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Rude, Rude, Rude

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

It is Easter Week. I spent the Palm Sunday weekend in continuing education. The weather was a little cool and it was raining. I would have stood on the edge of a pond and cast, but there was not time with the hours I had to spend in class.

I came home and expected to have halfway decent weather this week. That is not what happened. Mother Nature pulled a nasty trick on all of us in the upper Midwest.

I headed out to the lake to try on the Tuesday lunch hour. The temperature was about 40 degrees with a 20-mph wind blowing. I was at the settling pond and was casting over the flat at the north end of the pond. That way I would have the wind behind me. Not that it did any good to be there.

See the little waves?

I tried several different flies. I even went to some weighted ones that I cast out near the culvert so that I would be covering deeper water. I can tell you that the alga is growing on the bottom. I did manage to get a fair amount of salad in, but no fish to go with it.

On my lunch hour

Thursday was another day, and hope springs eternal. I was out again over the lunch hour. This time the temperatures were in the mid 30-degree range. The wind was about 30 mph from the north. On top of that, the worst thing, other people were fishing the place that is reserved for me.

Don't they know that the settling pond is my place for about the next five or six weeks? Am I going to have to make signs and put them up? It is time to look for another place to try.

I decide to go farther around the lake and see if I can fish the other jetties near the bait house. The wind would be at my back. The hill might block some of the wind also. I am getting ready to take the rods out of the back of the pickup, when three county trucks pull into the parking area. One of the guys in the trucks comes over to tell me that they are going to do some controlled burns in the area.

Being a little dense, at times, I ask why are they doing burns in the wind? His reply is that they have a lot of dead trees that need to be burned and they can control the flames better by having the wind blow. They start the fires and have them move northward into the wind. When the flames hit some of the brush they cut previously, it flames quickly and is gone. The sparks do not go far enough to cause any trouble. At least that is what they told me.

I left as I did not think that I wanted to be in all the smoke that would come from this. I could see a huge cloud of smoke as I headed away from the area. So no fishing for the day.

I headed out Friday. Hope is still springing, to see what I might be able to do. When I got to the lake, it was wild. There were a lot of whitecaps on the lake. The wind was blowing 35 mph. The temperature was 28 degrees. Mother Nature was being very rude. I did make two casts, but could not really control the line the way that I like to. I gave up and drove around to see how the burn had gone.

The area that they burned looks really good. What had been a very dense area of brush is now open. This will be more usable for the people that camp there. While I was there, a friend came by and told me that the one thing they would have to watch in the area is for poison ivy. They found a lot of it and had cut it and then sprayed the roots. They may have to spray again this spring.

I am very happy that I was not in the smoke as that burned.

Hope you can get out on the water. (And have better luck than I did this week). ~ Rick

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