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!!