Part Two hundred twenty-two
Floating Nymph Craziness
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
Archive of Panfish
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
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.
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