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Snow Storm Fishing

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

It was snowing on Tuesday when lunch time came around. There was a slight wind, but it was time and the lake was open. As long as the ice is off the water it is time to go. I had to stop twice and take the wet snow off my wipers so I could really see where I was going.

I got out to the lake and decided that I needed to fish the main lake and near the culvert where I had been last week. There is a fairly steep drop off there and I thought the fish might still be suspending out there. In any case it is a place to start.

I decided to try the yellow fly again. I cast it out and let it drop for a count of 10. I then started to very slowly retrieve it in. The fly had not moved very far when I felt the weight and tied into a nice crappie. This fish decided to head for China. She stayed down the whole time I was bringing her in. She was a 10-inch crappie, which is good size for this lake. I returned her to the water.

I cast out in the same general area and went through the same routine again. The fly had come in closer to the shore before I felt the next bite. I knew it was a bluegill as soon as the didos started. This fish cut around and did everything it could to not get closer to shore. When I finally got it close enough to land, I was really surprised. This fish was 11 3/4 inches long and fat like a football. I have not seen many of these in this lake. I returned her to the lake to spawn next spring.

My next cast was caught by the wind, and maybe some poor technique, and landed about 30 feet to the side of where I aimed it. It was also closer to shore than I meant it to be. Still, I thought it better to retrieve the line in some that to try to pick it all up and probably louse everything up.

I had not moved the fly very far when the freight train hit it. This fish was hooked before I knew what was going on. When the fish could not go away from me easily, she turned and headed for the middle of the lake. I was not sure what I had on the line so I did not put a lot of pressure on the fish. I slowly gained line as the fish swam around out in the lake. I finally got the fish close to shore and saw the biggest crappie I have hooked in this lake. This fish went 14 inches long and was very broad from side to side. Yes I did toy with keeping her but had no way to really take care of her so she is swimming in the lake.

I had just released her and had the next cast out, when a truck pulled up along the road. The driver rolled down the windows and told me that the fish were not biting. I would have to wait until the ice formed on the lake and then ice fish for them, or wait for the spawn next spring.

I will admit that it felt good to feel that tap on the line and set the hook on another fish. I brought this one in and held the fly that was in the corner of the fish's mouth. I turned around and told him that he might need to inform the fish. I then released this fish and cast out again.

He told me that he felt that fish was a fluke and that I would not catch any more. The line felt heavy as I set the hook on another nice crappie. I did not even turn around and say anything. I just released the fish and cast out again. I caught three more fish while he was sitting there. He did not say anything, but finally drove off.

At this point my hands were getting numb and I decided to head back to the office to warm them up. The hands have to function to be able to spin the dials and do other things with patients. Not bad for just over half an hour of fishing in mid November.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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