Part Two hundred twenty-three
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
Archive of Panfish
Went out to a pond this morning to go fishing. Had rises
all over the pond and I could not get a single thing to hit.
I tried dry flies, wet, fly streamers and all the foam flies
I have. I threw everything but the kitchen sink at them.
Would have thrown that if I had one with me.
I then remembered reading in Ray Bergmans's book Trout,
that when something like this happened to him he would stop
and watch for a long time. He states that he might do this for
two or three hours. He is much more patient that I will probably
ever be. I did put the rod down and decided to watch to see if
I could figure out what might be going on.
When I first got onto the pond there was a mayfly hatch going
on. They were about 3/16" long and a pale tan color. I had a
couple of mayfly patterns so I used them first. Not a thing
happened. I then tried the nymphs, etc.
It took about five minutes but then I started to see some
rises near me. Still could not tell what was going on. I
continued to watch and then had a couple of fish come up
by a tree top that was near me. They were coming up and
hitting something just under the surface but would still
cause the ring. I got down on my knees in the canoe and
looked over the side trying to find what they might be
hitting. Could not see anything. I even dipped some water
out in my hand and did not see anything.
I did remember that my daughter had brought me some size 22 and
24 hooks as a gift. She was in a store someplace where they
were selling them and decided that I needed to tie on that
size rather than the normal 6 to 12. I had tied some midge
patterns on these and had a few that I had just wrapped a
little dubbing around the hook.
Had to go to 6X tippet to be able to tie the hook on. Cast
the fly near a tree limb and let it set. In a few seconds
it began to drop. I assume it was dropping because a fish
rolled up and hit the fly underwater. I had a 6" crappie when
I landed this fish. I cast on the other side of the limb and
nothing happened. I cast near another limb and had a bluegill
hit the fly. I would get from 3 to 5 fish out of each tree top
that I fished. Did take some time to get the hook out of the
fish as they all had taken it fairly deeply. I was smart enough
to retie after about every three fish as I was afraid of abrading
There were two other boats on the pond but they were not
catching anything. I did continue to try other flies off and
on but they never worked. I could not get fish to bite if I
was more than about one foot from the limbs of the trees.
They just would not hit anything that was away from the wood.
After I fished the tree tops and was not having any more success
I decided to head home. As I was filleting the fish I decided to
check the stomach contents. There was not anything very big in
the stomachs of any of the fish. I am guessing that they may
have been on the midge-type bite for a few days. This may
explain why when the water starts to get a scum of algae in
places that the fishing has slowed down for me. The water is
warm and we have had some rain in the past two weeks.
I am going to have to get some smaller hooks and tie flies
in small sizes to see if they will continue to catch fish
during this time period. Also I am going to have to remember
to look a little closer at things to make sure I am not
missing something. This is the first time that I have been
aware of two hatches happening at the same time. It probably
is not the first time it has happened but the first time I
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick
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