Saturday, September 5, 2015

Cortland 502 fly rod - Shakespeare Omni fly reel and smallmouth bass

Including today, I've made several trips out for Smallies.  I didn't get to hit the honey hole today but I had fun.  Floaters and campers took over my favorite stretch.  I used weighted streamers as usual.  Along with the Shakespeare Omni click and pawl, the Cortland 502 fought Smallmouth bass very well. This rod doesn't provide you with the strength to man-handle the Smallies.  You've got to play them and occasionally off the clicker reel.  

I łove it when smallmouth bass jump.  Large or small, it's so exciting to see them leap.

Can't wait to get out again.  Up until today, the water was up swift and high.  Things have chilled out and the Smallies aren't as active.  Water level dropped and they are back to hiding under nooks and crannies in the limestone or along the vegetation.

I've gone back to work and it's days like this - not even an awesome day - but just a gorgeous summer day that makes me feel truly blessed.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

One last hoorah for the floaters.

Saturday evening, the floaters, drunks, and campers were out in full force on a section of stream I'm not used to seeing them.  Sometime, the canoe hatch was so thick, I had to back off.  At least I got to talk to a lot of them.  They asked a lot of questions about fly fishing or said if they had any luck with smallmouth earlier.  Surprisingly, I caught a smallmouth about 10 feet where some kids where jumping and splashing.

Caught a few smallmouth bass but nothing big.  Had fun.

Smallmouth are holding tight and are not very opportunistic right now.  I find they start chilling out when overnight temps fall and water temps drop.  They'll start looking to feed on hoppers.  Hoppers haven't come in full force yet.  

Went out today, scoping out new water.  Lost a lovely 14" smallmouth in a Chernobyl but it was still a WIN.  Excited to hit that section of the stream again.

I casted, nymphs, buggers, streamers, terrestrials, you name it.  Soft strikes and Looky-Lou's.

Not happy leaving my comfort zone but I'm hoping it'll pay off.  I just took a job. In a way, this may be my last hoorah for the summer too.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vintage Fiberglass Fly Rod and Smallmouth Bass.

It's been pretty tough chasing these critters.  Over the past five years, I've lost several access points.  I had a tough time hiking into my honey hole.  It's alł grown up.  Seems like there's very little foot or ATV traffic these days.  It's got me a little worried.  I keep telling myself I'll scout new water but it's tough when your comfortable.  Maybe I'll grab a Weed Eater and chop down a quarter mile of brush, lol.

The stream has changed and I'm trying to find Smallmouth bass in spots that haven't been very productive.  Areas that used to be plentiful are missing scads of rock bass and other panfish.  A lot of timber and cover has washed away.  However, I did find success in a large swift pool.  I drifted streamers into the pool from a narrow run.

Unfortunately, most of the shots of this fish didn't take and there was moisture on the lense.  This is actually a nice 14" smallmouth bass.  But as some of ya'll know, I frequqntly take some pretty bad photos.  

After landing 8 bass, I hit several tail-outs and holes and timber.  I maybe caught 2 more and decided it was time to go.  Sometimes, I wonder why I still take the hard road when chasing Smallies.  After all, I could hit the local tailwater or state park for trout.  It would be a lot easier wading and I'd probably catch more.  But after taking out my mid-century vintage 8 1/2 ft. South Bend 3140 with the Japanese made BestMade mid-century click and pawl, I'm reminded of how hard these smallmouth bass hit a fly.

This rod looks to be a 7 weight or possibly am 8 weight.  However, it's more of a 6 weight and the rod does state 6 HCH (double taper) or D line (level line) - old AFTMA line codes.  I asked around and it was suggested to try a 6 WF.  So, I casted 6 WF and 7 WF lines.  The 7 didn't turn over well and was a bit laborious.  The 6 loaded well and was easier to cast out.  The rod performed better than I expected.  It was sensitive and yet could provide adequate control when playing fish in the current and turn over heavy flies in tight quarters.  

I didn't see the numbers as I did last trip but I caught some pretty nice ones this time around.  I got a few serious bends in the ol' rod.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Smallmouth bass - smallies on the fly - fly fishing for smallmouth bass

Call me nuts.  Call me crazy.  Perhaps, it's that I'm not a fan of folks turning my fishing spot into a swimming hole or that I just don't like driving more than a few minutes from home but I will fish my favorite spot almost no matter what.  Just a few more miles away, you can fish for larger smallmouth bass.  But you will more than likely need sinking line and you will more than likely be dodging floaters.  And the one thing I dislike most about driving to a stream and having planned to fish a certain spot is finding someone in that spot. 

I used to access several locations on a certain stream.  Due to different reasons, I'm down to just two in that stream.  The quarter mile location that I fish isn't even the same as it used to be.  Flooding has caused physical aspects of the stream to change and therefore, made it challenging to land smallmouth bass.  I'm not finding the numbers of good sized creek bass as I once did five years ago.  But yet, I still wade it.  I still prefer fishing a seemingly remote area close to home.  I rarely see people.  I get to fish where I want to fish, mane most importantly, it's relaxing.

I've got folks hollering at me that they've shared locations and how to fish for bigger fish.  I guess I'm just stubborn or a fool.  I would love to catch a nice 18" smallmouth bass.  Rare as it has happened, I do get frustrated when I catch what seems to be the same fish following me down stream all day.

I think that for me, as it has always been and from now I grew up in the outdoors, is that I enjoy just being in the outdoors.  I remember being coupes up in an office just dying to get out.  And when I did finally escape, I didn't care much that I was only landing rock bass and bluegills.

I met a guy yesterday in "my" stream.  He was probably in his early twenties.  A young kid who threw a purple lizard bait at the Smallies.  He was catching that same darn fish that followed me all day.  We caught most 12 inchers but we both didn't care.  He just wanted to wade the crik like me.  We both had a proper set up of light rods and delighted in the jumps and swerves and darts of those smallmouth bass.

I used to gripe and moan about local guys catching fatties on articulated flies just a few miles away.  I really could join the "gear geeks" and get skunked several times until I landed a huge Smallie or float the river.  But I won't.  I think I'm okay with just doing things my way.