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Geezer Week

By Rick Zieger, Iowa

I went out to the lake over my lunch hour on Tuesday, as is my custom while the ice is off the lake. The temperatures have been going down some, but this was another one of those hot, humid days. There was a nice breeze at the lake, out of the southwest. I decided to try the main lake and see what might be there. Hopefully the wind would push some food organisms in toward the shore and the fish would follow it.

I cast out a popper first. I am still waiting for a good surface bite. Not much has happened with that for the year. Poppers, hopper, and all sorts of foam bugs have not brought much interest. I decided to try a black leech to see what might be out in the lake.

The water is clearing and I thought this might be more visible. So much for my thinking. No interest by the fish.

The popper was close to the shore, so I decided to cast it out again. I pulled it in a little closer, to make it easier to pick the line up. On this rod the line has a loop at the end that I made and the shrink-wrap on it is red. There were three bluegills swimming along under the red shrink-wrap. They would not hit it, but they were following it.

Time to tie on a red popper. The fish would follow it but not take it. So time to try a red subsurface fly. I had a Gilly (Ricks Favorite Bluegill Flies) that stuck out to me in the box and I tied it on. I cast this out and let it drop. It had not gone far when the line twitched and I had a gill on. This fish put a nice bow in the rod for a little while.

I had her almost up to the shore when I heard the voice telling me to turn around with it.

It was one of the old geezers I have not seen for a while. He told me that he had both knees replaced this summer and is just now starting to get around some.

I cast out again and let the fly drop. It had not gone far when I had another gill take it.

This was getting to be fun. I got this one in and over to the old geezer. I had picked up a dozen gills at this place when a car pulled in. Four guys got out and arranged themselves almost next to me and started casting. I reeled in and carried the fish bucket up to the car and headed back to the office. I did not have much time left to fish and did not want a sour taste in my mouth.

Thursday was a much cooler day. Temperatures were down about 15 degrees from Tuesday. When I got out to the lake the same group was at the flat. I decided to fish the settling pond and see what I might come up with. I still had the gilly on and started with that. I cast it out and had a fish swirl on it right away. I thought this was probably a bass, but you never know. I just know it had some muscle to it and was going to take some time to land. I did not try to gain any line on the fish, but tried to wear it out a little.

It took a little time, but I finally got some control over the fish and stated getting some line back. I worked her in close and could see that it was a good-sized bass. This fish was about 24 inches long and shaped like a football. We did a little more tug-of-war before I got to lip her. I did not take her all the way out of the water. She was out just long enough to get the hook out and then I let her go.

I wondered if there might be some other fish in the area. So I cast again and let the fly drop. I let drop for about 15 seconds and then did a slow 2-inch strip with a four to five second pause. I wanted the fly in front of any fish for a long time. The fly was part way back when I felt resistance and found that I had a crappie on the line. This was about a 12-inch fish, large for this pond.

This is when I heard the voice asking if they might have the fish. It was another one of the old geezers out today. I gave it to them and managed to get one smaller crappie and four bluegills too. ~ Rick Zieger

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