The weather has warmed some and the rains have
slowed down. That means I can go out to a lake
over my lunch hour and have a better chance of
something happening, besides getting some good
casting practice in.
Usually by this time you can see some fish or
the activity of fish. That has not happened this
year. The water is till muddy and the wind is
still blowing some, as it almost always does
in Iowa. That means that the water is not
clearing very fast.
I went out Tuesday and had the lake to myself.
I guess there is not anyone else dumb enough to
be out every chance they get. If the fish are
biting then I want to be there.
I had tied on two flies before I even went out. I
know there is a lot written about using dark flies
(lures) in muddy water. So I did have one dark
brown fly, Hares Ears sort of thing, on the one
rod. The other was a sliver Goldie Jr., as I
wanted as much light reflected off as I could
get. I think that flies that are doing this might
be more visible to fish over longer distances.
Since I am fishing in a lot of water that is
less than eight feet deep, this might be more
important than in deeper water.
I cast each fly out and bring it back in slowly.
I want the fish to have a lot of time to see the
fly in the water and not have to chase it down.
I do have a few fish take the fly, but they do
it so gently that I don't realize that it has
happened. The only way I know a fish is on the
line is when I start to lift the rod to make
the next cast.
I am OUT OF PRACTICE! I am not used to feeling
those subtle takes. I have lost some of the feel
that I had last summer. I need to really pay
attention to what is happening. I do get a few
fish out of the muddy water.
Thursday I go out to the lake and it is much warmer.
The wind is not blowing as hard as it has been. There
are a few more folks at the lake. I am still doing
the settling pond, as it will warm up faster. I have
just got the first line shaken out enough to cast,
when I hear a voice telling me "to catch some fish,
it has been a long winter." It is one of the old
geezers out again. We exchange some banter as we
catch up on what has happened over the winter.
I cast the line out and start a slow retrieve again.
The fly has moved about 5 feet when I feel some
resistance and set the hook. I have a nice crappie
on the line. I get it in and put it in the bucket.
I am thinking this just might be a nice, fun filled
day. One cast and one fish. The average went to pot
very quickly. It took me about another 10 minutes to
catch another fish. In fact it took about 10 minutes
between each of the fish that I caught.
Just as I was getting ready to head back to the office
another car stopped. This guy had a "Fishing Buddy"
that he put in the water. We could see some fish on
it but they were very scattered. I guess the water
has just not warmed up enough yet.
Friday morning it was raining. I was not sure that
I would get out to the lake, but it cleared off by
mid morning. That made it easier to go to the lake,
when I don't have to worry about getting soaked.
There is one problem with catching fish as people
drive by. Today when I get out to the lake there
are two folks fishing where I had been yesterday.
Now this is rude, crude and abrasive. Don't they
know that certain places at the lake are reserved
for me? Actually it is just the way things go. I
decide to fish the flat by the far jetty on the
The wind is from the south and is pushing water up
against the bank. I wonder if some fish might not
be coming in to feed under these conditions. I cast
out and let the fly drop.
I know there is a breakline out about 25 to 30 feet
from the shore. Fish might be along there and they
may be up on the flat. The water is only about 5
feet deep in this area so the chances of the fish
seeing the fly are pretty good.
I don't feel a thing, but the end of the fly line
begins to move west. I set the hook and have a fish
on. I am amazed; I have a small walleye on the line.
I get this fish back in the water. A few more casts
and I have another fish take the fly about the same
way. This turns out to be a small carp. A few casts
after that I get a crappie to take the fly.
All of the fish take the fly so gently that I do
not feel it, but I see the line move. The line is
always going to the west when it moves. The fish
must be swimming in a counterclockwise pattern.
That also suggests that they may be new fish in
the area all of the time.
It turns out to be great fun. I get 5 crappie, 2
walleye, and two carp fishing in this area. The
fish were all on the flat, but near the breakline.
Maybe the crappie are getting ready to come in
It was fun and the most successful week I have
had this spring. With a little more fishing maybe
I won't be so out of practice.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick