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.