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Slow Noon Hours

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

The weather has turned hot. The highs get into the 90's. I know this is not hot for some of you, but this kid grew up in Alaska, so the heat still gets to me. That means by the time I get out at my lunch hour it is hot. This is not good for the fishing.

We had some storms come by on July 3, but they did not drop much rain on us. There was a good windstorm associated with the front going through. What it did was to blow all of the algae to one side of the settling pond. That means there was no cover for the fish to hide under near the weeds.

The water is also clearing. I can see down about four feet into the pond now. That means flies will be more visible to the fish. That also means that the fish may be deeper as the sunlight can penetrate deeper into the water.

I decide to try a gilly on one rod and keep the Hares Ear type fly on the other. I want to know if the attractor type flies are going to start working better. I know from catching a lot of salad in this pond that I will need to cast from 10 to 2 in front of the culvert to stay in the deeper water. This will let me fish the breakline on each side of the pond and find if fishing might be suspending out from the shore.

Nothing works really well for the week. I try different flies and different presentations. I get a fish here and there. One of the problems might be that I am not getting out far enough. The water is up to the culvert. If the water was lower I could go out about another 8 to 10 feet. That added distance might make the difference. That sure does sound like a great reason (excuse?) for the fish not taking the flies.

One thing that I am not seeing is the schools of minnows that I saw last week. I don't know if they are gone or it they have moved to other places in the pond. I suspect that they might have moved as I saw some bass exploding on something on the north and south sides of the pond. I think the minnows might have gone there for protection. I don't go to those places over my lunch hour. It is not helpful to a long, happy life.

I get a few fish each day, but I am not able to establish a pattern of what the fish are doing at all. My guess is that I am catching fish that are moving around the pond in search of food. I think that most of them are out in the deeper water.

It is Friday so I decided it is time to try some surface bugs. I certainly cannot do any worse that I have been with the flies that are subsurface. I go with a black popping bug.

It is all black: one quarter inch diameter body, black rubber legs and two black feathers for the tail with a few strands of thick black flash material between the feathers. There is another black hackle feather wrapped around the hook just behind the body. My thought was that black might show up better on the surface of the pond.

I cast it out and let it set for a long time. By my watch it was almost five minutes. I do wear a watch over my lunch hour or I would be late back to work. I was just getting ready to move the popper when it was gently inhaled. I waited until the line tightened and then sat the hook. I had a bass that was about 14 inches long on the line. She did not like the idea of being hooked. She jumped several times before I got her to the shore. But it was fun to have her on the line.

Since that had worked I decided to try a retrieve where I popped the bug every few seconds. I wondered if this might trigger another fish. I had retrieved the popper back in about halfway when a huge green sunfish took it. This was a fun fish to catch. What an attitude about being hooked.

I did not have much time left at the pond so I decided to make one more cast and retrieve the fly in steadily. Would a third retrieve style result in a third fish? Hope always springs eternal with a fisherman. I had moved the fly about five feet when the water erupted. I did the "God Save the Queen," before I set the hook. This was another nice bass. She was about 18 inches long and as fat as a pig. I had managed to hook her in the side of the mouth, so she was easy to release.

The top water season may be starting here. I will try again next week.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick Written July 16, 2007

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