Rick Zieger - Aug 12, 2013

It was a day off and a good time to head to the pond. The weather was still decent and no ice covering the water. I had a pattern that I tied up after seeing Dr. Korn's post on tying in caddis wings. I adapted it a little to try it on some flies as it looked to be a good way to add wings to a fly.

I had two rods with me, both 5 weights, a graphite and a bamboo. I walked into the pond, tied the new flies on both rods and started casting. As the water had cooled down it was taking some time to find where the fish were.

The first place I stopped did not result in any fish. I was doing my warm up casting before I got to the serious places to fish. This was a very shallow water area, and also farthest from the truck.

The second place I tried finally resulted in some fish. I let the fly drop to about 4 feet deep and brought it in very slowly. I could see the line move sideways a little and I needed to set the hook quickly or the fish were gone. My guess is the fish were coming up to take the fly from the bottom. It was fun to have a new idea for a fly pan out, especially when the flies have wings on them. I had a few variations of this fly idea and they all worked.

Each place gave up four or five fish and then it was time to move. I figured out that the flies had to be coming in almost perpendicular to the shore. Anything that was more than about 10 degrees from perpendicular did not result in any fish, and this meant that each time I moved it was only about 15 feet.

Curiosity got to me and that meant that some flies tied with red eyes went in the water. I wanted to know if they really worked or if it was just something that happened on a particular day. Turned out that those flies worked on that day also. I fished them about four feet deep, like the other flies. The fish seemed to hit these flies with a little more authority. It seems that the red eyes worked.

Finally I got to one of my favorite spots on the pond. There is a brush pile out 15 feet from shore. From the experience of losing flies in it, the dimensions seem to be about 15 feet wide and extending out about 20 feet. It seems to be almost flat on the top and just over three feet under the surface. All these figures are my best guesses from placing many flies in this brush pile.

This is a place where it is always possible to get at least a few crappie. On this day the fish seemed to be on the far side of the brush pile. Casts made to the front and sides did not produce any fish. Casting beyond the pile and brining the fly in was what the fish wanted, and I caught some very nice crappie by doing this.

When I saw how many fish were in the basket and decided to head home. My leg was bothering me some so it seemed to be a good time to go. I got home and got the fish taken care of. I had lots of fillets to share with folks, and we enjoyed some good eating.

This turned out to be last trip of the year. I did not know that my sciatic nerve was going to put me down, but it did. By the time I got up the ponds again they had ice on them.

But the last trip was a fun one. I managed to catch enough crappie every time that I went out that we could have crappie every time we ate fish. That is the first time I have caught crappie all summer long.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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