Welcome to Warmwater Fishing!

By Rick Zieger, Iowa

Last Saturday morning I had been contacted to take a friend out fishing. When he called he said that he wanted to learn to fly cast and then go fishing.

We met and headed out to a pond. Got the canoe unloaded and stuff put in it and then started the lesson. He had a poor instructor to teach him. He got to where he could cast about 25 to 30 feet. At this point he wanted to get on the pond and try for fish.

We reversed his seating in the canoe so we could each cast on a different side of the canoe. I decided that we needed to be out over a little deeper water so we would both have room to cast.

We each tied on different flies and started casting.

He thought that since it was the end of June we should be fishing a little deeper as the fish would not be on the surface. I always start fishing high in the water column and go down, in ponds especially. I had caught three gills and two crappies when he asked me what we were doing differently.

I told him to let the fly drop about ten seconds and then start to slowly retrieve it with about three inch pulls with a pause. On his next cast he caught a crappie. After that we would catch a fish about every five minutes. That is a slow rate for this pond and the number of fish in it.

I finally pulled my anchor up and started to drift slowly with the breeze. As we continued to cast the action picked up. It seems that the fish were scattered and that as we moved we would run into them. We drifted by a few fish that we could see. When we cast to these we saw that they would not move very far to get the fly. We had to get the fly to within a foot of them before they would go for it. Also if we hooked one fish then all the rest we could see around it were spooked and gone.

That set the tempo for the day. We continued to drift and pick up fish. My friend did take into a bass that weighted about 3.5 pounds. It was great fun to watch him fight this fish. He is used to bait casting equipment and skating fish across the surface to bring them in. He was having more fun than a kid in a candy store.

The breeze finally took us to the far end of the pond. We reeled all the line in and paddled back toward the dam to start another drift. This time it seemed that every time the fly hit the water a fish would hit it. We missed several because we did not set the hook fast enough, but another would hit it in a short time.

We spent about 2.5 hours fishing. At that point he needed to leave as he had a meeting to go to later and wanted to help clean the fish we had kept. We released 35 to 40 bass from twelve inches to about seventeen inches. We tossed at least three dozen huge gills back into the pond.

We still kept over 100 fish. We fished less than 25% of the surface area of the pond.

As we were loading everything on the truck, the wind stopped blowing. My friend said to look at the pond. There were fish rising all over. It almost looked like the water was boiling. We saw a few bugs fly off but I was too far from them to tell what they were. We guessed that we were seeing a thousand rise forms at any time on the pond.

After we finished filleting the fish, which I taught him to do, he took a few for a meal and told me to give the rest away. He also told me that I had to take him out again, but that next time he would have his own rod to use.

Guess I made a convert.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick (written 07/02/2003)

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