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.