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Into the Wind

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I went out to the lake of the first day of June. The wind was blowing about 30 mph, but it is better than sitting in the office. I went to the jetty first, where I could cast with the wind some. No fish were interested in anything that I pitched at them. I did not see any crappie trying to spawn and no fish even followed the fly.

My guess is that the spawn is over for the crappie. I decided to move about 300 yards from where I was at. I knew casting would be harder, but I would be casting out over a flat with about 3 to 4 feet of water for about 40 feet before it hits a drop off. I thought there might be a few gills coming in to feed and get ready for the spawn.

I had pulled out a few flies from swaps that I have been in that I decided that I needed to try. I made a couple of copies and had those with me. I tried casting a few with very little success. I switched to a larger fly with a beadhead. I did a little better with this but still was not getting out very far. I put on a size 8 green marabou damsel nymph imitation. It had two white legs on each side. This I could get out about 30 feet by over powering the last forward cast. I was slowly bringing this in when I felt some weight on the line. I did a strip set of the hook as I was afraid to try to raise the rod to do it. I thought I might pull the hook out of whatever was biting.

After a brief tussle I had a bass that was about 15 inches long near the shore. I did not have a net with me and when I tried to swing her up the hook came out of her lip. I guess I had not set the hook very well. I decided to try the same area again. On the next cast I got a nice gill that was about 9 inches long and had his full regalia of colors showing. The next few casts did not produce any bites so I moved a little way down the shore.

The wind slowed for a moment and I got a fairly nice cast in. I let the fly drop for about 5 to 6 seconds and then started to retrieve the fly. The line did not feel right so I set the hook and had a 14-inch catfish decide that she did not like being on the other end of the line. I was using some 5 X tippet so I knew that I could not force the issue on this fish. It took about 10 minutes to get this fish in. I was a little surprised to get a catfish during the noon hour in fairly shallow water, but that is part of what makes fishing fun.

With the disturbance this fish had made I decided that I would move down the shore again and see if I could find another fish interested in eating something olive colored. I cast a few times but the wind gusted each time so the fly either fell very close to the shore, or caught one of the weeds in the area.

When I got another decent cast, the fly was still dropping when the line took off sideways. I was trying to get some of the loose line collected, when the fish tightened the line. At the feel of the hook, the fish kicked it into high gear. In a very short time I was into the backing. I slowly put some pressure on the fish. I was still using the 5 X tippet, not a good choice with a large fish.

I slowly gained some line, by getting the fish to swim parallel to the shore. I had about half the fly line back in when the fish decided that it was time to run again. This run was just about as long as the one before. It was slightly easier to gain line this time but was still a slow process.

This pattern was repeated about six more times. At this point I was starting to gain a little more on the fish. I finally got it up to where I could get a look at it and saw that I had hooked a carp.

I think the fish saw me and took off for parts far from where he was at. I was working the fish in again when another guy showed up. He asked what I had on and when I told him a carp he got excited. He wanted to know if I was going to keep it. When I said no, he wanted to know if he could have it. I said OK but I did not know how I was going to land it. He said he had the solution.

He went and got his long-handled net and some rubber boots on. I continued to work the fish in, slowly, as it swam parallel to the shore. I finally got the fish about 10 feet from the shore. As I brought it by this gentleman, he tipped his net up, it had been on the bottom, and netted the fish.

It turned out that is fish was 22 inches long and very heavy. I had not seen any carp moving around but that doesn't mean that they can't be there.

It was great fun catching this fish, but it also was time to head back to the office and go to work.

Hopefully I can tie into a few more fish like that!

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

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