Rick Zieger - Apr 3, 2017

I had the opportunity to fish a pond that I had not been to for a long time. The only problem was that the land the road to the pond is closed off. That means about a half a mile hike to the pond the way that is open to me. I could not drive across the field because of the ditches that are in it, all deep enough to eat a tire. So I take two rods, the fish basket and four fly boxes with me. I found some fly boxes with a lanyard and have four of those that are great for days like this. The flies are easy to see and easily available.

I got to the pond and saw that it looks very much like it did before. It is almost rectangular, about 50 yards wide and 130 yards long and runs north south with the dam on the south end. I knew that there was about two to three feet of water out about six feet and then drops about another three feet and slopes out to the ravine that runs down the pond.

A white boa yarn leech and a peacock sword nymph with a yellow emu feather body are the two flies on my leader. I cast with each of these and get one nice bluegill on the yellow fly. It was time to head south along the west side of the pond. I arrived in this area and picked up a few more fish, all on the yellow fly. I changed the white boa yarn to a yellow boa yarn fly and cast that out, and got two nice crappie on that fly.

I moved a short way and tried again. On the first cast a fish swirled on the fly just as it hit the water. The fish hooked itself and the battle was on. A very nice crappie finally ended up in hand. This fish fought much more like a bass than a crappie.

I changed the yellow boa yarn fly to one with no weight as I wanted to see if the fish were taking the fly very shallow in the water column. The next four casts result in a nice crappie taking the fly as it was retrieved in. I tried the peacock sword tail fly and did not get any fish, maybe because it was too far down in the water column. So I changed it to an unweighted one. That was  the ticket. I cast the fly out and kept it in the top 6 inches or so from the surface. When a fish swirled on the fly I let the line tightened and the rod tip start down before setting the hook. I had a much better ratio of hook ups doing this than setting on the swirl.

I slowly worked my way around the pond and caught four or five fish at each place. Then the fish were gone or they have been disturbed by the ones that were hooked. Not sure which it was, but it was easier to move than to try to figure out what to do to catch the fish that did not seem to be that interested.

I got back to where I started and made a few casts and got a few more fish. They were still very shallow in the water column. I tried a few places I had fished earlier and got a few fish in each spot. This confirmed my idea that that the fish stopped biting because of disturbance.

I decided I needed to really look at the fish basket. It was a long hike out and and I decided that I had a good number, and there was not much more space in the fish basket. That told me that this had been a very good day.
I reeled the fly up so they were caught on the top guide which makes it easier to carry the fly rods out. I grabbed the basket and started the hike. The basket was heavier than I thought. It is always much more fun to catch them than to carry them.

As I started the hike the owner came along in his pickup truck. He was going to come in and fish with me but he said if I gave him enough fish for a meal he would haul me out. What a deal! We headed to his house so he could get some fish. He had never filleted fish so I showed him how. I thanked him for the opportunity and the ride.

I headed home and spent a long time taking care of fish. I had three crappie for every gill that I brought home. Not sure why the crappie were so active, but it was fun. I had lots of fillets to eat and to share.

Hope you can get out on the water.


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