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Downhill for 3 Days

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

It was a week of great difference in fishing over my lunch hour. It started out great and then went downhill. But that is getting far ahead of the story.

I went out Tuesday and it was a nice day. About 60 degrees with a light wind. There was someone at the settling pond so I went to the main lake. I wish folks would understand that the spot at the culvert on the settling pond is mine over the lunch hour when I am at my second office. I have tried to get them to put up a sign stating that, but I have not been successful thus far.

I went out on the end of the jetty, off the parking lot. Then I went to the northeast corner to start fishing. I know that about 40 feet out, just to the left of the traffic sign across the lake is a brush pile. Many times there are a few fish that are hanging out around this brush pile. It becomes a contest of deciding how long the fly can drop before it gets snagged in the brush.

I try to make the first few casts over the top of the pile to see if there are any fish there. If not I then start to cast to the sides of the pile and see if they are suspending along the sides of the pile.

Most of the time the top of the brush pile is about six feet under the surface. I do have to watch the lake levels as they can vary and those are the times that I can lose a fly or two.

I made the first cast and let the fly drop. I had just started moving the fly when I felt a little resistance and had a crappie on the line. I did not see the line move at all, but the fish had taken the fly. I almost had the fish in, when I heard a familiar voice: "Swing it around and I will take it off the hook." It was one of the old geezers.

He took the fish off and I made another cast. Again the fly had moved just a little and I had another crappie on the line. They seemed to be up above the pile and would take the fly just after it stopped dropping. Or maybe they took it on the drop and I just did not feel anything until I started to retrieve. I am not sure which was going on, but in either case, I was catching some fish.

I continued to do this and got twelve crappie, three bluegill, and a small bass before I had to head back to work. The old geezer was happy to get them also.

Thursday was another matter. The wind had come up. I went out to the lake again, but I could not cast far enough into the wind to get out to the brush pile. Every cast was about five feet short of where it needed to go. I will need to practice, even more than I did over this lunch hour to get better at this. I did go around the lake to where the swimming/boathouse is. I went out on a jetty there, but I don't know as much about the lake there as I do at the other end.

In my casting with the wind I did manage to catch two little bluegills. That is all the time I had to spend there as it is a longer trip to get back to the office.

Friday, I did head out to the lake but did not get out of the truck. The wind was blowing at gale force, it was raining and there were flashes of lightning all around. Not the best of conditions to be out waving a graphite stick in the air. I decided that I would wait until another day to try my luck again.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick (Written November 18, 2006)

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