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Finally on Saturday


Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I went out fishing again on a Saturday. Later in the day because the weather was a little warmer and that makes it a little more comfortable to be out. The other thing was that I was walking in. To much rain had fallen to try to drive in on the wet ground. It gets too slick to be sure that you can get in and out.

I took two fly rods with me. I had the fish basket and a fanny pack with three fly boxes in it. Not as much stuff as I have when I am in the canoe, but enough to fish with from the shore. There is a light rain going on so the camera stays in the truck.

As I hike in to the pond, I find that I am glad that I did not try to drive. The "road" in to the pond is mostly dirt. It is slicker that snot on a doorknob. I slid as I just stepped on it.

I quickly move to the grass and walk on that. It is not quite as slick, but I don't gain the weight of the mud on my shoes.

I get to the pond. I have a white boa yarn leech on one rod and a blacklegged bug on the other. It was the fly of the week a little while back. This way I can start with a light fly and a dark fly to see if the fish are more interested in one than the other. I always like to start with contrasting colors when I get to a pond.

Several casts with each fly have not resulted in any action. I decide to cast out the white fly and let it drop to the depth of the end of the leader, about six feet. I will then let the wind that is blowing in my face move the fly into the shore. This is a slow, deep retrieve. I cast this fly out and put the rod down.

I am changing the other fly to a Cyperts Minnow. This is a flasher fly and might attract the fish. I am still keeping an eye on the other fly line. I have cast the Cyperts Minnow three times when I notice the end of the other fly line moving. I grab it and set the hook.

There is a nice bluegill that does not like the idea of being hooked. She stays broadside and makes some fancy turns before I get her to shore. After a futile week at the lake over lunch it is nice to catch a fish. I cast this fly out again and let it come back in the same way. I continue to cast with the Cyperts Minnow, but it gets no attention.

The other fly line is about 20 feet off shore when I see the end of the line dip a little. I grab that rod and set the hook. I have another bluegill that dislikes being on the end of the line.

I decide to cast the white fly out about 25 feet and let it come in. Nothing happens as the fly comes in. I then cast it again about 35 feet out from the shore. This time when it is about 20 feet from shore the line begins to go sideways. This time it turns out that there is a crappie on the end of the line.

I think I see a pattern here. I change the other rod to a white boa yarn fly and cast it out.

I then stand like a bump on a log and let the wind blow the flies in. This is not fast fishing, but if it is what the fish want, then it is what will happen. I get a fish to hit almost every time I do this. I don't hook all of them, but they are taking the fly.

I am guessing that the fish are deeper than this and need to see the fly coming from a long distance so they can move up to get close enough to take it. The shorter casts just did not produce any fish.

I get a few fish at each place and then it is time to move. When I get to the dam end of the pond I loose the wind in my face. I try some casts off the dam, but I don't seem to attract any fish there.

I move across the dam and get the wind behind me. Now I have to decide how much slack to put in the cast to let the line go out after I cast. I want to cast near shore and let the wind push the line out from there. If a fish strikes the fly I want to be able to hook it.

It takes a few tries before the combination seems to work.

I pick up some more fish on this side of the pond by letting the fly go out from shore. The rain starts to fall harder and I decided that it might be a good time to leave. I know it does not bother the fish, but I have some running down my back.

I get home and find that I did much better than I thought. The basket was heavier than I thought it would be on the hike out. I ended up with 39 bluegills and 14 crappie when I got home to take care of the fish. While I was getting a drink of water, the weather radar showed that some heavy rains were not far from town. I decided to work fast to get the fish cleaned before I got rained on. So there are no pictures. I just got the guts buried,, when the bottom dropped out.

Made some good eating for several folks.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick (Written October 22nd, 2007)

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