Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Buffalo River - Is it in danger?

The issue of a hog farm being built on the Buffalo River watershed has been an issue for months now.  I should've been posting things about it and spreading the news for folks to encourage law makers to keep things like this from happening.  I do think there is a possibility that there will be a negative affect from the hog farm but what is keeping other facilities such as this Cargill farm being located in this watershed again?

Here is a link to some folks voicing their concern and protesting the farm - it's a little too late.

A link to Wikipedia about the Buffalo River.

I think it is important for legislation to be passed to stop hog farms from being built on this watershed again - or any other entity that can somehow be placed near a national waterway.  Surely, law makers would want to protect this stream and the economical impact the Buffalo River has on the state and the negative impact such farms will have on the environment.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Good-bye Stream - warm water fly fishing

                                                        Caught on my Shucker

This very well may be the last smallmouth that I catch from this stream, or this portion of it.  I have caught smallies from another access miles down stream but it's not a great spot.  I've been fishing this stream - ("indian creek") for about 15 years.  It was all pasture then.  Now, there's a golf course and huge homes along the stream.  I've never had any issues fishing on it.  Up until now.

I've always parked at the same spot (wish I could tell you the situation exactly but don't want to point out too much now) and accessed the stream from the bridge.  Today, I find out that one of the neighbors doesn't like me behind the house and claims part of the stream (rightly so . . . )  and another has had issues arising from hooligans on the stream.  Unfortunately (for me) and understandably so.

What irks me is that I have spent a long time learning this stream and now the Fish & Game dept. says I should as permission from the home owners and that they do own mid-way into the stream from their property.  All this from just a few neighbors and some issues caused by "bad eggs".  One of the neighbors has waved and said his for years . . . and now has to try and scare me off because he doesn't want folks to think they can hang out behind his place anymore.  Well,  at least I had a good day on the stream.

Since not all the property has been sold and that I would have to visit with all the neighbors year after year or season after season . . . and that I couldn't become too attached to the stream for fear of someone saying no . . . and I DID ASK permission from some of them . . . and waiting back from someone who seems to not want me on her side of the creek, I am now leaving the stream.  Fish and Game says they will ticket when called.  I even had called the county road dept. sheriff, etc. and was correct on how I entered the stream but even as I may gain access by permission, someone goof ball would do something stupid and ruin it for me.

Done with it.  How am I supposed to enjoy fishing with all that crap going on.  Butt heads were on the bridge looking for me last time.  I mean, C'mon!  Do I really need to kiss their butts, take pastries and a box of flies to folks and ask to fish behind their homes as they watch from their pools and decks and bother me with talking such as this morning??  Here it is 1 am and I am still fuming from it.

Crappie were biting like crappie do.  I had to feed my fly to them over and over.  The slightest twitch had to be felt - either that or watch my loop connector move, lol.  I drifted for them a bit but they mostly hung out in the timber and waited for my flies to approach.

                                                                Caught on purple Crazydad

                                                                  Taken on Shucker

                                                                        Shucker again.

                                                                     Moss Bluff Special


My Shucker Fly (below) "caught" 4 bass and multiple panfish.  Time to make some more of these ugly bad boys.  My second cast, I had a small bass on and he got off.  The cast after that, I hooked a fat ol' smallmouth and as I tried to grab him, he shook off.  And the third bass was hefty and he jumped and jumped until the hook came out.  But at least I took a ton of panfish before landing another smallmouth that I could actually put on Instagram.



I'll be heading back to the same waters in which I've been slugging it out with the bass. "Indian Creek" was my go to in spring and just every now and then.  The county informed me of something else (which I cannot share) which will affect stream access and parking . . . but at that point, I'm already mentally gone because Fish & Game and the sherriff's dept. have already me NOT to wade through the golf course that wasn't there too long ago.  A golf course that altered the stream for the worse.  And yet, what have I done but wade innocently behind some homes, picked up other folks litter and put fish back for other folks to catch.

Good bye ol' buddy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

#yearofthesmallmouth vs. #yearofthebluegill Warm water fly fishing

When will #yearofthebluegill truly begin?  About the 10th, water temperatures were in the 60's and then dropped of to about 50 - 54 degrees.  That's according to the USGS site -  Water temps dipped due to all the rain since about Tuesday evening until even yesterday afternoon.  We do need rain very badly.  These streams are still running a bit low and have been for the past several years.  You've got to have good water flow for a healthy stream habitat.

#yearofthebluegill . . . I'm wondering when those fat panfish will start hammering my flies.  I can pretty much pull them out of timber or bounce my flies of the bottom and make them hit it but recently, I am wondering if they left this location along with all those gar.  Last year, I found a lot of gar in a portion of stream I've never seen them in before.  We had a slight bit of flooding last year but nothing major since about 2008.  Actually, I'm thinking Hurricane Isaac dumped on us for days a few years ago.  Anyways, I'm sure they moved in from a deeper part of the stream or even the lake which is miles upon miles away.  Tons of gar - probably 20 or so - and huge!  I only see a few now and that's preferable, lol.

I started out with a Panfish Charley which I had luck with last week.  Obviously, it's called that name for a reason but the bass just didn't understand and took it anyways.  But, it's wasn't popular this weekend.

I decided to tie on something nasty.  Panfishing was the goal but since I was already at a certain location, I figured to hit some bass before moving up stream.  Tying on this heavy beast of a fly on my 3 wgt. - yes, a 3 weight rod, I cast into some deep and swift riffles.  On my first cast, a fattie hit tugged the line hard.  I played this whale - or did it seem that way because I had a small rod?  The line went slack after a few minutes.  I figured it could possibly be the beast of a bass or a carp.  I cast back to the same spot over and over but he was gone and a nice 1 pounder took my fly at the end of my drift.  Of course, after I took the picture and released the bass so that I could post it on Instagram, the photo disappeared!

And so my luck went with the next smallmouth too.  About an hour and a half later, I gave up.  With no activity, I began wading back but was still casting and drifting downstream.  After snagging my (not sure what to call it - Olive Shucks? - cuz it's got long shuck estaz, lol.)  I tied on a Black Shucks and fought another beast - well, he was 2 lbs. and that's a beast to me.  I played him, I tried to tire him but he was in his death throes - yes, death throes.  This smallmouth bass was spinning and at times fighting and tugging upside down.  I couldn't land him.  At the point where I just about had him in the net, the fly broke free!!  For the Shucks pattern, I was casting into deep riffles and just drifting it.  In the past, I would jig it a bit but this bass hit it on a fast drift as I walked downstream not expecting anything.

I was upset but motivated.  I tied on an orange Crazydad (crawdad pattern) which did get a number of strikes.  I then tied on a purple Crazydad and that's when the fun started.  Everything started hitting this purple fly and the panfish finally came out of the woodwork.

I didn't land any huge bluegills which I know are still hiding out here.  I came here for panfish and I'm gonna get some from here soon!  Orange Crazydads did take a few fish later on but purple was the most productive fly of the day.  Not only was I drifting the Crazydads through riffles but casting it behind me into the brush and structure too.  Both methods were productive in landing bass.  There wasn't much of a drift near structure so I had to strip it in slowly with a bit of jigging action.  These Crazydads are made to look like fleeing crawfish.

It wasn't too bad of an outing.  If I hadn't of landed that smallmouth on a "Shucks", I would've left for the day.  I landed a few more piggies but took this big momma on an orange Crazydad - pictured below.

I dislocated my finger over a week ago but still went out for some panfish action.  Well, I didn't do too bad with pannies but those bass just won't leave me alone.  My finger is still swollen and could barely wrap around the handle.  It could be slightly broken but the swelling has gone down quite a bit.  This weekend, I should be healed enough to cast a heavier rod.

Here is an Olive Shucks which is a size 2 and that's a lot better than the size 8 I was casting the other day.  The hook was barely lodged in some skin on that bass I couldn't land.  I imagine the larger hook would've set a lot better and a nice photo would have been shared with all.

Crazydads and my favorite leaders.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Facebook page - Panfish On The Fly!!

I created Panfish On The Fly, for a place to really come together and talk about our #yearofthebluegill or just landing panfish in general.  I mean, c'mon - there's a Smallies On The Fly page.  I figured maybe calling it Pannies on the Fly but that just sounds wrong.

I'm gonna share some info on fly patterns and just kind of link the blog to Facebook and pick up some traffic so that warm water fly fishing in general grows more from a grassroots arena such as #yearofthebluegill.

Tight lines!  Post your big fatties on my page!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Josh's Flies is now called Buggin' Out

Same ol' stuff just getting better at it. I decided to clean up the blog and make it a little more friendly. I'm gonna be changing my domain name too - still be on Blogger. is now the new domain name which means I have to notify folks and change things on the back end.

Glad ya'll are still following me!

California Coachman - Bluegill Fly Tying #yearofthebluegill

I wish the picture was better but this is what the swapmeister put on his site back in 2006.  This is a California Coachman which is a Tom Nixon fly pattern for panfish.  I may tie a few up but with a glass bead head.  I can definitely swear by this nymph.  Fly Fishing and Fly Tying for Bass and Panfish by Tom Nixon is a book that one must have to truly appreciate the evolution of warm water fly patterns.  It seems to kind of be the mid-point from the first bucktail streamers and deer hair bugs to the Clouser or even articulated flies.

I learned about Tom Nixon from some folks in a warm water fly fishing group on Yahoo.  Tom Delaney hosted the first ever Tom Nixon Memorial Fly Swap or which I participated.  It really opened the doors to creativity for me.  Tom tried to stay traditional with his fly patterns but also put a slight twist on them for warm water species.

Obviously, the California Coachman is a variant of the Royal Coachman.  Whether you are stripping it or drifting this wet fly pattern, it works great for bass and panfish in the proper fishing environments.  Over the next week or so, I'm gonna list a few Tom Nixon fly patterns for panfish.  Then I will provide some more tying instructions for his bass patterns.  It's #yearofthebluegill and a lot of folks are gonna be tossing flies at them this year - well, more than usual.

California Coachman 

Tail: Golden pheasant tippet fibers
Body: Peacock herl ruff at tail, yellow floss middle and peacock herl ruff forward
Wings: White duck flight feather sections or white hackle fibers
Hook: #18 - #8 

It's more of an ingredient list but it's a starter.  If you've got a hole with a bunch of stubborn sunfish, this fly pattern will work great.  You'll need to switch it up with different fly patterns because even panfish get tired of the same pattern after a while.  Which is why ya'll need to stay tuned for the next post on another Tom Nixon panfish fly pattern.

Strike indicators can be used when drifting for bass and panfish.  I don't do it but sometimes they do bit soft or suck and spit quickly.  Then again, that would be a great excuse for a hopper-dropper combo.  One summer day, I couldn't get anything to take my flies.  I tied on a scud and drifted it in swift shallow riffles when small spotted bass started taking it.  I had to watch them like an eagle - I had to keep a proper drift and set the hook at the right time because those suckers sucked and spit so fast but it seemed they at least gave it a try.  That's a whole 'nother post though.  

 In lakes and ponds, let the California Coachman sink a bit after casting it but vary the retrievals.   

Tight lines!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bluegill, oh bluegill, where for art thou bluegill? Warm water fly fishing.

Where did all the panfish go?!?  From Friday, March 29th through April 3rd, we've had rain on a daily basis.  And - not to mention cold snaps!  Again!  The stream I went to today was running a lot faster and was a lot colder than my trip out last Friday.  I did not land one panfish.  I couldn't even make a fish hit a top water pattern.  I'm wondering if folks cleaned out my bluegill hole on Easter Sunday because it sure seems that way.  At least from looking at the trash on the bank it does.  I picked up some trash and a plastic rod combo cover with rod instructions and a "How-to-fish" booklet to throw in the recycle bin. (I caught the girl above on a Panfish Charley - it's for panfish you silly bass!).

This is why fishing holes get shut down!!  It angers me because I've had a few get shut down to do hooligans and behavior related to drugs alcohol and graffiti.  On one occasion, I was the first one to leave to lot and hit the stream.  I came back a few hours later with a lot of folks bank fishing and diapers scattered willy-nilly!  Or, is it hither-thither??

Check out my red eye bass!   It's been a while since one of these nasty dudes hit the line.  I drifted my Seek & Destroy for panfish and all I got was this bass, lol.  The bass are moving!  It's April and about time!  We've had a late winter and I've been ready to stretch my legs for a while now.  I drifted weighted nymphs for panfish without success today.  The Woolly Bugger wasn't any help either.  Soon, my friends, soon!  Those panfish will be ready to jump into my creel, mwah ha ha ha.

This guy sure is purdy but what is he?  A red eye bass or a smallmouth?  If you look at this information,, it could be a red eye but it looks like a smallmouth bass to me.  The jaw line doesn't seem to extend far.  So, maybe he is a red eye. But who cares right?  It's a bass.  Maybe it's a hybrid . . .

So, those bluegills heard I was out for them this year, huh.  Well, I'll show them next week!  Tight lines to all those chasing panfish on #yearofthebluegill.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Counting Bluegills - Warm water fly fishing

This year will definitely be a change from last year in that I will be fly fishing on more impoundments than streams.  Seeing as how it is #yearofthebluegill, I feel as if a big weight has been lifted from my shoulders, lol.  Granted, my smallmouth pics don't compare to those of other bloggers but chasing panfish will put me in a place that makes me happy.

I landed several bluegills the other day and am hoping to make it back out this week.  I believe my count is at 4.  I am only counting those that are at least the size of my hand.  I will do my best at identifying these mix breeds of sunfish.

This little dude hit my chartreuse coon hair Clouser.  I hope waters warm up soon.  These cold snaps and rain are keeping me indoors.  I'm gonna do repair on a Boogle Bug.  It seems I broke the top on a back cast.  I've also got an orange Boogle Bug in which the feathers already have to be replaced.  I just bought it last year but the feathers are already gnawed at by mites because I left in in a fly box that wasn't aired out after my last outing.

And it sure won't hurt to land these guys every now and then.  She? slammed my Boogle Bug as I let it rest a bit after casting into some cover.  This bass took it as she jumped out of the water and landed upside down with her yellow belly disappearing into the stream.  I'm starting out with Boogle Bugs because for some reason, they worked best last spring.

I know Cameron at TFM is promoting #yearofthebluegill but I think Bill Trussell has been a big influence on catching those nasty little fighters.  So, tight lines to all of you chasing bluegills this year!