Rick Zieger - Feb 27, 2012

It was another chance to be out on the water. I had an early work day so I loaded the canoe the night before with all of the other stuff. I got up early in the morning and headed for the water since I wanted to hit the pond before first light to look for crappie. I had tied up some purple mohair furl tailed leeches, and I wanted to try them on the crappie.

I arrived at one of my favorite ponds and got everything into the canoe. I went down near the shore and made the first cast. I tried the purple mohair furl tailed leech first. It was on the first rod I grabbed. The fly had not dropped far when the first fish took it. It was a nice crappie that fought more like a bass. I expected to see a bass and was excited to have a crappie on the line. I caught three more crappie before I got the canoe near the water. This does not always happen, but is always worth the try.

I got the canoe out on the pond and started casting again. There was no breeze so no need for the anchors. I cast along a drop off and slowly retrieved the fly. On about every third cast I would get a fish. I caught a crappie about 2/3rds  of the time.

The best retrieve was to slowly strip the fly about two inches and then pause to let it drop. I put a 1.5 mm black brass head on the head of this fly. It does not drop fast, but neither do leeches. There were a few nice bass that liked this fly also.

I tried some other flies that caught a few fish, but nothing like the purple did on this day. Goldie Jr, boa yarn flies, hares ears and soft hackles did not work as well. Because purple was working better I used it more.

As the sun got up the wind began to blow a little more. I had to put the anchors down to be able to stay in place. The fish seemed to be about two feet down in the water all over the pond.

I had been out for about two hours when another fisherman showed up. He was fishing tube jigs from the shore. I watched him for a while and he was not getting many fish. I was still getting some.

I moved back up the pond until I was closer to him. He asked what I was using. When I told him it was a purple fly, he said he was in trouble. He had no purple in the box he had with him. I had him cast across the canoe. I tied on one of the purple leeches. I threw his line back in the water and told him how to retrieve. The fly had moved about four feet when he had a strike. It was a very nice gill on the line.

Curiosity got me and I dragged the fly through the water. I just put the fly out and let it drop and then moved it along. Got three nice crappie and a gill using this method.

At this point I began to think about the fish I had caught. I lifted the basket and saw that there were a lot of fish in it. It seemed to be time to head home. The basket was too heavy to get into the canoe.

After I got everything loaded up and was getting ready to head home, the other fisherman came up to me. He wanted to return the fly to me before I left. I told him it was his and to enjoy it. I did ask him how many fish he had. He said he had 6 crappie and 9 gills. Between the two of us we got into triple figures using this fly. I had lots of fillets to eat and share. The main thing was great fun out on the water.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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