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Geezer Plan

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
I got a call at about 11:30 am while at my office. It was one of the old geezers that I have given fish to before. He wanted to know if I was going out fishing at noon? When I said that I was going to try he wanted to know if he could have any fish I caught. I told him the chances of that seemed to be slim as the lake is up about forty inches from the rain that fell last Thursday night in this area and north of here. The flood gates were shut so that the river would not overflow. This lake is a water source but also a flood containment basin. The river was about a foot from overflowing at its highest point.

With the water up this much the settling pond and the main lake are connected now. The water is so high that fish can swim through the culvert that runs under the road. It has been ten or eleven years since that last happened. The wind has blown a little harder than normal and that has kept the water stirred up so that the sediment that came in with the rain has not settled out.

But it is noon time and there is no ice on the pond, so it is time to flog the water. It is more fun that setting in the office over the noon hour. When I got out to the lake it was till up, even though the water level has dropped about a foot.

I decided to stand on the culvert and fish the settling pond. The wind was from the west and was a gentle breeze. The county employees were mowing the roadside and doing some other work along the road. In any case they were making the grasshoppers fly and several of them landed in the pond. This fish were attracted to these like bees to honey. I was bright enough to tie on a hopper pattern and cast it out.

The rings were still settling when a green sunfish came out of the water and took the hopper on the way down. I had been smart and cast just at the edge of the weed bed to the right of the culvert. The old geezer told me that he knew I could do it and put the fish in his bucket. I cast to the other side and had a bass suck the hopper in when it hit the water. This fish turned out to be about 18 inches long and liked to jump.

I alternated casting to the right and left sides of the culvert, also in how far from the culvert and how far from the weed bed. I was trying not to cast too far to disturb fish that might be willing to hit the fly. I was getting bass from 12 to 18 inches on the fly. They sure liked that hopper pattern. I was not getting any more panfish, but that changed on the next cast.

I did one of my normal things and let the back cast go too far back and drop too much. I know the rest of you have long since quit doing that. The line caught on some grass, not enough to snag it, but enough to make the forward cast fall short. The fly landed where I had hooked a bass before.

I was starting to retrieve the line when the gill came up and sucked the fly down with a distinctive slurp. The old geezer told me it was time that I caught another one and quit messing with the bass. I told him that if he didn't like it to catch his own fish. He said that he did not want to show me up.

I did have a thought when I caught this gill and decided to cast to the other side in the area that I had covered before. I had another gill take the fly with that slurping sound. I love it when they do that. I caught 6 more gills in the area that I had covered before. My guess is that the gills were staying out of the way of the bass. After I caught the bass they probably went off and sulked somewhere from being hooked. This removed the competition for the gills and they could take the fly then. I don't know if this is right but it sure sounds good.

To test it I cast off the left and caught another bass. I immediately cast back there after releasing the bass and got another green sunfish. I did this three more times before I ran out of time and had to go back to work. I don't know when I might be able to try this again. I think part of the pattern came because of the road work being done and all of the hoppers flying onto the water.

Anyway it was fun to catch the fish and the old geezer was happy to be able to have fish. He also might be my good luck charm.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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