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Flood Saturday

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I was headed out to fish on a Saturday morning. The only real problem I had was the amount of rain we had received during the week. At least the hail that came through the area missed us. I did see digital pictures of a garden that was gone. You could not see the tomato or pepper plants that had been in the garden when the storm started.

The amounts of rain varied from 4 to 9 inches depending on whom you talked to and where they lived. That meant that every little gully and swale was filled with water. That meant there was no driving into a pond again. So I hiked into a pond that I had not been to for a while. The clouds looked like it might rain again so I did not take the camera with me.

By the time I got to the pond I was soaking wet. The grass had so much water on it that it was running off my pants. The pond is not that far off the road but it is a long winding path to get to it. The outlet for the pond was running at maximum and there was only one place to cross it. That meant that I had to follow the road to get to the pond.

The pond was up about two feet. That meant that the water was up in the grass and other things that surround the pond. I had to wade out about 10 feet to get to the edge of the grass to try to cast. I did not get any wetter wading that I already was from hiking in.

I had hopes that the water might be a little clearer in this pond as it drains pastureland, but it was a vain hope. The fields around this pond are beginning to show places that may eventually form gullies. Way too much water, way too fast, and too many times for the fields to handle it.

I had two rods with me. Both are 8 ft long, a 3 wt and a 5 wt. These are the first two rods I built. They are not pretty, but I like catching fish on them. I put a silver Goldie Jr on one rod and a dark brown hares ear type fly on the other. Go with flash and a natural looking fly to see what might work.

I cast each of them several time with no success. Well not quite true, I did catch some grass on the back cast. It does drop once in a while. But then again the grass is four to five feet tall, and jumps up to catch flies!

After going back to find the fly, a few times I tried much harder to keep the back cast up.

Then I did another of my wonderful casts. I started the forward cast to soon and ended up with line around the reel end of the rod, a few wind knots in the line and a couple of loops on the tip end of the rod. I'll bet that many of you have the talent to do that.

The fly was about three feet off shore. So I started working on the things closest to me. I got the line off the reel end of the rod and wound it on the reel. At the rate I was going I needed it on the reel and not where I could foul more things up. I then undid the wind knots and wound that line on the reel. All of this needed to be done before I could take the loops off the front off of the tip of the rod. That was the line closest to the fly.

When I got this done and started to lift the line out of the water, I had a fish on the fly!

I got this fish off and dropped the fly in the water again just off the shore and let it drop.

It took a little while, but I saw the line moving and I had another fish on. Maybe I was onto something.

I know that this pond drops off to six to eight feet of water right at the edge of the pond. The only shallow water is at the opposite end from the dam and not much there. I am not sure why the pond was constructed this way.

Both rods had about 6 foot leaders on them. I decided to take each and kind of dapple them along the edge of the pond. Either fly would have to stay there about one to two minutes and then a fish would take it. I have no idea if the fish were swimming by and saw the fly and took it, or if the fish were there and took that long to decide to take the fly.

I was getting a few more fish on the hares ear type fly, so I switched the other rod to a black mohair leech. I dappled both of these and got a fish every few minutes. I decided to move a little and see if the fishing would be any better farther along the shore. Some places were better than others.

I could lay the one rod on the grass and cast the other rod to see if the fish were in other places. The flies had to set still for a time period for the fish to find them. I did not get a single fish on any type of retrieve.

It was about 8:30 am when the sun came out. There was a break in the clouds that let the sunlight through. When that happened the fishing ended. Not a single bite after that.

So I headed home. I got the fish cleaned and put in the refrigerator. I then did a few other things.

It was a fun day. I got to share fish with a few folks. In spite of the rain I was not skunked.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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