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Three Days, Three Fish

By Rick Zieger, Iowa

It was another week of work. The noon hours are made to go to the lake and see what might be happening. The main lake has an algae bloom going on and the water looks like thin pea soup. I have not spent much time casting there. I have less luck with a heavy algae bloom than I do when the water is dirty. I still maintain the best time to go fishing is when you can.

The water in the settling pond is much clearer than the main lake. There is no wind so the surface of the pond is mirror flat. Great for surface flies.

I have a popping bug and a leech pattern on the two rods. I try the popping bug first. I do like the hits fish make on surface bugs. I cast it out and let it set for a long time. I want the fish to have a long time to see the bug and come up to it. After a few minutes I give the line a little tug, just enough to make the bug move and make a few small waves. I think the movement gives the illusion of life from the movement of the bug struggling to get off the water.

The bug gets hit, but I am not able to hook anything. I keep trying this for a few more minutes, but the results are the same. Lots of fish hitting the bug, but not hard enough to be hooked. I think it is little gills coming up and slapping at the bug, but it is too large for them to get in their mouths?

Since the larger fish will not come up to the bug it is time to go down to them. I try the leech that has a 3.00 mm brass bead head on it. I want the fly to stay down deep as I retrieve it. In fact I hope to hook a few pondweeds. That way I will know that I am deep enough.

Just before I am ready to leave on Tuesday I managed to hook a little crappie. That is the only fish that I had hit the fly with any amount of force.

Thursday I am back out with a smaller popper. I drilled out a few with 1/8-inch bodies. This is small enough for the bluegill to get their mouths around it, if that is what was hitting the popper on Tuesday. Today was a little different. I did get one bluegill on the popping bug when I cast it near a log that is in the pond. The rest of the fish just slapped at the popper again.

I could not interest anything on the leech. I retrieved it at all depths and at all speeds. The fish showed no interest in it at all. They did not show any interest in any of the other flies that I tried.

On Friday I head back out. I have decided that each fly will be cast five times, if there is no action on it, then on to another fly. Maybe I will find something that will work consistently for me. There is no interest at all in the popping bug. The fish will not even slap at it for me. I try a dozen other flies and have so success.

I have time to try two more flies before I must head back to work. Panman put on a pattern using boa yarn for a leech pattern that was different. He ties in two pieces of boa yarn, about two inches long for a tail. He then does the body. I had one of these in black with me that I tied on.

I cast it out and let it drop for about 10 seconds. I was doing two-inch strips with a few second pause to retrieve the fly. I had moved it about five feet when the freight train took the fly and headed for the east coast. This fish stayed deep and kept taking line. I finally got the fish turned and could get some line back in. We then played tug-of-war with the line. She finally got tired and I had a bass that weighed in the 5 lb range. I had used up my time.

So over the three lunch hours I caught three fish. One fish on each day. Not fast fishing, but better than being inside. I did get some left-handed casting practice in.

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

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