Rick Zieger - March 26, 2012

I headed out to a pond on my day off. I went very early in the morning to try to beat the heat. I think the heat came from some of those folks in Kansas and Texas that wanted to share it. I wanted to be out before it got unbearable. I headed for a pond that I have not been to this year. I had everything loaded the night before so all I had to do was turn the key and head for the water, so I arrived at the pond at 5:45 am.

When I arrived I looked out and there were rings all over the surface. It appeared that the fish were feeding on some sort of hatch. I got everything unloaded and most of the stuff in the canoe. I set the rods against the truck and changed flies so that I would be trying to match the hatch. To make certain that I covered all the bases I tied on flies from size 20 to 28, all different midge patterns.

I came in at the shallow end of this pond. I put the canoe into the water and moved out on the pond. I needed to be out about 30 feet so I could cast to the area where the fish were, since the fish were not in the shallow water. I eased an anchor into the water, and started with one of the rods. I chose the one with the midge made with golden pheasant tail fibers. That fly has worked for me before and wanted to try it again. I made several casts with it, and did several different things on the retrieve to see if the fish would be interested. This fly was on a size 24 hook. The fish were not impressed so I changed to a zebra midge on a size 28 hook. I made several casts with this fly and had no interest from the fish.

I stopped fishing and looked in the water to see if I might figure out what the fish were feeding on. There was a huge algae bloom in the water so could not see what the fish were eating. The flies were going where the fish were, but they were not what they were interested in.

I tried each of the other flies and had no success. It was time to change to other patterns and see what might be in the boxes that would work. There must be something in all the boxes that would work. How could the fish not like one of the multitudes of flies that I have tied?

I changed to a size 12 black hares ear type fly, a size 14 emerger, a size 16 red PTN and a size 18 brown hares ear type fly. The emerger did not work as the fish were taking something under the surface and not on the surface. There were rings around the emerger, but no fish taking it. I think the fish were coming up and as they took the bug their tail would break the surface.

I tried each of the hairs ears, and I did snag one bluegill on the size 18. It was foul hook right behind the dorsal fin. I was not skunked, but it was not the best hook to use for snagging.

The last fly I tried was the red PTN. On the first cast got a nice size gill. The fly was barely under the surface when the fish took it. Made another cast and had another fish. At that point the fish disappeared from the area.

There was a gentle breeze at my back so I raised the anchor and slowly drifted down the pond. On about every third cast I got a fish. I think the fly had to drop as a fish was coming up to it. No fish on the retrieval. But the fish were nice sized. I made two drifts across the pond before the heat got to be too much.

On the way home I stopped at a friend's house and gave him some of the fish. He has not been able to get out and asked if I would bring him some fish. He would take care of them, so it seemed to be a good idea.

By the time I got the fished cleaned, and all my stuff put away it was 91degrees F out. Not the best temperature to be doing a lot in.

I did have fun figuring out what the fish might want. It is amazing to see how many fish were in the pond.

Hope you can get out on the water.


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