I went out on the First Sunday afternoon in May.
Saturday was cooler and the wind was blowing like
mad. Sunday was warmer and the wind was going to
be calmer. It is still too wet to drive across any
of the fields. That means I was fishing from the
I hiked into a pond and decided to fish the shallower
end. Part of the reason was that it is a little more
protected and the wind was not blowing as hard. I was
casting into a 15 to 20 mph wind instead of 25 to 30
mph wind. The wind was pretty much blowing straight
into my face.
I had just started casting when five more folks
showed up. They are all in the family of the person
that owns the pond. So we had flies, tube jigs,
spinners, crank baits, minnows and spinner baits
being tossed in the water. We were spread all over
the pond so there was not a problem in being too close
to each other.
I had on a couple of flies that I had swapped with
people for. The only problem I had was that both of
the flies are lightweight and sink very slowly, not
that that is bad, but by the time they got under
water they were too close to me. I was trying to fish
a breakline that is about 25 to 30 feet out from where
I was standing. By the time these flies got deep enough
they were about 15 feet out from the shore. I am an
unprepared fisherman because I did not have anything
to put weight on the line to make the flies drop faster.
I switched one rod to a Silver Goldie Jr and the other
rod to a pine squirrel fly that is an adaptation of a
Striper fly. The Goldie Jr has a bead head on it and
the other fly has some aluminum dumbbell eyes on it.
Both of these flies drop faster in the water.
I cast the Goldie Jr out and let it drop a little
way before I started to bring it in. I am casting
out over about six feet of water and the breakline
comes up to about three feet.
I did not want to go too deep or I would get tied up
in the weeds along the flat. I hoped some crappie might
be out along the breakline looking for food or in a
pre spawn-staging mood.
The fly had dropped about a foot when I noticed the
line moving to the side. I did a controlled hook set
in my excitement of actually having a fish hit a fly
I put in the water. For three weekends and seven days
at the lake, over lunch, I had caught 9 bass and one
six-inch carp. So to have another fish was exciting.
Actually it is still exciting to have the tenth,
thirtieth or ninetieth fish of the day hit. I am
addicted to the fish hitting the fly.
The fish came to the surface almost immediately and
thrashed around. I lost this fish after about five
seconds on the rod. That probably means that I hooked
this crappie in the thin tissue on the side of the
mouth. Not the best place to try to keep a hook in a
But I had hooked a fish! This might not all be casting
practice. I might even catch a fish that I could eat
I cast out again and watched the line closely. The
fly had dropped about a foot again and I had another
fish on, again for about five seconds. I could see
that this was another crappie. I could hook them,
but now I needed to land some of them.
To make an hours fishing shorter I will condense
this. I did manage to land two crappie out of the
forty or so that I hooked. That is not a good
average, but then again it is more success than
I had been having.
The owner of the pond came by me and stopped to
talk for a minute. His granddaughter was out with
them and had never caught a fish. She was fishing
minnows, but had not had a bite in the whole time
they had been there. He wanted to know if she
could come where I was and try to catch one of
I was all for this. She came down and we changed
a few things for her. I found a much smaller
bobber in the tackle box she had, a pencil type
instead of the big sphere and I set it much
shallower than she had been fishing.
She cast it out and let it sit. It took about
a minute before I told her to set the hook. She
had a nice crappie on the line. Over the next
half hour she managed to catch eight more crappie.
I think that she is now a hooked angler.
She does want to try a fly rod the next time
that she comes down to visit her grandparents.
We might be able to do something about that.
I did have some very good tasting fillets Monday evening.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick Zieger