Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fly fishing for spotted bass. Foam fly patterns-recipes-bass

I think that spotted bass are the most finicky of all the bass. Sure, it can hammer a bass bug but it can also slirp a hopper like a smallmouth or trout.  And it can be just as picky as a trout or bluegill. 

You might say that a largemouth bass has the same characteristics. However, being that the spotted bass is generally smaller and in my opinion, more numerous in streams than lakes and that it spends a lot of time in the riffles or on the edges and when most active, it warms itself in shallow areas near riffles and currents, it is more cautious because it has to be.  I have drifted nymphs to small "Spots" in the current.  Even then, they suck and spit so fast.  Sometimes, it's like they tip-toe over to the fly and take a nibble or stare at it sideways like a puppy dog cocking it's ears.

Smallmouth bass and spotted bass are more like each other than the Spot to the Largemouth bass.  Sure, all bass are similar in many ways but when it comes to streams, the Spotted Bass seems to acquire a Smallmouth Bass mentality.  "They" say smallmouth bass prefer habitat similar to that of a trout.  For the most part, I tend to agree.  I would say that it also applies to spotted bass too.  I guess the general ideal setting for smallmouth is a semi-fast current flowing over gravel in a clear to semi-clear stream with pools here and there for them to sit in with rocks for them to sit behind and a few slower spots on the edges.  There is no doubt that the smallmouth does hang out in areas such as a largemouth - as all bass and fish use structure for shelter and hunting.  BUT, I do think that small spotted bass tend to hang out in a possibly dingier setting.  The larger spotted bass hang out in deeper pools waiting for dinner to come along.  Smaller "Spots" tend to hang out under things and on the edges on currents and riffles.  Such as, deep pools and slow sheltered shoals.

I fish to spotted bass such as for smallmouth bass.  Yesterday, I used hoppers and crawdad patterns to land a bunch of spotted bass which sat in a deep pool along a swift current.  The hoppers were drifted and the Crazydad was jigged a bit but placed more strategically in front of the bass.  Standing where I could see the bass (this place was stacked and my buddy had taken more than a few over a couple of days) I played to them with many patterns.  Most flies I tried where tasted and slashed at and what seemed to be just nosed at like a dolphin.  They would even slirp my hoppers many times and I couldn't set the hook.  Coming out of a very short winter's nap and with the water still about mid 50's and they seem very timid right now.

Far from being a guide and more along the lines of borderline outdoor enthousiast and fishing nut, I'm always learning about fly fishing for and trying to share my knowledge.  One thing is for sure, those frustrating Spots like to stare at flies.

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