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.