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Spring Gale

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I had a chance to get out on a Saturday afternoon in mid March and see if I could get any fish to bite. It was nice when I first got to the pond, but after about twenty minutes the wind began to blow at about twenty miles an hour.

This pond is fairly small but has a couple of nice drop offs that are about six feet wide and drop about four feet on each of them. My thought was that the fish might be staging along one of these break lines and that it was the place to try. It also was one of the few ponds that I could get to with the rain that we had received. Great to get the rain.

I decided that I would use a white woolly bugger variation that I had received in a swap. It is tied with white crystal chenille and no hackle. Not sure that it is a bugger but that is the closest, I could come. The one I was using was with a bead head.

I quickly decided that the 3 wt. was not going to work. I could not get the fly out any distance at all. This might, probably, is due to my "great" casting ability. I switched to a 6 wt that I have. With this I could get out about 30 to 35 feet. Letting the fly drop a little and then trying to retrieve, really taking in the line as it was being blown back to me.

I had several fish hit, but it was early in the season, and I missed many of them. I would feel the weight but I had too much slack in the line and could not get the hook set before they were gone. If I were a purist, I would say that it was to protect the spawn. Probably slow reflexes due to old age.

The memory does not work very well either and it took me a while to remember things that I had done before. It came back to my mind that I had previously had some success in wind like this. On my next cast I turned so the rod was parallel to the shore and put the tip down just above the surface. This takes the bow out of the line. Even I get it after a time.

I was bringing in the line as the wind moved it toward me. I felt a little resistance and set the hook. I had a nice gill on the line but it was barely hooked. I had not brought a net with me so it was sliding or swinging them to shore. This one I got in but lost the next two. The next cast brought a solid thump and I had a nice bass on the line. This fish made such a commotion that I had to move down the shore to get any more bites.

It then started to sprinkle and I thought that I had better head home. My wife had reservations about my going out, a sinus infection, but I knew that there are mental aspects also. I did get a dozen gills and the two crappie in about a hour of fishing. I lost many more than I caught, but they will be there the next time.

I filleted these and shared them with a few folks. They did taste great.

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

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