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Stevenson I


Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

This was the first time I had fished this pond this year. I hiked in earlier in the year, but the water was way too dirty to fish. I have tried this pond before with dirty water and I never caught anything.

This is the first area I fished. Anything close to the weeds resulted in small bass, from about four inches to around a foot long. They were in tight relating to the weeds.

I had six rods out with me. All 3 wt or 5wt rods in various lengths. I had on a silver Goldie Jr. a Marabou Miss, a streamer nymph, a perch-a-bou, a black marabou leech, and a Crease fly. I tried all of the flies at various times.

Some of them caught fish while they were running very shallow in the water column and some of the other flies had to be very deep. There was no real set pattern to fishing on this day. The only thing is the fly had to be moving very slowly. A fast retrieve was ignored.

The best area I had to fish was the shallower third of the pond.

The bay you see in the picture above is full of lily pads. There is also a pondweed that grows about a foot under the water that comes out about 15 feet from the shore. It is not a solid mass of weeds, but has numerous channels of open water through them. Every time I fish this area the channels get widened a little from all the weeds I hook.

From the tree on the left side of the picture to the right edge is a great place to fish. Most of the water where the weeds are is about four feet deep. Then there is an abrupt drop to about six feet. The bottom then slopes out to about nine feet deep in the center of the pond. The near side starts at about two feet deep and just slopes out to the center of the pond.

The wind was from the west (right side of the picture). I put the front anchor down on the canoe and cast into the wind. That means I started on the left and worked my way to the right. I always do a series of casts. The first is toward the center of the pond. I want to know if any random fish are there. Each cast then moves in toward the weeds at about half hour intervals on the clock. The first casts are about 15 feet.

If a fish hits on any of the casts then I cast back into the area again. The crappie in this pond always seem to be swimming in a school. I want to try for a few out of each school each time. I will also change flies to see if that will interest another fish or two.

Fishing through the weeds is always an experience. I tend to catch more salad than I do fish, but there always seems to be a few fish up in the weeds. I really think they are up in the weeds looking for food. I know if I see a lily pad move when a fly lands near that pad, most of the time that results in a fish.

After the 15 foot casts, I do a series of casts starting at about 20 feet. I go though most of the same area. But this time I will try different retrieves. The retrieves on the 15-foot casts are a short slow strip of a few inches and then a three second pause. I want to give the fish a chance to respond to flies moving different ways. I might pick up a few more fish by doing this.

I was keeping an eye on the sky, as I knew we had a storm coming in. There is a long uphill from this pond to get out of the field. It is not fun to try to get out on wet grass.

It started to get darker and I left. This was long before I wanted to stop, as if I ever want to stop, but I did not want to get stuck.

I did end up with fourteen nice crappie, from 9 to 12 inches long. They did make some fine eating.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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