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A Kid Learning

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I went out to the lake again Thursday during my lunch hour. The crappie are in on the main lake, but not like they have been before. I usually can see a lot of fish tucked up near the shore and that has just not happened yet. They are out from the shore a little ways, but they still seem to be numerous.

As I got to the lake, I saw that there were folks on the far jetty. The jetty near the parking lot had two people on it and another car was turning into the parking lot right behind me. I decided that I would fish the rip-rap along the road.

I was just getting out of the pickup when I heard someone tell the people on the jetty that they had to leave. I looked over and saw that it was a grandma with her grandson that had been on the jetty when we got there. I got back in the pick up and drove to the parking lot. I grabbed my rods and walked out to near the two folks being told to leave the jetty.

They were starting to pick their chairs and other things up, when I told them that they did not have to leave. One of the guys who came to the jetty later objected to that. I told him that they were here first and I did not see a sign that said that this was his land and no one else could be there.

I told him that I had decided that I was going to fish at this place also. I have a tendency to not make the best responses to obnoxious people.

They did gripe about my staying there, but moved to the end of the jetty. I stayed with the other two folks and asked how they had been doing. Grandma said they had not caught anything. She stated that she knew what a fishing pole was and that was the extent of her fishing knowledge. She was out because her great grandson wanted to go fishing.

I asked if she might like a little help. She was happy to have someone try to make that happen. I looked at his fishing rod and realized that we were in deep trouble. He had what looked like to be about 20 lb test on the reel. The lure was a 3-inch Rapala Minnow bait. Not the best thing to go after 8 inch crappie with.

I decided that it was time for a quick fly-fishing lesson, mainly because what I know about casting can be taught very quickly. I showed him how to hold the line and to make a strip. I also showed him how to hold the line and fly rod to do a hook set. He tried to cast, but that was not progressing very fast.

The executive decision was made and I cast the fly out for him and then handed him the rod. I then cast another fly out near his and had him retrieve at the same speed I was. Thank goodness for some aggressive fish. As he brought the fly in a crappie decided to take and it should go to the middle of the lake. Another executive decision was made and I had him reel the fish in. He was so excited that he was just not getting the line in at all any other way.

He did get the fish in and we got it into their bucket. I continued to cast out for him and he got the idea of moving the fly slowly. He hooked several more fish and was having a blast. He even got to the point where he was starting to strip in a little line before he put them on the reel.

He really got excited when we both had a fish on the line. He knew that it was called a double as he had watched some shows on TV. As much fun as he was having, I noticed that great grandma was looking fairly happy also. She was glad to see him having so much fun.

All good things must come to an end. I had to head back to the office to take care of those pesky patients that get in the way of fishing. Just as we were picking up to leave another guy showed up at the jetty. He fishes out there a lot also and is a nice guy.

He knew this lady and asked what was going on. She explained that they had been fishing and I had helped them catch some fish. She also said that the boys parents were going through a divorce and he seemed to be a pawn in that process. That is why he is staying with her. He told her that he would go with them and clean the fish for them. I thought that was a neat thing.

It was fun to help someone catch their first fish and to have so much fun doing it. It was a fun time out at the lake today.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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