Rick Zieger - Dec 19, 2011

A friend and I have been trying to get together to fish for a few months. Finally we made arrangements to meet at the pond. The pond is about halfway between each of our homes. Unfortunately some other things came up so that I could not meet him at the time we planned so I arrived at the pond a few hours later than I had hoped. I knew that he might not still be there, but he was waiting for me. I apologized for being late and he laughed. He had been there for about an hour since he had something come up that made him late.

We got the canoe off the truck and put everything into the canoe. When we got down to the pond, and the water visibility was about four inches. There was a very slight breeze. My friend told me he had been tossing white, black, yellow and chartreuse twister tails at the fish. He had caught a few, but had not had much success. That indicated that we needed to try different flies. I wanted to have some different colors so I got out some purple mohair and had tied up some furl tailed leeches. I tied on a Chili Pepper on another rod. This is a copper-orange fly.

I got out on the water and grabbed a rod that had the Chili Pepper on it. I made a cast and had moved the fly a couple of feet when a fish hit it. This was a nice crappie. I made another cast and picked up another crappie. I was casting to the shore since I knew there is a drop-off about two feet out from shore. I wanted to cast the fly in the shallow water, pull it over the drop-off and let it fall. The problem, if it is a problem, was that the crappies were in the shallow water. I got a few more crappie in this area and lost several more before they got to the canoe. When the crappie slowed down, I tried the purple mohair leech.

I picked up a few gills on this fly. They seemed to like it after I stripped it few inches slowly and then let it pause. The gills were farther of the bank than the crappie were.

My friend had some orange twister tails and had caught some crappie on those. He does not like crappie and wanted some gills. I gave him a couple of purple leeches to use, but I have not converted him to fly fishing.

We fished around the pond having a great deal of fun. We hooked a great number of fish and some of the got into our hands. I began netting most of the fish as they were lip hooked. Changing fly size did not help this.

I tried a popper just to see what would happen. The bass just loved it. If I dropped the popper on the water a bass would take it. Many of them were not that big. Since no gills were taking the popper I went back to the other flies.

The other flies continued to work, but after about two and a half hours of fishing the wind began to come up. At that point the fish turned off. Not sure why, but we could not buy a bite. I changed flies and that did not help. We decided it was time to leave. I got the canoe out of the pond and up to the truck. I went back and helped pull my friend's boat out of the water. After a fashion we both got everything loaded. At that point he told me that I should take all of his crappie. That way he would not have to take care of them. I wanted to give him some gills, but he was not interested in that.

He gave me 17 crappie, I had 26 that I got and the 35 gills that were in the basket. The crappies were all 13 to 14 inches long and the majority of the gills were 8 to 9 inches long. It was a lot of fun to catch. I had fillets to share with numerous folks. We have been baking some fillets with nothing on them and then using it as "tuna fish". Works well for me.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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