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Pond Draining

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I was asked to come to a pond and catch a bunch of the fish. The owner is going to drain the pond and take out the silt that has come in over the years. He is also making a couple of shallow ponds to catch the run off and slow down the siltation process.

I have never been to this pond before so it was going to be trial and error to see what would work. When I got there he was at the pond and asked my to keep any bass I caught and put them into a stock tank he had on a trailer. The tank had an aeration system running off a battery that he said to start when I put some fish in.

This pond is about 50 feet wide and 80 feet long so I decided to start at one end of the dam and go around. Cast out a fly and let it drop for a few seconds before I started stripping it in. Did this several times and nothing was happening. Time to change because the owner had told me that there were a lot of fish in this pond.

Cast out and started moving the fly right away so it was just under the surface. Had something slap at the fly but not take it. Did this a few times before I started making long slow strip of the fly. This is when I began to connect with fish. I hooked a lot of crappie that got off when the fly ripped out. Slowly worked my way around the pond as I would get a few bites at each place I stopped but the disturbance of catching a few fish seemed to turn the others off, or they were widely scattered.

Got down in the area of the pond where the water was only a few feet deep. This is where I began to have small bass hit the fly. I did notice that there seemed to be a larger fish working the area around a bunch of algae caught on the surface. I tied on a black nymph with a foam wing case that sets in the surface film and cast it out as far as I could. I then let it drift down toward the algae bed as this was the direction the light breeze pushed it.

There was a big swirl around the fly and then the line tightened. I finally set the hook after waiting an eternity so I would not jerk it away. I had a nice tussle on my hands. Took me about 10 minutes to land this bass. She was 26 inches long and had a huge belly full of eggs.

I immediately took her to the trailer and started the aerator. Went back down to where I had been fishing and kept moving along. Caught several more fish and lost several more but had a lot of fun. I found that I was having the best luck using a white or yellow bugger on a size 10 hook. Tried several other flies but they did not work any where near as well.

I had a fish basket full of fish and decided that it was probably time to stop. I did catch a few more bass and put them in the tank.

I was starting to break my rods down to head out when the land owner showed up again. He wanted to know if I had caught any good bass for him to move. I told him that he would have to decide how good they were. I wish I had a picture of the look on his face when he saw that big bass. He had no idea there was a fish that large in his pond.

He wants me to come back and get more of the fish out. He will have someone in his family work on the pond over the Labor Day weekend. He would like as many of the fish as can be to be caught out as they are going to pump the pond dry and then use a drag line to clean it. He is then going to restock it.

I am going to try to get back out there and maybe take a couple of kids with me so they can have fun. I know I had fun.

Have fun on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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