Rick Zieger - July 14, 2014

It was a Tuesday and I watched the Weather Channel and saw that we had storms coming toward us. They were calling for heavy rain and then cooler temperatures for a few days after that. I decided that I needed to head out before the water got any dirtier. I grabbed a 3 weight and the 1 weight and headed out. I also took two boxes of flies with me.

I went to a pond that gave me a very clear view of the sky to the northwest and kept me close to the truck. I did not  want to get caught out in the open with a lot of lightning in the area. Waving graphite with a lead in my behind is not a great combination.

I got out to the pond and headed for the place that was farthest from the truck. This way as I fished I got closer to the truck. I tried the flat that is in that area and had no success. This was a surprise to me as I thought fish would be in this area in a pre-spawn stage. The only explanation might have been the east wind which was blowing.

I moved along the dam about 30 feet and tried again. I had a black furl tailed mohair leech and gold Goldie Jr on the rods. I tried these and got a few fish in that area. All the fish were coming near the break line that I knew was there. It did not matter if the fly was coming in perpendicular or parallel to the shoreline. I got about three fish at each place that I stopped.

I kept moving along the dam as I could see the clouds increasing. No rain, but it was coming. I got to the west end of the dam, and there were some limbs that eat flies in this area. The water is about eight feet deep and slopes up to the west shoreline. There are some deeper pits in this area, which usually is a good for some fish somewhere in this area.

On the second cast the Goldie Jr got hit. This turned out to be a nice crappie. The next cast got the twin to hit. At this point I heard a voice ask me if I can tell them what I am using. There were two young boys off to the side, and they have not been catching anything. I had them come down to where I was and the first problem I saw is that it looked like they were using 2/0 hooks. I looked in their box and they had some smaller hooks. I had them tie those on while I looked to see what else they had. I saw some tube bodies and a few pencil floats. I showed them how to put the tube body on the hook. I placed the float about 1½ feet above the hook and had them cast out. I told them to let it drop and set for a few seconds, then move it a few inches and let it set again. Both of them hooked up quickly and they were very excited.

I told them to fish that area and I would move to another spot. I moved about 30 feet and found some fish on the flat. They must have all come to the west shore to let the wind blow the food to them. The bluegills were 8 to 9 inches long with a foot long crappie once in a while which was great fun on the 1 weight.

I could see some clouds starting to show on the horizon, and I wanted to try a few other places to see if the fish were there. I moved to one of them and made a cast. I had just started to move the fly and the rod tip went down. I Thought I had a bass, but turned out to be a huge bluegill. I could not get my hand around it. Two of my line guides on the rod are 11 inches apart and this fish was longer than that. That fish went back in.

I continued to fish that area more and got fish very often. There were lots of nice fat gills. I moved to another spot and made a few casts, and got nice gills at each one of those places.

I looked back at the clouds and could see the black tops. I told the boys that they need to head back to the other side of the pond, where they would be picked up. I headed for the truck.

I had just finished breaking the rods down and getting them into the tubes when a car pulled up. The mother of the boys thanked me for helping them catch fish. Their grandparents were coming into town in an hour or so and the boys were disappointed that they had not caught any crappie. Grandpa likes crappie so I gave them a few of them.

I watched the clouds as I got home and saw the storm was traveling faster than it appeared on TV. I knew I would have to clean fish very fast to beat the rain. I really concentrated on doing that and got them done. I was burying the fish remains in the compost pile when the first drops hit. I got in the house before the hard rain started. We ended up getting 6.1 inches from that storm. Ponds were overflowing and the water was very dirty. It turned out that I had 70 fish at home. More than I thought I had caught.

Wow, I had fillets to eat and to share and also the joy of  getting the boys to catch fish.

Hope you can get out on the water.


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