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Redemption on Tuesday

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I headed out to the lake on the Tuesday after my great fun fund of casting on Saturday. There was some of this 'getting back up on the bicycle after you have fallen off thing' going on. Besides that it is a habit that I don't want to break to spend part of my lunch hour moving a fly back and forth in the wind before putting it in the water to tempt a fish.

I decided to try the settling pond first and see what might be happening there. There was barely a breeze and the water was very flat. This day started better as the first cast went about 40 feet without much effort on my part. I usually make shorter casts first, but I wanted to know if I still had the ability or if Saturday was continuing. But the flies turned over nicely and the lines landed gently on the water. Isn't it nice when things like that happen after a bad day?

I had moved the fly a few feet when the line felt heavy. I set the hook and had a fish on. It was a crappie, of all things. One of the old geezers pulled up and said that he was there to get supplied with fish. I told him he could have this one and it might be the only one that I caught.

I cast out in that general area again and had another fish hit the fly while it was dropping. This was another crappie. It is toward the end of June, and the middle of the day, and crappie are shallow and hitting the fly near the surface. They must do this just to drive me crazy.

But if it is working then try it again. I caught nine more crappie by fishing over the area I can reach on this pond. I lost several more fish that were not hooked well. At this point everything stopped in this pond. I changed flies, but there was not interest shown by the fish.

I was curious to check something out and headed over to the main lake. The flat I like to fish is only about 100 feet from where I fish the settling pond so it does not take long to change locations. I wondered if their might be a few bluegills along this area. I cast out and had fish hitting the fly, but I could not hook anything. I went to a size 18 hares ear type fly with a very small bead head on it. I was moving this fly in very slowly. I had hopes that this would look like some sort of bug involved in a hatch. The fly had moved a little ways when I saw the end of the line twitch. I set the hook and had a bluegill that wanted nothing to do with the hook and line that was attached to it. He put a nice bend in the rod as he stayed broadside to the pressure all the way into the shore.

I cast out again about five feet from the previous cast and again retrieved the fly slowly. Another bluegill decided that this fly looked like food and took it. He took it in a rush as the line moved sideways to let me know that he liked the fly. It was another nice little tussle getting him into the shore.

I continued to cast about every five feet along the shore and got a nice bluegill on almost every cast. I think that I missed a few, because I did not realize that they had taken the fly. But they were great fun to catch. I ended up getting 13 bluegills along this flat. That made a nice batch of fish for the old geezer to take home and share with his friends.

I went back out on Thursday and Friday over the noon hour and did not have as much success. The fish would hit the fly, but the takes were subtle. I had to cast cross wind to get to where the fish were and by the time they hit the fly there was too much bow in the line.

I am trying to learn to mend the line in the wind, but it is still a work in progress to get that done. But it was still fun to be out at the lake. I did get some work in casting with my left hand on all three days. There is still some work to do on this, but I am gaining, very little by very little.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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