Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Year's Res - Fly fishing for large Bluegills & panfish

Last year, I challenged myself to land bass regularly. Which did happen every weekend for about 12 consecutive weeks. Sure, every year I go out and target bass but this year took the cake. I went out to find new waters. I drove for hours. I hiked where I may not supposedly should've hiked. I found new locations on Google Earth and even used my phone as a GPS - which couldn't always find a tower.

I enjoyed the outdoors so much this past summer and fall. It was very cathartic just to wet my line and stretch my tight muscles. This big ol' coach potato got a lot of exercise over the past four or so months.

I landed a lot of bass and panfish. Probably about 50 or so bass - small to medium cookie cutter 1 lbs. bass - some large ones too. I took on my fair share of Ozark and Shadow bass with some big ol' bluegills here and there. Some carp and Fall fish hit the foam flies too.

It's not just the fish. Sure, it justifies my manhood and renews my "man-card" every so often. The thing that really motivates my to go outdoors is the water. I don't know what it is about wading streams. I used to live on the edge of Lac La Jeune Provincial Park in British Columbia. I mean, right on the edge. I spent a lot of time hiking on trails and wetting my line for Kamloops Trout. Those are big trout. I shot my fair share of Grouse and Marmots too.

Here in the Ozarks, you've got a fair shot at hitting trails, fishing and hunting. But the one thing that really brings a smile to my face is landing those fat bluegills. Hunting for smallmouth can stress me out but finding and landing panfish comes very easily to me.

In reading Fly Fishing and Fly Tying for Bass and Panfish by Tom Nixon, I have learned to tie flies specifically designed to target panfish. Should I tell you guys?? Maybe later . . . might keep you coming back for more. Although, you will find some of them with tying instructions on this blog.

So, this next year, I will be wading and taking out the kayak for those tough little fighting bluegill, sunfish, crappie, Ozark bass, Warm Mouth, etc. I may even look for a new 3 wgt. or even a 2 wgt. rod. The ol' 4 wgt. is a good rod but those 3 wgt. rods are exceptional when landing 'gills.

Just throwing this out there before I end this post - I used to become desperate about catching fish and would drift scuds and sowbugs for spotted bass as they basked in the sunny riffles during the afternoon. A slow afternoon requires slow and patient fishing.

Am I going trout fishing this winter? Heck no. I'm gonna tie up some flies for Spring.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fly fishing for the noobs.

For those new to fly fishing, it's not as sophisticated as it seems. The magazines promote their wares with great photos of wonderful fish. The truth is, there are anglers that will always out-fish everyone else. There are bait and tackle fisherman that shame me. I have a fishing app that allows folks to post their fish pics. Looking at them, I found that some anglers land fish such as I do. And there are anglers who just kill 'em.

I began this blog because I think that fly fishing has been promoted as a sport for the affluent angler. I believe that for fly shops to survive, they've got to hit that niche of -dare I say- "yuppies".

I buy at fly shops and hit larger chain sporting goods stores too. Don't let it be intimidating. If you can bend your elbow, you can fly fish. Fly fishing isn't just for trout or salmon and it's not A River Runs Through It.

You can fly fish for anything. The best thing to do is keep it simple. Do some research in the web, read some books or wing it at the local pond. I'm a gear minimalist. You don't need all the bells and whistles like the space suit waders. If you need a lanyard, so be it. But starting out, it may be best not to buy all the flies to fill your fly boxes.

Just grab some "all around" flies and get to know a piece of water. I guess it wouldn't hurt to take some basic lessons offered by the local fly shop for casting and tying flies. Joining a local fly fishing club could greatly benefit you too. Let me know if you have any questions about fly fishing.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Smallmouth knowledge . . . well, a little.

I've been out fly fishing for the past 3 days and haven't caught very many fish. But I still enjoyed going outside and splashing around in the stream. I did locate a few more spots for bass in some pools on the edge of some pretty rough riffles. Water temperatures have been bouncing anywhere from 80 to 55 over the past few weeks. The poor fish even have to deal with a 15 degree warm up in the afternoon. I guess that's October fishing for you.

I rarely fish past May or June. But I will say that this fall has been an absolute treat for me. I have caught between 50 - 80 bass . . . trying to think back and average the count . . . including small bass too. Most were small to medium with a few big ones thrown in here and there. I lost a couple of nice bass too.

This year, I landed most of my bass on Betts Poppers. I took quite a few on my custom foam hoppers. Clousers and crawdads helped to round out those drifting in the current. On the same stream I landed red eye bass, rock bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass and a number of fall fish and panfish. Crappie were taken at a small lake. And I found a budget rod is just as good as a GLoomis fly rod . . . well, almost.

Crawdad, Clousers, hoppers, poppers and various other flies are obvious keys to landing smallmouth. BUT, the most important thing of all is finding a good stream. I used to fish a certain stream near my house throughout the year for about 5 years - for hundreds of times. It was good during the white bass run. From time to time, I landed bass but for the most part, it was panfish. The occassional crappie popped up here and there. The stream ran low in a lot of places. It's mouth wasn't always deep enough for fish to flow easily to and from the lake. It got really hot during the summer too. Some years, it would go through radical changes based on flooding or drought. That creek took it hard from Mother Nature. And I used to get so pissed off at that stream. I even used to question my fly fishing abilities.

I did fish other streams and lakes and did good from time to time. But I never regularly caught bass. One of my fallacies was that I would pull out the small rod and bream flies because I can always land panfish.

So, this year, I found a good stream. One with a healthy population of bass and not too many sunfish. One that did get affected by the drought but not enough to hurt the fish too much. I found that I do have skills to land bass regularly. I also found out that it is an ongoing learning experience.

This reminds me of why I started this blog. It is to help those who are beginning to fly fish. It's meant to try and put things in a tone as to place fly fishing into something folks can relate to instead of looking at it as something from a movie or perhaps a complicated sport.

In a way, I think that warm water fly fishing can help to provide someone with an easy beginning . . . i.e., fishing for bluegills on top. Anyone who can bend his elbow can cast a fly rod.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Learning the riffles. Educated by smallmouth and rain

I have been fly fishing consistently for about 13 years . . . involved with it for 23 years. I began learning on the lakes of Kamloops, British Columbia. I took tying lessons at a local high school in the evenings and learned how to cast in a hockey rink.

2 decades later and I'm still learning about how to land fish. I have never landed a bass as large as a Kamloops trout but I love smallmouth bass even more. And their awesome fighting cousin the bluegill.

Every year, I bounce around on different streams, lakes and ponds. This year, I hit the same location on the same stream for 10 weeks in a row. One key thing I learned was how important a swift current is for bass fishing on a stream.

I really stumbled on to a good stream. At least a portion that folks don't fish much. I had some success on this stream but things took off after it rained heavily one day. Remember, we had a drought this summer. So, maybe this stream is still not it's usual flow. Obviously, there are other factors to smallmouth fishing but I never was successful at it.

I began fishing this stream after a long day of raining. Well, about a week later. I had a lot of success at first but things have dwindled as the stream has dropped and the riffled slowed. I found a new location with fast running riffles into and through a small pool. It was a pretty successful day. I went out again yesterday, about a week later. The water level had dropped again along with the water temps. Fishing was lousy again.

I tried fishing other spots on the stream without any success. To me, it had to be the water temperatures, the lack of water flow and that it is becoming late fall.

I should have picked up on it. Seeing as how folks would hit streams after it rained. I'm sure there are folks who are good smallmouth fishers throughout the year no matter what.

This was the most successful year I have had catching smallmouth bass, red eye bass, spotted bass and shadow bass. I sure hope that next year this stream will yield the same numbers.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

S'more smallmouth and bass.

Water temps have been steadily dropping. I really didn't figure the smallmouth were going to hit anything on top. Saturday morning it was 41 degrees but it warmed up quickly. Water temps are hovering in the early to mid 50's. I've been using my 9 ft. 8 wgt. for a while now and decided to take out the 7"6' 3 wgt. and try for some panfish. The fish were active for a few hours in the late afternoon. I tied on a Bett's popper and hit the stream running.

I drifted the riffles and let the popper drift a few seconds before stripping the line a bit. I slapped the popping bug on the surface to attract immediate attention. I landed about 10 bass in some swift currents. I did also find a deep hole with a lot of large panfish too.

More specifically, I was casting into the riffles and letting it drift into a pool where the water was still running swiftly. I would pop it once and a bass would hit it or miss it. If the bass missed the fly, it would hit it again - the cork body fly was busted and was drifting a bit under the surface.

I rarely fish in October for smallmouth but I want to figure them out. I have been on those bass like a white on rice. Best year ever.

My father was looking at my Facebook uploads. I guess he wasn't too enthused with a lot of my fish pics. I think he was expecting to find a lot of big bucketmouths. He fishes stocked ponds for largemouth bass. I fish mainly for smallmouth bass. I told him that small to medium streams usually have a lot of small to medium bass with some large ones here and there. It's the big streams that hold good numbers of smallmouth bass.

I'm happy landing 1 pounders and less all day. I enjoy going outside and wading the stream, looking at nature, etc. Mostly, it is the challenge of finding these little buggers. I have fished a lot of new water this year and have been successful. I have gone out fishing for smallmouth 10 out of the last 11 weeks and have landed a good number of bass. Have they been juicy bronzeback smallies?? Well, here and there but I sure have enjoyed topwater action this year.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nice fall day for smallmouth.

Went out after we had some torrential rain and a cold snap. I didn't expect to do well. I went out to get some fresh air. Caught a few bass. Nasty currents. Cold water . . . and allergies.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Smallmouth on the Fly. Fly fishing for bass.

Just sitting here enjoying my coffee with some sort of egg and sausage casserole my wife baked . . . just dwelling on today's highlights. It wasn't a great day. Heck, the water temperature dropped darn near 20 degrees in a week. Fall hit us like that darn drought. Well, I hope it's Fall. I finally strapped on the ol' waders and hit the frigid stream.

Warmed up playing with some sunfish and bream. I crept onto a long stretch of smooth shale with some deep pools, hoping to play some bass with a crawdad I had tied on. I landed a few small bass and lost a decent one too.

As the weather began to warm up and the clouds rolled in from the east, I made my way to the secret spot . . . MY secret spot which nobody will ever find out about . . . ever. For now, he he. With my crawdad pattern, I was using floating line. The leader was short, so I piddled around a deep pool until I lost that darn thing.

So, I tied on a Rainy's Cricket. I got some of these flies from my dad about 4 years ago and have never used them. I landed a few small Ozark bass and a Shadow bass or two. Not much action as the past few weekends on this spot. I decided to make my way back upstream to drift the cricket. But before I left this spot, I slapped it down near the edge of where the deep pool turns shallow and the stream slows down a bit. SLAM! A bass leaped out of the water as it hammered my fly. I pulled back and he jumped back out of the water again. DANG! A beauty. Since I had lost a few big ones recently, I decided to play this fish out. It took about 10 minutes but I think he still wanted to play.

Yup, I was happy. So, I ended up losing that cricket in some rocks across the stream. I decided to put on my sinking line and tie on a chartreuse Clouser. Yep, landed a few more bream and smaller bass.

The wind changed direction and clouds were now coming in from the Northeast. I decided to hike back to the truck, as the wind was getting colder and clouds began to grow and darken.

Trying not to doze off, I sip on my coffee and nibble on my Snackimals . . . just thinking of how much time I have left before Mother Nature brings her chilled reminder of the holidays and it's droll responsibilities.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Flip-Flop Fly comes through again. Bass fly.

Went out today. The stream was running faster and the bass were moving about in the riffles and backwater. Due to our heat wave, the streams have receded more than usual. The fish were sure enjoying their freedom from the heat and murky waters.

I don't know why but this year has been awesome for me . . . at least in the way of catching bass. One interesting note, I was casting downstream into a swift current and popping my Flip-Flop fly against the flow - back upstream. AND the bass were hitting it. Not only was it a portion of stream that I have never caught bass in but I was using a technique that I figured was odd.

I also hit some backwater on the edge of the stream which was grown up with weeds and grass. Lots of rocks and logs. The water had risen enough for the bass to chase minnows and crawdads into this somewhat shallow retreat. September . . . and I'm still taking lots of bass on top water flies.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fresh leaders and playing bass.

Nah, I'm not quoting the Goo Goo Dolls. I lost a huge bass today. Either a very large spotted bass or largemouth - at least from what I could see when it leaped out of the water. I cast 3 times in the same spot. A place where cover grew up onto the stream, floating on the edge of the riffles. I just knew something was there. I cast a fourth time onto the weed bed and chugged it into the stream and WHAM!

That bass ran hard with that fly - my Flip-Flop Fly. The same fly I used yesterday catching all those bass . . . and the same line. I didn't put on new line . . . and lost the bass. I tried to wrangle the bass in and didn't put on a fresh leader or line. Two lessons learned. Arrggh. I have got to give some line and play bass. When I get a really big bass on the line, I end up breaking the line - 0X and 1X. Sheesh. Also, I probably need to learn to tie better knots. I lost a nice bass on a deer hair bug . . . I could tell that the knot became untied . . . which has happened several times too.

Though part of the fun is the hunt and the fight. For some reason, it is so disappointing not to land a large bass. Eh, I'll take the smaller ones today.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flip Flops and Smallmouth Bass

We had a cold snap last night. The temperature dropped to 58 degrees compared with high 70's to mid 80's. The stream was chilly and I think the fish were a bit sluggish. Action didn't spark up until about noon. Before then I tried hoppers and poppers and crawdads. I had landed only 1 fish. Then I found an area on the stream in which it was a bit rocky with some cover and deep holes. I was casting against the bank and letting my Flip-Flop fly rest for about 5 - 10 seconds and then stripped it once. Those bass were hammering that fly. If the bass missed, it hit it again and again. There wasn't much current . . . not as much as last weekend. The stream had dropped quite a bit. I could see mot of the bass play the fly. It was a nice pool. Cool water and the sun on my back.

I caught about 10 bass and some nice hefty bream. Those fish put up a strong fight. I tried filming some action but it's hard to do with only one hand. I decided to use a foam fly because I was casting against a rocky bank and I had disintegrated a cork popper on a bridge earlier - I tore up my popper on my last trip out too.

Over the years, I've learned that bass fishing can be a game of patience. I used to go out and hammer that water. That's one of the reasons I love bluegills, they are mostly aggressive and active.

One of the ways I catch bass is drifting nymphs to spotted bass. They are smaller and skittish. Sometimes, they school in the riffles or pools and seem smug because they ignore everything you present to them.

Anyways, on to more bass!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Was my fish a "Mean Mouth" bass??

“Mean-mouth Bass”

Angler interest in the naturally occurring smallmouth bass / spotted bass hybrid has heightened recently due to an article in BASSMASTER magazine concerning the documentation of a new state record in Missouri. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources would like to address this hybrid and its implications to anglers.

A hybrid occurs when one fish species spawns with a different, but closely related species. Hybrids can occur naturally or can also be intentionally produced in a hatchery. Naturally occurring hybrids are common among sunfish species such as bluegill and green sunfish. A common hatchery produced hybrid is the hybrid striped bass (white bass / striped bass). Hybrids of black bass species have been documented in the United States for some time. Early research dealt with hatchery production of a largemouth bass / smallmouth bass hybrid. This was the original “mean-mouth” bass. The largemouth / smallmouth bass hybrid is not common in nature due to differences in both habitat preferences and spawning times. However, smallmouth bass and spotted bass can overlap in habitat use and spawning times. Generally, there are subtle behavioral differences associated with spawning that prevent or minimize hybridization. Although the smallmouth bass / spotted bass hybrid is not the original “mean-mouth” bass, it has acquired this name over time.

The smallmouth / spotted bass hybrid has been found at very low densities in several states including Missouri and Georgia. Kentucky has not documented the presence of this hybrid. This does not mean it doesn’t exist; it just means the Department has not collected any specimens and genetically tested them.
The Department has now begun to examine for the presence of this fish in Kentucky.

A limited number of anglers have been asked to save some fish that they consider to be “mean-mouth” bass. We ask that only these selected anglers provide the fish so that we do not receive more fish than we can process. Collected fish will be sent to a lab for genetic testing.

Most anglers will probably never encounter this hybrid due to its low numbers. An “odd” looking smallmouth or spotted bass may not necessarily be a hybrid. Presently there is no size-limit regulation addressing hybrid black bass; however the six fish creel limit will apply. Wildlife and Boating officers will exercise their discretion when they inspect these fish in angler’s creel. To prevent any problems, anglers should obey the smallmouth bass size limit (the most restrictive) when they catch a “mean-mouth”.

By Jeff Ross Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bass on the fly!! Wooo Pig Soooie - Hogs on the line!!

I'm gonna let the pics talk . . . 7 bass today. Some Ozark Bass and bream too. Lots of top water fun.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Smallmouth, Carp on the fly - Ran the gamut.

I decided to go out on a hot day with only one fly, a hopper. But, I figured I'd better take more than one fly, ha. All the fish I landed today were on custom foam flies. The fish were pretty active but it's probably because I was drifting in some swift riffles. The water was pretty comfortable partly because the evenings are cooling off more and recent rains had refreshed the stream.

Surprisingly, I landed a carp on a flip-flop bug. Initially, I went out for bluegills but found a large pool full of carp and suckers. I caught some really small carp too. Flip-flop fly

I landed 5 bass but did lose a huge one after pulling a King Kong fly out of his mouth as he headed down into a deep pool after he lunged after it. The Ozark bass were plentiful and gave a good fight. Some bass were clinging to the edge of the shaded stream but some were swimming out into the stream looking for a meal. I was kind of surprised, seeing as it was bright and sunny and the bream were more about looking at my fly than hitting it.

It is definitely hopper time. Snake time too. I saw 5 snakes today. Need to make a snake club.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Hopper Time!!! Bass and Bluegill Bonanza.

Abodonza! Time to feast. There are hundreds of hoppers in my backyard. There weren't very many at all on my last few trips out. Time to tie on a King Kong and slap the water with it! Topwater action is almost as good as pizza and beer . . . or just a nice cold beer after a hot day out fishing.

I am so excited. I keep sticking to ol' reliable, a.k.a. the Clouser. The weather is going to drop to the lower to mid 90's this week. We had a bit of rain Saturday night which make me hope for the best this weekend.

Time to break out the foam patterns, the Chernobyl Ants, the Double Decker Hoppers or whatever sproing-sproing you've got!

I hope these little buggers (lol) stick around for a few more weeks. Once the weather cools down a bit more, I think those dumb ol' bluegills are gonna get hungry.

To me, one of the great highlights of fishing is when that fat bream hits that hopper the instant the fly hits the water - the immediate tug . . . hit after hit after hit.

Time to organize the flies . . . later.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Largies, Smallies and coloring.

I found this abandoned chair and grill to hide my phone under. I got into some deep holes and got tired of clenching the phone in my mouth. So, I only go a photo of the first of three bass and some nice bream.

What I find interesting is the color of bass you find on a stream. The first bass was dark but it was a Kentucky. The others were bronze. I do believe these are smallmouth . . . though some of the smallmouth I have caught had the typical striping and brownish color. I have caught light colored largemouth, marbled colored largemouth and the typical largemouth with a nice dark striping down the side.

I guess it's the water quality, perhaps breeding . . . heck, I have no idea really but it's interesting to see what you pull out of the water.

I always question myself when it comes to being a fisherman. When scoping out new waters yesterday, I was excited. After waking up, I figured it would be a waste of time to head out up north - so, I hit a local stream. Although, it was a portion of the stream I had never been wading.

I fished three hours and caught 3 bass and several bream. I figure that's pretty darn good. I have to thank Bill Trussell's post on the Rock Wall and fishing during this heat wave. Heck, it never dropped below 85 last night.

I guess you could call me a decent fisherman but when I see folks blogging about all those fish and showing nice photos, it makes me question myself. It hasn't been until recently that I can go out and catch bass almost every trip. I have been fly fishing for a very long time but used to go home frustrated quite often.

After reading, practicing, tying, trying out different patterns, learning how to drift, casting etc., I eventually became more improved and maybe eventually more satisfied.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bass Fly Pattern - Calcasieu Pigboat - Tom Nixon Fly Pattern

I do like tying Calcasieu Pigboats but they do take a while longer than the usual bass fly. I guess it's because I am still mastering the placement of the rubber skirt. If you look closely, I used white and chartreuse skirts.

I think a spinner would help with this pattern. Nothing like a spinner bait for the ol' bass. Funny thing - I have never caught a bass on a pigboat.

It is best to use an 8 wgt. rod when casting this fly. However, I have received small Pigboats in a fly swap which could've been cast with a 5 wgt. rod. Now that I think about it, I did catch some 'gils on a small pigboat.

I think this is an 1/0 or size 2 hook?? Can't remember. I gave all my Pigboats away . . . other than the one I kept from a purchase at Sportsman's Warehouse. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a Pigboat for sale.

Lil' Popper. Bass Fly Pattern - Bluegill Fly Pattern

This fly was tied about 7 years ago. I can't remember how I tied this pattern but it is obviously very simple. The body is made of cylinder foam. I tied it on at the base and used glue to keep it from rotating. This is a small hook. Though, I don't remember the size. And, I do remember using this fly for quite some time.

I like using foam body poppers because they hold up better over time. At least the body will hold up better than those Bett's poppers after hitting a log or rock. Plus, you can tie up a bunch of these things for cheap!!

Bass Fly Pattern - Tom Nixon Fly Pattern


- 6 gauge stainless steel or bright music wire
- #14 brass barrel swivels
- light weight beads 1/8" in diameter in various colors
- #3 or #4 Indiana spinner blade
- size 6 or 8 Mustad #3366 hook or equal
- chartreuse, white, or black yarn for body
- copper wire for ribbing
- calf tail or soft hackle in color coordinated to yarn


1) Cut a section of wire about 3 inches, you need only about half of that, the rest makes it easier to work with.
2) Tie the feather or calf tail on the hook as normal.
3) Fasten the hook to the wire shaft by forming an eye on the wire. Cinch off the eye with three turns of wire, then trim.
4) Tie in thread on the harness wire, tie in the copper wire. Tie in yarn or begin dubbing at the end of the wire near the hook.
5) Bring the yarn or dubbing forward up about an inch, then spiral the copper wire forward to that point. Tie off the yarn and copper wire, and secure with knot.
6) slide 3 beads down the wire, then the spinner, then a single bead.
7) Create an eye on the last segment of the harness wire, by doubling back and wrapping around the shaft 3 times, then trimming. Make sure you leave enough room on the shaft for the beads to slide a little.

I have never used this pattern but I like to promote warmwater fly fishing and Tom Nixon's patterns. I have his book "Fly Fishing and Fly Tying for Bass and Panfish" which is very informative and has great color photos. I have to thank Mark Delaney, who was a member of Tom's fly fishing club. He and some other folks made Tom and his patterns known to me.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

smallmouth fly - Clouser mending

Call me superstitious but I have the most luck with those Clousers that have stainless steel red eyes. I bought these a few years back and tore up the bass on the Illinois River. I have had the heck of a time finding them because The Sportsman's Warehouse went out of business. Academy has Clousers but with bead chain or painted on lead eyes.

Cabela's is opening soon. Maybe they'll have what I am looking for. I mended this fly. Instead of bucktail, I utilized craft feather from Hobby Lobby. Anything to save a few bucks on flies.

I am looking forward to some more rain and fall weather - already scoped out a couple of new places on the Elk River.

Smallmouth Flies - Bluegill Flies

This drought is killing all the streams - drying them up or choking them with algae blooms. Some of the local lakes and ponds are fishable but it's just too darn hot and fishing is too dang slow. A few weeks ago, I had to count until 10 or 15 just for a fish to hit my popping bug.

I decided to tie up some flies that I had some success with earlier this spring, Crazy Charlies. I like streamer patterns. I like Clousers but with a little more variation from time to time. Some of the streams I fish are small and I like to use patterns that both bass and panfish will take. Since I am a gear minimalist, I will take only floating line, therefore, I need some sinking flies.

Honestly, I was bored this morning. I wanted to hit the local pond but we had a big rain last night which stirred up the mud and debris. I always like to tie up patterns and try them out. It's neat finding out what may be successful.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Clouser Fun

Fished 4 hours and landed 7 bass. Good day out. Better than yesterday. Gonna be 100 today. I already got a bit too much sun this morning. I did see a croc with a beer, lol. Hoping to land some largemouth on the ol' bass bug soon. Still searching for those big bass. This year hasn't been too bad for fishing. Gets better every year.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

July Crappie on the Fly

It's July in Arkansas. You know it's hot. I know the water is turning - dirty and developing algae. Yet, I am landing crappie on a popping bug . . . in at least 4 feet of water. Don't know what to think other than it's awesome.

Not much action with bass lately but a lot of bream. I will have to say that the budget fly rod I bought at Bass Pro shops which is a Bugger brand 8 wgt., does have good sensitivity. I cannot wait until August or September for increased top-water bass action.

Does anyone have any strategy suggestions for fishing cat tails? It seems the bass just don't wanna come out and play.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bass Swirls

This morning, I was playing to a bass that was making swirls at my fly. I have noticed this before but haven't really thought much of it. I did land the bass but I wondered why he swirled at the fly. Is he sucking and spitting really fast, is he slashing at it??

The bass swirled at my fly once. I then cast to another spot and landed a few bream. I cast back and he swirled at it twice before taking it. He did swirl at it each time I popped the fly. So, I guess it pays to play to the swirl.

One lesson from this to my readers, let your bass bug sit and take your time bringing it in. When I cast a popping bug, I usually wait about 3 to 5 seconds before tugging. It usually pays off by waiting.

Today's highlight, landing a 3 lbs. bass on a yellow Betts' Popper.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.

Just got back from a long trip in Texas. I had the opportunity to fish on the Guadalupe River for bass . . . I even scoped out a few spots on the Comal River. Alas, I decided to spend time relaxing and hanging out with the family. I figured that by fishing, I would probably end up dwelling on it and spending the majority of my time trying to fit it in here and there.

The Guadalupe and Comal rivers are absolutely beautiful. It was nice to see bass flies at Gruene River Outfitters. I only bought a few spinners and an 8 wgt. at Bass Pro Shops but I will say that next time I end up in New Braunfels, I will be fishing. Heck, I even scouted a few places in Austin.

I am hoping to make it out to the stream in a day or so. All the flooding this year has really thrown me off my routine.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lack of motivation, flooding and tornadoes.

Man, it has been a wet spring here in Arkansas. So much flooding. So much rain. Seems constant. Just about every weekend or just before I think about heading out, the clouds pummel us. All streams and lake are swollen.

I watched the weather radar for 5 hours last night - even stepping outside to watch the sky churn, hoping a twister wouldn't drop out. About an hour north, as most may already know, a tornado hit Joplin. My prayers go out.

More severe weather is expected this evening . . . and the next. At least I can hear the tornado sirens.

Last year, I was targeting bass. I didn't catch a lot of bass but I did pretty good. This year, I planned to target panfish. And I did just that . . . landing a bunch of bream and crappie this spring. So, I am not too motivated to go out. Except to hit a stream before it get July hot. And that is IF the streams start flowing a bit slower.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ugly Weather.

I took this photo yesterday on the way to the store. Lots of bad weather lately. Too windy some days, too rainy others . . . severe weather and weekends are friends lately. Hoping to so some fishing soon. Go away tornadoes and low pressure systems.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fly Fishing for Crappie . . . my stuff

Manufacturers sell lures that attract fisherman. Sure, you can catch fish with them too. Some folks seem to think color comes into play . . . and it does. However, I am beginning to think that color may be just another advantage to land something that very well may tag your fly at most anytime.

I am sure that structure helps when targeting crappie. I do also believe that those tubes and jigs help attract panfish. BUT, I also believe that . . . and this is obvious, you can catch crappie anytime you want . . . GIVEN THE PROPER SETTING . . . structure, water temps, etc.

Spring time is as good as any to hit these puppies . . . and I always do well on Clousers. Chartruese and white. Pink and chartruese and brown and yellow . . . tied to sinking line. I was landing some today on a Bett's Popper using sinking line - the fly was below water and fish were still hitting it.

I was foul hooking them and catching them as I repositioned my kayak . . . ahhh, today was awesome. If you are looking to be successful when fly fishing for crappie, I would suggest early Spring. Use minnow patterns and strip your line in slow to medium pace. They do tend to soft strike but they can also hammer the heck out of the fly too.

They are a good fight on a 3 wgt. and 5 wgt. And as today, they fought well on an 8 wgt. I hooked my biggest slab ever but did not boat it. I figured it for a large bass. I would say it was at least 3 lbs. YUMMY! It was pretty.

I fished some structure but did better along one side of the bank - picking up singles, not really hitting a school. If it wasn't for the wind picking up, I figure instead of landing 10 crappie, it may have been 20.

One of my best outings for crappie . . . and large bream. Just a thought - here I am tying all these flies and I am still mosty using store bought flies, lol.

Nice slab - will post more pics and stuff later.

Nuff said . . . good day out. Will post info later.