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Swimming Lesson

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I went out to the lake again over my lunch hour, a type of obsessive behavior according to a few folks. The crappie are not in any more. Very few are being caught in less than twelve feet of water.

I decided that it was time to try for some gills. It seemed the best place to do this would be on a flat that slopes from about one foot of water to 6 feet of water in about thirty-five feet. With the full moon coming up I hoped that the gills might be on their beds.

Tied on a Skip Morris Panfish fly with red and yellow marabou for the wing. Cast it out about fifteen feet and let it settle. A nice gill came up and hit it. That was the start of the fun. I caught a gill on almost every cast. My lack of skill, at times, caused me to strike too fast and I missed several when I pull the hook away too soon. When I did this I usually pulled the fly in too close and had to cast again.

It was great fun as I was the only one catching fish this fast. A few folks were using worms and a couple were using spinners or tube jigs. The main problem was that I think I hit a honey hole.

I had one guy move close to me and cast into the area I was fishing. Stuff like this irritates me to no end. I decided to cast near his bobber. My usual response is to move. I do tell the people that I only move one time and after that throw people in the pond if they want the fish that bad.

I have done it three times this year. But for this guy I made an exception.

The fly had no more than hit the water and a gill swirled on it. I paused to let the line tighten and then set the hook. It was a nice fat eleven inch female bluegill. I caught fish on the next four casts also all within a foot of his bobber. He was ticked because I was catching 'his' fish. I looked one over and told him that I could not find his name on it. I also told him that he butted in where I was fishing and that it was a rude thing to do.

I then moved about thirty feet and started casting again. I was getting several taps but just not connecting. Decided it was time to downsize. I tied on a size 12 marabou leech (marabou fibers tied on for tail and then palmer up the hook, then palmer the thread over the marabou, small bead head on this fly). Cast it out and hooked a 12 inch bass. Caught bass on the next four casts also.

The next thing I knew this character was shoving me to get out of the way because he wanted to catch the bass. I calmly moved all of my stuff out of the way, and then shoved him into the lake so he could get the fish. He went into a hole that is about five feet deep. He got completely soaked and dropped his fishing pole. He had to go back in to get it. With the wind blowing about 10 mph, it was fairly cold being wet.

He wanted to know why I did that and I told him I was a man of my word. If you crowd me a second time, you go swimming. I did pick my stuff up and head back to the office. The fun was taken out of fishing at that time because it was not the best reaction to make. At times I still have a hard time walking away.

This is the reason that I usually go to farm ponds to fish. I don't have to put up with rude folks.

Hope you don't meet any people like this guy and that you can get out on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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