Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fly Tying and Fly Fishing for Bass and Panfish by Tom Nixon is a great book. One that can help you see the progression of fly tying for warm water species. I became friends with some folks that knew Tom Nixon and were members of the same fly fishing club.

After Tom's death, I participated in a couple of memorial fly swaps. Just thought I would throw out a few links that show a few of Tom's patterns from a fly swaps.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hockey and Smallmouth Bass

Who knew the Arkansas Razorbacks had a hockey team? A team that is pretty darn good too. Brings back memories of street hockey and ice skating. Been watching hockey lately but I sure am looking forwards to warm weather.

I do have some goals for next year, stay under a certain weight, be more successful at fly fishing for bass and watch the Razorbacks play hockey. I wasn't good at ice hockey but I was good at skating. So, I played road hockey. It made me think of how I am a decent fisherman but not awesome all the way around.

I guess fly fishing will be something that will always challenge and frustrate me. Even though I want to go fishing, I am hung up on whether I am worthy of holding a fly rod. I really don't tie flies anymore. I have pushed the limit for tying up bluegill flies . . . moving more towards smallie flies only.

In a way, I am like the Razorbacks. People wonder how they can field a hockey team and they also wonder at how people can fly fish for something other than trout. At least the uneducated and newbies think that about me.

Just a little bored.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Searching for bass and bluegill fly patterns?

After viewing my blog, most traffic disappears within just a few seconds. I do believe most are looking for fly fishing patterns. Search my blog for fly patterns. There are more than a few with tying instructions and photos.

I may not have fancy pictures of fishing in mangroves for red fish or holding up huge smallmouth but there is a chance to pick up on a few effective patterns. After all, don't you want to diversify your fly selection?

Streams have dried up and fishing habitats aren't the same, so I have put fishing off until I decide to head to the lake. Hopefully, this warm fall will stick around a bit longer.

Hoping to post something interesting soon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Is it wrong for me to brag?

Sure, it's not a huge bass. Fly fishing 'round here ain't exactly King Salmon fishing but I'll take it. Especially when I pull this smallmouth bass out of a puddle.

Guess I need to put more text into my blog for Google spiders to crawl - need more relevancy for traffic. The past two years, I have used the Clouser for the better part of my outings. And it has paid off. Chartreuse and white Clousers and Chartreuse and pink Clousers are productive for me. In the past, I have used yellow and brown Clousers too. White Clousers are OK but since I have been fishing dirty water quite a bit the past few years, the chartreuse is obviously more visible.

I still have yet to master landing smallmouth bass on crawdad patterns. I do believe that only bluegills have taken my crawdad patterns.

I finally mastered a creek that once seemed to be distant. For some reason, it was one that I always wanted to hold off on. It was the closest to home. Guess I didn't want to disappoint myself on a stream that seemed popular and seemingly easy.

It is time to pull out the kayak again. The lake should be more comfortable for bass to come out of the cool depths. Got some deer hair popping bugs ready to go. This year, my top fly fishing goal is to catch largemouth bass on popping bugs.

Anyway, glad this year is turning out to not be such a bad year for bass.

Urban Fly Fishing

Urban fly fishing - yep . . . fly fishing in a most inconspicuous spot . . . gotta love those places close to home. Where did all the panfish go??? Water temp dropped big time a few days ago . . . rain . . . muddy water. I hope this stream doesn't become polluted . . . too polluted . . . . already a bit dirty.

You know what sucks, smelling restaurant food while you fish.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What it may all be about.

I began this blog for folks who are learning to fly fish. Watching Anthony Bourdain right now. It reminds me of making trips out to new locations and trying new fly patterns. When I moved to the South from Canada, I was intrigued by bass bugs. Even more interesting were those little panfish.

The local fly shops only offered trout flies - with the occasional white bass and panfish selection. Eventually one of them moved into bass flies. I went to the internet to find my flies - grass roots research. I became involved in fly swaps. It was interesting to find out what types of custom fly patterns anglers were tying for their favorite warm water species.

I hit the message board and online groups to learn the techniques folks were using to land fish. I do consider myself untraditional. There are a lot of books out there about fly fishing for trout, salmon,etc.

Sure, there titles on warm water species but you won't find most of them at the Barnes & Nobles. Especially when your looking for panfish flies - even crappie flies; you just won't find but a couple of titles - heck, maybe just one specifically.

I seem to find myself to be of a rare sort of fly fisherman. Sure, I see the occasional fly angler, mostly during the white bass run. There are a few of us that hit local water such as streams behind grocery stores or those good locations wedged between two highways and a local golf course.

I never saw anyone doing what I was, fly fishing from a boat - except on Lake Swepco. Maybe it's just not common in Arkansas or the Ozarks. I am sure the Kings River and Clear Creek are fished quite often by fly fisherman. Heck, even the Elk River too.

But, I don't float these streams with groups nor network to find the best locations. I hunt. I go out and figure things out on my own. Most of the time.

I've kinda fallen of the intellectual and instructional aspects of this blog. I am trying to keep it simple and offer up patterns that I use. I'm one of these guys that will fish just about anywhere but that means having a diverse selection of flies - and I like to have custom flies - bluegill flies - flies for dirty water and tight, slippery, nasty places to fish.

After all, isn't part of the adventure just figuring out where to go and what to use??

Monday, August 30, 2010

Smallmouth Outing - Illinois River #2, 2010

Landed several smallmouth bass on a chartreuse and pink Clouser fly pattern. I only had two of those colored Clousers and lost them both. Landed a few more on chartreuse and white Clousers too. After the overcast skies disappeared, fishing died down. STOPPED.

Academy Sporting Goods had it's grand opening. I went and bought some new leaders and tippet. Excellent selection of flies - panfish and bass flies. I will be making a trip there soon. I lost 8 out of 10 Clousers today.

I drifted in swifter water than usual. I wanted larger fish - figured the bigger ones would be in a faster current or would chase food into a faster current. Didn't land anything very large but had fun anyway.

I began drifting along a fallen tree - a deep hole about 4 feet deep ran alongside. The fish were hitting the Clouser on the swing through - as I drifted the fly, I tried for a longer "tail out".

Fishing is still kinda slow - waiting for temps to drop. About 100 degrees again!!

I also fish a pool which spills into a strainer on the side and also continues to flow west. There are some stumps, logs, etc. in the bottom of this pool. I usually land bass just about anywhere in this pool - except the most swift portion at the top of the pool.

8 wgt. sinking line.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sponge Pop - Bass Fly Pattern

I made this bass bug to displace water and make noise. I actually haven't landed anything with nit but have used it a few times. It's OK. Not as loud as I figured it would be but it's a frog pattern and I bet something will hit it one day.

Just joined Warm Water group on Facebook

This group seems to like bass, bluegills, crappie, etc. Seems like it could be fun and educational. Let's get this thing goin'! Seems like posts are really slow but it could be a great way to congregate and share info and photos.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ozark Bass and strange bream findings.

Pictured is a Rock Bass. Very similar to an Ozark Bass. I have fished in many Ozark streams. The West Fork, Middle Fork, White River, Richland Creek, War Eagle, just to mention a few - was that a few?? Heck, I even fished that creek which flows under the I-540 bridge near the Target store and next to restaurant row. If that's not urban fishing, I don't know what is.

I have seen many different species of sunfish. I have also seen many different cross breeds. Cream colored bream with "Red-Eye" Stump Knocker markings. Or Pumpkinseed mixed with Warm Mouth. I guess you could name them; Redeye, Goggle-eye, Red-eyed Bream, Stump Knocker, Mudgapper, Mo-mouth, Morgan, Molly, Rock Bass, Open Mouth, Weed Bass, Wood Bass, Strawberry perch, Mud Bass, and Warmouth Bass.

Whatever - just as long as they fit in the pan. The most beautiful sunfish of all, is what I truly consider to be the Ozark Bass. Cream colored body with black gills with red tips. A large mouths and belly. Heftier than most sunfish.

I caught a few this year and last. The most consisting day I had was when my father and I went out to Lake Elmdale. We landed many of these wonderful cream colored creatures. Some had mouths large enough to take deer hair flies. The Middle Fork of the White River (below Lake Sequoyah) is a pretty good place to find them. I used to drift Elk Hair Caddis to land these puppies on a 3 wgt. rod. I took my father to the stream and blew him away. lol. Large Pumpkin Seed "gills were prevalent under rock ledges when using a Montana Nymph.

I have landed so many sunfish that I think of myself as a Panfish Pro. If I could only be a Bass Pro. Sniff, Sniff.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Oh bass bug, oh bass bug. Where art thou bass bug?

Somewhere out in Crystal Lake, a bass has my deer hair bass bug. My only bass of the day got away. Tough fishing. Although, I ran into a school of Ozark Bass .

I want to be like these guys you know - those guys that go out and catch bass. I can find bream just about anytime I go out. Why? I'm good at it. If I can just hone my bass fishing skills, then maybe I can land more bass.

I used to say fly fishing for panfish was fun. And . . . it kind of is . . . or used to be. I've got my eye on the prize. It's time to start landing more bass. I love the big tugs on my fly rod. Especially when a big bass jumps out of the water. It's gonna take time out on the water again. Time to learn certain waters again. Time to find new waters too.

It's been a few years since I had a boat. Time to start picking up on things again. I do believe it's the dog days of summer. Fishing should pick up again in a bit.

Time to pull out my bass books again. Maybe it's time to hit my old haunts . . . .

Monday, July 26, 2010

First Black Bass of the year!

Landed on Los Alamos Ant fly pattern - largemouth bass on the fly - took 6 months but I finally landed my first official bass of the year - white bass not included. Today I went the portion of a stream that I never attempted before. I was surprised. Lots of good fish activity.

I spent about 4 hours on the stream. I landed a good number of bream and small bass on the FLEA FLY, LOS ALAMOS ANT, and CRAPPIE KILLER.

I lost the tip guide to my 4 wgt. rod. I lost a spool of tippet and somehow got line tangled tightly around my ankle underwater.

I spotted bass right away. But as it would be my luck and almost always is, small bass hit my Flea Fly. Eventually, I got tired of landed small fish, tried a Clouser to no success and then tied on a size 6 Los Alamos Ant (tied by myself).

I decided to move up to a larger and longer hook to cull out the stupid, small sunfish. I smacked that fly down on the water. Hooked some decent sized bluegills and Ozark Bass too. He had a big mouth on that little body.

I landed my largest fish of the day on a Los Alamos Ant. What an explosion! Kablamo!

Sun burned with sore shoulders (from casting) and finally settled down into fly fishing for the year, ahhhh.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Whackers? No . . . BLUEGILLS.

Fun day out catching bluegills. Darn bluegills. Dog days of summer!! Tons of them out and none of them biting. My kids call them "whackers" because the fish whack their bodies on the kids' hands.

Foam hopper. Kids love to catch them. Ordered some deer hair bugs yesterday. Gotta clean my line - real dirty water at that pond.

Couldn't find my oar. Odd. Ordered a new one. Hoping to get kayak out soon.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bass or Panfish Fly Pattern - Foam Damsel

I couldn't tell you how I tied this bluegill fly one. It's been a long time. Swiss straw for wings, foam body. Pretty simple.

Bluegill Fly Pattern - Yellow and Black.

I borrowed this pic. This is Tom Nixon's Yellow and Black. Great for Bluegills.

Tail: Black hackle fibers
Body: Yellow chenille or yellow floss ribbed with gold tinsel
Wing: Black hackle fibers
Hackle: Black hackle fiber throat hackle (although in the example for the image Tom used yellow hackle fibers)
Head: Black thread
Hook: #10 down to #18

Bass Fly Pattern - Minnow Streamer

Great bass fly or crappie fly pattern.

Material List: White chenille, red chenille, silver tinsel, duck feathers, #2 hook.

Tying Instructions: Tie on mallard flank or other duck feathers for tail. Tie on white chenille and tinsel. Then tie on a bit of red chenille. Tie on flank feathers for wing. Use 15 wraps or .10 lead for weight.

Presentation Tips: This is a good pattern for white bass and crappie. A sinking tip line is recommended.

Bluegill Fly Pattern - Frog Popping Bug

This is one of the first popping bugs I ever tied. I formed the body from a cork with a razor blade.

Material List:
Formed cork, paints, feathers, #8 hook

Tying Instructions: Fashion cork with razor blade or Dremmel tool. Paint and apply lacquer. Tied on feathers.

Bass Fly Pattern - Crazydad crawdad

This is a pattern I learned to tie at a white bass seminar which was held at a local fly shop.

Material List: Lead eyes, brown bucktail, orange rubber legs, brown dubbing.

Tying Instructions: Tie on lead eyes such as you would for a Clouser. Then tie on legs (claws). Use a dubbing spinner to dub body. Tie on brown bucktail to extend past barb.

Bass Fly Pattern - Calcasieu Pigboat

This bass fly pattern is one of my first attempts at tying a Calcasieu Pigboat. And following the instructions of Tom Nixon, I added a spinning blade. I have used this pattern but never landed anything on it. Although, my father landed some bass on the one I gave him . . . until it came off. He told me, "I almost cried."

Material List: Rubber legs
lead wire
spinner blade

Tying Instructions: Tie in marabou tail or rubber legs for tail. If using rubber legs tie up on hook about 1/2 way up. Tie in chenille and hackle wrapping both to about 3/4 up the hook. Tie on rubber hackle or legs for the skirt. About 8 on each side. about 60 in all. have them extend to match about the lenght of the tail. the length of the pigboat should extend about 1/2 inch or so from bend of hook. Tied in head paint eyes and cement. This can be tied weedless.

Presentation Tips: Strip in fast.

Bass Fly Pattern - Frog Popping Bug

This bass fly was a very effective fly pattern. As with most flies, they disappear. I had a few of these. Tying flies had sort of become a past time. Used to tied them out in the shed.

Material List: 1/4 inch foam cylinder, rubber legs, feathers, stick on eyes, #8 hook

Tying Instructions: Use bodkin to place hole in center of foam cylinder. Push hook through cylinder. Use Zap-a-Gap if required. You can also tie on back of cylinder with thread but not required. Tie on four rubber legs behind body. Then tie on feathers. Then push legs through body with bobbin threader or needle. Apply eyes.

Bass Fly Pattern - Midnight Popping Bug

Tied this bass fly a while back. Lost this popping bug on the far side of a stream. I always cover my hard body poppers with spray lacquer.

Material List: Black paint, balsa body, 25 lbs. test line, black feathers and marabou. Painted on or stick on eyes.

Tying Instructions: Paint body black with eyes. Spray with lacquer. Tie on marabou and feathers. Tie this weedless.

Bass Fly Pattern - Minnow Popping Bug

Tied this crease fly in 2002. Love popping bugs.

Target Species: Freshwater Bass,
Recommended Region: Central US,
Imitation: General Baitfish,
Material List: Foam, 0/1 hook, shad colored marabou
Tying Instructions: Paint silver body, then apply light coat of white paint on the bottom and apply or paint eyes. Mouth is red. Can be tied weedless. Tie on marabou.

Bass Fly Pattern - Deer Hair Popping Bug

What can I say, if you don't know how to tie a deer hair bass bug, watch a video. That's what I did. So, my instructions are weak.

Material List: Deer hair and saddle hackle
Tying Instructions: Pack on hair. Trim so placement of the hook is exactly in the middle of the hair.

Bass Fly Pattern - Lead Eye Leach

A few years back, I tied this bass fly pattern as the member of a forum. Just remembered where it was posted. Thought I would share it. I tried to make a weedless pattern that would jig along the bottom for bass. I used this on Lake Swepco once and then sold the others on ebay. lol. The lead eyes are tied "on top" like a Clouser.

Material List: Cross cut bunny strip, lead eyes, 30 lbs. test monofiliament.

Tying Instructions: Tie on eyes, glue with zap-a-Gap. Tie on monofilament on hook leave tip dangling. Tie on tail. continue with same strip as tail. Wrap the strip around tightly. make sure the hair points towards tail. tie off at eyes. Tie on tip of monofilament. Apply cement.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Popping bug for Bluegills

Just throwing this bluegill fly pattern back out there.

What color should my popping bugs be in a river?

I noticed that someone used this phrase in a search engine to locate my blog. I figured to give some insight - something specific - from my point of view.

If you are using strictly top water popping bugs - not "divers", I really don't think it matters. If you are using divers, I don't think it matters too much which colors you choose other than I think that red and white can increase your chances - and maybe chartreuse in dirty water.

Sometimes, I use sinking line with my poppers to make more of a chug. I do think that colors are effective when using wet flies and streamers but not so much with poppers because it causes a reactive strike with bass.

But, that's just my take.

Foam fly - popping bug - Sponge Pop

Just made this up to displace more water and make a big sound. Haven't tried it yet.

Custom Foam Fly - Popping Bug - Bass

I bought some foam cylinders from Bass Pro Shops. That is what most of this fly consists of. I cut a slit in it - used an old hook from a cork popper body - filled it with Zap-A-Gap and made it weedless.

I tied this bass fly in about 2002. I have two of them actually. Had to do a little repair work on one of them. I used this pattern on a lake that has a lot of lily pads, fallen timber, old fallen fences posts, barb wire, etc. It is bigger than it looks.

Generally, I use this on the edge of the lily pads. Although, when I get brave enough, I do gently pull if over some of the pads.

If a bass misses the bug as I strip it in, I usually let it sit until the bass pops it again - or strip it again to get another reaction.

I vary my retrievals. Sometimes, I pop it a few times and let it sit for about 4 or five seconds and a bass will hit it. I usually go out at dusk - well I used to - until I sold my boat.

Luckily, I've got my kayak. Hoping to hit some lake bass soon. Been concentrating on streams for the past few years.

Simple yet effective pattern. I like to use foam because it's more resilient and giving. I hate putting time into deer hair patterns because they end up in trees or falling apart after a while.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Flip Flop Fly - Bass Bug - Easy popping bug

I tied this last spring. Just thought I'd throw this back out there. Since nobody is reviewing my old posts.

Thinking of giving up fly fishing.

Sure, I have mentioned that I enjoy fly fishing. Especially for bluegills and bass. However, I am so frustrated about not catching any bass this year - well, maybe one - that I am thinking of hanging up my waders permanently.

I went out to two locations yesterday. No bass. Always bream. These bluegills were on their beds and doing the ol' "suck and spit" or "watch the fly". I want bass. Last year was the second best year for bass. 2007 was the best year but I cannot access the Illinois River at that location anymore.

Sure, I haven't maximized my opportunities such as last year but I expect more from myself and the locations I choose. I am so frustrated to see folks landing lots of bass and posting pics.

Where's the bass??? I may switch back to spinning gear again. My ultra-light combo and Yellow Rooster Tails. Something about yellow and fish. Man, what I would do to hit that farm again. It took my friend and I about 5 tries to be successful on the Illinois River. 5 of us went out and caught about 50 bass in 3 days.

Last year, I landed a beautiful smallie. I landed bass everytime I went to the Illinois River. I landed bass in my sleep. Now . . . nothin. I miss landing bass on popping bugs. I miss living on the White River. I miss the bridge being open on War Eagle.

May take a float trip. Still looking for that trip which relaxes me. An outing that makes me feel successful at something else besides the ol' 9-5 family life.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monitor your streams and rivers before going out.

Before heading out to my favorite streams, I always take a look at the US Geological Survey website. Yesterday, my wife mentioned taking the kids out on a float trip. The first thing I mentioned was to check the river level and rate of flow. It had rained recently and quite a bit too.

You never know how fast the water may be running. I think it's a best bet to check out water levels and flow - even water temperature - depending on time of year - which can help if you are monitoring a spawn.


Which reminds me, please do pay attention also to the lakes which note to watch out for possible high mercury levels.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My overall challenge.

When moving the the states from Canada, I found that when it came to fishing, the biggest challenge for me was to locate fish with a totally different style than I was utilizing.

I grew up in British Columbia fishing for Kamloops Trout. An actual species of lake trout. One of the largest species of trout. We used to use bugs we found under logs with bobbers. Or we trolled with spoons. And yes, we fly fished the lakes. I never fished a stream until I fished the Buffalo River.

I immediately fell in love with creeks, streams, and rivers. Soon thereafter, I invited my father to fish for trout below Beaver Dam. A location he was familiar with angling with a fly rod. I figured with him serving as the president of a fly fishing club and having won a few amateur casting contests, he could put me back on track with a fly rod.

Sure enough, during our first outing, I landed a few trout. SMALL trout. After several trips to Beaver Dam, I wasn't too enthused.

I even fished for trout below Bull Shoals - which didn't go too badly. I landed about 50 during a week's trip out - on Rooster Tails.

I WANTED TO LAND LARGE FISH. I wanted a challenge on a large rod. I WANTED BASS.

The biggest challenge for me was to learn how to fly fish for warm water species. To locate those streams and rivers that held these feisty creatures.

These managed fisheries were not only overcrowded but lacked those large trout that I longed for - large trout - shoot, anything larger than a 13 inch trout you could land on a puny 3 wgt. rod.

Heck, I found bluegill to be more fun on a 3 wgt. than these small trout. Sure, you can find large trout in Arkansas but wouldn't you rather land a huge bucket mouth??

Anyone can hit a managed fishery and catch fish but can they fish local unmanaged waters and be successful??

I hit several online warm water fly fishing forums. I subscribed to magazines, bought fly tying material and hit local waters. I hit the same stream at least a hundred times one year. It yielded white bass, crappie, smallmouth bass, bream, large shad, carp, red suckers and more.

It was hard fishing but I learned a lot about how you could land bass drifting nymphs or landing fish on home made fly recipes. I learned about weather and water temperature and a whole slew of other warm water fly fishing information from simply learning it all myself - thinking outside the box - mostly from using my own patterns and fishing waters most people weren't wading.

I eventually bought a boat and began fishing lakes. Landing bass on streamers and popping bugs - those of my own design. I not only wanted to locate fish on local uncrowded and seemingly unmanaged waters but also to do it on my own flies.

I hated those articles and magazines that preached things which thought inside the box.

I don't catch a lot of bass. Shoot, I have only landed a few this year. Last year, I landed bass on almost every trip. But I do it my way.

"My way" isn't just about fishing but a philosophy. I try to stretch the limits of those minds which think plain and inside the box. Why should we live life like cows and follow the herd??

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Matching line weight with rod.

This comment was left recently. Thought I would share it.

Riverwalker... The simple way to determine if a line is right for a rod is that fly lines are designed in weight to fully load a mathing fly rod with 30 feet of line in the air. Even for the best of casters loading an eight weight rod with a two weight line would be almost impossible! Each rod is a little different and you can usually go up one size in your line, for example fishing a three weight line on a two weight rod will give you really great control on shorter casts. In some instances you can go down one line size also and get very delicate presentations, but the gap you had is too wide to cover. For the fishing you're doing your best shot is probably a weight forward or bass bug taper in a floating line and a weight forward intermediate sinker. The fly you're showing is basically a Woolly Bugger with some (looks like) rubber added to the tail. This pattern will catch the hell out of the bass, but try to find someone to tie you up some with a weed guard and in colors that would roughly match what ever colors you'd fish a jig in. Slow roll it along the bottom, particularly around the beds when the bass are bedding and they'll hammer the thing. Just remember that with a fly rod you're not going to be able to yank them out of cover like old Bill Dance does!
Hope that helps.....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mismatched fly rod and reel

Started out with this fly. Bought it last year. Not sure what it's called. I had my 8 wgt. rod. Went out to the local pond. It has been about a week and a half since I went out there. Algea or some sort of bloom happened on the bottom of some parts of the pond. I was using sinking line. Obviously, I was pulling in green stuff. I tried a few poppers and landed a few bream.

After trying several flies, I switched to floating line. However, it was 4 wgt. line and I only brought my 8 wgt. I didn't want to head back to the truck. So, I decided to mismatch line and rod. It wasn't too bad but there obviously wasn't much flexibility in the rod and line wasn't coming off as it would with a lighter rod.

It was my first time to mismatch line with rod. I am used to heavy flies with an 8 wgt. rod but really couldn't tell if it was my casting or that I had light line with a light fly that was causing my casting to look and feel horrible. I was slapping line on the water too.

Now I see the importance of keeping lines and rods matched up.

Still lookin' for bass.

More Panfish? Come on!

What can I say? Went out for bass . . . landing panfish only. Where are my bass this year?? The only thing that impressed me today was the depth of detail my camera phone showed in this pic.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Strawberry Bass??

I've heard of Calico Bass and Sac au Lait but Strawberry Bass?? Must be a northern description for Crappie.

Somehow, I broke my reel. Yet, I decided to use it. I mean, do ya' really need to reel in a panfish on a fly rod? ONLY IN MY DREAMS. Still thinking of going out for some crappie today. Beginning next week, I'm going on vacation for 8 days. I will be targeting some local waters and possibly even targeting Carp.

Still gotta find that oar for my kayak . . .

Oh yeah, I was amazed to find a section in the paper yesterday about Crappie fishing. There was even a photo of a large bluegill. I absolutely love it when I see the photo of bluegill in the paper.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Crappie on the Fly . . . again. Fly fishing for Crappie.

Landed about 15 or so crappie today. Brought in a number of bluegills and sunfish too. No bass though. But after a lovely day like this, I could care less. Went out to a local pond. About 4 people fishing - and nobody landing anything.

I fished slow. The fly I started with was a custom fly - a fly that is now gone. I took it from the Yellow & Black pattern found in Tom Nixon's Fly Fishing and Fly Tying for Bass and Panfish. I put my own spin on it - pheasant tippet for the tail, light yellow thin chenille and no hackle.

The fish tore it up. At first, I was bringing in small fish from around the mud line. I decided to fish slower - a lot slower. I started landing crappie and larger bream.

I began casting out about 30 feet or so. The larger fish were in deeper water and were hitting the fly about 12 or 15 feet out. Then I lost the fly on a wicked back cast.

Switched to a small nymph pattern that I received in a fly swap (shown above). I was stripping my fly in really slow - REALLY SLOW. I was making long draws on my line. Got a lot of soft strikes - which I knew were crappie. It wouldn't sink but an inch or so. A crappie came up and took it from the surface - took him a couple of swirls before sucking it in.

Decided to move to a pattern that would go deeper. I tied on a Crappie Killer (yellow fly shown above). I still stripped the fly in VERY SLOWLY. Kept on getting hits from crappie. Most of them were coming out of the same spot. I never left my position on the bank the whole time I was fishing.

I was still getting soft strikes but landing crappie too. I lost my Crappie Killer. Switched to the green fly (shown above). I landed just a couple more before calling it a day.

I was happy with the amount of fish and the fact I was landing crappie. Most of the crappie weren't keepers but I didn't care. I love fly fishing for crappie.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Dirty Fishing

Ever feel dirty when you fish? You know, wading a small local creek or fishing crummy, dirty water for trash fish, bream or whatever. Stomping through muck, snagging your line, getting your rod hung up in brush. Wearing moderately priced fishing gear whilst casting a rod that costs a few hundred dollars - throwing some nasty fly you pieced together with some flash because you know some stupid, tiny sunfish will hit it.

For some reason, slodging through a crummy creek simply for the purpose of getting out and taking anything that will hit my fly makes me feel a bit guilty. Even a bit dirty. Like I shouldn't be here. That I am an idiot for fishing this lousy creek when I should be in fact, fishing better waters.

Bluegills and sunfish are probably my favorite fish to land. Somehow, they make me smile. But for some reason, I feel that my fly rod should be landing smallmouth bass on a quality creek.

For some reason, I do prefer fishing brackish water - those creeks, waterways, ponds and lakes the way I want to do it. Yes, for some reason, I feel stupid fishing a mud hole with a GLoomis rod and wading in my Simms waders.

It makes me feel like a man to hunt out my own fish - muddy water and dark lake depths in fashions so unlike drifting dry flies. So far away from that romantic cast and fancy fly fishing photo moment in an artsy fartsy "scene from a magazine."

I take my fly rod and fish how I want. I march to my own drummer - not really the beat of a different drummer - just my own. My own thoughts and styles, my own streams and holes. Especially, my own abilities to fish those tough waters - those unkempt and unmanaged waters.

Those guys with their high dollar waders and fly gear - with their guides, trying to land trout. Sure it takes some skill. But it is as fun and having a bass smash your fly or a bluegill tugging at your bug? Maybe . . . but at least I can do it without trying to look like some yuppie who just finished watching "A River Runs Through It".

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Roaring River

Went to Roaring River - just hanging with family - feeding fish. Funny to see so many people NOT catching fish. I've landed a few there. But I would rather find my own fish - the ones not used to human contact.

Yep. Probably would still fish there again though. Made me think of guides. These guys go in and pay to be guided. Paying money to be put on fish - and bragging about it. Wonder if they can man up and look for their own fish.

First White Bass Outing 2010

Not sure if I want to mention where I went today. I am sure a few locals could narrow it down to a couple of places. Lots of people out. Not bragging, but as usual, I was one of the few landing fish.

I thought the white bass run was on. That's what the paper said. Looked more like they were still staging. But as everyone knows, the Twin Bridges is where things truly begin.

I decided to take my 8 wgt. Just in case I landed a few smallies. Which is what I truly wanted to land. I tied on a Chartreuse Clouser. This is the most used pattern I've got in my boxes.

I actually had to pick my place to fish. Waded out a bit. After no success, I moved to another spot. Landed several, had a few short strikes and lost a couple. A fellow fly caster joined me. I then landed another white bass - Clouser and sinking line.

I think the white bass will really start to run in a week and it will last until mid-May. As has happened before.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cork Bodies for bass and bluegills

Got some of these listed on ebay. I paint these with Testors paint and spray them with lacquer. Or, color them with markers. The small bodies are awesome for bluegills. I have access to hundreds of these - thanks to my dad's friend.

You know once these are tied, these flies are destined for glory. Sometimes, if you have a thick enough bodkin, you can push a hole through the body and pull legs through with a threader.

If i can find my pliers - to take lids of paint - I will start tying a few of these up.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Reconnecting with myself.

Sitting at the public library. Love it here. Books have always been an integral part of my life. For as long as I can remember, reading has been something I have greatly enjoyed.

From Louis L'Amour, Charles Dickens, Jack Higgins, Patrick F. McManus, and even Beverly Cleary and Dr.Suess; I do think that books become a part of you. Help define you and your character. They help you to discover and learn. They provide solitude and rest. Books are wonderful.

Books are also something that my children enjoy with enthusiasm.

Just the same as the outdoors did for me as reading; I spent countless hours and days in the woods behind the house. Building forts and hiking through trails. Not to mention spending time hunting and fishing with my father. I felt connected to the outdoors just as I found a connection with books.

During this time in my life, one that has been a bit challenging, I find myself reconnecting with those things that make me happy. Those things that bring me comfort.

Is it possible to commune with nature? I do think so. I spent most of my childhood looking for something there. And finding it. Solace and comfort. Comfort from nature and yes, even the Lord.

While on camping trips, I spent a lot of time hiking trails. It was like discovering something for the first time and really appreciating it. There was something awesome about the "newness" of thinking you were the first person to stand on that cliff.

I truly miss those hills and mountains. Those streams and rivers and yes, even an alpine meadow or two. But not those giant mosquitoes.

As things begin to settle a little bit more in my life and seem to slow down a bit, I take time to step away from the drama that is and was . . . trying to reconnect with myself. Truly missing my childhood, I crave for those things simple things that I once did not take for granted but forgot as I grew into and out of adolescence.

Made my custom scupper plug!!

I grabbed a "fun noodle" and cut some sections to fit my scuppers. Best to find a noodle that doesn't have a hole in the middle.


I enjoy tweeting on Twitter. I have had several accounts in the past with several thousand tweets.

I hope to post my pics on and my blog too. I have a more portable camera this year. I am scoping out new waters. So, I hope to have something to show besides some stupid bream.

So, if you decide to follow me on Twitter, more than likely, you see my pics long before I blog. Not to mention, lots of pics not related to fishing.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Homemade Scupper Plug Video

Wow. Already getting hits from my scupper plug post. I didn't realize my link was to the first site in the search results. SO, I will post a video that I found very helpful and one that I will be attempting tomorrow.

Area Lakes

Lake Elmdale, Lake Wedington, Lake Fayetteville, Lake Bella Vista, Lake Atalanta, Crystal Lake, Lake Siloam Springs, Lake Swepco, Lake Bob Kidd and maybe even Lake Wilson.

These are places on my list this year to fish in my kayak. Hoping to land a few bass. Last year, I fared well on my fly fishing gear. A year or so ago, I did better with my spinning gear.

I am tired of limiting myself to streams. That, and I sold my boat a few years ago. And a boat is a royal pain in the rump when you are by yourself. At least when you fish a lake, you don't have to worry about rain the night before affecting the stream you wanted to fish. Or water on a stream taking a week or so to lower back down to normal levels.

I just want to hit the water. Hoping to take a few photos of fish this year.

I landed a bunch of rock bass on Lake Elmdale on day with my father on popping bugs. Well, he was using bass bugs and those fish were taking them. I like to think myself the master of bream fishing with a fly rod. I am sure there are a lot more people better at it. However, I want to land more bass.

And I am hoping this kayak increases my chances by opening up more shoreline and places to fish besides streams.

Scupper plugs

Just realized I need Scupper Plugs. Here are some ideas for homemade plugs.

I finally broke down and bought a kayak. Gotta be out on the water. It's an 8 ft. Wilderness Systems "Ripper". Little storage for drinks or snacks and place on the rear for my tackle.

There is a lot of water within 30 minutes. Lake Siloam Springs, Lake Swepco, Crystal Lake, Lake Bella Vista, Beaver Lake, etc. . . .

Tons of fish out there to be caught. I am hoping to make my way back down to Lake Bob Kidd. Gonna be awesome there in those lily pads. Lake Prairie Grove is stocked with bream - TONS of bream.

I'll hit the streams once I get a good handle on this kayak. Love the water. Fish too.

Mulberry River Issues with Run Off.

I sure wish they would monitor the Arkansas side if the Illinois River like the Mulberry River.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Is it that I love the catch fish or wade streams? Can't figure out why I love walking streams. Catching fish is a challenge and does seem to validate my manhood. Sure, panfish are fun but landing bass is what counts, right?

My favorite time to wade streams is when they are warm. Walking in shorts and wading boots . . . man, it's great. Sometimes, I don't care about catching fish. Although, there are times I want to toss out my fishing gear and call it quits.

I have always enjoyed spending time outdoors. I used to hike a lot. Now, I enjoy wading creeks and rivers. It does calm me. It helps to take my mind of things. Sometimes, a few days later, I find myself thinking of the stream - trying to figure it out - want to locate fish.

I catch fish. Nothing huge. And sometimes - nothing. At times, I prefer going out for bluegills. Those really are my favorite. Abundant, great fighters too.

Wading creeks and fishing is great but I think just getting out is awesome. Does it matter how many fish I catch or how big?

I love my foam bass bugs. Gotta have weed guards. Going out for some bucketmouths this spring. Taking out a canoe.

New Smallmouth Fly Patterns

Preparing for more smallmouth bass fly fishing. Bought some flies from The flies were shipped in some nice containers that I can keep with me on the stream. Got a sticker too.

I decided to go with a few sunfish patterns, King Kongs and of course, Clousers. I decided to throw in a Bitch Creek Nymph for drifting and for landing a few panfish. I am going to use the King Kong fly patterns to drift and for possible top water popping action. They are large and I hope they will attract the attention of some lurking bass.

I don't drift much for smallmouth. At least on top. I have landed the rare bass on an Elk Hair Caddis. I also look forward to landing a few smallies on crawdad patterns. Which is rare for me.

Still pondering the purchase of a kayak.