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New Pond

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I got to head out Saturday morning to fish for a while. I had several folks that wanted me to do other things through the day. I had told them that I had things to do myself and I would get done what I wanted to.

I got permission to fish a new pond. With the rain we received Friday evening I knew that I would never get back out from this pond if I drove in. I parked in a pull off into a field and hiked in about half a mile. This is on some land that the manager is allowing me to fish on. He told me it was because I had contacted him about loose cattle and helped round them up. That happened last summer, but now I could fish a pond that I did not know existed before. I just have to leave all the bass in the pond as the landowner likes to catch them when he comes.

When I got to the pond, I fell in love with it at first sight. There are no trees for about 50 yards around the pond. There is then a band of trees about 150 to 200 feet deep around the pond. There is a road to the pond but it winds around through the trees to get there. The pond is pretty much a trapezoid shape with the widest part at the dam and a little 30 foot deep bay on the west side of the dam end. The land is fairly sharply sloped on the west side and a very gentle slope on the east side. This pond is a little over an acre in size. It has bass, bluegills, crappie and green sunfish in it. The water was very clear.

I had two fly rods with me. I did not want to carry any more in with me that far. Started off with a Streamer Nymph and with a Marabou Miss on the rods. I started down the dam, from the west end, fan casting to see what I could catch. The fishing was very slow so I kept moving down the dam. I thought it might be the flies so I changed to an Estaz Streamer and a Thief. I fished the last third of the dam and about half way down the east side of the pond. I still was not doing very well on the pond.

I decided to change flies again. I put on a Bead Body Minnow and a Gilly. Thought I would try the Gilly for any gills that might be in the pond. I fished on down the east side not catching anything. When I got to the far end of the pond, I could see that the water was very shallow. I hiked around the end of the pond and started back up the west side. I caught a few more fish, but it was still very slow.

It was time to change the fly again. I put on a Crappie Dart and put a black marabou leech on the other rod. I hiked about thirty feet up the west side of the pond until I could see that there was a breakline out about twelve feet. I am not sure how deep the water drops off to but it is about three feet deep at the top of the break. I cast the Crappie Dart out and started to bring it back in.

Just as I was bringing it over the breakline a fish rolled on the fly and hooked itself as it headed away. When I got it in it was a 12" crappie. This was the largest one I had caught in the pond. Time to try again. When the fly came over the breakline another fished rolled on it and hooked itself. This was a bass that was about 16" long.

I tried the black marabou leech on the other rod but no fish would hit it. I continued to cast the crappie dart out about 40 feet and bring it in. If I cast shorter than that I did not have fish hit as often. I think that by having the longer cast it might have given the fish more time to come up in the water column and hit the fly. I was catching a fish on almost every cast, most of them crappie, with a few bass and two green sunfish. I did not catch a bluegill in this pond.

I slowly moved up the west side toward the dam. I continued to catch fish as the Crappie Dart would come over the breakline. The fish would roll on the fly and as they went down they hooked themselves. I never set the hook. I decided that I needed to quit. I had to hike out and then clean the fish that I had. The basket was starting to get heavy by the time I made it to the truck.

When I got home, I had caught 81 crappie and 2 green sunfish. Most of those were in the last 1.5 hours. I did take some fillets to the land manager to thank him for letting me go in. He asked when I had been there and when I told him, he said that he had been there about an hour after I left and could not tell that anyone had been there. I took it as a complement.

I did manage to get several other things done during the day but none of them were as much fun as the fishing.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick (written previously)

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