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Stevenson II

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I did something I rarely do, I went back to the same pond for a second week in a row. The field had been mowed and I had not fished all the places on the pond. This was a clear day and we had not had much rain during the week. The chances would be good that the water would be clearer.

This is a corner of the pond I had not fished the previous week. I was worried about weather so I had not fished this area. This was a clear morning, so there was more time to spend on the pond. I had the same six rods with me. Did I mention I really don't like to tie flies on? Also with six rods I can make multiple presentations into the same area in a very short time. In Iowa you can have two lines in the water at a time, but you can have more rods with you than that. This was a court case several years ago.

This is the area I started fishing in. The water goes from about two feet deep and slopes out to about 12 feet deep around 35 feet from the shoreline. That means I make a lot of casts in this area to try to figure out what depth the fish are at or if they are suspending over deeper water.

To prove how dense I can be at times, I did not hook a single fish in this area. I felt I was just hitting the tops of the weeds. It was just a little bit of resistance for a fleeting second. You cannot see the grass that was mowed, but it had started to dry over the week. For a seasonal allergy suffer this meant that my sinuses were working full time.

As happens to me often, a sneeze resulted in my jerking the line. This resulted in a fish being on the line.

I got it near the canoe before I could tell that it was just barely lip hooked. Time to use the net. The hook came out when I got the fish in the net. There are times that things become clear in my head in just a second. The majority of the time it does not happen that fast.

Could it be I was not hitting the weeds, but the fish were just barely mouthing the fly? There was one way to find out. The fly went back out and I waited for that little tap on the line. The fly had not moved far when that happened. It was another crappie that came to the surface. I could see this fish was barely lip hooked. Once to the surface the hook came out.

I tried this a few more times and I got a fish to hit on almost every cast. I lost many more than I ever managed to get into the net. I did change a couple of the flies that I had on.

I read somewhere to tie flies on Aberdeen hooks so the bend is very hear the end of the tail. The fly is the same length, but the hook is longer. This gives a better chance of hooking fish that are hitting short. It is easier for me to do this than to tie a trailer hook on smaller flies.

That did not help any in catching the fish. I got the same number of hits, but lost just as many fish. I tried keeping the tip of the rod near the surface and that did not help. The only time I landed the fish was if they did not come to the surface. If they got up to the surface then that was it. They flipped the hook out.

I was fishing the center area of the pond in this picture. There seemed to be a school of fish that was milling around in this area. There was a strike on almost every ast. I hooked most of them. Most of them also came to he surface and got off.

It was a fun morning to be out. The fish were a challenge to get to the net. More of them won the contest today than I did. But there is always another day.

I had 24 crappie in the fish basket. I know that I did not even land 1 out of 5 fish I hooked. There is a good population of fish in this pond.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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