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North and South

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
I went out on Thursday and Friday at noon to fish the lake over my lunch hour. Thursday the wind was out of the south and Friday out of the north.

Thursday I decided to fish the north end of the settling pond. I figured any warm water would have been pushed there. I tried several flies and nothing was working. I decided to put on a PTN that I have been laying with. I have dyed pheasant tails 6 colors and also have a golden pheasant tail to use. This gives me 8 colors to use on a fly. Here is a picture of it.

I tied this fly on, thinking that the fish might be looking for more realistic types of flies than most of the attractor type flies that I had been showing them. I let the fly drop and slowly started to bring it in. I had moved the fly about four feet when I saw the end of the fly line stop.

I set the hook and had a nice gill on the line. I continued to do this and would get a gill every few minutes. I tied a regular PTN on the other line and cast it. I did not get a single fish on this. I ran out of time before I ran out of fish and had to head back to the office to work.

On Friday I went back to this pond. The wind was out of the north so I decided to fish the south side of the pond. I went with the colored PTN again. The first fish I caught was a small bass, about 12 inches long. I then picked up a few gills by fishing the fly very slowly. I would move the fly about an inch every 8 to 10 seconds. I was using an unweighted fly so that helps.

I made several casts with no success. As I was retrieving the fly on the last cast, I had the line slowly start to go down in the water column. I figured that I had caught some algae off the bottom. As I continued to move the fly the line went deeper. I set the hook, figuring that there might be a fish on the line.

There was a good size bass on the line and did not like the idea of being hooked. I also realized that I had 6X tippet on this rod so there was no way to horse the fish. I began to play this fish very carefully. The fish helped by heading out for deeper water and I moved down the bank to match the fish. We played some tug-of-war for a fair amount of time before I could exert some control over this fish. I would get her in close and then she would go back out again.

I finally got her into a place where I could slip her up on the shore. She measured 21 inches long. I removed the hook and returned her to the pond to fight another day.

I did try a few more casts but I think there had been too much commotion and the fish were not interested.

It was interesting that the fish seemed to follow the warmer water more than they did structure. The north shore has a small flat with a drop off. The drop is about 2 feet and then a gentle slope out. The south bank is a gentle slope from the edge of the pond out. On both days I did try the opposite side of the pond with no success.

I am going to play with these colored PTN to see if they out fish the regular PTN over this summer.

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

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