Friday, August 29, 2014

Fussy Fall Smallmouth Bass

It was a frustrating morning yesterday.  I had planned to fish this weekend but storms threaten the outings.  Thunderstorms were supposed to quench the dry garden today but that never happened.  So, I was very frustrated in making up my mind yesterday morning.  I hadn't slept much the night before and had a Honey-Do List waiting on me.  About 8:45, I decided to fish a spot where I would be shaded enough not to melt in 95 degree sun rays.  

By the time I arrived, I had convinced myself to tie on a foam hopper and stick with it.   Of course, me being me, that plan didn't work out.  The silly little fish were interested enough but not big enough to take a large Evazote foam hopper on a B200 bass hook.  However, a large Sucker decided he wanted it and he and I fought like crazy on the Eagle Claw Featherlight.  It was awesome until he yanked so hard the hook came out.  Oh well, he have about 5 or 6 jumps.   

I was stealthy as heck.  The water was down quite a bit and the bass never returned to the hole I waded through to access the stream.  With the hopper, I tried a soft presentation and a loud presentation.  I would even twitch the fly a little bit too.  I had a few takers but the hook didn't set and I would lose them on the jump.  And it seemed that they smallmouth were closing down their mouths on the hoppers and once the fight ensued, they would spit out the fly. 

After many close calls, I switched to Pat's Rubber Legs.  It's been a savior this year.  But, even with this fly on, the bass were still shy.  They came out to look or tug on it.  Even though the area was shaded, the smallmouth bass were hugging structure.  I only fished maybe an hour and a half.  I could tell it was going to be a challenging day on the stream and I still had to finish my chores at home.  This was a day when your drift had to be spot on.  Ya know, drift it right to them and even then . . . 

Hoppers have been abundant the past few weeks.  I'm wondering if they already had full bellies.

Selling a few things to save up for a rod from Blue Halo.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vintage fly reels & Rainy's Evazote foam

Vintage Mitchell, Berkley and Heddon reels.  Guess I shoulda known they made reels.  If you didn't already know, folks are buying them to match up with vintage and new glass rods.

I bought this Martin 61 and some blue line to go on this vintage tuna can reel.  However, to match my EC Featherlight rod, I bought a cheap reel.  I could've bought a gold Orvis reel to match but it's a cheap rod and I really don't need a high dollar set up to chase smallmouth bass.  Besides, I already bought an Allen rod and reel and TFO rod for smallmouth bass this year.  

I'll give a review on this cheap reel, my Martin tuna cans and The Fine Art of Creek Fishing.  I just have to get around to spending some time on the stream but it's too dang hot.

I also bought Rainy's Evazote foam.  Love it.

I hope to do some wading Saturday morning.  I've got grasshoppers in my garden and yard.  Hopefully, I can still #throwdahoppa.  Maybe, it won't get too hot too quickly this weekend.

Tight lines.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Vintage fly reels - Martin reel.

I just bought a Martin 63 reel.  It may be from the 80's.  According to a link I found, the key to dating it may be he plastic hub. .  It could be made by Martin or perhaps Zebco.  It's interesting to look up information on these reels and companies.  

I am also lookin at a red South Bend 1122 which I think is made in Japan and possibly by Shakespeare.  I know some guys that have been collecting vintage glass rods and reels.  I'm interested in pursuing these older reels to match my glass rods.  I saw an old Berkley glass rod and from the Fiberglass Fly Rod facebook page, I've learned there are a number of good old glass rods and reels out there that can be purchased at a fair price.

I'm wondering, which vintage reels my readers own.  Does anyone have a certain preference for certain brand name vintage rods?  In the meantime, I've got some reels to watch on ebay.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fly tying a foam hopper.

My blog gets a lot of visitors looking for foam flies or tying instructions for hoppers.  I'm going to give instructions on my own first productive smallmouth bass foam flies.  One afternoon, I tied this "hopper"/foam fly in a hurry and hurried off to the stream.  I'm not sure why I chose these colors or why I tied this design.  

All I know is that I caught a bunch of smallmouth bass in about a 50 yard stretch.  From this fly, I just started tying this or the Chernobyl Ant and sometimes the Los Alamos Ant.  Most of my previous foam flies where good for panfish but this fly must've had a good profile or I lucked out. 

So, here are some photos I took with my ipad which doesn't have the best quality camera.  I've been busy tying up a bunch of flies for some friends which is why my desk looks a bit messy.

Cut two foam strips (which ever color you want).  1 1/4 x (not quite 1/4 inch but a Centimeter).  Although, a 1/4 inch width may be fine.

I use size 8 streamer hooks.  I sometimes use size 4 and cut my foam longer.  Tie in at the barb.  Depending n your thread size, it could be 6 - 8 wraps.  Before tying in the body, make sure to wrap plenty of thread onto the shaft of the hook.  You'll need to do this layer so adhesive can be applied to keep to body in place.

Use whichever legs you want.

Tie the legs in at the "tie in point" of the foam body.  Your legs will stretch from this tie in point to the front of the body.  Don't trim the legs just yet.

Stretch the legs forward and tie in one side and then the other.

I like to add an indicator for when I drift.  The head will be shorter than the butt/abdomen.

You'll need to do two or three half-hitches.  Cut thread loose and apply glue/adhesive at the "tie in point" and behind the head.  If you want place glue along the hook shank from rear to front legs but not too much.  It basically a Chernobyl Ant/hopper.

I've been tying up a lot of foam flies this weekend.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Casting glass.

I broke in the new glass rod on some smallmouth bass today.  About 15.  Several 12-14 inchers on the day.  

Heck, even this guy put a bend in the new stick.

I didn't spend much time out today.  The line was a pain in the butt.  I has it out yesterday trying to take the coil out of the line.  The line was sold on the reel and seemed to be on there a while.  It kept twisting and coiling.  Grrr, threw off my casts.  Pat's Rubber Legs was the fly today.  I was very impressed with how the Featherlight loads and how light it is which also makes for a great fight.  I just may pick up the 7'.  This rod just might be my new trout stick too.