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Zero for the Week

By Rick Zieger, Iowa

It was the last full week of May. The Memorial Day weekend is coming up. The water is still muddy. It has rained again and washed more muddy water in to the lake.

The visibility is not very good. I can see a white fly about three inches down in the water. That is near the shore and I am not sure that the visibility is that good farther out from shore.

I head out on Tuesday. I know that it will be a short time because t here are some storms coming in. Weather.com is a wonderful thing to be able to check just before you go out.

I see the storms are close, but they way they are moving they just might miss us.

I am setting out at the lake watching the storm as it is passing a little to the south of the lake. My concern is the amount of lightning in this storm. It is too close for me to be waving a graphite rod in the air. There are candidates for the "Darwin Awards" still out on the lake.

I do like to catch fish, just short of an addiction (my wife may disagree), but I am not ready to fry my behind to do it. The storm kept coming closer and finally the rain from the edge hit the place where I was parked. It was time to head back to the office.

It was not raining on Thursday, but the wind was blowing about 35 mph. It had started doing this on Wednesday evening as the cool front came through. I knew it was not the best of conditions, but it was a time that I could put a line in the water.

I got to the lake and there were whitecaps out on the main part of the lake. I decided to fish the flat on the main lake again. It was sheltered a little from the wind. I hoped that there might be a fish or two along the mud line formed from the waves hitting the shore. It was a great theory, but it did not work I did not get a single bite that I know of. The waves were moving the end of the fly line so much that if it was a gentle tap there was no chance of me seeing it. I did manage to get a few decent casts into the wind so there may be a little hope for my casting.

Friday there was a gentle breeze blowing. The sun was out and it was 15 degrees warmer than it had been. This would be my best day for catching a fish at the lake. I will admit that the idea of a "horse collar" around my neck was not the most pleasant thought I have ever had. This is the middle of May and there should be fish all over the place.

Many other folks shared the idea of it being a good day. When I got out to the lake there were several folks on each jetty. There were several cars parked along the rip-rap by the road also. The only place open was the settling pond.

I went to the east end of the settling pond and pulled off. I got the rods out of the back of the pickup and looked at the water. I could see a couple of carp working along the edge, right in front of me. It seemed a good time to drop a nymph pattern near them and see if they might take it. After about 20 minutes of them not being interested in anything I tossed near them I gave up.

I cast out in the pond and let the fly settle. I had noticed a bird flying around some, but had not really paid much attention to it. As it got closer, I began to pay more attention. It looked like an eagle was at the lake. This is not unheard of, but it is somewhat rare also.

The more I looked at it the more sure I was that it was an eagle. I was paying so much attention to the eagle that I did not notice that my line was moving. When I looked back down it was moving, but then stopped. The line had tightened up and I think the fish felt the hook and spit it out. That was my one chance to land a fish during the week.

I did have the "horse collar," but it was worth it to watch the eagle. I was told later that a few folks saw the eagle take a fish out of the main lake. I wish I had seen that, but if wishes were pennies we would all be rich. If wishes were fishes, we'd have some fried.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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