Muddy Water - Part 3 of 4

Rick Zieger, Iowa - June 29, 2009

A Fairly Good Day

It had rained again. That is all is has been doing lately. That means that I will not have the canoe in the water anywhere. Too wet to drive into ponds and too muddy to try to sue the little trailer I have for the canoe.

I hike into a pond that is surrounded by pasture land. I am hoping that the water might be clearer than most of the ponds are. When I get to the pond I find there is about 6 inches of visibility in the water. That matches the best that I have seen this year. It is a cloudy day so I decided to start with a black leech pattern that has some flash material in it.

This is an eyelash sort of material that someone sent me. I did not start with the Goldie Jr as I did not think that the flash would show as much.. Second reason, I do need to try and use some other flies.

This is another of those almost carbon copy farm ponds that are in this area. This one is a little smaller than a football field. I know the deepest water is about 12 feet deep. Most of the water in the pond runs from six to 8 feet deep. The edge of the pond is fairly steep and is about three to 4 feet deep out for 8 feet. That is how much dirt was scraped away to help form the dam with the dozer blade.

Over time some dirt has washed into the ponds, allowing for some weed growth. There are a few larger trees around this pond. A few of the large limbs that fell off these trees now reside in the pond.

I am not sure where the fish may be. This has been a strange year for fishing. To find out where the fish may be and what they might like, I start fan casting about 10 feet of line. I start to might right and make each successive cast about five feet from the last one. From previous days I think there might be a few fish along the shoreline and I don't want to spook any by making too long of a cast to start with.

On the second cast the line feels funny and I do a hook set. Turns out there was a gill on the other end trying to eat the fly. This fish was full of vim and vigor and made the rod tip dance. Great fun to get in and put in the fish basket. A few more casts and another gill attacks the fly.

This one is just as feisty as the first one. I get a few more fish as I finish casting around the area.

It is clear that the fish want the fly to be about six inches under the surface of the water and moving very slowly. I have tried the fly deeper, but the fish have not taken it. It may be that the fly has to be seen against the lighter sky. Sounds profound, in any case it is what is working.

I move down the shore line about 15 feet. I have cast through this area, but I can cast to the water I have not disturbed. It may be hard to believe, but my casts do not disturb as many things as my tromping along the shore does.

A few more fish hit the fly as it is presented in this area. One of the fish is a nice bass. This fish jumps a few times and makes a lot of noise before it is landed. This fish goes back into the pond to fight again another day. To see if the commotion of fighting this fish scared the others off, a few more casts are made into this area. No bites so it is time to move.. After moving there is an area of the pond that has several weeds growing in it. The weeds are all about three feet apart and cover an area about12 feet by 30 feet. Definitely a place I want to run a fly through. I have caught fish in this area before, but wanted to fish the water before getting to this spot.

Trying to be smart about this the first cast goes by the first weed on the shore side of this patch.

Again why take the chance of spooking a fish by not trying this place first. The fly is near the weed when it is attacked. No doubt about this strike. It is a very nice bluegill on the line. About 9 inches in length and very fat and colorful.

Being curious, by nature, the next cast goes so the fly comes in on the other side of the same weed. The fly gets attacked again. It is another almost carbon copy gill. Again the rod tip is dancing around as the fish gets landed.

I notice that another fisherman is coming down to the pond on the other side. There is plenty of room for both of us. Each time the fly goes by one of the weeds a fish will hit it. It is a fish a cast for a god amount of time. But as in all things it finally ends. The rest of the fish leave or they turn off. Not sure why, but time to look for more cooperative fish. I move again and pick up a few fish at each place that I stop and cast.. But a few fish at each place adds up over time. This also seems to add some weight to the fish basket and I get to think about carrying this out to the road where the pickup is. The thoughts that there are enough fish in the basket for the hike out begin to get stronger and stronger. The thirsty thing is getting its two cents in also. The clouds are breaking up and the sun is hot when it shines through the breaks. Time to be wimpy and head home. On the way out I go near the other fisherman on the pond. Turns out to be the landowner. He wanted to know how I had done as he was not doing very well.

He had four gills in his basket. He wanted to know what I was using to catch so many fish. He saw the fly and thought it was amazing that fish would want that. Turns out he was down to try to get fish for a fish dinner.

He decided that it was getting too hot to be out and hiked out to the road with me. I asked him how many more fish he would need for dinner? He protested some, but he got enough to do it. I filleted 47 gills when I got home. So it was a good day to be out and have some fun.

Hope you can get out on the water.


Muddy Water (part 1)

Muddy Water (part 2)

Muddy Water (part 3)

Muddy Water (part 4)

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