driving off. I could see them getting in their car to follow me. The one thing they did not consider was that the grass had some dew on it still. I knew this and had the pickup in 4-wheel drive to go up the hill. It just makes it easier.

When I got up to the top of the hill I could see that they had not gone far.

I got home and filleted the fish. I had been out for about two hours. We then headed north to meet our son and celebrate his birthday with him. It was a good day. I caught some fish and got to spend a few hours with our son.

I did call the landowner and tell him what had happened. He told me that he was going to get a court injunction to keep those people of his land. He apologized to me, as they were not supposed to be there.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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