Rick Zieger - July 18, 2011

It was a day to get out. I had spent the morning trying to get the tiller to run again, and I definitely will have to get a new coil. It took time to find that out.

One of the bamboo rods I have had one of the ferrules come loose. I took time to glue that back together. That meant it could travel to the pond with me. I had two rods, the vest and the fish basket to take in, and I also had a pair of forceps in my pocket. I really like them for removing hooks from fish.

I'm still not taking the canoe out to ponds. There are still places where the mud is too thick to get through with the pickup. I'm getting to lazy to drag the canoe that far.

I arrived at the pond and saw that the water was a little dingy. It still had about 5 feet of visibility. The water is getting warmer as there was a good algae bloom for the first foot or so along the edge of the pond.

The wind was blowing about 20 mph out of the west, and the temperature was near 80 degrees with sunny skies and no clouds.

I had a black fur tailed leech and a Goldie Jr on the lines. I made a few casts and figured out that the fish must be deeper because of the amount of sunlight. I let the fly drop long and missed a fish when I started to retrieve the fly. There had been no indication that a fish had taken the fly, but it had been on the line.

I made another cast and let the fly drop. Out of curiosity I did a hook set and had a fish on the line. I brought in a fairly nice crappie, but I did not see that it was a crappie at first because it was so dark. No silver flash to this fish.

I tried the same thing again and had a fish on for a short time. Figured it was another crappie. I would get every third or fourth fish to hand, but I lost the rest a few seconds after hooking them.

I moved down the pond as the fishing slowed, and made casts with each fly, but the black furl tailed leech did the best. I let it drop and see what might happen. If I did not get a fish I would do a very slow retrieve. I picked up a few more fish doing this.

I heard a noise behind me and looked back. There was a huge snapping turtle coming across the dam. I grabbed the other rod and the fish basket and moved, since I did not want to argue with a turtle that had a shell about two feet long. Thought I would lose any fight with this size turtle. I watched the turtle go into the water and swim off to the west side of the pond. Then I went back to fishing as the turtle was far enough away from me.

In a few minutes there was a great commotion over where the turtle had been. I looked over there and there was a lot of flipping and twisting going on. I Moved down the dam so I could see better, and it appeared to be two turtles that were fighting for dominance of the pond. Snapping, grabbing and thrashing a lot. This was a violent battle that I had never seen before. They broke apart after a few minutes. Then they went back at it again, and this happen three times while I was watching.

The fishing died when I went back to where the fish had been biting before.

I moved to another place on the pond where the water is shallower. Casting out and doing a very slow retrieve would result in the end of the line dropping in the water column. This was the indication that a fish had taken the fly. I still lost a lot of these fish as there were not well hooked. Many of those that I got to shore were barely lip hooked.

When I lifted the basket to move I saw how many fish were in the basket and how thirsty I was getting. I headed home to water up and take care of the fish.

Had a good mess of fish and had a good time on the water. Losing the fish means they have a chance to grow for the next time I get to that body of water. I had fillets to share.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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