Rick Zieger - Sep 22, 2014

We had just got back home from going to help a nephew deal with his wife's death; expected from cancer, but still no fun. It had poured buckets while we were gone. The wind blew about 30 mph for the next two days. I tend not to go out and try to cast in wind like that.

When the weather calmed down I hiked into a pond. It was way too wet to try to drive, because any place there was a depression there was water standing. Even walking I sank down in the mud that was under the water.

When I got to the pond I headed to the north end on the west side. There was still a 12 to 15 mph breeze coming from the south, but I want to be out. I had two 6 weight graphite rods with me. Perhaps a little heavy for panfish, but I cast better in the wind with them.

I had a yellow boa yarn fly on one rod and a white rubber legged dragon on the other. The water was discolored like chocolate milk that had been diluted with 50% white milk. To the best of my knowledge no one has fished this pond this year. It is too far for most folks to hike into so I figured the fish would be hungry.

I made several casts with each fly with no results. Then I made another cast into the wind that did not go where I wanted it to. It landed about three feet from shore, and I moved the fly a short distance and a fish hit the fly. This was a nice crappie, but I tried the same place with no results. I made another cast that I wanted to land about 5 feet farther out than the other casts, but it turned out it landed about four feet out. I was letting the fly drop when I saw the swirl and set the hook. It was another nice crappie. I tried to repeat with no success.

I tried casting out again so the fly landed about another four feet out. Then I let it drop and started to retrieve. The fly had not moved far when a bluegill wanted to take it to China. The fish hit so hard it hooked itself, and it took forceps to get the fly out.

I moved about 20 feet to the south and got ready to cast again. I may not learn fast, but every once in a while I think up a good idea. I made the first cast about 15 feet long and about 4 feet off shore. I had just moved the fly and had another fish hit it. This was another nice crappie. I cast so the fly hit about 8 feet out and let it drop. Immediately I had another nice gill attack the fly. I repeated this performance with another gill on a cast that was 12 feet out from shore.

To shorten this tale I went around the rest of the pond making casts that were 4, then 8 then 12 feet off shore. In each place that I stopped, making casts that were 15, 22 and 30 feet long in each place, at each distance offshore I would get another 5 to 6 fish in each place that went into the basket. I also picked up a few bass in each place. Many of those were from 12 to 18 inches long. I had so many fish that I had to pick up the fish basket instead of dragging it along in the water.

With so many fish in the basket I decided it would be wise to head out. The basket got heavier the farther away from the pond I got. I am very sure that some of those fish grew bigger before arriving at the truck.

However, I had lots of fish to share and great fun to be on the water. I cut out lots of fillets, and I even froze some for this winter.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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