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Part Two hundred twenty-nine

Sunday Wind

Rick Zieger

By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I got roped into helping some people move into a new house on Saturday morning. A three hour job turned into seven hours because some other folks decided not to show up. Upshot of it was that I did not get out to the pond to go fishing until Sunday afternoon.

I took my canoe but I was not sure that I would be able to use it because the wind was starting to blow. I did get out to a pond and started to fish. I had caught a few fish when the wind really picked up and started moving my canoe along even though my anchor was down. I decided that I needed to get off the pond. I had a hard time loading the canoe on top of the pickup with the wind blowing.

I decided that I would go to another pond and see if I could catch anything there. I knew that the wind would not be blowing there as hard on the one side of the pond. This pond has large trees around it. There is about a ten foot space between each of the trees that you can backcast into with out catching the tree fish. The trouble is that the casts have to be pretty much straight out into the pond because the trees also overhang the pond.

I started casting and figured out that the wind was still getting to my casts. I lost three flies to the tree fish and still had not cast very far out into the pond. I decided to approach this differently. Alan di Somma had sent me a few strike indicators that he had made. I put one of these on with a Rat Tail Grub and cast it out a little way and let the wind carry it on out. The fly was about 4 feet from the strike indicator.

I know that the water drops off to about six feet deep about four feet from shore where the trees are and about 8 feet out between the trees. It make a series of "S" curves. I have always caught fish along these when I was in the canoe.

The wind had taken the fly out about 15 feet when I saw the indicator move. I set the hook and had a good fish on. I started working the fish in and the bass decided to start jumping. She cleared water 6 times before I got her landed. I released her and decided to move down a little way since the water had been disturbed.

I again made about a 10 foot cast, but this time the fly had just started to drop when the line moved. I was into a nice sized bluegill. When I landed this one I cast again to see if there was another one in the same place. Fly had just started to drop when the line moved again. It was another bluegill of about the same size. I caught seven of them from nearly the same spot. After this the fishing slowed at this spot.

I kept moving and casting the fly out and letting the wind blow it out father. I continued to catch gills when the fly was just dropping, bass when the fly was straight down and drifting away. When I started to retrieved the fly when it got out about 40 feet I would catch a crappie or a rock bass. The fly was being given a lift and drop sort of retrieve.

I worked back and forth up the shore line doing this for about two hours. I had several gills, rock bass and about a dozen crappie. I had tossed about 25 bass back in. I did try other flies but they did not work as well as the Rat Tail Grub. This might be due to grubs falling out of the trees I was fishing around.

I kept the fish, as this is another one of the ponds that I have been working on to increase the size of the fish. Bluegills are about two inches longer than when I started and the crappie are about 5 inches longer. Taking a lot of smaller fish out has definitely helped with the size issue.

On the way home I did stop at one house of a friend. I am still working on him to get into fly fishing. He does not believe that you can catch any thing but trout on flies. I showed him what I had caught and that all I had with me was the fly rod. He related that he had been out for an hour and a half just before I got there and not caught nymphing. I helped the situation by telling him that some of us had talent and others didn't. I did leave him some gills to clean for supper.

The Rat Tail Grub is a pattern that Tony Spezio shared with me. I have caught a lot of fish around trees and brush with this fly. It is fairly easy to tie also.

Rat Tail Grub

    Hook:   10 - 12.

    Thread:   To match dubbing.

    Tail:   3 or 4 Peacock swords about shank length.

    Body:   Rat Rail, white, cream, yellow from a craft store, 2mm size.

    Head:   Small amount of black or cream dubbing.

    I do put a little Zap-a-Gap on the thread where I tie the Rat Tail in before I wind it forward 3 or 4 times on the hook. They seem to hold up better doing that.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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