Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mayan Cichlid - Panfish on the Fly.

This Mayan Cichlid was caught by Rick Ortiz on a TFO Clouser rod - posted at Panfish on the Fly.  I love the feel of the Clouser rod.  Yes, I have held several but for some reason am stuck throwing flies on my GLoomis.  One day, she will be mine.  The cichlid is also one of my favorite warm water specie of fish.  I have never caught one.  I absolutely love it when others post photos of cichlids.  I have thrown a few flies out on the Gaudalupe but never landed a cichlid. is a page I set up to promote fly fishing for panfish and warm water fly fishing.  However, it seems that I am stuck chasing smallmouth bass on one or two fly patterns.  I am hoping to get back into the panfish next season.  Several of my usual spots which are usually filled with bass and panfish have become filled with gravel or brush and cover swept away due to heavy flooding this year. I spent a lot of time scouting new places much of which does hold rock bass.  Another 2 locations filled with goggleye and warmouth are now inaccessible.

Most of my blog traffic are folks who enjoy fly fishing for panfish . . . not smallmouth.  The more I post about smallmouth, the less traffic my blogs receives.  I posted a page about foam flies for bass and panfish a few months ago which has become one of my most viewed posts.  Then I began posting about smallmouth again and blog traffic died.

Those smallmouth bass have led me astray!  So, back to tying panfish flies during the winter months!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Time for Fall Smallmouth Bass on the Fly.

I know this isn't the best way to handle a smallmouth bass.  I'll be the first one to tell you that but it was also released quickly.  Somebody made a statement about my grip and I was quick to say that it's not like the other photos I see.  It seems that folks will tire out a bass so that they can place the fish on a paddle, on the bank with their rod or somehow grip it with one hand as it hangs limp.  

Obviously, this is a better hold.  A few folks were upset that I even defended that at the least I don't tire the bass out and place it for a photo opportunity . . . but it was catch-and-release.  I am doing my best to hold it properly and when I took the first photo,  I figured it was resting on the back of my hand.  Quit a few folks don't really care or perhaps just a little bit.  I care.  I do.  I want that bass to continue to grow and help provide off-spring. 

 I can appreciate the smallmouth.  Year after year, my accesses are shut down.  Year after year, more and more developments come and cause improper run-off and pollution issues on my smallmouth streams.  I understand that folks just don't care if there are fish or the state of the habitat or environment.  I've seen a stream's quality go downhill and an organization created to preserve it by creating awareness.  And with that same stream - the knowledge that it is there and was once a popular recreational stream and that there were publications printed about it . . . and that it isn't just a river where affluent flows from several streams.

I know that it is my - heck, all of our responsibility no matter how small to help preserve what we can - even if it is griping a fish properly so that it is released unharmed for a prosperous future.  

That being said . . . I am still chasing smallies and they already seem to be holding tight and deep.  We've had some colder nights which temps ranging from 35-45 degrees and daytime temps about 60-70.  Fishing on my stream is slowing down.  I am fishing deep and slow.  The smaller bass are hitting the fly on the drift in swift riffles running about 1-3 feet deep.  I am catching smallmouth and spotted bass in deep still pools at the edge or riffles with a heavy fly that is stripped VERY slowly.  On Friday, I took about 20 rock bass around structure.  They were pretty slow too.  Bass and panfish were slashing or soft-striking my flies.  Recent rains with some regularity have brought dirty water since August which still runs swifter than the norm and at a high level which has prevented me from getting to certain locations.  I actually had to put on my waders to stay warm which is the first time since maybe March or April.

The rock bass love that Shucker pattern.  If I had a nickle for every one of those panfish . . .  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

(Been out several times lately - note pics).

For me it was a leap.  A big jump.  A dedication would have to be made.  I never just did anything "part-time".  My father went all out in everything he did - moose hunting, coaching, fishing.  He made me a part of those things.  In one way or another.  He tried to teach me a lot.  He read up on things or learned from seasoned vets.  I tagged along and either got along with his friends or got chewed out for "not doing it right".

The move from the office to the stream wasn't going to be easy.  I had been sitting behind a desk for quite some time.  I had made earning money my top priority - taking care of the family.  In becoming a desk jockey, I had gained quite a few pounds.  Most of that was while the wife was pregnant.  Or, so that was the excuse.  Previous to that, I had dropped quite a bit of weight.  Comfort in riding the chair and the solace of a proper daily routine - other than travelling several times a year was important to getting through a 10 hour day.

I grew up in a middle class family.  My parents paid for both my sisters' education.  They went away to school while I stayed home to decide what the heck to do with myself.  I paid for my own education.  Working in steel mills, restaurants and other odd jobs, I saved up during each summer.  It took my 7 years to make my mind up and graduate college.

(the first three paragraphs were written a week ago).  I'm just gonna wing the rest of it.  So, in as far as dedication goes, I really like to feel like I am immersed in something.  My father coached football.  I would help out the equipment managers, hold a dummy for someone to block, etc.  I would even be on the sidelines during the games wrangling the wire between the coache's headsets - obviously, pre-wireless.  I played football for 7 years.  I had been involved in football for at least 10 or so years.  I love the "locker room" feel.  An immersion of football.  I didn't always start the game but loved the bus trips, pep rallies, etc.

So - immersion - being a larger part of something . . . wading . . . in the stream and feeling the water flow, the water temperature, rocks in the shoes, hard stream bed, mushy stream bed . . . . wondering if you can wade across or through an area, etc.  I want to be a part of the outdoors.  I grew up living on the edge of the Lac Du Bois Provincial Park or "protected area".  I would step out the back door and there it would be.   had a fort, there were trails, I would take my air rifle, ride my bike . . .  My father and I went hunting and fishing there.

I feel better about the outing that I have when I feel immersed.  When I almost become placed in a trance - yet, aware of those things around me.  It's much more relaxing for me to wade than to take out the boat.  I almost don't care about landing big smallmouth bass and large fish.  I know something will be caught but I have to enjoy myself or it's just not worth going out and getting worked up about catching a lunker and becoming disappointed when it doesn't happen.