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Lost to a Mad Cow
By Richard Zieger, Iowa


Publisher's Note:
Rick's season is just starting again, 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.


Was going out to fish one day. Drove out to where the pond was and went over the fence to hike into it. Got about 1/3 of the way to the pond when a cow started coming down the hill toward me.

I decided that I should stop and see if I could find a calf someplace that she might be protecting. I did not see anything very fast and the cow was coming faster. This was the time to get out of the field in a big hurry. I took off running and hurdled the fence just ahead of the cow. She pushed against the wire to try to get at me.

There was a man sitting in his pickup laughing at me. Said it was some of the best entertainment that he had seen in a long time. He wanted to know why I had not tossed my two fly rods away and run without them. I told him that only flyfishers would understand.

He asked my what I was going to fish for. When I told him that I liked to catch crappie he told me that he had a deal for me. I followed him about 5 miles to a gate. We then drove about one mile back in from the gate. He told me that I could keep the crappie that I caught but to leave the bass and bluegill. He like to catch bass and brought his kids to catch the gills. None of them like to catch crappie.

He left and I started to fish around the pond. Caught bass up to four pounds and a lot of nice gills as I went around the pond. When I got to the uphill side of the pond the wind came up blowing into my face. I noticed that there were clouds building in the distance. This is important because we drove across a low place that would be hard to get through if it was wet.

On my third cast into the wind I caught a 14" crappie. As I continued to cast, I caught a fish on almost every cast. I was getting two crappie for every bass or bluegill that I caught. The crappie did not turn on until the wind was blowing. The wind was now blowing about 20 to 25 mph into my face.

I continued to cast into the wind. More times unsuccessfully than successfully but I was still catching fish. I have never been a good into the wind caster, maybe I can't even blame it on the wind. Every time I could get the fly out about 25 to 30 feet I would have a fish hit. All of the crappie were about 13 to 15" long and heavy sided. I was having a ball.

I still did keep an eye on the clouds. When I saw the first lightening bolt I packed everything up and headed to the truck to leave. I am not wild about waving a graphite stick in the air with lead in my bottom around water. Besides my wife promised me that if I was killed by lightening she would bring me back to life and make it a painful death.

I was almost all the way out of the field when I saw a cow hit by a bolt of lightening. I drove to the farmers house and told him about it. He said he would get someone to help him haul it in. I told him that I would be happy to do that. He said he would get his stuff to cut the cow up into several pieces to bring home.

I told him to get a couple of things and we could take care of the cow in a few minutes. He got the things I asked for and we went out to where the cow was. By this time we could hear the thunder and see a lot of bolts hitting the ground. Five minutes later we were headed out of the filed. Just got through the gate when the rain started. We could not drive very fast because of the rain. I helped him hang the pieces in his barn and then headed home.

About 1 mile from home I ran out of the rain. Went home and cleaned 52 beautiful crappie. Had just finished when he drove up to see if he could help me because I had helped him.

He said that one of kids like to scuba dive and says that the pond is crammed with crappie. He told me that I could go in any time because of my telling him about his cow. I have checked with him since then but we have had to much rain to get back to the pond.

He also wanted to know how I knew to field dress an animal so fast. I told him that it was a misspent youth. He thought that was another good line. I will get out to this pond again.

I find that thanking the land owners and doing a few other things always makes it easier to get back into the ponds.

Hook one for me. ~ Rick Zieger

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