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Part One hundred eighty-four

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Fall Enjoyment

By Richard D. Zieger

Went out with a friend for a Sunday afternoon of fishing. This was the first time in three years we had done this together. We even put a wager on who would catch the most fish. The looser had to buy pizza for dinner on Monday night.

My friend is a confirmed spin fisherman with Mepps or similar spinners. I have not been able to get him to try fly fishing. Even though he is a lost soul, I still like to spend time fishing with him.

He picked the pond and we went out to it. Some nice person had even mowed around it some so we could launch the canoe easier. We did try the shore before we put the canoe in just to make sure we would not spook any fish. I finally learned to do this after I would see the swirls of fish leaving as the canoe hit the water and sent waves down the shore.

We started out slowly as the weather has been fairly cool, but the ponds had not turned over yet. Finally figured out that the best pattern to use was the Bead Body Minnow. I fished this about three feet deep in about four feet of water with a break line to 10 feet of water about six feet out from where I was casting. I would cast out and let the fly drop for about 12 to 15 seconds and then pull it back in 2 to 3 inch strips with a fairly long pause between them.

I caught a fish about every third cast. They were bluegill, crappie, bass and one small channel cat. The bluegill were from 8 to 10 inches long and very thick. The crappie ran from 11 to 15 inches. The bass went up to about 3.5 lbs. The channel cat was maybe six inches long.

My friend caught a few fish but was not doing near as well as I was. He made the rash statement that if he had a fly rod he would use it to try to show me up. I pulled up the anchor and went back to the pickup where the other fly rod was. We strung it up and went back to the spot where we had been fishing. I gave him a little instruction on casting and he started doing it.

It was fun to watch him catch fish on the fly rod. He was like a kid in a candy store. He had always used about 10 lb test line so using something lighter and have the fish fight a little was a new experience. He loved it when a big gill would hit and then turn circles as he tried to bring it in. I was afraid I might not get the rod back.

As the owner of the pond wanted some of the fish taken out we did keep several and filleted a few out for him for letting us go into the pond. When we delivered them he told us this was the first time anyone had ever brought him fish when the used his ponds. He also gave me a plat map that has another dozen or so ponds to fish. He told me I could go into any of them anytime I wanted to.

Going with my friend was great fun. Also nice that we caught some fish and were able to share them. We filleted out about 25 crappie and 20 bluegill. Tossed all the bass back in to control the little varmints when they spawn. Gave fish to several folks and asked them to thank the owner of the pond when they saw him.

Guess the moral of the story is to be sure to share with friends. Also to be nice to the folks who have ponds we can fish in. ~ Rick

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