Rick Zieger - August 15, 2011

What a great day to be able to head out. I stopped at the Post Office to mail a package, and met a few people there and was invited to try a pond that I had not been to before. A few folks were going to fish the pond and told me that I could go with them. This was an opportunity to not be passed up. I followed the folks to where we would park and hiked about a quarter of a mile to the pond. We came in at the shallow end of the pond, and te other folks wanted to start fishing there.

The pond is about 150 yards long and 80 yards wide, and my guess is the deepest water is about 18 feet. This is what it looks like from the topography of the land on the other side of the dam. The pond lines north-south with the dam at the south end. The east side of the pond has a forest on it. Not a good place to try to fly fish.

I grabbed two 5 weights when the rods went in the truck. These are two rods that have not been used for a while. I tied on a black furl tailed leech and a white boa yarn. Doing the light and dark thing to let the fish tell me what they like.

I cast the black fly out and let it drop. It was down about two feet when the line twitched and I set the hook and had a bass go nuts. The fish spent as much time in the air as it did in the water. This fish was just short of 20 inches. It's nice to remember the spacing on the line guides to use as a ruler. I gently put her back in the pond.

I made another cast and let the fly drop about 3 feet and then started a very slow strip and pause retrieve. Move the fly an inch or so and then wait. The fly had not gone very far when a freight train ran into it. The fish was hooked before I did anything. I knew it was a gill from the dido's it was cutting. When the fish got close I could see several others around it. I got the fish in my hand and saw why. The fly had been taken head first and the tail was sticking out of the fish's mouth. My guess is the other fish were looking to get some of that meal. I had to use forceps to get the hook out.

I cast out again and got another one of those gills. This fish did not hit as hard but the fly just stopped moving. Again other fish followed this one in.

I picked up about a dozen fish in this spot before they quit. I tried the white boa fly and got another half dozen fish. Then they turned off. I figured out why when the snapping turtles came up to the surface. Fish just don't seem to stay around them for some reason.

I moved about 40 feet to the east along the dam, and I cast the white fly first this time. I let it drop and started to bring it in. The line felt different so I set the hook, and I got a nice crappie about 10 feet from shore and lost it. I tried again and got another hit and got this crappie onto the shore. When I swung the fish out of the water it came off the hook. It was just lip hooked. I managed to land about 1/3 of the crappie that hit in this area. I only had about 10 minutes before the turtles were there.

I moved on the pond again, and there seemed to be fish everywhere. I picked up some more nice gills and a few crappie at this spot before the turtles came. They must pickup on the vibrations of the hooked fish, so it was time to move.

I slipped off the dam to a flat area that is near the dam. I had been told that this water is about 6 feet deep. They dug out this area to have dirt to make the dam. The fish were in here and I got lots of hits and got many of them to shore. Many of them come off the hook when I swing them up to get them on shore. It was at this point that one of the other folks came up to see what I was doing. They were not catching very many fish. I had the others come up also. I wanted them to fish at a place where I knew there were fish. I changed what they were using. They had been using tubes and we ran an Aberdeen hook through the head end of the tube and tied the line on at the skirt. With a casting bubble the tube falls very slowly. Suddenly we were all into fish. It took a little while for them to see the changed in the action of the float, but soon these folks were catching some fish. As I was near them any fish went in their baskets. A good time was being had by all.

The person who invited me to fish the pond had to leave, and because I came with him I left also. The fish basket was heavy to carry to the truck. For some reason, when the fish are hitting I don't seem to remember how many go in the basket.

When I got home and found that I had 65 gills and 12 crappie. The gills were all about 9 inches long and the crappie a foot long. Every one of them was fat.

I had just finished getting the fish put away when I got a phone call. Each of the other groups out at the pond had just finished taking care of their fish. They wanted to bring the fish I had caught over to me. I told them to keep them. I had enough to share.

I had fillets enough to share with several folks. Hope to get out to this pond again.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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