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Slow Day

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
I waited until Saturday afternoon to go fishing. Two reasons, too many things to do in the morning and the weather was warmer in the afternoon. Still this is November and the water is cooling off.

Headed out to a pond that I have not been to since I went with Joe Hyde when he was up to help with the anchoring system. I have been going to other ponds. Now I have to be careful with all the folks out bird hunting. Some of them do not pay attention to a fisherman on ponds.

It was a nice afternoon with just a slight breeze. Just enough to move the canoe along as I cast to see if I could find any fish. Since the breeze was out of the east I went to the east end of the pond and then cast as it moved me to the west end.

One of the reasons I chose this pond. I will admit that I am spoiled by all of the ponds around. I can choose ponds that face in all of the major directions and that have dams in all of the major directions. I can fish into the wind or with the wind in shallow or deep water. It is a consideration with the two anchors to not set up cross wind with them.

I had the black leech on that I used last week and a red and yellow SMP (see Ricks favorite bluegill flies) on the other rod. I was using the leech first. I would feel taps but I was not catching any fish. I changed to the SMP and the same sort of thing happened.

I was not sure if it was the fly they were not hitting well or if I needed to change size. I went to a smaller fly on each rod. I changed to a size 12 white leech and went to a size 16 PTN. I cast the white leech first.

The fly had just hit the water when I had a small bass smash it. I had to use the forceps to get deep enough to get the hook out. This happened another dozen times. Still, no gills out of this pond. Time to try the PTN. This fly produced no action at all. By this time I have gone the length of the pond.

I head back up to the dam and decide to try more flies. I tie on a damsel pattern with dumbbell eyes that will get deep. On the other rod I put a popping bug with a midge dropper. I cast the damsel pattern around the area where I have anchored, but no luck finding any gills. I thought with the deep water that they might be there.

I change and cast the popper-midge combination out. I let this set with nomotion from me. The waves from the slight breeze move it a little. I figure I can always add more action if I want to. In fact I let it sit so long that I change the other rod to a red nymph pattern and cast that out, watching the popper.

Finally I notice that the popper is not moving at all. Even the breeze is not rocking it. I grab the rod and set the hook. I have a nice gill on but it is hooked in the lip. This fish has not taken the midge as deep as the fish did during the summer. I begin to think that I am fishing too fast.

I cast the combo out again and let it sit. I changed to a nymph pattern that has a foam underbody on so it will suspend. This is a fly that I can move very slowly.

I cast this fly out and let it settle. I notice that the popper is not moving and set the hook on this rod. I have another gill on this. Again this fish is just hooked in the lip. I am getting ready to cast again when I hear shots to the east of me.

There are some folks over there pheasant hunting to my best guess. In any case part of the shot lands in the pond. They are not shooting at me but it is time to leave. When I grab the other rod, I find a gill on this fly also. The slow/stopped retrieve just might be the ticket. But it is time to go.

After I load everything and head away from the pond, I see the folks in the other field. I know that we will meet near the gate where I came in. I know these folks and they apologize as they did not know that anyone was fishing in the pond or they would have never shot in that direction. I did get three pheasant tails out of the deal. I also got the promise of more and maybe a few turkey tails.

Even though I did not get many fish, I think I came out OK. The chances you take in the fall during hunting season.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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