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Fun Saturday

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I headed out early Saturday morning. I was on the pond a little after 6:00 am in the morning. The University and High School were both having graduation ceremonies on Sunday. We had invitations to show up at several on Saturday and Sunday. I also wanted to try to get some of the garden planted.

This is a pond that Joe Hyde, Kevin Slater, and AnglerDave, among others have been to.

There is not a gate near the road that blocks driving into the pond. Also where the culvert went under the road that heads to the pond there is a problem. The ice storm this winter broke off a bunch of branches from the trees all over the area. With the spring thaw and the heavy rains a lot of those branches washed down to the culvert. The end got blocked and the water cut another path. There is about a five foot wide opening in the road where the culvert used to be covered. Not the best thing to try to drive across with a pickup.

I was on foot as I headed into this pond. I am sure that the water is clearer in this pond than it might be in several others. The pond is surrounded by pastureland for its whole drainage area.

I get to the pond and start casting to see what might be happening. It seems that there are no fish near the dam. I move down about 30 feet and go through the casting routine again. I pick up two nice bluegills in this area. One of them goes back in the pond as she is near a foot long. But she was great fun to catch and was full of eggs.

I move on down the pond a ways to a place I can cast both ways. I am about half way between two trees that stick out over the pond. I begin by casting fairly near the shore and bringing the fly back to me. The fly is about 10 feet from me when this silver torpedo intercepts it. I have a 7-inch crappie on the line. After landing this fish I cast the opposite direction and let the fly settle a little bit before bringing it back to me. The fly has moved a few feet when another silver torpedo hits it. This fish was going so fast when it hit the fly that the line ended up being tangled in the weeds at the edge of the pond. I still landed this fish as she was hooked so deeply.

This is looking like a fun time in the making. The fish are cooperative and I seem to have found a fly that they like. I cast back into the same area where I caught the first fish.

The fly has just begun to sink in the water when a fish takes it coming up. The head of this crappie comes out of the water as it takes the fly. She is well hooked and I get her into the basket with the other fish.

I continue to cast alternately each way along the shore. The first casts were about 12 to 15 feet long. I always do this so that I have a chance to catch the fish that are closer to me, before I bring a hooked fish through the area where they are. This came from the experience of seeing fish spook out of the shallow water near shore as I brought a hooked fish near them. I just don't have to make long casts to hook the first fish. I would rather do short casts to start with and have a chance at more fish.

I moved on down the bank as the fishing slowed. I was still picking up a fish on about every third cast on average. I had a mixture of crappie, bluegill and bass going on.

Serendipity struck again. I made a cast and managed to hook some grass behind me before the line headed for the pond. That meant that I had a large amount of line in coils not too far from the bank. I will not tell you how often I do that while fishing from the shore. As I was retrieving the line, to make a decent cast, I found a fish on the line. This was a heaver fish than I had had before and I wondered what I might have. When I got the fish close I got excited. I had a huge crappie on the line. This fish was big enough that I slide her over the grass near the bank and did not try to lift her out of the water.

If it works once then try it again. I made a decent cast, short to be in the area, and let the fly drop for a long time. I was near the count of 15 when I saw the line go sideways. I had another huge crappie on the line.

Could history repeat it self? I tired and ended up getting six more crappie out of this area. They were all about a foot long and then the bite ended. I moved on around the pond and found spots that had fish concentrated and then places where they did not seem to want to be.

The wind finally started to really blow. It made casting hard. I decided to head home and get on with some other things. I did get 36 tomato plants in the garden with the cages around them. I got four rows of green beans planted; the purple variety, and then my steam ran out. I have pepper, eggplant, squash, cucumber and okra to go in yet. That will probably be this next weekend.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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