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Post Downpour

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa
Thursday night we had a good downpour. We received about 2.5 inches of rain. Great for the garden but lousy to get into fishing ponds. Even with Friday I knew that many of the ponds were out of the question because of the low spots.

I still headed out Saturday morning as I know there are a few ponds that have gravel roads right up to them. It is a blessing to have so many places to go fishing.

I got to the pond and got the canoe ready. I did changes from the midges I had used the week before. The water was up and off color from the rain we had Thursday. I went with a black leech pattern and with a red and yellow Skip Morris Panfish (see Ricks Favorite Bluegill flies in the archives). I got out into the pond and started casting.

I was not having much luck. I had a few light hits and then nothing. After about 15 minutes it was time to change. I put on a white leech made with boa yarn, since black had not worked. I put on a Cyperts minnow (See Ricks Favorite crappie flies) with chartreuse chenille on the sides on.

I tried the Cyperts Minnow first. I know that one of the trees in this pond has a limb that sticks out about 10 feet to the north about 2 feet under water. Many times, when the water is turbid there will be some crappie around this spot. I cast out past it and brought the fly back. I had something tap it a few times, but just not take it. Things are getting more promising, but time to try the other fly.

I cast this white leech out and let it drop for a short time and then slowly started retrieving it. Just after it must have passed the limb it got hammered. I had a nice crappie on the line. This fish went about 11 inches long and was very thick. I decided if one cast was good then another might just work as well. No such luck. I brought it back at the same place and the same way, but no more fish. I cast about 5 feet to the south side and tried again. Again when it was near the limb it got hammered. It was the twin of the first crappie.

I am beginning to see that there might be a pattern here. I cast 5 feet to the other side and it is a repeat of the same thing. But now I have used up the limb. I decide to try casting on the other side of the tree. As the fly nears the tree it gets hammered again. I have my fourth crappie that came from the same mold.

Now it is time to dare some. I cast the fly so it will come through the top of the branches of the tree. There are seven of them sticking up out of the water. As I bring the fly into the tree top it get hammered again. This time it is a bass that decides to spend more time in the air than in the water. I do manage to land this fish and she is about 16 inches long.

I figure this tree is finished with all that noise and I move to the next stickup in the water. I cast the fly to one side of a stickup and get another strike when it is near the tree. In fact I get a fish to hit every time the fly is near the wood on either side of the stickup. It is only one fish to the side, but I can live with that with the dozen or so trees in the pond.

I did try other flies, but they did not work. I even tried a yellow leech from boa type yarn and that did not work. White was the color.

At this point another truck drove up and the guys launched a boat. As soon as they saw I was catching fish they came right over and parked between me and the tree. I moved and caught one fish before they moved in the way again.

I asked them if they realized how rude this was. They informed me that I could preform a sexual act with myself. I decided that it was time to leave. I had been having a fun morning and I did not want them to ruin it.

I got the canoe over and up the launch area. I had the rods in the pick up and the canoe on top of the truck. I was tying it down when the guys came up and wanted to know what I had been using. I finished tying the canoe down and told them it was a fly.

When they asked which one, I said the one I was using. One of them said that I, "Was not too helpful." I told them that when they behaved the way they had that I would not help them at all. I would not give them any information or help.

At this point a conservation office drove up. I waved him down and told him what had happened. He told them that their behavior was legal, but very rude. They said tough luck. I said that I was leaving as this is not something I wanted to put up with.

When the two guys griped about this, the officer told them that it was legal for me to leave and that it was not rude. He even said that he would block them for about 10 minutes so I could be well on my way.

I headed home and thought about the morning. I still want to put it on the side of a good day. I figured out how to catch the fish and caught some of them. I did not get to stay as long as I wanted, but that is always true. I still want to keep it on that good day side.

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

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