Rick Zieger - Dec 7, 2015

The weather is still warm which is weird for first of November in Iowa. No matter the temperature the water calls. I had received a call that a field had been harvested and the road into it had been fixed. The ruts were gone and I could drive in closer to the pond now. That means it is about a 400 yard hike to the pond instead of half a mile.

There are several places around this pond where it is not possible to cast with a fly rod. There are too many trees that are planted way to close together. However, by wearing chest wader it is possible to get out about 10 feet from shore and do some roll casting to fish those places. I had two 5 weight rods with me. These are about the lightest that I can roll cast half way decently. I have a black boa yarn leech and a white sparkle eyelash yarn fly on the two rods.

The pond lies in a north-south line. There was a 25 mph wind blowing from the east. I headed to the east side of the pond first. This is where most of the trees are, but the trees also cut the wind. If I don't find fish here I can always go to the other side.

I try the white fly first. I waded out about 12 feet from shore. This put the water at the top of my knees in my waders but since I was sinking about three inches into mud I did not want to get deeper in the water. This still put me about 6 feet from the edge of the weeds ringing the pond.

I rolled cast the fly out about 30 feet and let it drop for a few seconds. When I started to retrieve the line is heavy and a hook set is done. I have a nice crappie on the line. I got it near the weed line and lifted its head so I could slide it across the weeds and then lip it. I was not sure I wanted to try to swing the fish up out of the water. I made another cast and saw the fish swirl on the fly. I set the hook and had another nice crappie come to hand. Both of these fish were a little over 13 inches and very fat.

I made another cast and started to retrieve. The line feels heavy so I set the hook. It is another crappie, and I had it on for about 7 to 8 seconds and then the fish was off. I moved the fly a short distance and felt weight again. I set the hook on another fish and get it near the weed edge before it gets off. I can see the fly in the side of this fish's mouth.

I cast out again, see a fish swirl on the fly but I wait a few seconds to set the hook, hoping the fly will be taken a little deeper. I got this fish near shore and loose it when trying to raise the head. On the next cast, getting out about 30 feet again, another crappie takes the fly. It flops on the surface a couple of times and comes off. The fly moves a few feet and another fish swirls on it. It flops a few times and comes off. The next two fish do the same thing. The next fish hits close enough to shore that I set the hook and swing it up immediately. I caught it with my hand as the fly tore out of the its mouth.

This continues to happen as I roll cast the fly out and have fish hit it. Most of them were crappie but about every dozen casts or so a bass would take the fly. If the fly got more than about a foot deep, which was rare, a bluegill would take it.

After about 20 casts in a spot the fishing slowed. I moved about 20 feet and tried again and the fish would be there. I ended up getting about 1 out of 5 fish that hit, but several times there would be four or five strikes on each cast. I got near the dam end of the pond, where I came in, and saw the landowner. He was coming out to try his luck for a fish dinner. My basket was nearly full and I told him to try in the area where I was. He was using spinning gear and not having much luck. I cast out to make sure the fish were there and finally got one to shore. I gave it to him and stayed with him for a little while until he had all the fish that he wanted.

I was nice that he had a four wheeler that he had brought through a small gate and gave me a ride out. I went to his house and showed him how to fillet the fish. Then went home and filleted a lot of fish. This had been one of the best days of the year.

Hope you can get out on the water.

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