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Pure White

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
It turned out that I was not able to get out until Sunday afternoon. But it was a nice afternoon until I got to the pond. Then the wind picked up to about 30 mph. That meant that I was using the 6/7 weight rod that I had brought along just in case.

After getting the canoe loaded and launched I started off with the black leech I had used the week before. No such luck. Not a single strike. I changed to a couple of other flies and had no luck with them. I went through several of my favorites and nothing happened. Time to try the flies that I usually don't use.

Since the black leech fly had not worked, I decided to start at the other end of the spectrum and tie on an all white fly. I had tied it like a Marabou Miss but all in white on a size 8 hook.

I cast this fly out toward where I know a stump is. The fly had barely hit the water when the gill engulfed it. No setting the hook just holding on and trying to get the fish away from the stump. I finally got the fish out from the stump and up to the canoe. A nice bull gill that had the hook way down his throat. I had to use forceps to get the hook out so this fish went into the fish basket.

I cast back into the same area and had another gill hammer the fly. This fish must have taken the fly on the run, because he was hooked in the lip. Now it seemed that I might be onto something. I cast toward the stump again and nothing happened.

I started casting up and down the shore line. There seemed to be a gill or bass about every 5 feet or so along the shore. They sure did like the white-colored fly. There was no doubt about the strike. They just hammered the fly.

As you know, I am a crappie fanatic and decided to fish further out from shore to see if I might get some crappie. I know, on this pond, that about 20 feet out from shore there is a sloping drop that goes to about 6 feet deep from about 2.5 feet over about 6 feet of distance. I decided to cast along the middle of the slope first to see if there were any fish in the area.

I cast about 15 feet and let the fly drop. There was a flash of silver and the line was tight. My mind yelled, CRAPPIE, and I started to fight the fish. After about 10 to 15 seconds the fish was off. The mind yelled, NO.

I tried again with a slightly longer cast. The same thing happened. Iwould see the fish flash, the line would tighten and then the fish would be off. If I tried to strike to set the hook better then the fish was off immediately.

I knew that I was hooking the crappie in the thin part of their mouth. This is supposed to happen later in the year, not now. But still if you don't hook them you can't land them. I tried other flies but nothing worked like the white fly.

I finally did manage to land two crappie, but both were hooked in the thin membrane on the side of the mouth. Lucky for me it was close to the front of the mouth and then hook slide up to that point and held the fish.

I have come up with an idea of how to make flies that lay horizontal. I just need to get some barbell eyes and then start experimenting to see how the flies have to be put together. I will have to play with different size barbell eyes to see which work better. I should get this done within the next month.

I did end up with 37 gills going home, tossed 7 that were from 11 to 12 inches back in, released several bass and my two lonely crappie. Still, it was fun to be out.

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

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