Rick Zieger - May 23, 2011

Today I got to go out to a pond. Several of the places that I would like to go to still have too much water in the low places. I would rather fish than wait to get pulled out.

I grabbed two 5 weight rods, my fly vest, and fish basket, and headed to a pond that I can walk into easily. It's about twice as long as a football field and about 1.5 times as wide. Most of the north end is only about two feet deep. There is about 12 feet of water near the dam.

I wanted to fish the dam end of the pond hoping the fish might be along the break line that is about 10 feet out. It drops off from about four feet deep to the 12 foot depth. The west end has a flat that is about five feet deep over a good size area. The east end of the dam has some multiflora rose that I didn't want to get into. Since it is early in the year I had a hares ear type fly and a PTN on the rods. Until the water really warms up I don't go with any attractor flies. The realistic seem to work better for me.

The wind was blowing about 20 mph, from the southwest. I went about 2/3 of the way down the dam and started to cast. I am beginning to learn to go as far away from the truck as I am going to fish and work my way back. If fish are in the basket it is easier to carry when it is empty at the far spot. Experience has taught me that.

The first rod I grabbed had a hares ear on it. I cast it out and let the fly drop. I wanted the fly down about four feet before I started to retrieve it, since I wanted it to come in just over the lip of the break line.. When I started to retrieve the line there was a fish on the line. So much for plans but I had a fish that did not like the idea of being attached to something. I had no indication that a fish had taken the fly. I made another cast and watched the line. The wind was coming from left to right. I can see maybe a small twitch to the left. I do a hook set and have another fish on the line. It was somewhat of a surprise to see a crappie on the line, but the fish comes in and goes into the basket.

I continue to cast in this place. The fish are taking the fly on the drop. I don't always see any indication of a strike, but I figure out that I have to be ready to do a hook set as soon as I start to retrieve line. The fish don't always take it as it is dropping on the cast, but by retrieving it a few feet and then letting it drop again the fish seem to be interested.

I do try the PTN, but the fish don't seem to be interested in that. As long as they show interest in the hares ear I will continue to throw it out for them. This area finally slows down.

I move to another spot and get a couple of fish. Nothing like the first place I cast. I continue to move around the pond, trying the different places. The fish were not in shallow water.

I was not sure how many fish I had, but I knew that I would be sharing fillets. I ended up with 48 gills and 15 crappie. A very fun day to be out.

As the fish were taking the hare's ear, I thought of how proud Joe Hyde would be of me. Hares ear are his favorite fly.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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