Welcome to Warmwater Fishing!

Very Slow Day


By Rick Zieger, Iowa

I was out trying to find a fish again. The ponds are still a little high after the heavy rain that we had before. They are also dirty from everything that washed in. My hope is that some fish might be up shallow in the water column looking for food. It sure does sound like an intelligent reason to be out on the pond.

I have the canoe in the water and am pitching flies by 6:15 am in the morning. I am trying to beat the sun. When the sun gets up in the sky the fish may go deeper. That will not be good as I can see a white boa yarn leech down for about four inches in the water. That means that any fly is going to have to be right on a fish's snout to be seen.

I know that there are many structural features to fish in this pond. Breaklines, weedlines and a great number of lily pads. There are also a few trees that have been "planted" in this pond. I also know that the tops of the tress are about five feet under water. I think that is too deep for fish to find the flies.

I start out casting around the lily pads. I am hoping that the fish might be relating to the stems of the plants and using the pad for cover. I have changed flies so that I am using unweighted flies.

I don't want anything that will sink quickly or have to be retrieved very fast. I want the fish to have a long time to look at the flies.

This does seem to work half way well. There are small bass in these areas that I get on the flies.

The crappie I am looking for do not seem to be there. I move toward the dam to see if they might be relating to the breakline there. I do catch two crappie along the dam that hit the fly just as it is dropping into the water. Any fly that gets under the water and comes by a lily pad gets hit by a small bass.

From the area of "you never know" I have made some casts to the middle of the pond. I had let the fly drop and had not had any fish take it. I decided to cast again and keep the fly very near the surface and see what might happen. The fly had not moved far when a fish rolled on it and I knew that it was a crappie. I dropped the rod tip to the surface of the water and tried to keep the fish underwater. Great tactics, but the fish hit the surface and came off.

If it works once then give it another try. On about half the casts I got a fish to hit the fly. I landed about ten percent of those that hit the fly. I have got to figure out a way to make a fly so the hook rides horizontally, instead of vertically in an unweighted fly. Just one of those minor things on my to do list.

I still had the advantage of some cloud cover that had moved in just after the sun came up. When the cloud cover burned off, or moved on the sun came out and that ended the bite. I fished some more but did not get any more fish to hit.

I did end up with 14 nice crappies. They were from 10 to 15 inches long and very thick. Some good eating.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick Zieger

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