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Lower Pond

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

It is Saturday morning again. Time to head for a pond. We had some very heavy rain at he end of the week. Many of the ponds are not approachable. The low spots are full of water and the rest of the ground is muddy. That makes it hard to get in and out of them. There always seem to be those uphill places that must be driven over. When the clayish soil gets wet it is very slick.

This limited the ponds that I could head to. So I went for the game preserve in Ringold County. It is rock road right up to the ponds and the boat launch areas are rocked also. This means I can drive to the pond and launch the canoe easily. I will not have to transport it a long distance.

There were two camper trailers parked at the upper pond. I decided the lower pond might be a better place to fish. I did not want to be accused of waking anyone up. I got the canoe loaded with everything and pulled it to the waters edge. It is nice at this pond that they keep the grass cut for about 12 feet on each side of the boat launch. This makes it easy to launch the canoe.

I knew that this would be a fairly tough day to catch any fish. I lost sight of a white boa yarn leech fly after it had dropped about eight inches in the water. I know that fish see better in water than we do, but the fly was going to have to be very near the fish before they would see it. I hope that we will get out of this gully washer syndrome soon. A nice gentle rain would be nice. It does not wash as much stuff into the pond.

I apologize for forgetting my camera. This pond has as many stickups in it as the upper pond does. I hoped that some fish might be around them. I headed out near the first ones and dropped anchor. There was enough wind blowing to make this a necessity. In fact, there was enough wind that both anchors went down to make it easier to cast. The canoe did not swing around then.

I had four fly rods in the canoe with me. I had the white boa yarn leech on one, the black legged bug on another, a gilly on the third and the peacock sword tail nymph variation on the fourth. This time the fly body was from an emu feather and not the ostrich herl. It tends to push a little more water this way.

None of them worked as I went around some of the stick-ups. I fished shallow, deep, close to the wood and away from the wood. All sorts of retrieves were tried. The fish were not there or they did not like what was being placed in front of them. It was time to change tactics.

From fishing this pond before I know that the west shore of this pond has water about three to four feet deep out about 12 feet, for the two thirds of the pond away from the dam. It was time to see if the fish could see the flies in this shallower water.

There are also several places along this shoreline where pondweeds are growing. From previous weeks I wondered if some fish might not be tucked up in these weeds, as the water was probably a little clearer. I am a creature of habit. If something works on one pond then it is worth trying when I go to other ponds that have the same sort of conditions present.

I tried the gilly first and it did not produce any fish. The white boa yarn leech did not produce any fish. I am beginning to think that I need to use a dark fly and keep it shallow. Maybe the fish will see this against the sky and go for it. This seems to be ogical thinking to me, I did it.

The black legged was the next to be tried. This fly resulted in some bluegills taking it. I used an un-weighted one so it would not drop as fast and could be moved slower. All of the fish hit the fly while it was within about six feet of shore. I don't know why, but that is where the fly stayed most of the time. I did get several bass on this fly also.

There is one place where a tree hangs out over the pond. I caught two nice crappie in this area. I think they were in the shade of the tree and thus were in the shallow water. They did not seem to be anywhere else. If that was not the reason then they were thumbing their noses at me.

The wind had been slowly increasing all day. It was getting very hard to cast and I decided that it was time to leave.

It was a fairly nice day to be out. After cleaning the fish, I got my garden weeded and some more things mulched. All in all it was a productive day.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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