Rick Zieger - May 19, 2014

I went back to the same pond that I fished a short time ago. I rarely do this, but wanted to see if the fish were hitting on the drop again. I had tied up some patterns using heavier brass beads that I had on hand. I was curious to see if this would make them work better than letting the lightly weighted flies drop. The only test is on the water.

I took four rods with me, two 3 weights and two 5 weights. I could put a lightly weighted or no weight fly on one rod and a fly with a fairly heavy brass bead on the other rod. I cast them in rotation and it was a halfway decent experiment. At least it was good enough for me.

I got out on the pond and into the area where I expected to find fish. I made a cast, let the fly drop and then started the strip and pause retrieve. It took three casts to get the first fish. I changed to the heavier fly and tried again. I had a strike on the first cast, probably because I was doing the same retrieve as on the third cast with the previous fly. I had the fish on for a few seconds and then gone.

I continued to alternately cast three times with each rod. I caught fish with each of the flies. The best retrieve was a six inch strip with a three second pause. Occasionally a fish hit just as the fly entered the water. I had started with a yellow boa yarn leech. I changed to a gold Goldie Jr and had the same thing happen. I caught fish on both, but lost more on the brass bead headed fly. I am guessing that these were crappies that were being hooked in the side of the mouth.

Since my landing ratio was better with lighter flies I tied on new flies on all the rods. I decided to try a few I had not used for a while, Streamer nymph, Marabou Miss, Perch-a-bou and bead body minnow. All are in my "Favorites Crappie Flies" articles in the archives.

I cast with each of these flies using the same retrieve and caught fish on all of them. It's fun to go back to patterns that I have not used for a while and find that they are still effective.

I did see another vehicle come into the pond. I recognized the person and told him that he needed to fish the area I had been fishing. He is shore bound and can't move around real well. I was sure that there would be fish wherever the next stop was. I was moved by his protests, but I wanted him to be successful. I knew he would be hurting for a few days after this for being out at a pond. I moved about 50 feet to give him a lot of room, and I changed flies again.

This time I went with black, white yellow and orange craft fur flies, which are a little like boa yarn flies. I caught fish on all of these, and I did get two huge gills on the orange fly. They were the same length as my big feet, around a foot. Both were squirting milt so I put them back since I wanted their genetics in the pond.

I moved to another spot and decided to try some other flies. They were copies of flies that I have received at various places, and I just wanted to try them. I caught fish on them, but at a slower rate, and maybe because they were all tied on scud hooks.

I lifted the fish basket and decided it was time to head home. The temperatures were climbing and I want to get the fish done in a decent time. My preference is to not have the fish set out a long time, in the heat, before they are filleted.

I got to the truck and started loading things. I had everything in but the fish basket and one anchor. The rope on the anchor makes sure the basket does not drift away. It also keeps the fish in the water for a longer time.

I was putting these in the back of the pick-up when the other fisher came over. He was packing it in, as it was getting a little warm for him. I asked how he had done and he showed me a dozen fish. He said that they had planned to have a fish fry, but his stamina wore out. Short story is that I gave him 20 bluegills and 20 crappies. He has an air conditioned garage where he could take care of them. He protested but he ultimately took the fish. I still had 17 gills and 22 crappies when I got home. I had good eating and fillets to share. Later, I got a call from folks at the fish fry thanking me for the fish.

Good day on the water.

Hope you can get out on the water. Rick

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