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Yellow Today

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

Publisher's Note: The following article was written this past summer..

I was late getting out Saturday. I was helping with my third house moving of the week in the morning. At times it is not a good idea to have a pickup. We got all the stuff moved except for little pictures and a few other small things.

By the time I got home and got every thing loaded it was almost noon. I filled two water bottles and headed out. I was heading to a pond that I had not been to this year. On Thursday night I received a call from the land owner telling me that he was going to pump water out of the pond to water his cattle. He said to come in and catch fish as the water volume would be down significantly.

When I got to the pond, I saw the water was down about 8 feet. This meant that about 40% of the pond surface area was gone. Places that I had fished over before was now a sea of mud. The only place I could launch the canoe was one spot at the end of the dam where the water still came to the edge.

It was a rare day as the wind was not blowing. The water was as flat as glass. I decided to tie on foam spiders and see what I could do. Tied a black one on the first rod and cast it out to set. I had seen a few grasshoppers around the pond and thought that the other spider should be yellow.

I cast it out and started to set the rod down. A big gill came up and sucked the fly in. He cut some fancy curves and didos before I could get him in. The black foam spider was still setting there. I cast the yellow one out again and let it set. In a short time it was sucked under again. This time it took a little longer to get the gill in as he stayed broadside the whole time. At this time I brought the other spider in and changed it from black to white and cast it out again.

Nothing happened with the white one either, but the yellow continued to claim the attention of the gills. I switched the other fly through green, brown and orange foam bodies. Nothing worked as well as yellow. I finally tied another yellow bodied spider on and cast both of them out. I had several times that I missed fish because I was landing one when the other spider was hit. A nice problem to have but I did get a few doubles. It is an awkward thing to strip line in on two fly rods at the same time. In doing this I was landing about one of eight fish that hit the flies.

I would keep trying to hook the other fish and in the process lost both of them more often than not. I finally settled down to one rod. I did see some activity in the weeds about 40 feet away from me and decided to cast down around them to see what might be happening. I had moved the fly about two inches when the water opened up and the fly disappeared. I did pause for a second before I sat the hook. I had a bass that went ballistic. Jumped five times before I got her in. I measured her at just less than 24 inches long. Returned her to the pond to battle again another day.

At this point the wind came up and the surface action stopped. I decided to try some subsurface flies to see what I might be able to do. I opened up a couple of boxes to see what I had and decided to try one of my experiments. I had tied a Hares Ear with rubber legs, tied Madam-X style, and peacock herl for the thorax with some brown deer hair as a wing. I saw something like this some place on the net and decided it was time to try something like this. I had it tied with yellow, black, white, green, brown and orange rubber legs. Since yellow had worked, I decided to tie that one on first.

I cast it out and was going to let it settle when I saw the line twitch so I sat the hook. I had another nice gill. I did notice as I was bringing this fish in that there were several more around him. When I unhooked him, I made a short cast and stated to strip the line in with a small pull and pause retrieve. The fly-had moved about three times when it was smashed. This was a huge gill. This one measured 11 3/4 inches long and was almost that in vertical height. This one had to go back into the pond. She has the genetics that will help keep the size up.

I caught another dozen fish before the fly was too tattered to use anymore. I decided to try some of the other flies with the other colored legs. I would catch a rare fish but nothing like I had caught before. Even I learn after a time so I tied on another yellow legged fly and went back to catching fish.

I did look down one time and saw several fish swimming about two feet down in the pond. I am sure that I saw at least 200 fish in that one school, and managed to catch a few of them. At this point my fish basket was darn near full and I decided that I would head home. Getting out of this pond was a little fun as there were not many places to get out either that would let me get the front of the canoe onto the bank so I could get out.

I had just finished loading everything when the land owner came in. He stopped to see how I had done. When I showed him the basket, he was amazed. He told me to come back again next Saturday because the pond is going to have to go down a lot further. He wants the fish to be caught out and not just die. I told him that I thought I could help.

He said that they had a group of people visiting and wished he had time to catch fish for them to eat. I made him a deal. If he would help me clean them then I would give him enough for a meal. We headed to his house and he got his knife out and we settled down to clean fish.

I gave him 80 fish for his group to eat. There were 45 people there and they thought that would be enough. I took another 61 home with me. I have to tell you that I caught these in two hours.

It was a fun day and I am going to hit the pond again next Saturday, but I expect I might have to use some thing that is not yellow.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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