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One of Those Days

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
Publisher's Note:
Rick's fishing season is over until the ice melts, but we have a nice stash of articles he has written in the past as ideas or events occured to him. We hope this will explain apparent 'out of season' articles.

I went out to the lake today. The sky was clear and the temperature was in the mid 80's. Not the best time, but it was time to go. There was a wind blowing about 15 mph from the south. When I got to the lake, I saw that someone else was fishing the settling pond.

I drove a little further down the road so I could fish the large flat that is near the one jetty. If nothing else, it was going to be good practice for casting into the wind. With the wind I changed from a popping bug to a black bug to try for gills. The other rod had a nymph experiment I have been trying. Peacock sword tail, dubbing body, feather wing case and dubbing for the thorax.

I decided to try the nymph first, just to see how it might work. The wind was coming at me about 10 degrees to my right side. The other thing that I see is that the wind has been blowing long enough that the water is discolored for about 15 feet of shore. This might be an attractant for fish to come in and feed.

On my second back cast I catch a weed. This is hard to do as there is only about a five-foot wide strip of weeds behind me. The rest of the areas had been mowed and baled. I have to put the rod down and follow the line back to find the fly. It is wrapped around the stem about five times and the point is in the stem. I get this undone and carry the fly and line back to where I am fishing.

My next cast is fairly decent. The fly gets out about 35 feet and I let it settle a little. As I am bringing it in I feel a little tap, but I miss the fish. In my haste to get another cast out there I wrap the line around the rod as I bring it forward. I have loops of line everywhere and going in every direction. I look at this mess, contemplate my abilities or lack there of, and start undoing the mess. I don't think you can visualize the mess I had. After about five minutes of twisting and turning line I get everything back the way it should be.

I cast out again, a fairly decent cast and let the fly drop. As I bring the fly in, I feel some resistance and set the hook. I have a nice three foot long aquatic weed. This is not the first weed I have ever caught and it will not be the last.

On my next cast I hook my hat. I sure am glad it was not my skull. I get the hook out and cast again. This time the wind catches the line and it drops about 15 feet in front of me, I am back to normal. I start to bring it in to cast again and I have a gill on the line. This fish has taken the fly very deeply and I have to use my forceps to get it out. But I caught a fish.

My next cast wraps around the rod again. When I got it untangled, I decided to try the other rod. It has a little faster action and a different line on it. It must be the rod and not my casting skills that are at fault. I cast this fly and everything goes as planned. It goes out about 40 feet and I let the fly drop. I have moved it about five feet when there is a solid thump and I have a nice 16" bass on the line. I think I have it going now.

My next cast catches a weed and I have to go looking for the fly again. This one is worse, I managed to loop the line around a couple of other weeds before it was snarled in the last weed. I am not sure how I did this, but I am sure not many people have the talent. I do get everything undone and get back to the shore. I pause to review everything I am supposed to do to cast, not what I have been doing. This was the time to try to relax a little and maybe not try so hard.

My next three casts all wound around the fly rod. The last one was more of a side arm cast and it still hit the rod. I figured that it really was not my day. I untangled the line and got everything situated to leave the pond. I don't know what I was doing differently, but it sure was not working and I did not want to get it set in the muscles.

I hope that this was just a weird day for me. If my fly fishing goes like this in the future then I may end up on a couch or in an institution. It does not do great things for your confidence.

I hope that you have never had a day like this, or that you ever do have a day like this.

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

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