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Rod Baptism

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I had finished a new 5wt rod at the start of the week. I was itching to get out to a pond and give it a try. Happened this last Saturday. I got home after having an activity that took a good part of the morning.

The first thing I did was to go to the weather channel and look at the radar picture. It showed showers just south of us and it was hard to tell what direction the were going in. I decided to head out and not take my canoe. I took two fly rods with me. Also grabbed two fly boxes and headed for the pond. I was in a race with the rain showers the best I could tell.

I got to a new pond that I had not fished before. It is about 60 feet wide and 150 feet long. The owner told me that the bottom slopes down for about 15 feet and then drops quickly to about 15 feet. The break line is about 6 feet deep. The other nice thing is that it is pasture land around this pond. That means that even with my casting ability I can cover the surface of the pond from side to side and end to end.

I had tied on a Skip Morris Panfish Fly, red and yellow, and a beadhead nymph with some dubbing that I made. I decided to try the nymph first and cast it out at an angle, let it drop, and when I started to retrieve I had a fish on the line. Turned out it was a small bass, but a fish on the first cast was encouraging.

I continued to cast and found out that casts that went straight out and came in were the best. As the fly would come in over the breakline a fish would hit if there if it was going to be taken. I had several fish hit the fly that I was not able to hook. It might be that my fishing skills are a little rusty also.

I decided to the other rod with the SMP on it. I cast it out the same way and had fish hit it about the same way. I did notice that I was losing a little of the marabou end on this fly. It seems that the fish were nipping at the end of the fly. Time to change tactics some.

When I brought the fly in and knew that it was close to the breakline I would stop the retrieve and let the fly drop at that point. My hope was the fish might take it better on the drop. I had a little more success on this but the fish were taking the flies very easily and I lost several after hooking them. I tried smaller flies but they would not take them.

I went back to the nymph pattern and let it drop near the breakline. This was the ticket. The fish were hitting this fly and taking a little deeper in their mouths. This allowed me to catch a few more of them.

I had been watching a dark cloud moving slowly toward me. The wind picked up a little and it started to get harder to cast. I moved to the other side of the pond, and closer to the truck.

I must have hit a school of fish because I caught several fish in a row. At this point I felt the first rain drops and decided that the best thing I could do was to head home. Having just finished a course of antibiotics for a sinusitis I did not want to get me lovely wife unhappy with me by getting sick again.

I went home and filleted the fish I ended up with 44 gills from this pond. The other thing was that it did not rain at the house at all. What a difference five miles can make.

I shared some of the fish and had a nice meal of fillets. Looks like the fishing is going to pick up even better as the weather forecasts are for warmer temperature.

I hope that you can get out on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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