Rick's fishing season is over until the ice melts,
but we have a nice stash of articles he has written
in the past as ideas or events occured to him. We hope
this will explain apparent 'out of season' articles.
I went out the lake over my lunch hour
again. As you know by now this is my
normal mode of operation. This is going
to be the warmest day we have had in about
two weeks. The temperature was in the mid
70's at noon. I thought the fish might be
a little more active today.
When I got out the lake, I saw there was
a slight breeze. Just enough to ripple the
water. I tried a popping bug that did not
elicit any response. While getting ready to
change from the popping bug to another fly,
I turned my back to the slight breeze that
was blowing. This is a habit I have as the
wind blows harder than this most of the time.
I saw two little gills come up and take
something under the water in the weeds along
I thought this might mean there was some sort
of hatch going on and the fish were taking the
emergers under the surface. To check I looked
to the north side of the pond where the water
was flat. I could see some small rings there.
I did not see any fish actually come to the
surface. I decided to try an unweighted fly
first. This way I could keep it just under
the surface and move it very slowly. I tied
on a size 12 Pheasant Tail Nymph (PTN) and a
size 10 olive bug(olive marabou tail, olive
chenille body and 3 short yellow rubber legs
at the front).
I cast the olive bug first. This fly had just
hit the water and started to drop when I saw
the line twitch and I set the hook. I was into
a nice bass that was 15 inches long. Several
more casts did not produce any more action. I
decided to try the PTN and cast it out. I had
moved it two or three times when I saw the
line twitch and I was into a fairly nice bluegill.
I thought this might be the fly. Several more
casts were used for practice.
I decided to switch flies again. I had a stone
fly pattern from a swap, and I tied on a PTN that
has red ostrich herl for the thorax. The third
cast with the stone fly finally landed where I
wanted it to be on the other two. I was about
two feet out from the weeds along the shore and
about 30 feet to my left. I twitched the fly the
first time and the water bulged as the bass took
the fly. I quickly realized this was a bigger fish
and worked to get it away from the weeds. I had
the rod way above my head to keep the line out
of the weeds. Finally the bass headed for open
I now had an audience as two cars stopped to
see what I had on. I worked the fish some by
letting it swim back and forth about 40 feet
out in the pond. The fish would come up near
the surface and then go deeper into the water
column. I could finally begin to gain some line
and lead the bass into where I was at. I got her
head up as she was near the shore and brought her
into where I could lip her. She measured 20 inches
and was a round as a football. Over some protest,
I released her back into the pond.
I decided to cast down the other shore with the
PTN to see what it might entice to hit it. The
fly had just hit the water when a gill headed
for the east coast. This fish was hooked before
I knew what was going on. This was a bright male
that worked very hard not to come in. This fish
stayed broadside to me the whole way. I cast
several times with each fly and no success.
Time to change flies again. I tied on a red
chenille-bodied bug with yellow hackle legs
at the front and back. I tied on a PTN that
I had tied out of feathers I had dyed. This
was a yellow bug with yellow ostrich herl for
the thorax. Each of these flies caught a gill
on the first cast and then did not work again.
I think I am beginning to see a pattern here.
I switch flies again to the first two I grab
out of the box. I catch a gill and a bass in
just a few minutes. Several more casts are just
for practice. I change the flies after this
every time I catch a fish. I catch a fish on
every fly that I try.
I was even surprised to get an 18-inch bass
on a black marabou tail and blue krystal
chenille body fly. Nothing more than that
but it worked.
I am not sure why each fly only caught one
fish, but that is the way that it happened
today. It might be that the fish are getting
educated and won't hit a fly that has caught
a fish. I hope that is not true as it would
not be a nice thing for me. My brain is supposed
to be bigger than theirs, so I should be able
to think of a way to catch them. Also they
should not learn to ignore a fly after one fish
is caught on it. It was a little bit of a strange
I hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick Zieger