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Lazy and Stupid

By Rick Zieger, Iowa

We had some more rain here. That means that the roads, cow trails that go to the ponds are just too muddy to try to be driving into. So I decide to hike into a pond to go fishing. I also decide to take just a couple of boxes with me in a fanny pack. Do you remember what fanny packs are?

I did not want to wear my vest as I hiked into the pond.

It was muddy on the road, so I walked on the grass. In the low places there were puddles of water. I could have rolled the canoe in over this, but it would have been a lot of work, both ways.

This pond is one that I do not get to very often. I have to cross a pasture to get to the pond. The owner does not like anyone in the field with his cows. So I only go to the pond when the cows are not in the pasture.

The pond is about the size of a football field. It lies in a northwest to southeast direction. The northern part of the pond has water from about six inches deep to about six feet deep over the first 60 feet or so. The water then drops down until it is about 12 feet deep for the last quarter of the pond. There are a few trees around the southern part of the pond. The northern part is ringed by big trees that are about 50 feet back from the edge. The spread of the tree limbs gives about 30 feet of space for the back cast.

When I get into the pond there is about three inches of visibility in the water. Not the best of condition, but I have time and I am at the pond. I know that other ponds will not be any better.

I have two rods with me. When I hike in, I am somewhat lazy, it is with two rods. Both were 5 wts. I put on a silver Goldie Jr and a black marabou leech. This would let me know if a bright fly or if a dark fly would work better.

Since I came in at the dam end of the pond, I started casting in that area. I slowly moved along the pond, making several casts with each fly in each place. I might have had a few light bites, or I was hitting old weeds. It was the same result, there were no fish in the basket, because there had been no fish on the line.

It took me about an hour to get up to the northern part of the pond. All of the retrieves were very slow to keep the fly in front of any fish that might see it. I move to a spot where I know that the water is only about six feet deep over a large area.

Now the trees are behind me so that my casting distance is limited, or I will be catching the trees.

I have a very hard time landing trees, cleaning them and most of them are not that good eating. So I try to leave them alone. They also seem to be able to eat a large number of my flies. A good reason to fish from a canoe to keep the flies away from trees where the trees cannot jump out and grab them.

The wind has slowed down some. With the trees as a wind break the pond is flat. At this point I begin to see the little rings on the pond. They are not very big and I cannot see any bugs. No, it is not raining! I watch for a few minutes to see if I can see any bugs. Most of these bugs seem to be coming off about 40 to 50 feet off the shore. Finally there are a few bugs that come out near the shore. I am not sure exactly what genus and species, but it is a midge.

I am in trouble. Having been lazy, by not bringing in the canoe, I am not able to really get out where the fish are. I know, the thoughts are to do a roll cast. That works well if you practice it on a fairly consistent basis. In the canoe I move so that I really don't need to do it, so I am out of practice.

The larger problem is that I have two boxes with me. Stupid does not have a midge pattern with him. The smallest fly I have is a size 14 PTN. So I tie it on and cast it out. I do try a roll cast to move the fly out farther in the pond. Every once in a while it works.

The result for another 1.5 hours of fishing is one bluegill.

There is some vacillating on whether the canoe will be dragged in next time I go fishing. I may have to look for a canoe carrier that has much larger wheels than the six inch ones I have now. It is written in stone that I will wear my vest next time, so that I will have a variety of flies to use.

I had not ever noticed a midge hatch in a pond this early in the year before. It might be that I had never been looking for it.

I did have fun being out on the pond. I will work on getting much better at roll casting. I will practice it some every time I go out.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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