Monday, December 31, 2012
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
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. http://www.best-in-british-columbia.com/mobradley.html 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 email@example.com.
Monday, December 24, 2012
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
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
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
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 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
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 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
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.
http://myworld.ebay.com/riverwalker74 - 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.