Rick Zieger - Jul 15, 2013

I thought that I was going to be helping someone move. They were supposed to be in town by 7:00 am. We would start unloading the truck at 8:00 am. A call at 9:15 reveled that they were not on the road yet. I decided that I would be better off on a pond. Everyone else left the house where we were going to move stuff in. The new tenants finally showed up two days later.

I returned home, loaded the canoe and all and headed out. I set out for one of my favorite ponds. The water was down about three feet, and there were weed beds around the edge, out about a foot or so. I got the canoe off the truck and everything loaded. I tried a few casts from shore with no results.

I launched the canoe and got out on the water. I tried some places where I thought fish might be. I was using a Goldie Jr., a white boa yarn leech, black furl tailed leech and a FEB hopper. I picked up a few fish, but there was no pattern as to what was going on.

There was a breeze blowing about 12 mph from the west. I had the back anchor down so I could cast with the wind. Lazy, I know, but that's the way I started. Then I dropped the front anchor and pulled the back anchor up. This allowed me to fish the central part of the pond into the wind.

I picked up a few fish when I saw some deer coming down to the pond. I decided that it would be fun to watch them. I stopped fishing and watched as they came across the field at the end of the pond. I sat quietly and watched as they got a drink of water and then moved along the edge of pond grazing.

The deer scared up a few grasshoppers that landed in the water. The grasshoppers that landed near the weed bed edges were smashed immediately. Despite the temptation to move I watched a little longer. As the deer moved up the shore line more grasshoppers came out on the water. Those landing near the shore had no chance. Those landing farther out in the pond could last a few minutes.

After about 10 minutes I couldn't take it and when I moved and the deer left. I moved the canoe t so I was about 20 feet from the west shore of the pond. I picked up the rod with the FEB Hopper and cast it up near the weeds. Immediately I had a fish smash it. It looked like a bass, but turned out to be a nice crappie. What is a crappie doing two feet from shore? The water was about three feet deep, but I expected crappie in deeper water.

I thought that if it works once try again. I dropped the hopper to far from the weeds on the next cast. It was about 5 feet out, and I let the fly set for a minute or so and had a gill come up and engulf it. This fish was about 11 inches long and fat. I ended up keeping the fish as I damaged the gills getting the fly out of its mouth.

My next cast was about 6 inches from the weeds. A crappie came out from under the weeds to take the fly. With the sting of the hook the fish headed for the middle of the pond. I landed it and placed it in the basket. Thinking there may be a few more fish there, another cast went there. I had another crappie repeat the performance and head for deeper water. I caught 7 crappie in that one spot. I tried other flies but the hopper worked the best. As I moved up the pond I picked up several more fish. I caught crappie when I got close to the weeds and gills father out.

I finally ran out of drinking water and I was thirsty. I started for home with a nice mess of fish to share. I caught 52 crappie and 35 gills, most of them on the FEB Hopper.

Many thanks to John Scott for sending me one so I could get the dimensions better, and thanks John for the great pattern.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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