Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Popping Bug - Bass Fly Pattern - Flip Flop Bug

I bought some piping and made some better foam plugs/bodies for popping bugs. Here is a better photo of a Flip Flop fly pattern. Recycled bass fly pattern - if you will.

You can bid on these here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&salenotsupported=true&item=250438115737

Recycled foam popping bugs "FLIP FLOP BUGS" - Bluegill fly pattern

This is the first time that I have made flip flop popper bodies. I found a copper tube in a pen that my wife threw out. I smashed it to bits this morning while making the bodies. These are a bit crude but effective - I am sure.

STEP 1 - Use a copper tube or PVC or something that will cut holes into flip flops.
STEP 2 - Put a hole in the body with a bodkin or something similar.
STEP 3 - Push onto hook shank - I use Zap-a-Gap to keep to keep the body in place. Put some adhesive on the shank and move the body back and forth a bit to get some inside of the body. Let it dry a bit.

STEP 3 - Tie in tail feathers and hackle.

STEP 4 - IF THE BODY IS LARGE ENOUGH - put a hole through the body with the Threader or bodkin and pull the legs through. BE GENTLE.

I am sure this is effective. After all, it's a popping bug!!!

Flip Flop Popping Bug for Bluegill and Bass

This is the first time I will have tied this popping bug for bluegill and I think it would be effective for bass too. I got this fly in a fly swap. It was cut out of a flip flop with scissors. I will be selling these on ebay shortly - along with some other popping bug patterns that I took out of my flip flop with copper tubing.

This is a piece of flip flop. I think some folks hammer them out with tubing or use Dremmel Tools - I do believe this wedge was cut out with scissors. Recycled bluegill popper bodies!!!!

STEP 1 - Tie in body at slim end - this is a quad or penta cut body WEDGE - try to think cone.

STEP 2 - Tie in hackle - tie it into foam and up to crease of foam body tie in.

STEP 3 - After wrapping hackle - pull foam body forward and tie down = make some semi-loose wraps and pull thread tight.

STEP 4 - Tie in legs - place some on one side and wrap. Repeat on other side - pull tight but not too tight.

Step 5 - Half hitches - tie it off.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Smallmouth Bass Outing - Illinois River - Lots of litter

You probably can't see the litter very well. I took other pics but they all suck. I would've had some great shots of the litter in the parking lot but someone picked it all up. Beer cans, alcohol bottles, 2 litre jugs, flip flops, crocs, etc.

I went back to the truck once, and I think a gentleman in a white Dodge Dakota picked all of it up out of the parking lot and at this spot where I took the photo. This is on the Arkansas portion of the Illinois River. Today, a lot of folks where starting to show up as I left.

There was an obscene amount of trash but someone was very nice about it and is looking after Mother Earth - and probably cashing in on aluminum and glass. Some folks ask why I don't take pictures of my fish - it's because I always step in big holes to get across somewhere or to get a fly unstuck. It happened today again. I walked across the river to get my fly - on the way back I deviated about a foot and took a plunge. My waders filled up.

I started out with a chartreuse and white Clouser tied to my sinking tip line. I worked the bank drifting it as I moved west along with the river. I found a dead pool onthe other side of some extremely swift water. there gar were pretty active at the edge. I cast several times and caught a largemouth on about the 10th cast. Great fight - good size - at least 13 inches or so. The raging water helped the fish seem larger and a better fighter than we may have been.

The next cast, I got hung up and lost my fly, braided leader and all - the fly line broke. AHHH!!!! I walked back to the truck and almost went home. I decided to use my 4 wgt. I dislike using streamers with floating line.

Made my way back to the fishing hole and tried several patterns and lots some more flies. I tied on a yellow and chartruese Clouser and hit a few spots but could not present the fly in a manner that I prefer with sinking tip line. Plus, it sucked because the weighted fly was harder to turn over - due to rod size and lack of braided leader - which I feel helps turn over heavy flies.

I walked down the river to portion where it spilled into a large pool. Off the the rear was some "backwater or a little "slew". I tried several patterns but did land two smallmouths on a yellow Crappie Killer.

I stripped it in bit by bit and let it sink back down or went so slow the fly had little chance to rise - due to the floating line. My second bass of the day was a good fighter - probably 13 to 14 inches. I caught my third bass off the same rock - that thing was a few inched short or measuring from my finger tip to elbow - hard to land - I kept pulling him out of fallen trees and branches.

3 great fighting large bass - not huge but large - I dedicate this fishing day to my father who knows why!

I found a canoe paddle. Also, wading back up the river due to dense woods and lack or shore, my hip muscles hurt. This is the best day out for my this year because I caught 3 awesome bass. Forget all the crappie and stuff - I have been trying to land some great smallies this year.

Instead of tying my own flies, I bought a selection from the local fly shop - and it's paying off. I broaded my fly selection - different clousers mostly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More crappie on the fly.

Today, I started out with a chartuese popping bug and landed a bunch of small sunfish and a few decent bluegills. I switched to a chartruese and white Clouser. I used floating line instead of the sinking line I always use with streamers.

I came out for crappie and bass. I hit that same hole that I caught several crappie on a popping bug the day before. I landed several small crappie. One of which I may have taken home if it was a bit longer. They were short striking me all morning. They provided soft strikes as usual and it's not jsut exhilirating but frustrating.

I moved to the far side of this pond. I waded in a little bit and landed several more crappie with the Chartruese and white Clouser off a fallen tree. After getting hung up and breaking my leader at the Surgeon's Knot, I switched to a Silver and Chartruese Bead Head Woolie Bugger.
I landed only one more crappie off that fallen tree and it was the biggest of the day. I almost brought him home for a meal.

I took my largest Ozark bass ever. They usually weigh 1/2 lbs. on average but I think this was pushing 1 lbs. Wonderful coloring. I landed it on a Yellow and Brown Clouser - the first time I used such colors.

I used to take the boat out to Lake Elmdale and land a bunch of Ozark bass (Rock bass) on popping bugs. They would take full size deer hair bugs!! I also used to drift Elk Hair Caddis for Ozark bass on the Middle Fork of the White River.

Crappie on the Fly - Chartreuse Popping Bug

Memorial Day outing. It was overcast all day - misting and raining softly. I went out right before the sun came out at about 5 pm. The sunfish and bluegills were hitting my California Coachman and hitting my popping bug on every cast.

For the first time ever, I took crappie on a popping bug. What a surprise!
I would say it must be my year for crappie but I haven't landed that many - much less large ones. But I will take what I can get.

I landed a few decent size bluegills and a bigger than average one. The crappie were small with just one keeper.

This a a pic of a variation of the California Coachman. It's kind of torn up from landing so many panfish. I will update a proper picture - I used purple rubber hackle for the furls instead of peacock hurl. I think the orange throat is gone too. I can almost always count on this fly to land panfish.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crappie on the Fly - Clouser fly pattern

This is the first time that I have used this Clouser - Pink and chartruese. I went out to Crystal Lake and landed a few crappie on this fly pattern. I haven't landed crappie on a fly in a few years. I walked out on the ledge of what I think is the concrete dam - NOT THE SPILLWAY further west with the gate. I waded along this wall that was about an inch longer than my shoe.
There was about a 5 ft. drop or so on one side and about 3 ft. on the other. I was casting along the wall of the deeper side and sometimes further into the lake. I used sinking tip line. Wading along the wall, I could get into deeper water - as it deepened further out from the dam wall.
I landed a few slabs of crappie - what a surprise. Figured I had a bass on too.

After fishing from the bank of the west side of the lake and landing nothing, I walked back towards the boat ramp and landed several large bluegills. Good fighters today. These were large and yummy, I didn't have my stringer, so I gave them to a bank fisherman. I was using the Jeremiah Two Nymph with sinking tip line - to get it closer to those bluegills on their beds. I would take a photo but I lost it in some underwater brush.

When I first arrived at the lake, I fished at the eastern end. There were small and large bass everywhere - everywhere!!!! I landed a few small bass and some panfish.

Here is a pic of the flies I was using for panfis and bass. They are still wet. The yellow fly pattern with bead chain eyes is a Crappie Killer. The other are custom.

Some of my smallmouth and panfish flies. I am hoping to make it out to a few more streams before the kids get out for summer - too much rain this spring!!!

Smallmouth Outing - Illinois River - Clouser Fly

This Clouser Minnow has been a great bass fly pattern for me this year. I have caught about 20 - 25 bass this year and I do believe the chartreuse and white Clouser has been the most effective. This exact fly as shown in photo with large red stainless steel eyes.

I won't say where I went yesterday. Not exactly but I did land a few smallmouth on the Illinois River - maybe it was OK or AR . . . . hmmm. With all the rain lately, the river was moving very fast and was dirty. I tried wading around but it was just about too swift.

I found a wider portion with some slow water. I have a technique for stripping the fly in - 3 small strips, let the fly stop and sink - do it again. That has been most effective for me.

These bass weren't huge or anything but it made me feel good to land something after a rough morning of trying to find places to wade and fish in a river was moving so fast that if you did fall in, you would more than likely get swept away.

I used sinking tip line. 5 wgt. rod and 5 wgt. line.

Got sun burned too! Still need to patch leaky waders.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Too much rain - want to go fishing!

I do wish that I had kept my boat. That way, I could fish on a few lakes. Too much rain recently. One of the locations I wanted to fish averages about 4.5 feet and was recently at 14 feet just a few days ago.

Here is a link to pull up data on rivers and creeks - such as water flow, levels and some places show temperature. I'm tellin' ya' - the rain has thrown off the white bass run - water temps weren't stablized in March and have kind of been off an on. I do think there are some folks that have hit the white bass here and there.


I am still trying to learn more about smallmouth bass. This year, I want to land more smallmouth but my time is limited. I hope to make it out to a few spots this week but rain is forecasted for the next few days.

I have been reading "Fly fishing for smallmouth" by Bob Clouser and "Fly fishing for smallmouth" by Harry Murray. An interesting book is "Fly fishing warm water rivers" by Joe Cornwall with whom I have swapped flies with a few times.

Hoping for things to dry up soon. Will post a few more fly pics soon.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Smallmouth Bass Fly Pattern - Flea Fly

The orange flies in the photo - that is a pattern that I caught smallmouth bass on my outing Tuesday. I drifted these in the current and when the line swung around, I would strip it in. They would strike at that point - in a slower current. I used floating line. Most of the fish I caught followed my fly into the shallows or slower current. The orange fly is noted by the tyer on ebay as the Flea Fly. I figured it more of a bluegill fly.

The Clouser was a great pattern on Tuesday too. I drifted it with floating line - I initially started with nymphs - I prefer sinking tip line. The Clouser didn't sink much.

I used the white fly shown in the photo but did not get any hits.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Third White Bass outing of the year - Clousers and rooster tails.

I started out this morning with my spinning gear. I landed a bunch of good deep fryer sized panfish and some small bass on a white rooster tail. Not too many people out. I won't say where just yet because things turned out awesome. IS THAT RUDE? After ripping them for about an hour, things stopped and everyone left.

I switched to my fly rod. I tied on a white woolie bugger but only landed 4 VERY small White Bass. Although, they were so small, they might have been yellow bass - I haven't seen yellow bass and these fish were shiny and white. I saw a bunch of suckers and decided to drift some nymphs - Jeremiah Nymph Two and Scud. I only landed small sunfish. Moving on, I tied on a white Zonker but still nothing.

I tied on a brown size 8 Pistol Pete and landed 2 bass and some bluegills. Then I tied on a fly that I bought on ebay. The Flea Fly - sparkly orange chenille with a large bead head. I drifted it but would only catch fish when I stripped it in slowly or jigged it.

I then tied on a Chartreuse and White Clouser with big red eyes. I didn't use my sinking line but my 4 wgt. line and 4wgt. rod. I landed 4 bass with it. I had to strip slowly and they usually hit it when the fly stopped for a bit and then started again.

I fished about 3 1/2 hours. I will post a pic of the Flea Fly later.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hell Cat - bass fly pattern

I tied this fly pattern a few years back and lost it somewhere. I tied a few bass flies up for tomorrow. I'm gonna head out to some local water and try a few flies and check out somethings or two - won't say what it is just yet.

Landed a few goggle eyes on wooly buggers and a bass on yellow rooster tail. Not as much action as I hoped for this evening. I found something that looks very promising but seems to be fished a lot.

The Hell Cat (as pictured above) is a pattern I took from Fly Tying for Bass and Panfish by Tom Nixon. His patterns have been successful for me - especially for panfish.

I want to try more of his patterns - I am looking forward to landing more bass this year. Secretly - (not anymore) - I love landing bluegills. Those are probably my favorite fish.

Tail - red hackle fibers

Body - Olive green ruff at the tail, small yellow chenille center with olive green ruff forward.

Wing - small bunch of natural brown bucktail topped with black bucktail.

Shoulder - Jungle cock (I didn't use any)

Throat - Just a dab of orange hackle fibers.

Hook - #2, #4, #6

I'm gonna use sinking tip line with this pattern. Tomorrow, I'm gonna piddle around and get my casting straightened out and land some bluegills. I need to practice some drifting techniques and stuff before I really go out for smallmouth.

Oh yeah, forgot about another spot but I need an out of state license!!!!!!!!! Oh well, it's at least been scouted out.

Forget the white bass and the crowds. I want new waters to fish.

Second white bass outing of the year. White bead head head wooly bugger

Won't say where I went. I had chores to run this morning. I fished about 30 minutes and landed 8 white bass. Tied on a white bead head wooly bugger - white crystal flash chenille. I'll post a pic later - camera is at home.

5 wgt. intermediate sinking tip line. Water got too crowded for me. Used to be not so crowded. I want smallmouth this year more than anything. I almost chose not to go out for white bass today. I wasn't feeling it. I want to land smallies!!!

Going out for smallmouth tomorrow. Going to fish unfamiliar waters too. I still have yet to land white bass with a crawdad pattern. Truck is covered in orange mud.

White bass will always be there and fairly easy to catch. Smallmouth bass are more difficult for me. I also want some large bluegills for the fryer. Yum - Uncle Buck's fish batter.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Largemouth Bass fly pattern - Beaux

I got this fly from a fly swap back in maybe 2002. It was the First Annual Tom Nixon Fly Swap hosted by Mark Delaney. Tom Nixon penned Fly Tying and Fly Fishing for Bass and Panfish - among other accomplishments.

This is Mark's take on the fly. I think the hook is 0/1 but I am not sure right now. The first bass I ever landed with this fly was on Lake Swepco in Gentry, AR. Due to Swepco (AEP) generating water to cool the plant, the lake stays warm all year long. The best time is in January when they start spawning on that lake. Especially near the outflow from the plant.

My buddy and I went in January. We fished for only a short while. All the boats were blown off the lake about 9 pm. I landed a largemouth bass about 22 inches in lenght. They stock or still stock the lake with the Florida strain of largemouth bass and you could not take any bass - NONE.

It was a pretty good fight on an 8 wgt. I had the fly on only for about 10 minutes. We didn't catch anything else - not enough time. And my boat motor was having fits - and we got stuck on an underwater branch and had to step off into the water and onto the branch for the boat to move - scary and cold.

This fly helped to me solidify my trust in using streamers for largemouth bass. Even though I do drift nymphs for smallmouth, I started using more streamers for them too.

Largemouth Bass fly pattern - Foam Kidd

I made this fly from a 1/2 inch foam cylinder. Approximately 3/4 inch long. I used this fly to land largemouth bass on Lake Bob Kidd - WHEN I HAD A BOAT! The lake has a nasty end and an especially nasty corner. Hog wire, stubs, stumps, lily pads. I caught 3 bass in less than an hour. I had to leave because of all the crappie fisherman. I stood inthe back of my boat while I trolled - so I could see the stumps, wire and obstructions better. The water was almost lapping in. I have had this fly for about 6 years. It's getting a little worn. I have made a duplicate just in case.

I can only stand to fly fish and troll at the same time for only so long!!! When Beaver Lake flooded back in 2003 or 2004, I hit the lake and caught a few in some flooded timber on this fly.

It has a weed guard that does help ot slip over lily pads. But you still have to be cautious.

Body - White River Fly Shops cylinder foam (1/2 inch)

Eyes - Orvis stick on

Tail - rubber legs, green crystal flash, and red crystal flash

Hackle - olive green

Legs - pushed through with threader

Hook - long shank #2

Weed guard - 20 lbs. test monofilament

1) Tie on weed guard

2) Cut a slit to the middle of the foam longways. Place it over hook. The weed guard might enter the slit closer to the eye as mine did - no big deal.

3) Fill slit in foam with Zap-A-Gap

4)For legs, Poke hole or holes in foam body with bodkin and pull through with threader.

5) Tie on tail - splay feathers out - tie in flash or wahtever and tie in the feathers on the outside of either side.

6) Tie in hackle.

7) Place eyes on - whatever style you want - not necessary.

I'm not the best at giving tying instructions. Let me know if you have any questions.

Use a 5 wgt. line with this fly. Rip and pull. I usually catch them on the pause. Perfect enough for smaller bass and big enough for large ones.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Los Alamos Ants - foam fly pattern for Bluegill and Bass


Great pattern for bluegill, sunfish, bass. Drift or use as a popping bug. I got this pattern form Fly Tying Forum. The instructions provided are from the tyer (letumgo) who submitted the pattern at Fly Tying Forum.

Material List: Size 10 Dry Fly Hook

Craft Foam (Cut into truangles 3/8" wide at base x 1" tall)

Peacock Herl

Black 6/0 thread

Rubber Legs

Fabric Paint for Eyes (I didn't use eyes)

Tying Instructions: Mix and and match colors to match the fish your are targeting. Bright colors (chartruese, yellow, white, lime green) work great on bass and panfish, while the dull earth tones (tans, browns, greens and black) work great on trout.

Detailed tying instructions are availible in a book called "Tying Flies with Foam Fur and Feathers" by Harrision R. Steeves III

1)Mount your thread on the hook and run a layer of thread to the bend of the hook and then back to the front just behind the eye of the hook.2) Tie in the first foam triangle (which will later be the bottom color). The triangles are roughly 3/8" wide by 1" high. The first triangle is tied in with the point facing back towards the bend of the hook. Roughly one third of the triangle (pointed end) is tied to the hook shank, while the remaining two-thirds points out over the front of the hook. Be sure to placing the foam on the side of the hook when you tie it in since the tension of the thread will tend to push the foam up onto the top of the hook.3) Tie in a pair of rubber leg material and run the thread back to the bend of the hook. Trim the rubber legs so they are roughly the same length as the hook. If you are using rubber legs that come in a single ribbon, it helps to keep two legs together when they are tied in. Do not splitting them apart until after they have been tied in and trimmed to length. This makes it much easier to tie in rubber legs.4) Tie in five or six strands of peacock herl by the tip and run your thread to the front of the hook. Wind the herl to the front of the hook to form the body and tie off and trim. Now run your thread to the back of the hook to reinforce the herl.5) Fold the foam triangle back towards the bend of the hook and tie off.6) Lay a second foam triangle over the top of the fly with the point facing back. The front of the foam should line up with the eye of the hook. Tie down the piece of foam and then whip finish with a long reach whip finish tool or hand whip finish.7) Cut off the thread and reattach roughly 1/8" behind the eye of the hook. Fold down the top piece of foam and tie down. The front edge should flare up a little forming almost a popper face.8) Tie in a pair of legs on each side of the hook and trim to length.9) Whip finish and cut off your thread.10) Add eyes on the front of the foam using fabric paint (75 cent from Wal-Mart) or permanent marker.

Presentation Tips: Fish as you would a grasshopper pattern or a popper. The fish love seem to love an active retrieve with this fly.

I like to use silver chenille as an attractor for this pattern.

I enjoy tying foam patterns. When I saw this fly, I had to tie it immediately. I use mostly hopper patterns but have moved to the Chernobyl Ant pattern too. I want something to drift all year - not just during "hopper time". I like to use foam fly patterns and poppers too.

Still waiting on the white bass run!! Hoping to fish the Big Sugar Creek soon!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ozark waters address or rant.

This is a rant I made in reply to a posting on Yahoo about a guy who mentioned he fished the Illinois River in Oklahoma - his friend mentioned that he was fishing in chicken poop. Farmers are spreading it (chicken litter) in their fields. The run off from raincauses and increase in nitrates and lower levels of oxygen. TheIllinois River watershed is very large. Arkansas is the world's orone of the world's largest chicken producers - obviously, it's Tyson's backyard. Not to mention George's, OK Foods, Cargill, Vess Cobb, Simmons, Peterson . . .

In my opinion a lot of pollution is also coming from the surrounding cities, Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville. The area has been a contruction boom for about 5 years. Developers haven't been following ordinances and have been fined. Main creeks that feed theIllinois River are Clear Creek, Mud Creek, Scull Creek, and a few others I cannot remember. These creeks flow through residential areas and cities. Some of these actually supported life or more life thanusual. The Ozark Cave fish is now in trouble - an almost extinctspecies. Some of the pollution comes from arsenic in construction andfrom the overall population boom here in Northwest Arkansas - apopulation boom that is causing local administrators to begin legislation on protecting the environment - waters and land.

The Fayetteville Shale Play is predicted to make the state have a boon economy - the largest such holdings of natural gas in North America.I have seen the decline of local waters that I fish - just over thepast 5 years. A local gated community was built on the White River. They sit on the edge of a cliff. There are several large pipes that allow run off from the neighborhood to pour into the river.The West Fork of the White River is under probation from Feds. A recent dump site was built 2 miles in the watershed. Many miles of the rver that once held healthy populations of smallmouth, bream and crappie are now void of almost all species. Thousands of acres that were unpopulated are now surrounding creeksand rivers that flow into the Illinois and White River Watersheds. The Ozarks are beautiful and the streams are amazing.

All I see now are thousands upon thousands of people moving in by the droves. People who go out to take advantage of the beauty and outdoors but donot truly respect it. More business and communities are popping up but for the worse of streams and the environment. Growing up in British Columbia, I grew to appreciate the environment -it would almost seem that people used to respect the environment a lot more. I have seen pure water streams and hundreds of acres untouched by man. I have also seen swaths of land clear cut for lumber. Moving back to the states made me see how progress affects the environment and how the dollar motivates man - myself included. Perhaps, I lived too far away from large cities and big economies but now it would seem that the whole world is growing fast - closing in on itself.

Yummy Foam Popping Bugs - Bluegill and Bass Fly Pattern


Body - 1/4 inch cylinder foam (can be purchased through catalogs or some stores such as Bass Pro Shops.

Hackle - yellow

tail - yellow marabou

hook - size 6 aberdeen style

legs - rubber insect legs

I made these to sell on ebay because of this bluegill fly pattern is easy to make and is effective. Duh, it's a popping bug.

Step 1 - You may have to cut 1/4 to 1/3 inch sections. The foam comes in about 10 - 12 inches length.

Step 2 - Poke a hole through the middle of the foam body (long ways) with your bodkin or whatever other tool.

Step 3 - Poke a hole short ways through the middle of the body FOR THE LEGS.

Step 4 - Use your threader tool, poke it through the hole and place the legs into the eye and pull it back through.

*If you do not have a threading tool, you may be able to accomplish this with your bobbin. If you screw up the size of the hole and the legs are loose, dab some glue.

Step 5 - Put some glue or Zap - A- Gap on the shaft of the hook and push the foam onto it. Make sure legs are placed level.

Step 6 - Tie on marabou

Step 7 - Tie in hackle

Use whatever color foam. You can create these with other types of foam and pieces from old flip flops.

Let me know if you've got any questions.

I would suggest using OX, 1X or 2X tippet and leaders with these flies.

Place the fly around structure and pop it. You can even drift it past structure or under brush and branches while popping it.

This size fly will allow you to screen out the little sunfish and be attractive enough fly pattern with a decent hook for a bass.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Snow Beetle - Bluegill Fly Pattern

This was received in a fly swap. The there were a few left over and I had a fun with these. Now, they are all gone.

Size 10 hook

Body - 2 pieces of foam glued together and shaped with scissors.

Legs - rubber - tied in on second segment of body. Crystal flash was tied in with the legs too but you can barely see it.

Indicator - white foam

I copied this pattern and sold some on ebay - fairly simple. That's what this fly pattern is - simple. As with most foam fly patterns, bluegills will take them fairly well. I used to drift this on a few local creeks. I took a bunch of sunfish and bluegills off one fallen tree. I drifted this on the Middle Fork of the White River. There was a deep hole and the fish sat under some rocks that jutted out over the sandy creek bottom. I would drift and pop it. Lovely Pumpkin Seeds - big and juicy - great fighters. I used a 3 wgt. rod which is broken now.

I am waiting for the white bass to run. I may go out but there is a line of thunderstorms almost here. All my stuff is ready. I have probably jinxed myself now.

I will give more in-depth instructions and am hoping to put a few on You Tube.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Largemouth Bass Fly Pattern - popping bug

Alas, this poor fly has disappeared among the brambles and branches of Lake Bobb Kidd. I have a few of these cork bodies left to make this largemouth bass fly pattern - and perhaps, you could land a smallmouth with it too.

My father gave a bunch of these to me. A friend of his got them from some close out sale. The cork was already glued to the hook shank and wrapped with some thick thread. I just used Testor's Paint - used a Q-Tip dipped in black. For the eyes, I cut the Q-Tip in half and dipped it in yellow. Then I wittled the other end down to a sharp point, dipped it in red for the Iris. The front of the popper is red. The body was sprayed with lacquer finish - before tying!

The weed guard is 20 lbs. test line made by Shakespeare.

I landed several largemouth bass at Bob Kidd. Never failed, took my boat out (before I sold it!!!), headed out to the nasty end. You had to be careful, you never knew what your trolling motor would hit.

I would cast out around the edges of the lily pads and work my way to fallen trees, hog wire, old barrels and whatever else. Lovely spot for largemouth bass. I would always land at the very least one bass - it was pretty crowded - sometimes, expecially crowded with crappie fisherman.

I used my 5 wgt., not my 8 wgt. Shoulda taken it once though - had a really big one on and tried to set the hook, played him and he was gone. I couldn't muscle him with that 5 wgt. fly rod.


Little Foam Popping Bug - Bluegill & Bass Fly Pattern

Body - compressed foam - (pre-formed)
Tail - marabou
Hackle - saddle
Paint - Testor's Paint or permanent marker
Finish - Testor's Spray Lacquer
Glue - Zap-a-Gap
Tools - Q-Tip and foam or cardboard

This popper body was purchased at my local fly shop. The body is made foam - what I call compressed foam becuase it is hard. You can still work a bodkin through it and pull legs through. Hooks come with it to - so they have that little hump to keep the body in place. I'll try to post a photo of the hook later.

It's an easy tie and an obviously effective pattern for bass and panfish. Marabou tail, some hackle too.

You can apply these tying step to any cork, balsa, and foam patterns.

Step 1 - Put some Zap-a-Gap on the hook shaft.

Step 2 - Place a slit in the body (there may already be one in store bought kits). Place the body onto the hook - push it down a bit.

Step 3 - Let the glue dry a bit. Turn it over and place Zap-a-Gap into the slit. Keep the fly upside down and let the glue dry.

Step 4 - Paint the body. I dip my Q-Tip into the paint and dab the body. I usually let one coat dry and then apply another. You can color with permanent markers too - depending on the foam type. You may need to stick the popper in a foam block or cardboard to let it dry - dependant on how many you do at once. After the paint dries, I cut the Q-Tip in half and dot the body with a different color paint. After it dries, I spray the body down with lacquer. *Don't spray lacquer if you color with markers.

Step 5 - Tie in the marabou.

Step 6 - Tie in the hackle and palmer it forward. Tie in the hackle and half hitch a couple of times. You can apply glue if necessary.

Email me if you have any questions. I don't provide the clearest of steps but hopefully, through this blog, I have challenged myself to provide pictures for steps and to give clear direction.

This also works with cork - you can be pre-formed cork bodies somewhere on the net. Also, if you just use cork suach as those found in wine bottles, etc. You can by those in bulk on the web too. I have made a few of these cork body fly pattern for bass and bluegills.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bluegills, bluegills, and more bluegills.

It would seem that everyone at one time or another has landed bluegills or sunfish. I truly believe these little creatures are entertaining to us all. Funny thing is that a lot of folks think these fish are fairly easy to catch. That is not always the case.

For example, a low pressure system can come in and all those little bluegills will seem to stay in about the same 2 -4 four foot zone. I've seen them very active right before a storm came through - a heavy storm that brought in low pressure and great humidity. It is frustrating to land bluegill after bluegill to only find that a few minutes later, they stare at your fly as if to say, "Hmmm, that does look hand tied - let's see how much we can frustrate this fisherman."Even with several folks hitting the same area all day long can cause bluegills and sunfish to simply lose interest in the activity of flies plopping on the surface or swimming by - cautious they will become - wary of the angler.I have fished nests and caught big bull bluegills. Only to have them snub me the very next day. It sure is funny to try and predict their behavior by weather, sunlight, water temperature, etc.

Let's just say that in my opinion, it's all based on their own choices. They definitely aren't stupid fish. I have seen them stare back at me, watch me throw a fly in the water and just stare at it - knowingly that it is barbed and dangerous.I do think that warm summer morning and evenings can be very productive due to water temperature and feeding habits. The most amazing thing I have seen is a Sulphur hatch on a lake at about sun down. Hundreds, if not thousands of bluegills blasting the surface as these nymphs hatched - all for only a few minutes - and then silence.Sure, they take just about any fly - sometimes, it depends on various factors.

I would like to list a few of my favorite patterns.
Pheasant Tail Nymph
Club Sandwich Hopper
California Coachman
Cajun Coachman
Jeremiah Nymph One
Montana Nymph
Various popping bugs

I love to walk streams and land fish after fish on a warm day - bluegills and sunfish will do - even the stray smallmouth. I will say that the most satisfying days aren't spent landing a few trout in many hours but landing many 'gills on a lazy afternoon.I have hundreds of flies - mostly from swaps. I still have many of those patterns in which to try and land bluegills.

What is fun and exciting is to discover new water and unlock it's secrets or find certain effective patterns.To me the local creeks and rivers provide much excitement - I never know if the next fish will be bass, crappie, bluegills, or carp. But to me, a hefty, fat bluegill or pumpkin seed makes me feel satisfied.
As most folks already know, panfish are a treat when deep fried. I do suggest Uncle Buck's Fish Seasoning from Bass Pro Shops and can be found in Wal-Mart. I do think 'gills are tastier than bass - probably not as good as crappie but close.I also like to pan fry my fish in a mixture of flour and seasoned salt - no egg wash. Just wet fish in that mixture and pan fried in vegetable oil.

White bass fly patterns.

Here are two effective white bass patterns. The first is obviously a Clouser and the second, is a Crazy Dad. To learn how to tie the Crazy Dad, visit this site - my local fly shop - http://www.mcflyshop.com/articles/. The Clouser has chartreuse material on top (can't remember the material name) and bucktail on the bottom along with some silver tinsel. You can also use craft fur. Some crystal flash won't hurt either.Both patterns are weighted to take the fly down where the white bass hang out. They school near the bottom of streams and rivers when spawning. The best set up is a 5 wgt. with intermediate sinking line. The sinking line helps with presentation - keeps the fly at the same level - floating line really can hurt presentation for a crawdad. Sinking line lies in synch with the fly - pulling it along the bottom instead of upwards. OX tippet or leader will do - 8 lbs. or 10 lbs. test. These fish are very strong fighters.
Your presentation will differ - try stripping it in fast or slow - differ your approach. Usually, white bass feed on minnows, shad, and crawdads. They lie and wait at the edges of riffles and school about - fast little suckers too! They dart around in pools and if the timing is right, you can land one after the other. They begin their run in early spring when the water hits 55 - 60 degrees. Usually, they only spawn for a few weeks. However, you can still catch a school here or there throughout the year.
White bass taste great too! All it takes is one fillet for a nice meal. Can't wait for the white bass run.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yellow Creek Fly - smallmouth & bluegill

I have caught Kentucky, smallmouth, bream, and largemouth on this fly. Sometimes, I used ginger hackle. I may even use Golden Pheasant tippet fibers for the tail or wing.
The body is made of small pale yellow chenille. The wing and tail are yellow mallard side bar feathers (or something like that). I based this off the Yellow Hackle fly in "Fly Tying and Fly Fishing for Bass and Panfish". That and I find yellow to be used on a wide array of flies in that book . . . and I find it effective with lures too.
I ahve had fish come out of hiding and even chase this into the shallows. I use this as a minnow pattern. The fly shown is tied on a size 8 and I even use 10.

Calcasieu Pigboat - largemouth bass fly

This is the Calcasieu Pig Boat - a real bass fisherman's fly. It's big enough to temp the best fish and can be a relatively easy cast. This pattern was originated by Tom Nixon. The above information was taken from Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Bass and Panfish, Third Edition, Revised by Tom Nixon. In 1986, he was awarded the FFF Henshall Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Promoting the Enjoyment or Convervation of Warm Water Fishiers.The CALCASIEU PIG BOAT TYING INSTRUCTIONS

Hook: Size 2/0 Mustad 3366 (Or Tiemco 8089 #2)Thread: Black Size A (I used 3/0 Monocord)Skirt: Black rubber hackle or rubber thread that has not been separatedHackle: Two or Three wide and long black saddle hackles

Body: Large black chenille for one pass or medium chenille with two passes

Eyes: Painted

Weight: Optional, this depends on how fast and how deep you want the fly to goNote: you can use a variety of color rubber hackle, chenille and saddle hackle

Step 1: Start by separating a strip of rubber hackle and dividing it so that it contanins 14 individual strands 12 inchs long. Do not separate any of the individual strands at this time. Now cut the 12 inch piece of rubber hackle into 4, 3 inch strips.

Step 2: Make a pointed cut on both sides of the hackle strip starting at one end of the 3 inch strip approximately 1/4 of an inch from the tip to the beginning of the cut. After you have completed this do it to the other three strips of rubber hackle. Once this is tied on the hook, it will help to produce a tappered head on the fly.

Step 3: Starting from the behind the eye of the hook lay a thread foundation stopping the thread on the shank of the hook even with the tip of the barb. Tie in your two saddle hackles and work your thread forward to approximately 3/8 of an inch from the eye of the hook.

Step 4: Tie in a piece of medium chenille and wrap to the beginning of the where the sadle hackle is tied.

Step 5: Then rap the medium chenille foward to where you firsted tied in the chenille. Take about 2-3 wraps to secure the chenille and the cut off the excess.

Step 6: Wind the two saddle hackles forward and secure the right in front of the chenille.

Step 7: Take a strip of rubber hackle and tie it to the side of the hook closest to you. Tie in the hackle with the tip toward the eye of the hook with the tip of the rubber hackle about 1/16 from the eye of the hook. When tying in the rubber hackle, you should be sure that you wrap the thread about 1/16 of an inch behind where you started to make the cut for the tip. Tie the rubber hackle right in front of the chenille.

Step 8: Tie the rubber hackle secure on the hook and work your thread back to where you started the thread. Apply a small amount of glue on to the thread and take a couple of wraps of the thread.

Step 9 : Tie in the second piece of rubber hackle on the top of the hook as in Step 7 and repeat Step 8.

Step 10: Tie in the third piece of rubber hackle on far side of the hook as in Step 7 and repeat Step 8.

Step 11: Tie in the forth piece of rubber hackle onthe bottom side of the hook as in Step 7 and repeat Step 8.

Step 12: Take the thread make a tappered head of the fly. Whip finish and apply head cement (Sally's Hard as Nails) Wait until the head cement has dried and then make your painted eyes.

Step 13: Now separate the individual strands of rubber hacle from each other. Your should end up with 56 individual strands of rubber hacle.


You can troll this pattern. It can also be fished like a jig or on top of the water. For top water action, hold your rod tip high and work the fly towards you in an erratic fashion. Make it splash and swim. Don't let the fly stop moving or it will sink. You can even put spinners on it such as a No.3 Indiana Spinner. A weed guard would be a good choice too.

Bluegill/Smallmouth Fly

This a is 1/4 inch foam cylinder foam popper. I purchased the foam at Bass Pro Shops. A bobbin threader was used to pull the legs through a hole I made with a bodkin. I tied the back end of the foam down with about 15 or so wraps of thread. It's pretty simple to tie - rubber legs and feather for the tail and some palmered hackle. This is a good fly for bass and bream. The fly is on a number 8 hook. I usually buy my #8 hooks at Wal-Mart - about $3 or $4 for about 100 hooks.

Bluegill fly - Blue Dragon

Hook - Size 10

Body - Closed cell foam

Wings - white swiss straw

Thread - black (preferrably blue)

Step 1 - Cut a 1/16 to 1/8 strip of foam about an inch long. Tie in last segment - make tail - begin to tie in segments - don't cross the foam unless you know how to make an X crossover - you can cross under the foam on the hook.

Step 2 - Cut about 1 1/2 inches of swiss straw and tie it in under the foam - use X cross tying. Zap-a-Gap it into place.

Step 3 - Finish tying in segments. Turn fly over and Zap-a-Gap body along hook shank.

Step 4 - Cut a slit in the swiss straw to make the wings complete as in a X - as you see in dragon flies. You can tie in some clear crystal flash for the wings or with the wings.

Step 5- If you want, draw stripes on body with marker.

Plop this pattern on the water or just drift it with a few twitches. Try this pattern is red!

Email me with any questions.

Fly fishing with spinners.

This is a Calcasieu Pig Boat with a Colorado spinning blade. There are those that feel that fly fishing with spinners isn't a functional form of the sport. Quite possibly even that it is mechanical.

However, spinners had been used quite frequently by many fly fisherman in the past - prior to the mid-70's to early 80's. Part of a presentation to fish and mostly to bass is the presence of noise or vibration. Popping bugs entice bass that aren't possibly even hungry - even those with a large crawdad laying in their stomachs. Patterns that flow such as bunny hair leech patterns or the Gully worm coerce a bass into eating them. Such as it is with spinners - they provide vibrations and attraction - bass react to vibrations and disturbances. Not those large man made noises but small disturbances in the water such as made by a fish. i truly believe that bass - large bass - need to be coerced or woken up to the fact a meal is nearby. That may not be the fact during the spawn.

For example, you can pummel the same spot over and over with a popping bug until a bass finally decides to take it. I say, as long as the fly has fur, foam, or feathers, it's ok to have that spinner. It was accepted in the past and seemingly shunned if not partially accepted.

A good book to read about using spinners is Fly Fishing and Fly Tying for Bass and Panfish by Tom Nixon. He provides knowledge to a great extent about which ones to choose and how to present them.If you are trolling with a fly - using a spinner is probably a good idea.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Very warm today. Thought I would hit a crik above the lake. I forgot the spillway was broken during flooding. Seems the lake is emptying out. One end is drying up - lakeis very cold still - I waded a bit below the lake. Caught a few small sunfish. Water is deep in some places. I will hit this tomorrow - maybe. Will use weighted flies or sinking line - perhaps, spinning gear.

Used Jeremiah Nypmh Two (Tom Nixon pattern). Caught some largemouth and 'gills last year below new spillway and further down near highway.

New launch ramp was being placed laste last year or earlier this year for canoes and kayaks - I need to check it out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

War Eagle Creek

With family activities, you tend to spend a lot less time on hobbies. This year, I am trying to maximize my time on the water fishing. There are certain creeks and waters that I planned out - and several others in the works.

I went down to War Eagle Creek. We had a cold snap last week but this week is supposed to be about 75 degrees or so for several days. I am looking for water temps to warm up for the white bass run. I don't see that happening for several weeks yet - at least warm enough for them to head into War Eagle up to the dam.

I may catch a few this weekend on the White River. Who knows. Today, I landed 13 bass ranging from about 6 to 12 inches. All were caught in small slews and off structure in quiet waters. The creek was running pretty swift and cold.

I still haven't patched my waders. You have to get a pass from the mill to fish and even those are numbered. Yet, I was the only guy there fishing.

Almost all were caught on chartruese yellow or white rooster tails. I used my ultra-light spinning rod. I haven't been on this creek in about 8 or 9 years - I forgot the terrain. I dislike casting and handling line and watching for trees and bushes behind me - all the while watching my footing as I fly fish. I did find a number of spots to drift and cast with my fly rod on my next outing there.

It's gonna be awesome when the water gets warm!!!

I was in a rush this morning. Dropped the kids off and went by the bank. I still had to dry my waders out with a blow dryer. I had filled them up with water to find leaks and there was still water in the feet!!

I stopped to fuel up and realized I had forgotten my wading boots - went back home. It wasn't until I caught my first fish that I realized the camera was still at home.

Not a bad day!!

Next week is spring break for the kids and I didn't realize when I put in for vacation that was already approved before I knew of the dates!!! White bass this Saturday and maybe Spavinaw Creek on Monday!!

Hoping to fish Illinois River soon!

Friday, March 13, 2009

First white bass outing this year.

I just remembered, there is now a limit on white bass. 25. There used to be no limit on Beaver Lake and it's tributaries. There are more and more people coming out every year for white bass.
It's not just the new access but also that a local fly shop is pushing their products and most importantly, the population boom. It still astounds me how destructible man can be. I wish folks would pick up after themselves - and most importantly!!!! - - keep to the limit and quit taking undersized fish!!!!!!!!

Even thought the white bass run for just a little while, the local hole on War Eagle gets trashed. One year it was closed down.
Anyway, the water still hasn't reached 55 degress yet. Some white bass are being caught while they stage at the mouths of some creeks and caught in the back of some coves. I went to my lucky hole. It's a spot that floods during most years and the waters receed further down the creek so that the white bass stay in about a 200 hundred yard area.

I caught a few small kentucky bass on a small yellow fly - which I will post in a while. Pretty simple to tie. It's based af the Yellow and Black which I took from Fly Tying and Fly Fishing for Bass and Panfish - by Tom Nixon.

No white bass today. I went further down and fished a stretch along with 5 other people. Nobody landed a thing.

It snowed a bit yesterday. A cold front came through. Who knows when the white bass will run. On year, I was catching them in May on this stretch.

Red Horse Suckers?

Taken from my old blog - Friday, May 26, 2006

Red Horse Suckers?

Tuesday afternoon, I went out on the local creek to hunt carp. The water was somewhat shallow - about 4 feet at it's deepest but probably averaging about 2 feet. Due to the a drought - probably for about 2 years, the abundance of species has dwindled - I caught very little bream and no bass. However, I do call this part of the creek "carp flats" - not to be confused with the location in Bella Vista. I did expect carp and lots of them. These weren't mirror carp or grass carp - from my research, these seem to be Red Horse Suckers - I have seen them many times before but i am new at "carp hunting" - I recently read Carp on the Fly - very informative. I did try to tip-toe my way in but the bottom of the creek - for the most part is smooth rock cohowed up. These do look like carp but their mouths are gapping open - LET ME KNOW vered with algea - very slick. After a few moments of letting the waters calm, the carp/suckers. IF YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THESE SPECIES AND WHAT THEY ARE - since it was afternoon and getting hot - about 90, I didn't expect much action. Really, they were just schooling and sunning. Drove me crazy. I was casting a prince nymph, scuds, sowbugs and crawdads.

One thing is for sure, they love to watch and follow fly line - white fly line. They weren't very wary of my casting - which was very surprising. The one thing that stood out most was that a large carp would touch or "sniff" my crawdad when it would fall into the water- then he would leave it alone. Carp hunting is frustrating - rarely have I done it but that afternoon drove me nuts - mostly because there were a lot of them but also because they were practically at my feet. This is a challenge. I love it. I will land one of these suckers ( ha ha - suckers). Keep up with me - I will blog again soon. This year I will land a carp or die trying.

Does anyone know what an Ozark Bass is - I do.

Simple yet effective.

This post is from my old blog. http://warmwaterflyfishing.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 11, 2006

McGinty - A good bluegill pattern.
I just tied up a bunch of these for a swap on Fly Tying Forum. This is a Bumble Bee imitation. this pattern can be fished dry or wet - crappie have been know to take this fly too.

Tail - Red hackle barbs over barred teal

Body - yellow and black chenille

Hackle - brownWings - White tipped mallard wing quill ( I substituted a wood duck feather)

I haven't tied on this pattern much less tied the thing. I am looking forward to landing a few 'gills on this pattern. As I receive flies from swaps - I will ues them - post a photo and tell of my success.I can't figure out why I never tied this pattern before.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Love those bluegills!

I enjoy landing those little - sometimes not so small sunfish. Those bruiser bluegills can get hefty. What really ticks me off is how picky they can be - juat like trout. One day they'll hit everything you throw at them. The next day, they stare at you and flap those stupid little fins.
What makes fly fishing exciting for me is the tug of war. Those little guys can sure tug and zip around. It's a great fight on light tackle, an ultra-light rod or 3 wgt. or 4 wgt fly rod.
I enjoy tying patterns or making them up as I go along. That's because I know more than likely, a sunfish will suck it up. I've gone out with nymphs to a pond and landed bass. A few times before, I used a CDC fly - made up by a friend in Oregon - and landed a few small channel cats that came to the surface (oddly enough).
I was heavily involved in fly swaps. So, my fly boxes are made up of patterns from other folks mixed in with mine.