Part Two hundred twenty-six
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
Archive of Panfish
Bruised my right elbow one day at work. Gracefully hit the
edge of a counter top as I was trying to move a box. Bottom
line was that my right arm was sore as a boil and stiff to
boot, but this did not stop me from heading out to the pond
on my usual Saturday morning jaunt.
I left the canoe at home because I was afraid I would not be
able to lift it up on the pickup and paddling was out of the
question with the way my right arm felt. So I decided to fish
from the shore and to cast left handed. This would be a great
experience because I have done 99.99% of my fly casting right
Had a 10 to 15 mph wind blowing when I got out to the pond.
I went to the side where the wind was behind me and tied on
a popping bug. Tied on a Pheasant Tail Nymph (PTN) off the
popper as a dropper on about a foot of line. Cast this out
about 25 feet and let the wind carry it out a little farther.
Had to watch carefully to see the strikes because they hit
the PTN very lightly. After I got used to what I was looking
for, I began to catch fish. It was interesting that almost
every fish I caught was near some the algae that was floating
on the pond. I wonder if they were in the shade or around the
algae to feed.
Had several gills and had caught a few bass doing this when
I decided I should move because the fishing was slowing down.
Went to the dam so I could cast perpendicular to the wind.
I was starting to get better, I could cast about 30 to 35
feet now. Accuracy was a different matter. I know that the
water is about 5 feet deep out for about eight feet and then
drops off to about 12 feet deep.
I cast out and let the fly drift along with the wind. Had
something pull the popper under when it hit the PTN. When I
got it in I had a crappie of about 15". Did this another two
dozen times along the dam face, about 100 feet. All of them ran
12 to 15" and pulled the popper under when they hit the fly. A
couple of times gills or bass hit the popper at the same time
so I had a double.
Finally decided that I had to leave because my right arm
was starting to really bother me. I also had about a half
mile hike to get out from this pond. Had a horse follow me
all the way across the field. I think he thought I would
feed him. It was better than a mad cow chasing me!
I checked all the fish I took home and they were full of
nymphs. One crappie had a two inch crappie in its stomach.
That was the only minnow that I saw. A few of the gills had
grasshoppers in them so I will be using that pattern the next
time I am out at one of the ponds.
Took some fillets to the land owner. He was shocked. He
has given permission to about a dozen people to fish the
ponds on his land but I am the only one that has brought
him fish even though that was part of the deal. I told him
fly fishers are a different breed.
It was still a fun day even if I was casting backwards.
I think I will practice some to do it left-handed but
will probably stay right-handed. Could help me fish
some difficult places.
Enjoy the water. ~ Rick
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