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Another Zero

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

I went out to the lake over the three lunch hours this week. I have to admit that I did not get a single bite during the whole time that I was there. I know that some of you may think that every time I go out that I catch some fish, but that just does not happen.

It has been very hot here. The temperatures are in the mid 80's when I get out to the lake. There is no cloud cover and the wind is variable, but usually from the south or the west. The main lake has some algae blooming in it and the water is slightly discolored from that. The settling pond has clear water.

I used a whole variety of flies, many of my favorites were among these. I also used many flies that I have received in the mail and in swaps. I guess it was just not the best week to be trying them. I fished them at all depths in the water and with all sorts of retrieves. I fished them slow and I fished them fast, but the fish did not seem to be interested in them.

I fished in all the places that I normally catch fish. I just don't think that the fish were in those places. I even had a foam fly of some sort on the water most of the time and the fish did not bother that fly at all. I even had a midge on the surface and another midge that I retrieved deeper.

I did see a few carp that were jumping, but that was on the far side of the pond. Not a place that I would go over my lunch hour. There were also a couple of very small bluegills working through the weeds by the shore. They would take something every once in a while and make that slurping sound. I also saw a couple of carp swim by, but I could not get them interested in any flies.

It was not a wasted time however. When the fishing gets very slow like this, I am working on casting left handed. It is still not as good (?) as when I cast with my right hand, but it is getting better all of the time. The movement of the rod and feeling the rod load is becoming more familiar to me all of the time. I am fairly accurate to about 30 feet out. At 40 feet I can hit the card table, but that is the extent of my accuracy.

But the more I do it the better I am getting. This does have a practical side to it. When I am at the drain pipe at the settling pond there are rocks that take you out about eight feet. When I cast to the east it is easier to do left handed as the fly line is over water on the back cast. If I cast it right handed then I have a tendency to catch some of the weeds that are back there. The bank is about seven feet high so the weeds don't have to be real tall to be able to jump up and grab the fly out of the air.

This is what must be happening, because my back cast could not be dropping. If I did that JC might think about banning me from the list. I have not caught them jumping up, but I am sure that is what is happening. It works better, for me, to keep the line out over the water and frustrate the weeds.

I still had a good time being out, over the lunch hour. I improved my left-handed casting. I also got to see a pair of eagles that seemed to be traveling through the area. They were not around on Friday.

I hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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