Rick Zieger - Dec 16, 2013

The temperatures were dropping and it had rained for two days. We got about three inches which is great for the soil moisture but terrible for driving into ponds. But it was a fairly nice day and it was time to be putting a line on the water. I grabbed two rods and headed out to a pond. I had two boxes of flies with me. I took the fish basket and headed out from where the truck was parked. I had to hike about 3/10 of a mile to get to the east end of the dam. There is a nice broad flat there. The water slopes down to about 5 feet deep before hitting the drop off, that is 10 feet deep. This is a nice place to start casting to figure out where the fish may be. There are trees and bushes that allow triangulation to tell where the break line is.

I started with a hare's ear type fly and a white boa yarn fly. I cast each several times. I started with the fly fairly shallow and then increased the depth that the fly drops. I got  the white boa fly about 5 feet deep near the break line and got a nice bluegill. There was no strike on this. The line felt a little heavy and when the hook set was done there was a fish on the line. I cast out again and brought the fly in the same way. I saw the end of the fly line move toward me a hair and set the hook and had another nice gill on the line. Several more casts in the area did not result in any more fish. I did these casts with both flies. I moved along the dam about 30 feet and started casting again. After several casts, that started short and increased in distance, a crappie took the fly as it was dropping. NO strike, but the line moved to the side. If the line moved, a hook set was done.

I changed to the hares ear and cast it out. When it got to where it dropped fairly deep, with a very slow strip and long pause, a couple of more bluegill took the fly. Then there was no more activity.

I moved along the dam again. I cast the hare's ear out and let it drop a long ways. All the gills seemed to be deep. I slowly retrieved it in and picked up a few more nice bluegills. I tried the white boa fly and got one crappie on it on the drop. Several more casts were for practice.

I moved down the dam another 30 feet and tried again. The white boa yarn fly did not attract any fish. I got a few more gills on the hares ear type fly.

I changed the white boa yarn fly for a Bob Anderson fly (FOTW) with a light and dark brown body and a double wing. The wings were from white feathers. Several casts with this got another nice crappie and three more gills. By this time the wind was picking up and my hands were freezing. There is a lot of water on a floating fly line. It was time to head home.

It took a little longer to fillet the fish since my hands were cold. The need to be careful was more important than speed.

I did get 22 bluegills and 3 crappie, plus I had fillets to share.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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