Friday, September 20, 2013

Monotonous excitement - smallmouth and panfish fly fishing

I went fishing yesterday.  Yup.  Simple outing.  Again.  On the same water.  Well, technically, it was the same stream but not the same water.  Recent rains and flooding as the likes of which we haven't seen here in ages has changed the stream bed.  The challenge was trying to figure out where the places smallmouth bass had moved into.  Pools which had not been there before provided a swift dirty pool of wonderment and frustration.  The lies situated at the ends of riffles had disappeared and log jams were preventing upstream movement of fish into areas which once had an abundant population.

OK, maybe it wasn't so simple but there I was again, throwing the same fly.  The Shucker, a one time fly swap pattern that sat unused in a fly box for several years before being thrown into the pitching rotation to save my afternoon from "skunky-ness".

Since last fall, I have used this pattern more than any other fly.  It's got legs, it's provides motion and it sinks down in the water column or sinks to the bottom.  Most of the time, I use XL stainless steel eyes for weight.  I really want to throw Double Deceivers but don't want to use sinking line.  So, I stick to ol' faithful here.  I occasionally use purple Crazydads too.  Hoppers have been uneventful this fall.

I really would like to blog about something like tossing DD's at smallies or posting about how fish smashed my foamies.  But I'd rather just keep casting the Shucker because it catches fish.  Along with a ton of rock bass and a good amount of smallmouth which includes the one in the photo, the Shucker didn't fail me yesterday - nor did the five replacements, lol.

In the photo, it seems like I make be stretching the jaw or mouth.  I was criticized yesterday about how I held this smallmouth bass.  Other folks have criticized past photos of how I hold them.  Dave at seems to be holding them just right.  Perhaps, next time, I will attempt the same hold but they seem to wriggle out of my grasp such as the last outing I had when a 18-20 incher squirted from my hold.

What did I do today?  I tied up 5 replacement Shuckers for my next outing.  Am I ever going to tie up Double Deceivers for which I had bought material this spring?  Dunno.  I really wish I could provide more interesting posts for ya'll.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Foam Hoppers - smallmouth and panfish foam flies.

I follow Kevin at Fly Waters Edge. I was hoping to link the instructions to his Diablo Hopper but the site is down.  This is my version. Kevin made a foam skirt with wings that encompasses the abdomen from side to side. I'm not sure about my indicator though. Bryan has a few photos at  I'm sure something will hit it.  I do well on custom hoppers and especially those that are large.

I copied this pattern from an image I saved from some website months ago.  This has legs and I love legs.  I took photos while tying this pattern.  Well, until about half way but I'm planning on posting instructions.

Here's a nice smallmouth bass I caught on a custom pattern.  This was a good one.  The wings didn't stay on though.

Here's another smallie caught on one of my foam hoppers.  A few years ago, I was using the King Kong fly pattern I purchased from  The hook was probably a 4.  I can't be sure but the hook wasn't big enough - or, so I thought.  I think the body was large and mushy and somehow, it interfered with the hook set.  Time after time, I would watch smallmouth bass take the fly down to the bottom and release it.  Perhaps, three sets of elk hair wings are a bit much, I don't know but once I made the foam body larger and got rid of the mushy elk hair, the pigs were gettin' stuck.  I tie my foam flies large and use size 4 or larger hooks.

Once the heat dies down, I'm gonna be throwing some hoppers at smallmouth and panfish.  Can't wait to post a few more pics.

Tight lines.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Still chasing those smallmouth bass.

I received the most awesome decal EVER from "bassbum" on Instagram.  He has a blog too but it's all in Japanese.  I look at the photos and try to comment.  I absolutely love this sticker and immediately placed it on the back of the SUV.  I still have to send his flies out - a few foamies and my Shucker.

I made a trip out to one of my favorite smallmouth bass streams a little over a week ago and did fairly well.  18 smallmouth were landed in 5 hours but that number could've been better.  Not to mention, I lost a 18-20 incher because I had not net and lost my grip as I tried to take a photo.  However, I plodded on and proceeded to watch the bass "suck and spit" or "grab and go" but lose them when I tried to set the hook.  So, I bought sharper hooks!!  Those suckers won't know what to do when that hook eases into their mouths.  I am tying up my Shucker pattern on these hooks.  I may tie up some hoppers too but they just aren't working right now.

Yup, I bought a budget friendly line.  I sold a reel on ebay and forgot to take off the sinking tip line.  Since that line will have to be replaced, I went cheap on the floating line.  I think it will last at least one season.

I forgot about that GLoomis GL3 5 wgt. rod sitting in my closet.  Since the WR3 reel I bought for my 8 wgt. fly rod performed well this spring, I bought a WR2 for the 5 wgt and put the Cortland line on it.  The 5 wgt. is sensitive and does feel close to that of my 4 wgt. but it seems a bit rigid on the cast.  My hand seems to slip to the end of the grip and rubs on the reel.  I don't remember that happening on any rod.  A few more trips out and perhaps, it will begin to feel normal again.  I switched the drag over to the left so that I can easily adjust it when necessary to do so.

This smallmouth bass was not the biggest of the day but I did send it in for the Photo of the Day contest to the local television station.  And it won!  My second to win such a title - and a free travel mug, lol.  A fellow fly fisherman posted a "small" bass that hit his large fly and mentioned that only smaller ones were hitting it.  I mentioned that there is not such thing as a small smallmouth bass and I enjoyed fishing streams and catching them.  He proceeded to comment that we differed on opinion.  However, in his next outing, he mentioned to have caught a number of smaller bass again.  He enjoyed that outing as he was casting his fiberglass rod.  I labeled the caption of my photo "Reflections of the day".  I didn't catch but a few larger bass but that didn't matter to me.

Temperatures have risen and I'm waiting for that moment when it's just right to enjoy the day.  Recent floods have caused gravel to fill a number of places I fish.  Vegetation and cover has been washed away too.  It was a tough outing but I am hoping that somehow, that gravel is pushed back out.  A few of my favorite logs and trees have been washed away over the past few years and those "pigs" have moved on.  It's going to be a fun fall!!

Tight lines.