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.