Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm on Instagram . . . forget twitter.

I've been on Instagram since about March of this year.  Twitter was a tough go for me.  I have a few followers but not as many as on Instagram.  Instead of clicking on links or having to visit a pic on another site, I figure folks have an easier way to view photos on Instagram than Twitter.  Plus, I   think there is a lot less clutter than viewing 130 character diatribes.

I get a lot more feedback than Twitter and I've gotten to know some guys pretty well.  It's New Year's Eve and I hope to keep plundering the same stream in 2013.  It's almost impossible to get in there now.  Crossing my fingers!  It's become so tough to access the stream I've been fishing on for years. 3 spots have been closed.  Another 3 of my local holes at other locations were blocked this year too.  Looking to start pulling some bucketmouths out on some nasty flies soon.

If you want to follow me on Instagram, I am smallie74.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Out of my comfort zone - fly tying.

Most of the time that I tie flies, it's foamies and simple streamers.  I used to make nymphs from Tom Nixon's book which I used for panfish.  I wasn't a big a fan of his bass flies but I did try a few such as the Calcasieu Pigboat.  I did make a few of those and added spoons.  Unlike my father, I caught very few fish on that pattern.

I grew up fishing for lake trout in Kamloops, B.C.  In 1987, I took some tying and casting lessons from Mo Bradley.  He lived nearby and my father made friends with him.  I remember going to his basement and seeing that he had a few insects from the lakes in aquariums so that he could study them.  I didn't have time to do much still-water fly fishing because we soon moved back to the states.

My father bought a flat bottom boat for bass fishing of which we did very little.  I got into coon hunting and quail hunting and we both became busy networking with friends and taking care of the dogs.  I did miss those lovely evenings on the lake.  We had a small boat with a little outboard Johnson motor.  We would listen to the Loons as we fought mosquitoes.

Moving to Arkansas, I was a bit out of my element with bass fishing.  I had done a little catfishing on local ponds during our summer visits.  I had no idea you could fly fish for bass and panfish.  Heck, I couldn't catch a fish on a Texas rigged worm all afternoon.

Where we lived in Sebastian County, I just couldn't find what I thought were exciting or productive waters.  Not many streams nearby unless you count the Oauchita or Mulberry but I think my father was more into fly fishing impoundments for bass.  I didn't pick a fly rod back up again for about 10 years.

It wasn't until I made a few trips to Bull Shoals and the Buffalo River that I became obsessed with wading streams.  It wasn't all about catching fish but a chance to really experience the outdoors.  Growing up in B.C., I spent TONS of time out in the woods with my air rifle or building forts and discovering trails at Lac La Jeune Provincial Park which was immediately at our back door.  I went bear hunting and called some coyotes and killed a few Grouse and Marmots.

So, I guess you could say that I am following a trend of coming out of my comfort zone.  That is if I ever was in one.  At this point, I am becoming bored of tying the same ol' flies.  I have begun to make articulated flies and am interested in what else I can do to entice some more smallmouth and largemouth bass.  Maybe, just maybe I might work with deer hair - again - and which I dislike.  But those flies do look great don't they??

The fly on the photo is Gartside's Articulated Gurgler.  And yes, those are lead eyes.  This is a streamer.  I hope this fly lands a few smallies but I am more interested in finding out how effective it is on bucket mouths.  I've been tying for a long time and swapping flies.  I've sold flies off and on for several years but have sold a lot on ebay, through my blog and Instagram.  I'm just glad that folks like my flies.  Especially, those that I make up and are effective patterns.

It's almost New Year's Eve and you know folks are coming up with resolutions.  Mine pretty much stay the same.  Lose weight, find some good water to fish.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I have changed the name and domain of my blog.  I am hoping the domain name is more synonymous with my postings.  Initially, I was all about my purpose in life and why we're all here . . . and try and tie that in with life - blah, blah, blah - spirituality . . . when all it's about is being outdoors and enjoying yourself.

I was promoting warm water flies and panfishing.  More specifically, Tom Nixon flies.  I moved my blog here and lost some posts but eventually moved from  largemouth bass and panfish to smallmouth and panfish.  From posting instructions, I am now promoting foam flies.  Why buy them when you can tie them??

Three of my accesses have been posted or are now inaccessable.  So, I've got to find some new LMB water.  My favorite lake is being negatively impacted by drought and highway construction.  So, next year, my blog should be a bit more interesting that just posting pics of smallmouth bass.  I will also try to post flies with tying instructions - mainly panfish flies.  The kayak was only put in the water about 5 times this spring but in the pursuit of LMB, I hope to have it out on a couple of planned outings.

Chasing creek chubs will be something I hope to make an early year tradition.  They are pretty good fighters and I got into a good mess of them a time or two last year.  These guys are more popular than folks realize.

I've been selling flies on my blog, through ebay and Instagram.  This keeps me busy.  Even with my other responsibilities, I need something constructive to keep me focused.  I can post and post but what's posting flies and nonsense unless I've got some fish pics?

My blog gets lot of traffic but it lacks in comments and followers.  Maybe this next year a few more folks will decide my blog is interesting.  That would be a good thing.  If anyone is interested in purchasing my flies email me at

Monday, December 24, 2012

Free flies anyone? Warm water fly fishing.

With all the traffic my blog receives, I figured folks would be lined up to get free flies.  I know it's not the best blog and I'm not posting pics of big hogs but it's got a bit of foam and a lot of fish.  Even if you join via RSS feed, it's cool.  If you say you view my blog but aren't on Blogger, that's great too.

See the photo above?  I was experimenting last night with foam.  I bought some eyes to give these little fellars some life.  To say that I love bluegills and panfish isn't enough.  They've helped my progression in fly tying.  I used to tie up a bunch of poppers for largemouth bass but have chased smallmouth bass more often than anything over the past few years.  I'm trying to come up with some foam patterns for bass too.

These are only size 8.  I've landed a number of smallmouth bass on size 8 top water patterns.  I've landed a lot of medium to large bass on size 4 foam patterns too.  I'm gonna throw some more articulated flies on the ol' blog in the next day or so.  However, I am still going to give out free flies.  When we reach 10 nwe members, I'm going to ask a trivia question of fly fishing nature and the first 3 to respond correctly or quickest will receive flies which are shown below.

Merry X-Mas and Happy Holidays to everyone!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Free Flies - Looking for more Followers.

I used to be all about spreading the word of warm water fly fishing.  Then it was about Tom Nixon and his flies - which I don't think I ever went that deep, lol.  My old blog had more info on Tom Nixon's panfish flies and the Tom Nixon Memorial Swaps that I participated in with folks from his old fly fishing club in Lake Charles, LA.  Thanks to Mark Delaney for those invites!  I bought Tom's book and proceeded to tie up the Calcasieu Pigboat, Jeremiah Nymph One and Two!

At this point, I'm trying to move the blog into something more than just foam flies and chasing smallmouth bass.  Obviously, if you follow my blog, you know I have a couple of goals next year which is to catch 100 bluegills (or large panfish) and to find a few new holes to land more largemouth bass.  I was going to hit the local trout stream with my father in November but that didn't happen.  Possibly, we will go next week . . . but my father has a tight schedule.  We're watching the weather and with some snow or sleet predicted, I don't want him unable to get back home and to work.

My blog isn't fancy like Pilecast's or Fiberglass Manifesto's sites.  I don't give away swag or stickers either.  However, I can always send out some flies.  I like those blog stickers and am trying to be trendy and put some on the back of my truck, lol.

I've got 44 followers and that's great and "muchly' appreciated but it's always a good thing to get to know a few more folks.  It's interesting to see that other blogs my followers have joined.  It makes me feel privileged to know that someone following a fishing guide who lands amazing trout and salmon has interest in that fact that I land small fish, he he.

So, I'll try to make this simple.  I want to get 10 more followers.  When you join, post a message on this Post informing me of it.  The next 10 folks who join will go into a trivia "drawing" and the first 3 people to answer correctly will receive the 4 (size 8) Juicy Foam Flies shown in the photo - (leg color may vary).  

I've only done one or two giveaways but this time I won't be quizzing folks about Tom Nixon, lol.  I guess more folks know of him than I realized.  My blog isn't exactly providing fiery stories about amazing fishing trips such as trekking into the woods, camping out whilst smoking cigars and drinking some type of indie brew.  Then waking on an amazing morning and landing fish during an amazing hatch.  The only hatches I see are canoe hatches.  The strange thing is those folks who float attract bass towards the canoes.  Odd.

Good luck to me!  And good luck to you folks who may be joining this bland blog of mine.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Articulated Fly - Galloup's Articulated Boogie Man - warm water fly fishing

Well, this is my second attempt at Galloup's Articulated Boogie Man.  I may tie the Bottom's Up but I need some rubber cones.  I didn't see any at the shop.  I can't wait to try these out on some smallmouth bass.  AND I KNOW SOME FAT PANFISH WILL TAG THIS WAGGING FLY.

It's been refreshing to get out of the box and do something different other than foam.  I'm gonna show a few pics I put on Instagram.  Not much but it's something.

This is the back end of the fly.  Basically tied up a Bugger with Schlappen and Estaz.

In this photo, I am using a threader to place beads on the connector.  The connector can be backing, mono, or a durable craft wire.

I'll probably post more pics as I tie up some different articulated flies.  I have only made 4 or 5 of them and Lord knows, I need to make some improvements on these patterns.  I usually tie the eyes in so the hooks ride upside down.  Not on this fly though.  Working my way to the Sex Dungeon but instead of deer hair, I may just use a rubber popper body for the cone shaped head.

Just go to youtube and search "articulated flies" and you can find folks tying these up.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Galloup's Articulated Circus Peanut - 3rd attempt.

Getting better!  Still working on this pattern and if you can believe it, I already have an offer to buy some!!  Just posted this pic on Instagram and blammo!!  Within minutes I have actually wowed myself.  Guess I may have to list this pattern on ebay.

What a beauty!  My father sent me a Cabela's Gift card for X-Mas.  I will be buying some more materials for these articulated beauties . . . or a lanyard, lol.  I want to support my local fly shop but this is free money!  I am on a roll this evening and loving it.  If anyone wants to buy this pattern, let me know it!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tying up some bass flies.

Tying up some bass flies for next spring.  I'm looking to make something that will go deep and entice a bass from his spot in the stream.  And, one that will pull a bass out from under some structure on a lake.  This fly should do the trick.  The body is of bunny strips.

Of course I'm gonna tie a Woolly Bugger - all parts chartreuse with a cone nose for deep drifting and jigging action - and a little flashabou!  I'm going out for larger smallmouth bass, spots and LMB next year.

I made a trip to Cabela's for tying material.  It's been quite some time since I made my way to that shop.  I try hard not to go.  Lots of Christmas goodies at Cabela's!!  And who can forget about some top water action??  Not me!  My favorite small lake is in terrible shape which means I've got to get out of my comfort zone and find some new places to put the kayak in.

I mean to catch more largemouth bass and panfish.  Impoundments are probably going to be more of a target this spring.  I have to find my oars!!!  I bought an anchor this year or last for my kayak. That does help out more than you would think.  So far this week, I've sold 5 sets of flies this week.  I'm hoping sales pick up in late winter and spring.  All I have to do now is figure out to tie articulated flies - possibly the Sex Dungeon??!?!?  I will also be purchasing flies from Cabela's, the local fly shop and wherever else I can find them.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Too much top-water action?

I love topwater action.  When approaching a stream or certain location on a creek, I usually begin drifting a topwater pattern.  I then move to a streamer.  Sometime, I begin with a delicate approach and use a fly such as an Elk Hair Hopper or smaller foam pattern.  I really have to be mindful of my cast.  Due to some of the nasty and bushy areas I fish and on smaller streams, I am used to making abrupt forward casts with a push out on the end with my thumb and forearm as to throw out more line - since I couldn't let more line out on the backcast.  I also cast in sort of in a sidearm motion.  I have a lousy loop and my casts are usually not delicate.  Hope that makes sense.

Even when approaching deep holes and knowing that more then likely, I need a heavy fly, I stick with topwater flies.  To me, this is the most exhilarating way to catch fish.  I love the way a fish pops, sucks, slashes or pounces on a fly.  Especially, when it is the moment a fly lands on the water.

When possible, I slowly mend the line.  Tossing out streamers and stripping line in can honestly wear out an arm.  Drifting is more relaxing.  My breathing does tend to slow down and at times, I find myself holding my breath in anticipation of a strike.

I find myself trying to work a section of stream a lot longer than the average fisherman.  I see folks casting and walking or hanging out just a few moments in one spot.  Me, I tend to spend hours on a  small section of stream.  I'll start forwards and work the stream backwards as I head home.  When I see loads of fish, I usually try and find a strategy.

This next year, I have a plan (and hope to be dilligent) to fish longer stretches of a stream, and to fish deeper holes . . . and to cast larger streamers and flies in the hopes of landing larger smallmouth bass.  My fly boxes will always hold topwater fly patterns.

I had someone asked my why I had put feathers on a foam topwater fly when it wasn't necessary to do so.  I mentioned that it would sell more flies.  I thought the fly looked better.  It looked a bit more like a bass fly instead of a foam bluegill bug.  In essence, those feathers give my topwater flies life.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!

I had to borrow something from Stuart Smalley for the title of this post.  Seems to fit my message.  I've been looking at a lot of trout blogs lately and seeing some pretty trout.  I've see some posts on Instagram and there are some fellas who know how to land them and take good photos too.  Shall I make a journey to the over-fished damn of ye' little ol' trout??

In seeing all those trout pics, it takes me back to those trips my father and I made to the local dam.  I've never really spend much quality time on a trout stream.  I dislike the local trout stream because folks like to fish there - lots of folks.  I prefer a relaxing outing on the local stream and that won't happen when the gal next to me keep drifting a Woolly Bugger in front of me and yanking out little Rainbows!!

Growing up in British Columbia, Canada, (I ain't no Canuck, lol.) - I was used to heading down to the nearest lake, turning over a log and grabbing some type of insect.  We would put them on a hook and pull out really big lake trout.  I was more into exploring the woods and being outdoors as someone watched my pole.  Large fish can be found on the local stream but not in the quantity I'm used to finding.

Maybe I'm just lousy and not man enough to bring forth the patience!  I sure don't have patience enough to go Carping.  I've also seen pics of local fly fisherman landing some nice smallmouth bass on a local stream that I also fish.  I don't see fish like those on the end of my line.

Am I self-depreciating??  Yup.  Do I always chase the same fish on the same stream even though I could probably find something better?  Probably.  Do I tie up pretty streamers and insects?  No.  But I can out-fish most folks and that thanks to my ability to find large panfish and small bass, lol!!!

When I look at social network photos, I see the fancy wick-away shirts and the stylish caps with names of local fly shops woven on the front.  Fancy arbor reels and pricey rods or vintage reels sitting on glass rods which are stylishly placed on the hood of a car . . . these things I wonder have become fly fishing??

Are the guys who attend the yearly fly fishing film fests becoming Hipsters?  Am I a hipster?  Did Gen-X become the new breed of fly fisherman - did we evolve into hipsters who flash some style on the local stream?  I guess it's OK if you are landing some fish.

I'm just a guy tying up silly little foam flies in the hopes of landing a smallmouth bass in the range of about a pound.  I'm the guy who will hit the small stream behind a local church and catch sunfish and creek chubs.  I'm the dirty fly fisherman who prefers the company of grittiness and lousy fishing locales.

I may not land the prettiest trout (or go out for them at all!) and I may not wear a fancy bandana upon my face as a friend snaps my picture but at least I'm not at the office!!  As the saying goes, "Any day on the water beats a day at the office."  'Tis true!  And while these guys are at the office or at work somewhere, I'm hitting their honey hole a day before they do it!

 I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Warm water Fly Fishing Pattern for Smallmouth & Panfish

Just found out Bret Bielema from Wisconsin is accepting the open coaching position at Arkansas . . . I guess that's cool.  Not impressed but not let down . . . too much. Anyways, just tied up this pattern for bass and panfish.  It's pretty similar to my Juicy Foam Flies.  I'm pretty sure it's gonna be productive.

Just listed this fly on ebay . . . will probably sell sometime soon.  I'm evaluating some fly fishing goals for next year.  One goal I've already set is to catch 100 panfish - good sized panfish - possibly just bluegills or warmouth.  Another is to hit more lakes and ponds for larger bass . . . and to do some more float trips for smallmouth.

It's always nice to sit down and throw some materials together.  Sure, I didn't go too far outside the box but I'm happy with this pattern.  I dug out some Elk hair or possibly a deer tail . . . will be incorporating it into more flies.  I think if I can use more hair, maybe I can move more flies on ebay.

If anyone is interested in any of my patterns, I am more than happy to send a few your way.


Still tying flies as I ponder what to chase. - I have about 40 listings of bass and panfish flies.

I haven't done much fishing since September.  I haven't sold many flies on ebay either.  This fall was a tough one for me.  Action slowed down quite a bit on the local smallmouth river . . . or maybe it was just me.  In all honesty, I got burned out on chasing smallies.

My favorite small lake for panfish has been dually affected by the drought which has brought on a pretty bad algae bloom.  Road work and inlaying of sewer pipes has caused runoff of mud into the lake.  I called the state office and let them know how the lake has been impacted by the road work.  Water has been backing up behind the road work into a field.  The creek isn't flowing properly under the highway and the pond is dwindling and muddy.  So, I haven't been able to hop down to my local hot-spot for my favorite little fighters - panfish!!

My truck has some issues and has been sitting since about mid-October.  The guys at the local shop had to use a compound and do some bevelling and what-not on the intake manifold -  due to pitting and some small cracks or crazing.  The heads also had pitting and had to be resurface.  I've only got about 150K on the truck!!

2 days after bringing it home, I find the radiator has now begun to spew coolant.  I'm doing research on a good aftermarket radiator.  I'm just going to put it in myself.  Just holding out because I can be lazy about it.

My father and I were supposed to go trout fishing which would be my first time out for that species in years.  Instead, I made a long road trip to visit some other family at Thanksgiving.  It's been good to get out and do different things other than fish.  I've been walking most days or riding a stationary bike.

In speaking with a buddy of mine who has been fishing the same stretch of river, we both found that fishing hasn't been as productive in our favorite holes.  And some local guys have been loading up stringers in a stream that has been afffected by the drought.  Smallmouth haven't been able to move within the same stretches of stream and folks are plucking them out of isolated pools.

Anyways, I'm looking forward to making a trip out with my father for trout, chasing creek chubs in January and opening day at Roaring River.  I'm still tying flies and listing them on ebay!!

Cheers.  Hope I haven't bored ya'll to death.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Requesting flies.

I'm looking to stay busy at my tying desk.  Being as I'm not much of a television person, I like to keep myself busy.  In terms of warmwater flyfishing things will begin to slow down in a month or so.  If you see any flies on my blog that you want, contact me and I'll see what can be done for you.  Other than checks, I do accept Paypal . . . and cash.  I'm still selling on ebay too.  you can contact me at  Someone contacted me about tying up a bunch of my Juicy Foam Flies which are pictured above.  All those were sent off to a happy customer.

I love fly tying.  If I'm not on the stream, I'm thinking of a fly to tie up for my next trip out.  Send me a link to the page with the fly you want or describe it for me . . . or visit ebay -

I love tying up flies for bass and panfish.  I especially love topwater patterns.  Foam is so interesting to work with . . . almost like you can mold it!

I figured to catch a bunch of panfish on this jig fly.  A few bass tagged it too.  I can tie this pattern in red, black, etc.

Look through my blog, I may still be tying up some of those patterns from old posts.  It's raining today and I would love to be tying up some flies while I listen to some music.  Pretty relaxing don't you think?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Smallmouth bass - eh, it's something.

It's been a tough 6 weeks or so.  Last year at this time, I was hammering the smallmouth bass and panfish.  Now, it seems almost dead.  Those bass have been sucking and spitting since the beginning of September.  During July last year, it was dead.  This year, July was pretty active.  Due to the heat, insects, especially hoppers were in good abundance.  Perhaps, bass and panfish have filled up their bellies and are settling down.  But what do I know??  I was catching smallmouth through November last year.

I have found that topwater action is almost non-existent.  Like I said, it seems that the bass may have had their fill of hoppers and insects.   I talked with this guy that fishes the same stream and has noticed that the big pool hasn't been as productive.  We also had noticed the same trends in the stream like where we found bass, etc.  He always uses a fluke - a big one that seems to be as large as the bass he catches.  Finally told him where I park because his wife drops him off and picks him up because he doesn't like walking far.  I think he's in his 60's.  I'm thinking about tying up some white buggers and some silver and chartreuse buggers.  Back in July, those bass were tagging everything.  Some of the deeper fast riffles have slowed down because the water has risen.  

I was catching bass on a new 3 wgt. rod that was recently purchased.  Surprisingly, it's a pretty sturdy rod but then again, maybe I was playing the bass instead of fighting them.  I still need to practice sneaking up on smallmouth from upstream.  Not only that but I do need a more delicate presentation too.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just tyin' - bass and panfish flies.

I've been tying up different fly patterns this past week.  It actually rained a few times and I am excited to get back out on the water.  I went out last Tuesday and had a few on and lost a big one.  My old phone got wet and crashed and I bought a new one.  I should have pictures of my next outing.  I did fairly well on Pistol Petes the past few trips out.  So, I tied up a bunch.

I've also been practicing my hopper segmentation.  Not that it makes too much of a difference but you never know . . . darn picky smallmouth.  I filled an order for 36 Black & White Juicy Foam Flies.  I did land a few smallmouth bass last week on Green & White Juicy Foam Flies.

Right now, I'm working on Chernobyl Hoppers and will be looking at ways to make smaller "triple-decker" hoppers.  Today, I went to the new Cabela's for fourth time.  I have got to get a life!!  New Black & Silver Juicy Foam Flie pics coming soon!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Productive Fly - Juicy Foam Fly

Thursday, before Hurricane Isaac came through, I decided to hit the stream.  And good thing too - it has rained quite a bit.  The wind started up about 11 am and whipped up a good flurry every now and then.  The clouds had come in and it rained all Thursday night and into Friday.  Friday, it rained off and on.  And, again today.  We need the rain, NO DOUBT.  It is going to change the streams up.  I just hope water levels are not as high as when Hurricane Ike dumped rain on us.  The location I fished Thursday was four feet higher and stayed that way for a long time.  Not only had Hurricane Ike poured on us, we received a lot of rain throught the spring.  Not to mention all the runoff from the unusual amount of snow.

The drought has caused fish to pile up in pools and small portions of streams.  I've been following the fish all year.  At least now, the fish can move around won't die.  Riffles should pick up and smallmouth should travel more within areas of streams.  Now, maybe I won't have to worry about bait fisherman emptying my pools of fish.

I tied up a new pattern this week.  You can see it in the photo above.  It's a smaller hopper/terrestrial than I am accustomed to casting but it was a more productive pattern than I used Saturday.  The panfish were drawn to it but due to it's size, the smaller ones couldn't take it.  And that's my preference.  This fly was designed to attract skittish bass and juicy panfish.  I caught several smallmouth bass on the Juicy Foam Fly but no panfish.  I think someone pulled the Rock Bass out of my hole.

White and green was the successful pattern.  Brown and black just didn't cut it.  I do believe that the white foam caught some sunlight.  I pulled out the Pistol Pete and caught several smallmouth.  The largest came at the end of my trip and wouldn't you know it, my camera had crashed.  My Android phone got wet on Saturday and slowly crashed.  We has a little rain since I had fished last Saturday which caused the bass to move away from the bank and back into the riffles about 10 yards downstream and against the other side of the bank.  As I walked down the elevated bank, the smallies saw me coming and hi-tailed it out of the stream and amongst the grass and algae.  I did catch a lot of small bass on a brown Pistol Pete.  I waded further down stream and into the current behind the bass.  I didn't make too much noise while walking and casting into the riffles and drifting it back to me in a low and swift current.  I would also cast up against the cliff where bass were hiding out in the shadows and chasing my fly into the sunny riffles.  

Wading back upstream, I hit the bank my bass moved to earlier.  A nice bass tagged my Pistol Pete.  It was a good fight.  I had a hard time keeping the line tight.  He ran downstream and back upstream.  I would say that fish was a good one pounder.  I was casting my 4 wgt.  which is tightly wound like a 3 wgt.  It was a great fight.  He hid in some rocks as I tried to keep the line taught.  Then he darted off back to the bank where I waded over closer too and finally wrangled him out.  And of course, my phone died.  The camera would only take a photo when you hit the camera button which meant you had to position the phone first before initiating it.  With all this new rain, fishing should pick up.  September and October smallies should be hitting more topwater patterns.  I've been tying up some Clousers too.

I bought a new 3 wgt. fly rod at Cabela's.  The tip of my 4 wgt. rod.  It seems that the 3 wgt. has the same diameter and length from handle tip to rod tip.  Although, my 7'6" rod is now 7'4".  I lost 1.25 inches on the rod.  The tip guide came off and down the line to my fly.  I tried to twist it back on and snapped the tip.  I really don't like to go any lower than a 4 wgt. but we'll see how this new 3 wgt. handles my smallmouth bass.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Juicy Foam Flies

The past few weeks have been tough going for topwater action.  I've had smallmouth bass slashing at my flies but not hitting them.  Panfish have been tough going too.  What's the old timer saying?  "Five days before a full moon and five days after".  I may have to go with that one.  I decided to make a fly that wasn't as large as my hoppers but juicy enough to tempt a bass or large panfish.  The size 10 fly as pictured above came to mind.  I've had some bass pulling my flies down r simply shying away from them.  So, I developed these little buggers.  

Besides, I'm preparing for next year . . . 100 panfish is my target.  Bill Trussell from Fishing Through Life challenged himself to land 100 bluegills.  I think he came pretty close to that goal.  I've got some streams and ponds in mind.  Heck, I'm gonna hit some new water too.

I've landed some big fat panfish this year and hope to continue with that trend next year.  All I've been coming into since July is small stuff.  I also tied a wasp.  It's also size 10 and an improvement on that ghastly version I came up with last year.

I'm hoping the hurricane doesn't bring too much rain this weekend.  I've been thinking, if bluegills were as big as bass, nobody would fish for bass anymore.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pistol Pete, thanks for the reassurance.

The past few weekends out, it has been some tough fishing.  The surface algae on the streams had died.  So, it means that the streams are very dirty.  Recent rains have washed away the green gunk from the edges of the creeks and rivers.  Algae is still growing on the bottom of some streams.  Drought, low water which can cause an unhealthy stream has caused algae to bloom on the bottom of the streams in a lot of locations where the water slows down.

I've noticed that they yearly lull for smallmouth bass in this region is about this time of year.  Then again, maybe I'm just lousy.  Just kidding.  Hoppers have been out in full force since May.  The heat has caused a bug explosion.  I think that topwater action my have stopped because those bass have filled up on hoppers.  Well, that's what I would like to think.  Bass just aren't hitting my topwater patterns and haven't done so for two weekends.Trying to get panfish to bite has also been difficult.  About the only species tagging my flies is Rock Bass.  I've been getting a lot of short strikes and "suck and spits" too.  Fish will fight and then just release the fly!

Obviously, I've had the most action is swift riffles and clear water that runs through pools which sit at the edges of riffles and runs.  I'm sure characteristic smallmouth action will return next month.  In the meantime,  I'm going to move around to different locations on streams.  Last week, I fished several spots on the Illinois River.  One of my holes was shut down while the water was so dirty, I couldn't even see my chartreuse Clouser.  I moved to a spot that I hadn't fished before and landed one bass after about an hour of exploring.

Today, I hit new water yet again.  And as it turns out, my exploration paid off.  This location holds a good population of smallmouth bass and large ones are holding in smaller pools due to the drought.  The lack of the usual deeper water and lower water has aided in the landing of smallmouth bass.

I tried every fly pattern in my boxes.  I found a pool with about 20 or so smallmouth bass.  While the smaller bass played at the edge of the riffles, the larger ones were holding to the edge of the bank.  Obviously, topwater patterns didn't work.  All my casts were scaring the bass away.  My woolly buggers were causing the timid bass to hide or shy away.  I became tied of fishing that spot and waded off elsewhere to no success.

I came back a bit later and chose to tie on a brown Pistol Pete.  I caught a smallmouth bass on my first cast.  I proceeded to catch 23 smallies in tow different holes.  Rock bass also joined in on the fun.  The bass weren't active in the riffles at all.  All the bass I caught were at in pools and at the edges of riffles or at the end of runs in a few spots.  

I lost my only Pistol Pete on the bottom of the stream.  I didn't dare move.  Things were looking good.  A Woolly Bugger would work, right??  Isn't that what a Pistol Pete is anway??  Nope!  Need a propeller.  No takers on buggers.  I waded up and saw my Pistol Pete, bent over and filled my waders with water as I gladly plucked it from the rocks.

Wading down to another spot, I landed several more small bass before the old lady called.  I was to leave and pick up dinner.  GRRR!!

Last week, bass were soft striking my Pistol Pete.  I tied on a Clouser and began landing smallies.  This week, no takers on my Clousers and I tied on the Pistol.  Good day.  Funny how fish behave, isn't it?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tough day out.

One of my toughest days out.  5 hours and not so many bass.  My favorite spots were getting hit before I even arrived where folks were loading up stringers.  At least I got to fish.  I started off with a foam hopper but there were no takers.  I moved to a deep hole with medium riffles and tied on a crawdad - still no takers.  I waded quite a ways down and tied on a chartreuse woolly bugger.  I was getting a lot of "suck and spit" and soft strikes all day, even with the chartreuse Bugger.  I finally landed a nice smallmouth and found a small pool with desperate smallies of which they were all small . . . but I counted them on the day . . . Catch and Release for all my fish.  

I headed back hitting my usual spots but with no luck at all.  There were some shallow but swift riffles at the edge of the bank with a large pool just to the right and where the stream split in two.  I chose to stand in the slow part where the bass where recharging after chasing supper in the riffles.  They kept hitting my brown Pistol Pete but just wouldn't hold it long enough for me to set the hook.  I tied on a Clouser and then casted into the head of the riffles at the most swift point and stripped it into the pool where a few decent size smallmouth were waiting.  I hope there are some bass left.  I recognized one of the other fisherman and he likes to take fish . . . which is his Right to do but where's the fun in that?  lol.

I had someone on Facebook mention that he wished he had a place close by for some good smallmouth action.  My place isn't close and it took me years not only to find good smallmouth bass fishing but also to become adept at fishing for them.  I have learned how to read a stream . . . how to find bass and especially how to spend some time out on the stream.

See, I used to go out for an hour or two.  I made weekly excursions just as I do now but the time I spent on the stream was minimal.  Now, wade about four hours on average.  The past few trips out, I spent at least five hours.  And man, was the sleep good those nights.

There are so many places on a stream where bass can hide, swim, or cruise.  They may in a spot one day and then gone the next.  Also, it may seem that you are looking at a portion of stream and see nothing.  Yet, when you cast out a Bugger, a nice smallmouth may rise up right behind it.

A stream can change a lot throughout the seasons.  If you want some good fishing, you need to spend some time out and learn the water at that location.  I may go out again this evening, or tomorrow when the kids finally go back to school.

Friday, August 17, 2012

On the Facebook.

The way my blog is set up, I don't have a way to set up a Facebook button.  Josh's Flies is on Facebook - .  Keep up to date on flies that I will be adding the our site -

I'm going out for some more bass and panfish this weekend.  It rained quite a bit this week and I hope that with more rain, it means more riffles and more water clarity on the stream.

As usual, I've got flies for sale on ebay and have sold scads of them this summer.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Selfless promotion, lol.

If you're looking for some hoppers, I've got them.  It's hopper time and I'm selling flies that I use for smallmouth bass and panfish.  Just look at these bass I took . . . on hoppers and topwater patterns.

Buy them here!!