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Zero for Twenty-two

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I went out over my lunch hour to the lake again. The time to do this is getting short. It is the Middle of November and the lakes are still open. But I will take advantage of the days that I have to do this.

When I got out to the lake, the wind was out of the south at about 10 mph. I decided to fish the settling pond again. I had a black boar yarn leech and a grey peacock sword tail grub on the two rods. The third rod I am repairing as the line guides were breaking through the thread wraps.

I cast out with the black leech first. I let this fly drop for several seconds and then started a very slow retrieve. I had moved the fly about 10 feet when the line twitched. The fish was very fast or I was very slow, but I did not hook the fish. I retrieved on in and did not have another fish hit the fly.

I cast out again and went through the same process. Letting the fly drop for several seconds and then retrieving it very slowly. The fly was staying down about three feet under the surface. I would move the fly about one inch and then pause for a few seconds. If the fish were deeper, I wanted the fly to stay in their window of vision long enough for them to be able to come up and get it.

I had moved the fly about eight feet this time when the fly was tapped again. Again I missed the fish.

I tried this again and when the fly had moved about 8 to 10 feet a fish would tap the fly and be gone. I tried doing false strikes and that did not work. I switched to a smaller fly and that resulted in no strikes. I went back to the bigger fly. I tried other flies and that did not change things.

I did shorten the cast about five feet and then got fish to hit after moving the fly a shorter distance.

Not that this helped me hook any of them. It was one tap and then nothing. I watched carefully to see where this was happening and then started casting to that spot.

I would let the fly drop and then start the retrieve. The fish would tap the fly and that would be it. Just a little nick and then nothing more. It seemed if I got out of the little area then the fish would not follow the fly.

I changed to other black leech flies, to see if that would help. I got the same little nick and then nothing. I even put a popper and size 20 black midge dropper on and cast that out. I think the fished tapped it but noting more happened.

By this time I need to head back to the office. I had been keeping track and had fish hit on every cast, but had hooked none of them. Thus, the title.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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