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Part Two hundred twenty-two

Floating Nymph Craziness

Rick Zieger

By Richard Zieger, Iowa

Let me start by explaining the floating nymph that I am using. They are tied on hooks from size 6 to 12. I use two goose biots for the tail and dub a body the same color as the tail. I dub to near the hook eye and bring the thread back to where I am going to start the thorax. I tied in a small strip of sheet foam for the thorax. Usually about 1/4 inch wide. I dub the thorax with a second layer of dubbing. I then take a small ball of batting and put in on top of the thorax and then pull the foam over the thorax and tie it off. This way I can tease a little of the batting out on each side of the foam. Fishing these nymphs with the batting and without the batting has convinced me that the batting helps. I use these in black, grey, brown, green, orange and red. All have worked at different times.

I was out early one morning to a pond I have been to a few times in the past but nor for about two years. The landowner asked me to go in and catch some of the panfish because he was not getting as many bass as he used to. I decided that this was a hardship that I just might be able to endure. I went to his house Friday night to get the key so that I could get through the gate. He told me that he wanted me to stop on the way home so that he could see what I had caught in his pond.

When I got to the pond I saw that the fish with coming up and slurping something on the surface.

Being in a hurry to get out onto the pond I had everything go wrong. I finally made myself stop and watch my second hand go around twice before I did any more. When I was calmed down I got everything into the canoe and got out on the pond. I decided that the floating nymph might be a good choice to use.

I started casting it to where the fish were coming to the surface. Not a thing happened. I went to a smaller size and changed colors. Still nothing happened. Then I snagged it on some pond weeds that were just under the surface. I tried to gently tug it off and then I just ripped on it. Well the fly came loose, zipped by my head (I was wearing sunglasses) and went about 25 feet behind me. I was trying to calm myself before I did anything else so I let the fly set about 30 seconds. When I went to lift the fly up to cast it, having not looked at it, I set the hook in a fish.

Turned out to be a 13 inch crappie.

This got my adrenaline flowing cause I do like to catch crappie on the fly rod. I also decided that I was going to cast back out where the fish had hit. If one hits then maybe another will to. The fly had been on the water about 5 seconds when a big gill jumped out of the water and hit it coming down. He hooked himself. This seemed to be a productive pattern so I moved the canoe out father so I could cast to a larger area.

I was in about 10 to 12 feet of water and the fly I was using would rest on the surface. I would only catch one fish in each place I cast but a cast 5 feet to the side would result in another fish. The gills all jumped out of the water and hit the fly coming down. The crappie would come up and roll on the fly but were still taking it on the surface. Also had a few small bass hit the fly but they were few and far between.

I never did catch any fish were I saw them rising. I lost a lot of crappie when I got them near the canoe as they would tear the hook out of the side of their mouth. That means that they will be there the next time I go there.

The water was clear enough that I could see a lot of fish swimming about three to four feet down in the water column. I don't think that I hurt the pond at all taking some of them out.

The land owner was surprised that the fish were that big in the pond. Also liked that I had filleted a few for him. In about a month I can go back to the pond as he will have the cattle out of the field again. Shortage of rain has changed his pattern of using the pastures.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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