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Whitecaps

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
I headed out the lake over my lunch hour on Tuesday. The wind was blowing, but I had time to go. Besides that I wanted to see of any crappie were still in.

When I got out to the lake there were folks on both jetties. With the wind blowing as hard as it was, I did not want to be around other folks. I decided to try the one flat and see if there might be any gills there. Also, this would allow me to cast directly into the wind. The waves were big enough that the tops were showing a few whitecaps. This is not the best casting conditions for me, but what the heck. Besides that, the only way to learn to cast into a high wind is to do it.

I tied on a black fly to start with. Hook size 8, black marabou tail, black chenille body with three black rubber hackle legs tied across on the front 1/3 of the shank, sticking out about 1 inch on each side. No bead head on this one. This is becoming one of my favorite flies for gills.

I cast it out and let the fly drop for a while. With no bead head this does not drop fast. The fly has been in the water about 5 seconds when I saw the line moving to the side. I was into a nice gill. I returned her to the lake and cast out again. I was letting the waves move the fly in. I did not put any more action on the fly. It does have a tendency to drop flat in the water.

This time the fly had moved about 10 feet when the end of the fly line went down in the water. I thought weed and set the hook to take it off the weed. The gill on the end of the line did not like the feel of the hook. This fish headed for the bottom and stayed broadside to me the whole time. I finally got this gill in and was amazed at the size of this one. He measured 11.5 inches long and was very thick. There are not many gills this size in the lake. He is still swimming there.

My next cast landed out about 10 feet from shore with loops of line all over the place. You really have to practice a lot to get this move down pat. I even had a few loops of line around the end of the fly rod. I got those off first and started to retrieve the line to make another cast. The problem was that the end of the line was not where it had been to start with. When the line tightened and the hook point went in the bass let me know that it was not liking this. This fish came out of the water four times trying to get rid of the hook. I got her in and measured her out of curiosity, 18 inches. I put her back in the water to fight another day.

By this time I had attracted the attention of a few folks. When you are catching fish and they are not that seems to focus attention. One guy came from the far jetty and parked his car in front of my pickup. He came down to where I was at and told me to move, this was his spot now. I did not feel like moving so I told him that when I left he could have the spot.

It was fortunate that a game warden came by at that time. I did not recognize him, but I did recognize the uniform. He asked to see our fishing licence. First time I have been checked in a long time. He then asked if there was a problem. I told him that this person (I wanted to say jerk or idiot) had decided that I needed to move just because he had come to this area. The other guy then told the game warden that he had the right to fish any place that he wanted to. The warden surprised me when he said that was not quite true. He did not have the right to tell other folks to leave places where they were fishing.

The not so bright guy then told the game warden to preform a sexual act with himself. The game warden cuffed him and took him to the local jail. The warden came back and told me that not much would happen to the guy, but he would be out of the way for a while. I thanked him for stopping and saying what he did.

He asked if he could try the fly rod as he had never caught a fish on one. You can bet that this was going to happen. I cast it out and handed it to him. Teaching someone to cast into a high wind is not a good way to start. Let him catch a fish and then he will be hooked.

He managed to catch three gills before I had to head back from lunch. He said that he had a ball and was going to get a fly rod. I referred him to FAOL to get information on all aspects of fly fishing.

It was fun to see him catch a few fish, especially after he got rid of a potential problem.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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