Rick's fishing season is over until the ice melts,
but we have a nice stash of articles he has written
in the past as ideas or events occured to him. We hope
this will explain apparent 'out of season' articles.
I got a phone call at 3:30 on a Sunday afternoon.
A fellow that lives in a retirement complex here
in town wanted me to go fishing with him. He wanted
to have a fish fry that night and felt that he
needed someone else to catch a few fish. He also
wanted to show me that there were better ways to
fish than with a fly rod.
He picked me up about 15 minutes after he called.
There was another person in the car. He said that
he had a pond that he wanted to go to. The third
person was going to handle a long handled net to
get any fish that we might hook. It was a good
thing that he was along as there were weeds out
for 10 to 12 feet from the shore. Part of this
is due to weeds and the rest is due to the ponds
getting back up to where they should be. This is
a pond on some land that I have never been able
to get access to.
As we were getting rigged up to fish he brought
up his bargain. He would be able to keep all the
fish we caught. If I caught more fish than he did
then he would buy my dinner that night for helping
get the fish for his fish fry. He told me that he
felt it was a safe bet as he had a secret lure to
catch fish with. I told him that he could have the
panfish, but the bass were going back in. Also I
was not going to hold him to the dinner part.
I watched the pond for a minute and noticed that
there were some very small rings on it. I did not
see any fish coming to the surface but they seemed
to be taking something just under the surface.
I tied on a size 14 fly that I have been messing
with for gills. It has a short black marabou tail,
black chenille body and three short black legs on
each side from rubber hackle. The one I tied on
was unweighted. I moved about 30 feet from the
other fisherman and started casting.
My first cast went just about straight out from
the shore. I let the fly hit and start to drop.
The line twitched immediately. I set the hook
and had a nice gill on. The man with the net
came down and let me lead the gill into the net
that he had placed on the edge of the weeds and
pressed them down a little. I cast out again and
had the same thing happen but this was a harder
fight. The fish did not want to come in. I finally
got the fish turned and coming toward the shore.
This was a huge gill. We measure it at 11.5"
long with a huge girth. Before they could do much
about it she went back into the water.
After that it turned into a very good time. It
was almost a fish a cast. There were several
fish that got off when I gave them a little
slack trying to get them to move out from the
shore so I could bring them in where the net was.
Still it was great fun to catch them. None of
the fish were hitting very hard and it was just
a slight line twitch that indicated the strike.
I had caught 23 gills when our time ran out. The
other guy had eight. He decided that was enough
fish for the fish fry and he needed time to clean
them. He also was laughing as he was sure that he
would catch more fish than I would. He was also
happy that I could come so there would be enough
On the way home he did stop at the local pizza
place and paid for a pizza for me to get that
night. He said he was a man of his word.
It was fun to go to a new pond and figure out
what the fish would take. It was also nice to
have supper done and not have to clean the fish.
I Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick Zieger