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 -https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joshs-Flies/513932678623419?ref=hl .  Keep up to date on flies that I will be adding the our site - http://joshs-flies.myshopify.com/

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.  http://myworld.ebay.com/riverwalker74

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!!  http://joshs-flies.myshopify.com/

Monday, August 13, 2012

Special Promotion - Free flies??

The first 5 people who place an order at http://joshs-flies.myshopify.com/ get a free Brown Hopper or a free Chernobyl Ant.  These are size 4 hooks which work well on good size bass and large panfish . . . or trout or whichever species you chase.  Just let me know when you order - rzrbk804@yahoo.com and let me know which fly.  I'll give a quick check to see . . . after all, my site has been up for about a week and everyone is still ordering from ebay.  Today's date is 8/13/12 and this promo is good until 8/15/12.  These flies work well for smallmouth and panfish.  I know because I use them.  Tight lines!!

Maybe if you are lucky, I might have some of these panfish hoppers left.  Just let me know which you prefer.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cool weather and active fish.

With cooler weather, I was able to spend quality time out on the water today.  This was the most productive day I had fishing this year.  About 25 smallmouth were caught and scads of panfish too.    
Spotted bass were soft striking and even the smallmouth bass were playing with the hopper patterns before deciding to take them under.  Sight fishing was the key for success today.  The biggest fish of the day was caught on a crawdad pattern . . . but I didn't land him.  It seems he may have been the lunker that got away in May.  He shook off the line!!  Wooly Buggers, hoppers and crawdad patterns were the flies today!  I spent five hours out on the water.  Withe cooler weather, I was able to wade farther and not have to lug a pack of water and snacks.

You probably can't tell from this pic but I caught this smallmouth bass on a hopper I just tied yesterday.   He was caught in riffles about 10 inches deep as the fish waited for a meal to drift down from some shallow riffles.  He had made his way up from a large pool where more of his buddies were still hiding.

This smallmouth bass was also caught on a fly that I tied yesterday.  This bass was taking cover among some rocks and boulders sitting at the end of a long pool just before the riffles become more shallow and swift.

Hopper time!  I have had some success with hoppers all year but today takes the cake!!  Smallmouth bass about the size of the fish in the photo were tugging and slashing at my hoppers and Chernobyl Ants.  They were popping them like bluegills but not sucking them down.  A fish would knock it down and another bass would pounce on it under water.  Sometimes, I could set the hook and other times, it seemed that I easily pulled the fly out of their mouths.  Thinking that I could increase the chances of playing more bass, I tied on a Betts' popper.  They just didn't want it.  So, put the hopper back on and play resumed.

Other than hooking a lunker and then loosing it, the most exciting catch of the day was this fellow.  I was drifting a foam hopper when I received a nice strike.  When fighting a fish, you sometimes see other fish tagging along.  Well, the fish shook the hook and while the hopper was still underwater another smallmouth bass immediately tagged it.  From one fish to another - two great fights on one cast!!

It was a heck of a day today.  Lots of action and great weather.  Tightlines!!



Friday, August 10, 2012

Productive Foam Fly - Smallmouth & trout

Still tying up foam flies today.  I've been tying on and off all day.  Preparing to hit some good smallmouth action.  Finally, we are getting some cool weather.  Unbelievably, it's going to be about 55 degrees in the morning.

Me and the kids have been playing a Lego Heroica boardgame.  School begins soon!!  Then I can really get out and do some fishing.  You can find this fly here - https://joshs-flies.myshopify.com/collections/hoppers/products/brown-hopper

Or here - http://www.ebay.com/itm/251127374495ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649#ht_500wt_1414

Just spreading the love - buy some flies!  Fall is here - topwater action is a required activity!!


Smallmouth fly pattern - Ugly Kong

I'm heading out to the stream tomorrow.  Maybe some smallmouth bass will hammer my topwater flies.  I may tie on a few panfish flies too.  With the weather dropping about 10 degrees and the evenings cooling down, tomorrow morning should be an enjoyable outing.  Whereas, the last few times I went fishing, it was at least 104 - 108 degrees.

I've been tying up flies today.  The pattern in the photo is my take on the King Kong but with a larger hook.  The design calls for elk hair as the 3 wings.  I lost my elk hair and deer hair.  I can't find that stuff anywhere!!

Anyways, just throwing up a photo to share with my friends and readers.  If you are on Instagram, my ID is smallie74.

I have listed more flies on ebay - http://myworld.ebay.com/riverwalker74 .  Also, I have flies listed at my store - https://joshs-flies.myshopify.com/ Secure shopping and cheap shipping.

Also, you can buy flies I list on my blog.  If interested, email me at rzrbk804@yahoo.com


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Samwich Hopper - time to buy hoppers!


I call this fly the Samwich Hopper.  Fall is here and with the heat, I think the grasshoppers came out a bit early this year.  As we all know, Fall is a great time for topwater action for smallmouth bass.  Of course, bluegills and other species will snack on those tobacco spittin' bugs.

I tied up a new fly.  I simply named it the Samwich Hopper.  I know that it's gonna get tagged by some fish.  Why?  I know my fish and was just catching smallmouth last week on a similar fly about the same size too.  Even a few warmouth hooked themselves upon those size 4 Chernobyl Ants.

I love tying hoppers, poppers and foam bugs because I love topwater action.  These Samwich Hoppers are for sale at my store.  http://joshs-flies.myshopify.com/products/black-samwich-hopper
I'll probably list some on ebay soon.  Solid body construction and a return policy too!

It's been raining off and on for the last several days.  It's the most rain I've seen all year.  I hope this will bring the streams up a bit and make the riffles a bit more swift.

Tight Lines!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hey guys!  I'm excited to say that we have a web site now - that's right a store with secure shopping.  You can still find my flies on ebay - http://myworld.ebay.com/riverwalker74 or at a well known domain, Shopify!  www.joshs-flies.myshopify.com

Come visit us!!!  Lots of flies for warm water fly fishing.  It's fall - hopper time is here and I have lots of foam flies for sale.

See ya'll there - Josh

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's a bass. Hot outing.

This isn't a great pic but it's a fish. One of just a few I caught last night which was cut short due to some pretty nasty weather on it's way into the area. The storm tore through Sulphur Springs. It seemed that a tornado hit that town. Trees were down on roof tops, branches torn off and the city park looked like a bomb went off. With the storm coming in, the darkness arrived sooner. My evening of fishing was cut short. I couldn't work the stream like I wanted to do it. I only landed 6 bass. They weren't great but it was something. The fish were short striking and pretty leary. Water is receding rapidly and it seems that the water is pretty dirty too.

During the previous two springs, we had some flooding which allowed fish to move from deeper holes into more shallow areas of the stream. Now, it seems that the water may just dry up. Won't that make fishing stink! I've been posting a lot of smallmouth pictures but next year, I hope to post a bunch of panfish pics. I'm gonna do like My friend Bill Trussell and try to catch 100 bluegills - but I'm gonna make it panfish in general.

Oh yeah, it was 108 degrees when I hit the stream. I made sure to carry a pack with water bottles. I've listed some Chernobyl Ants just like the pattern on which I caught the larger bass.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Who doesn't love top water action?!

I've been tying up some Chernobyl Ants/Hoppe to sell on ebay.  I've done pretty decent selling flies this summer.  With the boob tube boring me to death and the internet vastly cataloged and searched by yours truly, I have been staying busy tying flies and selling them through different avenues.  One week, I may sell 18 sets of flies, the next . . . 3 sets of yummy top-water goodness.

The majority of the flies I sell are top-water patterns.  Why??  Simply because!  Because it rules!!  I absolutely love it.  It is probably the number one reason I love panfish.  I grew up fishing for lake trout in B.C. and eventually transitioned to warmwater species after moving to AR.  I would have to say that a Kamloops trout rivals a largemouth bass or big smallie.  But it's those little dudes with 'tudes - those panfish.

Scoping out my favorite hole yesterday, I noticed that the fish were stacked in holes.  Drought has really wreaked havoc on the streams.  Lots of algea, low water, less riffles and my honey holes may dry up!!!  The fish are chasing each other and scaring others out of their spots.  They are pretty skittish.  I've seen large bass lurking in about 6 inches of water.  And you know what I'm gonna take with me tomorrow??  Top-water flies!

I've got Chernobyl Ants/Hoppers and other flies for sale on ebay.  http://myworld.ebay.com/riverwalker74