Friday, June 28, 2013


Some of you will recognize this fly pattern as the Juicy Foam Fly.  I have taken out the drift indicator and may do away with it for good.  I like the way this current body style looks more uniform and has a more full head.  I have a lot of these on ebay and through social media sites.

I am looking for a good smallmouth fly rod.  The GLoomis 8 wgt. rods I have are too rigid and made for largemouth bass.  Even the GLoomis 5 wgt. cannot provide me with the accurate casting that I want when casting weighted flies.  Today I checked out the McLellan's Warmwater special which I think is a Scott rod.  It's a 6 wgt. rod with slightly heavy action.  The TFO Clouser rod is sweet too!  That rod has somewhat of a lighter action but handle weighted flies and sinking tip line - I think it is a 6 or 7 wgt rod.

I can't save this pic as a regular jpeg but here is a link to the pic of the McLellan's Warmwater Special which is a custom made 6 wgt. with fighting butt.

I've been hitting the water quite frequently before the heat really take it's toll.  I had just a little bit of time the other evening and tied on the Juicy Foam Fly.  A caught a few bass on it.  This pattern seems to slay the heck out of everything.

I have sold a lot of green and white Juicy Foam Flies and caught a lot of smallmouth bass on them last year.  I am currently listing flies on ebay.  Saving up money for a new smallmouth fly rod is a goal of mine.  Help me raise cash for my addiction, lol.  I am looking to buy this rod at the least by next spring.  

I will be listing the latest version of the Juicy Foam Fly and the old version with drift indicator.  I've been using 3 and 4 wgt. rods to get the feel I want when fighting smallmouth bass but they are a pain when casting heavy flies.

I may even start selling the Shucker on ebay.  That fly pattern has been slaying the smallies and rock bass this year.

Tight lines!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Still fly fishing for smallmouth bass.

Yup, it's a photo of another smallmouth bass.  He's moving a bit but you can see it's a pretty decent chunker.  That was today's big bass.  I landed 28 smallies - I can account for 21 but I do believe there are a few I can't remember.  At one point, I was keeping count.

Today's "hot" patterns were the Shucker and the purple Crazydad.  I say "hot pattern" but it's the only flies they would take today.  I was fishing new water.  The plan was to scope it out and use a top water pattern.  Of course, the smallmouth bass didn't want my Juicy Foam fly. I opted for a purple Crazydad (orange wouldn't work later in the day) and the little bass kept slamming it - over and over.

I found some deeper holes with swift current and tied on a black Shucker.  Only the rock bass wanted it.  Then I tried the olive Shucker with success.  The rest of the day, I landed bass after bass on that pattern.  After losing all 3 olive Shuckers, I went home, lol.

Yeah, I know - more smallie pics.  That's all this guy posts.  Well, it took me a while to get back in the groove.  Not bad for fishing new water.  Lasts night, I only caught 2 bass on a foam pattern.  Heck, I didn't land anything at the fishing tournament.

I lost a number of smallies.  I'm not sure why but four smallmouth in a row were lost in the riffles.  I was using the olive Shucker with the rabbit strip tail.  When I replaced it with a Shucker that had a marabou tail, no issues.  Makes me wonder.

Expecting to land buckets of panfish, I took my 3 wgt. rod.  Yes, I had some awesome fights but chucking that size 2 Shucker with X-large stainless steel eyes was tough.  I still have yet to land anything other than crappie on articulated flies or "meat".

In the hopes of being more productive on the stream and land larger smallmouth bass, I began tying big flies this winter.  Guys like to call them "meat" flies.  I know of guys landing some pigs this spring on articulated flies or big hair flies.  That just doesn't cut it for me this spring/summer.  I guess traditional smallmouth bass flies work best for me.  The chance will come when I land something on a Double Deceiver or Sex Dungeon but right now, Buggers, Clousers and crawdads will work just fine . . . with a lot of Shucker thrown in too.  Oh yeah, top water patterns.  I've tied up some foam block poppers but still am taking bass on the Juicy Foam fly or Betts poppers.

Does it matter that I am not landing 20 inch smallmouth bass every weekend?  No.  I think that right now, what matters most is just enjoying myself and doing things my way.  I don't have to follow the current trend of tying the latest "meat" flies.  Nope, I can land them in my own way and in my own time.

In catching a lot of not-so-big fish and having kept the phone in my backpack, I didn't take a lot of photos.

Days like today don't come too often for me.  Perhaps, I can get them to start taking my hoppers, poppers and sliders.

I also caught about 6 rock bass.  This guy is bigger than he looks in the pick - or was it that he hit hard.

 I caught a lot of fish simply by drifting and casting into deep slack water and pools.  It's almost like they were waiting for me.

I'll take them all day long - just as long as they aren't too small.  To me, nothing beats a great day out on a stream.  I love wading and listening to the water.  I like a clear and swift current that isn't too deep.  One that runs along a smooth stone bottom and that you can see for a long ways off.  With the sun reflecting off the water, a blue sky and eager fish, I can't help but to smile as I sit on the bank enjoying the shade.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Smallmouth bass fly fishing and trimming the fat.

Most of my followers know that I love panfish first and smallmouth bass secondly.  I have a lot of unnecessary posts about selling flies and some mumbo jumbo stuff to increase traffic.  This will make searching the blog more simple and stop dead end visits.  Posts will mostly be of panfish and smallies or fly tying.

I am going to repost pics of my smallies with some reflections of where and how I landed them.  This bass was caught on my Shucker fly (with schlappen) in late March or early April.  The current was swift from recent rains but the water wasn't up much higher than the norm.  The Shucker is a weighted fly and I was using floating line.  The fish was taken from a rocky pool with some medium sized boulders.  The waters depth is about 4.5 feet deep and tails out in a shallow area of about 20 feet wide and about 6-8 inches deep with riffles pouring out about 15 feet away into another swift area - therefore the bass are moving from this pool up another 100 yards before the stream becomes too shallow for the bass to  move during normal stream conditions.  This pool is the deepest in the area of the stream with an average of about 3 feet depth throughout most of this section of the water.

Although smallmouth bass can be caught from most of this 100 yard section, this pool seems to be where they hang out most.  I have caught them in shallow riffles and from along the banks.

Along about a 200 yard section of the stream, I landed 3 smallmouth bass on the Shucker and a few on a purple Crazydad pattern in about 6 hours of fishing.  It was pre-spawn action and those smallies were even taking my panfish flies.

I love this pattern - can't remember what I named it though.  Weighted bead head nymph.  I think it's the Stealth Bomber, lol.  But I took several not-so-big smallmouth bass on this pattern as I drifted it through that deep hole I previously mentioned.

"Large flies vs. smaller flies" - or "meat vs. traditional flies"  will probably be my next posting which will cover smallmouth bass.  I scoped out some water I've fished before which is currently having a slight algae bloom.  Hoping to land a few bucketmouths soon.  I'm mentally preparing myself for this fall when I will be chasing smallmouth bass again.

Tight lines!

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm taking suggestions for Bass Flies.

I went out and had a great time at my first fishing tournament.  Even though I was the only fly fisherman there, everyone was welcoming and we had a good time talking about what we enjoy most - fishing.  Although I didn't land any fish, it was an amazing day.  The lake was glass smooth, light rain and clouds kept the day overcast.  I did see fish but they had lock jaw.  I began with a popper but the fish did nothing but slash at it or stare at it.  Streamers attracted attention but were not tempting enough.  Three was the largest count caught.  Other folks mentioned it was a lousy outing.

I used sinking line, floating line, weighted flies, poppers and articulated meaty bugs.  A bass followed my fly with his mouth right on the tail end!  Even the panfish followed the flies about a foot behind.  Small bass were soft striking streamers as they slowly sank.  I haven't been to this lake in ages but perhaps it was some sort of post-spawn activity??

Anyways, I'm taking input on flies folks use for largemouth bass.  I do fairly well on impoundments but maybe I'm just missing that little something.  One of my faults yesterday was that I didn't cover much water.  I also stuck with a certain fly way too long.  Only 10 fly patterns were used in 6 hours of fishing.

Leave a comment with a bass pattern that is productive for you.

On a good note, another fly fisherman (Freshly) took a smallmouth bass on my Shucker fly pattern.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Prepping for my first bass fishing tournament - fly fishing for largemouth bass.

In preparing for my first fishing tournament, I found out that a measuring instrument had to be purchased.  This is a Catch-and-Release tournament.  Once your bass has been landed, a photo must be taken of the fish laying upon your measuring stick.  At the end of the tournament, your SD card is then given to the judges/coordinators.  Obviously, points are given on length.  All sizes of bass count.

My anchoring is going to be a challenge.  Twine may have to be used at different tie-in points on my kayak for the anchor.  When I have been out and the wind picks up a bit, I may be facing the wind at different angles.  I have had to cut the twine and move the tie-in points as to face my target.  Since I am afraid that twine may not be strong enough and that Beaver Lake will definitely be deeper than other places I used to fishing, rope may have to be used but difficult to cut and tie quickly as to maintain my position on the water.

Due to all our late spring storms, the lake is a lot higher and fishing reports state that fishing is good around flooded timber on the banks.  I was out on War Eagle Creek which was flowing slowly into Beaver Lake.  Since the lake level is pretty high, the creek is backed up and also dirty.  I was fishing chartruese and white flies to little success.  In the dirty water at lakes Bella Vista and Bentonville where there is the beginning of algae blooms and stained water, I had success with black streamers.

Those that read my blog are probably aware that I am burned out on fishing - at least on streams.  I am surprised that at this point, I am still relaxed going into this event.  Chasing fish as I have has come to the point that I have certain expectations.  Well, my expectation for this tournament is to show up and it I catch as fish, great.  I plan on entering several more fishing tournaments and maybe, I might place in the top 3.  At this point, I am glad to join something where I can interact and enjoy the company of people.  Being a stay-at-home parent does become monotonous and challenging.  Especially, when your friends are busy with their families and work.

I've been tying up patterns to fill the box with flies other than panfish and smallmouth flies.  With the decision to close my blog, I almost gave up on fishing for the year.  After a few friends pushed me to stay on my horse, I decided to take my fishing a different direction.  I mean, how many years can you keep chasing smallmouth bass without it becoming tiring.

This is Rouse's Poodle, a trout fly used to chase browns on the White River.  I'm gonna chuck it at bass.

This is also Rouse's Poodle.  I want something that's big and has movement and is weighted.  I will take my full sink line but prefer floating line.

I still need backing and leaders . . . the tournament begins at 7 am and ends at 2 pm.  2 hours have prime  morning fishing are gone by then and the bright sun may be poking it's head out.  There will be scattered showers which means there will be gusts.  This will be a challenging and exciting outing.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lake BV - Fly Fishing for Bass

I went fishing on Lake Bella Vista.  A bit disappointing.  The lake is about 5 or 6 feet lower than usual. The lake has a dam, spillway and what appear to be a levy.  My understanding is that on of those features needs repair and Bentonville is trying to decide how to repair the lake properly which means deciding on how to acquire funding.  I think they were looking at state money or assistance from Bella Vista.  The lake sits at the north end of Bentonville of which it is part of the city - not Bella Vista - although, I think it was part of Bella Vista at one time.  There used to be a bait shop or two at the lake when it was a part of Bella Vista.  But now, this poor lake has yearly algae blooms and was pretty dirty and stinky.  Unless you fish the east side where the creek flows in and pushes the water northwards.  There is a lot of timber and what seems to be sorts of farm equipment to provide cover for fish.  Most folks fish from the banks and the feeder creek to the south.  My buddy has done well in the creek.  There are sizable spotted bass and warmouth in the channel.

I went to War Eagle Creek and was practically forced off by swarms of families floating in tubes and kayaks.  The lake is full and the creek is backed up and with not much flow, folks were paddling up and down the stream - even watching videos on their phones with the volume turned up loudly.  After a frustrating outing with a few small spotted bass, I decided to find somewhere else to relax.  Yes, relax. I don't do that much on the water these days.

So, I changed into some dry clothes and loaded up the kayak.  One the way home from the creek, I kept thinking of fishing that tournament next weekend and if I could hang with guys tossing chatter baits and flukes.  It's been over a year since I had the kayak out much less fish for largemouth bass.  I figured it was time to practice and prepare for the tournament.

In fishing just a few hours, I caught several bass and crappie.  It was tough going.  I had to fish a protected cove which receives a lot of shade from the bank and a jetty.  The creek channel flows on the far side of the lake and a lot of fallen timber provided just what I needed.  This area rarely sees bank fisherman much less anyone kayak fishing.  Canoes and kayaks are only allowed on the lake.

I fished the creek channel and the mouth of the creek.  It was pretty clear and I tried to sight fish.   I saw no fish - not even those little sunfish.  I worked the timber with purple and brown crawdad patterns.  Foamies presented in an attention grabbing plop brought no response.

Pistol Petes brought a few strikes but nothing solid.  I weighed anchor and worked the edge of the creek channel.  Then I floated down the bank with no success.  It wasn't until I made my way to the west side of the lake did things turn out better.  I actually lost more than I caught.  I tried several flies but the only thing that worked was the Shucker.  I had quite a few strikes from crappie and lost a number of bass.  Partly due to the fact my Shucker only had a size 8 hook.  I tried the size olive Shucker with no luck.

It was fun to fish new water instead of wading the same streams.  I may hit a different lake this evening but that depends on what plans of my wife.  The Shucker has been a pretty good pattern this year.  I need to make some more of the black ones but may have a hard time finding the glow-in-the-dark XL lead eyes.  The past few days of fishing have yielded no bluegills, goggleye or warmouth.  I am a bit disappointed but if at all possible, I may hit a lake stocked with red ear and bluegills today.  With the kids being at home and the summer heat drawing upon us, I hope to hit the water as much as possible until we have 100 degree days.

Tight lines.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bass Tournament - Matt's Llano Critter - bass fly

In recent weeks, I have thought about getting back to basics.  The purpose is to put myself in a positive frame of mind.  Honesty, I think that by continuously chasing smallmouth bass on the same water year after year has made me tiresome of fly fishing.  My blog used to get several hundred hits per day.  I think that was due in part to the panfish flies and photos.  Once those started decreasing, my site traffic slowed.

Well, those panfish are what I used to love most about fly fishing.  I even sold my beloved Tom Nixon book which contained wonderful panfish fly tying instructions.  All because I wanted to participate in a bit of "Basscar" with some local fellows.  I became burned out on chasing smallmouth.  I didn't enjoy it because I was gritting my teeth and squeezing my rod.  I was hitting the water every Friday and sometimes followed up with a Saturday and Sunday outing.  I was fishing in the heat and making myself sick just to show my friends that I was landing smallies.

Yesterday evening, I went to the city lake.  It's mainly a catfish lake and man where the folks lined up along the banks.  I worked what stretch of the banks as was possible and landed a number of crappie on a black articulated Circus Peanut.  After dark, I took several small crappie on a Bett's popper.

I really enjoyed being out there on a lake and doing something different than wading a stream.  I had one or two solid strikes from something large.  I talked to some folks who wondered why I let fish go and why would I fly fish at a lake.  I rarely ever run into people when I fish.  So, it was a treat to talk about fishing with folks who think it's neat for a fly fisherman to come and fish where they chuck chicken livers for catfish.

Bass tournament?  Yup.  I'm going to try and get up the gumption to fish alongside some bait casters or folks that toss terminal tackle, lol.  I may just pay the fee to fish the Big Bass just to see what it's all about.  I have to get back to basics which for me is lake and pond fishing - chasing panfish and treating a bass strike as something special.  Year of the Bluegill was supposed to take me to my happy place this year but chasing smallmouth bass got in the way.

After the first relaxing outing on the water I've had in such a long time, I tied up a few large flies including Matt's Llano Critter (pictured above).  I am preparing some tournament flies for next Sunday in the hopes that I can land at least one bass.  I have a lot to learn about bass fishing on impoundments.  I've done OK but I haven't spent nearly the time chasing largemouth as I have smallmouth.

Hoping to post some bass tournament info soon.  Tight lines.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Reader input requested.

I'm not sure which direction to take my blog.  In the continual quest for smallmouth bass, I have put panfishing on the back burner.  Hence, part of the reason I am burnt out.  Looking at old photos today, I was reminded of all the things I have accomplished.  It's not like I have to be a fly fisherman.  I've been a bird hunter, coon hunter, deer hunter and a general outdoor enthusiast.  I've bait fished for catfish and thrown lures at bass too.

I've thrown flies at carp but with not much success.  Not sure if I have the patience yet.  Still developing the skill.  But I am thinking of maybe just doing a panfish blog.  So, to you readers out there, what would you guys like to read about on my blog??  More panfish flies?  Smallmouth bass flies?  Maybe a more in-depth look at how I hunt smallies?  I was hoping to post quite a few entries about bluegills.

Any feedback will be appreciated.