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Anything Goes Saturday

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I went out this past Saturday, June 4, to a pond that I don't get to often. The renters of the land change every year and some just don't want me to go to the pond. This year is a person who does not mind if I get to the pond.

Friday night as I was loading everything up, I decided I needed to try some of my other flies. I have been using the Boa Yarn Leech so much that sometimes I just don't get around to the other flies. I needed to prove to myself that they could still work.

I opened the box and pulled out four flies and tied them on the rods. I closed my eyes and put my hand in the box and that is how the flies were chosen to be on the rods. So everything was tied on and waiting to hit the pond.

I woke up earlier than normal, but I was wide awake and decided to head out to the pond at that time. This meant that I would have about another hour to fish if I wanted to.

I was at the pond at 5:15 in the morning. I could see the swirls of fish and hear that wonder sucking sound that gills make as they take something off the surface. I got everything loaded and moved the canoe near the shore. I grabbed a rod and cast the fly out. I had a grey Peacock Sword Tail nymph (see Rick's favorites in the panfish archives) on the rod. The fly had just hit the water when the line tightened and I was into the first bluegill of the day.

This was a nice fat, sassy gill that wanted to get into the weeds and algae at the side of the pond.

The fish succeeded in that and I had to launch the canoe to get out to where the fish was stuck in all the stuff to get it out. I decided that if it worked once then it would work again and cast the fly about three feet from the edge of the weeds and started to retrieve it. A foot-long bass decided to annihilate this fly.

On almost every cast I was getting a fish to hit the fly. After I had caught 10 fish on the fly I decided to change to another rod and see what that fly might do. This rod had the Gilly fly( in the archives also) on it. It took 12 casts to catch the 10 fish on this fly. I just was not ready the for the one fish that hit the fly just after it hit the water. I do that at times and I know better than to not be ready.

Time to go to the third fly. This was an olive bugger type fly with three sets of yellow rubber hackle legs at the front. This fly took ten fish in ten casts. The fish just hammered this fly every time it went in the water. It took nine good size gills and a bass about 18 inches long.

It was time to go to the fourth fly. This was a Suspending Nymph (in the archives also). It was an orange colored one, because that color works very well at times. I will tell you that the bass really like the orange color. All ten fish that I caught on this fly were bass. The largest was about 14 inches long.

It was time to change to another four flies and see what might happen. I tied on a beetle with a red ice chenille body under the foam. I went with a small popping bug on the second rod. The third rod got a Streamer Nymph and the fourth rod got a Perch-a-bou (in the archives). I wanted to take a shot at getting some crappie.

All four of these flies again took fish on almost every cast. I caught a lot of bass and a good number of huge gills. About every third gill I caught was more than 10 inches long with many in the neighborhood of a foot in length. All of those large gills are still swimming in the pond.

I decided to tie on a few different leech patterns for the third go around of flies. I had a marabou leech, a crow feather leech, a boa yarn leech and a coot feather leech on the rods. I was curious as to whether one of them would work better.

My experience was that they all worked well. On one cast I had the fly land where I did not want it to go, a normal circumstance for me. It was behind some weeds so I kept the fly up high in the water and managed to bring it over the weeds and stuff without getting anything on it. The fly was about eight inches away from the weeds when a bluegill came up from below and took the fly out of the water in hitting it. He just exploded on it.

Now if this happened once it just might happen again, so I tried it again. It worked time after time. I am not sure how many fish I caught on these flies as I was having so much fun that I forgot to keep count. It fact it was so much fun that I did not change flies again. I just kept dragging the fly just under the surface and letting the fish explode on them.

I finally decided that they were other things that I wanted to get done on Saturday and I had better get home and get them done before it got too hot.

I had 51 fish at home and I know that I returned more than that many large gills and at least that many bass back into the pond. It was one of those glorious days when the fly did not mater the fish just wanted to eat them.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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