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High Muddy Water


Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

It rained some more. It seems like we get dumped on every couple of days with at least three inches of rain. Places north of us are getting six and seven inches of rain. You see the results of that on the TV news. I am far south and west of the places that are getting flooded. All the folks that live along the Mississippi river south of here are going to get a lot of water.

I still go out to the lake because it is my nature to put a line into the water. If I am out, just after the ice goes off, then I will go out now. I believe that the fish have to eat, and if I can get a fly in front of them, they just might take it. The problem is to figure out which fly or flies and in what manner to present it. That is the basic problem in fishing at any time.

I change the flies I am using on the one fly rod. I put on a PTN variation, instead of the Cyperts minnow. No more reason than it was the first rod that I grabbed as I was going to change the fly. I leave the Goldie Jr. on the other rod. I do want to have a "natural" type fly on one rod in the muddy water. Visibility is about two inches. This is less than it was last week.

I try several places around the shoreline. I am claiming the two-inch bluegill that I caught on Tuesday as a fish. The fly was almost bigger than the bluegill, but a fish hit my fly. That was my grand total for the day. We are looking at numbers, not size. Neither was very big, but one fish sounds better than a single two-inch bluegill.

Thursday is a little better. We had some more rain in the night. The lake is up higher. I managed to remember my camera and got some pictures of the level of the lake now.

Some of these are older pictures to show where the water normally is.

I had just finished snapping the pictures when another car pulled up and five people got out to fish on the jetty. I decide that this is just too many folks and head over to the road to fish along the riprap that is there. I am hoping that maybe a few fish have come into this warmer water. I also don't have to worry about where someone may be on my back cast.

I slowly work my way up the road toward the culvert. There is just not a lot happening.

When I get close to the culvert I go around a few bushes and come in on the far side of the of culvert. I know there is a big pile of rocks out from this culvert. When water rushes through this keeps it from washing the dirt out. This helps keep the road in good shape.

I am wondering if some fish might be here because it is moving water and they would be here looking for food.

It seems that I was right for a change. I got a bass, a bluegill, a green sunfish, two walleye (small, but walleye) and 8 crappie. These were all caught in about a 10 square foot area. That was the fastest fishing I have had at the lake this year. But then it was over. I fished some more of the area, but the fish either were not there or they were not interested.

Friday dawned with very few clouds in the sky. Storms rumbled just south of us last night. We heard the thunder, but did not get any rain. The lake is up about another six inches today. I fished several places today as I was looking for fish. I did not find very many. I tried several different flies and one seemed to work very well.

I think it was one of those times that if you got the fly, any fly, in front of a fish they would take it. There just weren't many fish in the mood to take anything. But I am still trying to put something in front of them.

The far jetty.

Same jetty. Picture from across the lake .

He ain't big but he is a fish.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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