Thursday, February 16, 2017

Help Keep Our Streams Clean

Easily coil and control waste leader and tipped materials, keeps mono from creeping out of your pocket and into the environment.

Photo is from Smith Creek site.

"I see way to much fishing line on the riverbank and I got so tired of re-stuffing spent leaders and tippets back into my vest pocket that I finally designed a tool to make them stay put. The Trash Fish is simple, slim and fits in my pocket. It's great having a eco and user friendly tool that people love."
Wayne Smith – Smith Creek

Check out their video on how to utilize this tool.  Spread the news.  I would say this tool is not just for fly fisherman.


Monday, February 13, 2017

My Top Smallmouth Bass Flies

Caught on Chartruese Woolly Bugger.

Pat's Rubber Legs - A must have because it mimics Hellgrammites and nymphs such as the March Brown that hatch here.  Maybe it's the rubber legs but Smallies love it.  Size 10 - 4.

Crazy Dad - Purple, orange, green, brown - WHICHEVER.  I mainly use purple and orange.  I've never done well with other crawdad patterns. 

Boogle Bug - Any of them.  If Smallies won't hit them the something else will hammer it.  I drift them or pop them - whatever, I never use the same presentation - although, drifting with small twiches does seem to do best for me.

Woolly Buggers - black or olive.  Everybody knows this pattern was created for Smallmouth Bass.

Clouser - A "no brainer".  I use white or chartreuse - mainly size 8.  Sometimes, I use  "store bought" but I also tie them with chartreuse Coon hair.

Panfish Charley -  Size 8 and only in Chartreuse.  I started catching Spotted Bass on this one at the local pond and next thing you know - a winter Smallie tagged it.

Foam Terrestrials - Good times.  I love tossing terrestrials - especially when Smallies are skittish. 
The Shucker/Sculpin - My "go-to" pattern.  A good streamer.  I've had folks mention that it does look like a Sculpin.  I have caught MANY Smallies on this streamer.
Everyone has their own methods or preferences of fishing.  I usually start out with the Shucker.  If they aren't hitting my streamer, I drift Pat's Rubber Legs.  If the Smallies won't take anything else, I drift terrestrials.  Then I move on and try the other patterns.  I mainly wade and fish water rarely over 4 - 5 feet deep and use floating line.  I sight fish A LOT which means that when it is really slow, I will toss the same fly at the same fish for an hour and play with it until I finally land it.  I'm not floating for 8 hours and covering a lot of water.  When it gets really hot and humid, I try not to cover too much distance.  I have even resorted to buying a Life Straw - went out too far on a day with almost 90% humidity.  It was only 83 but a storm front was moving in and it just drained me.  I ran out of water, baked my head and had to find shade and soaked in deep pools.

Always let people know where you are going to be fishing, hiking, biking, etc.  I'll get into gear later.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Fly Tying Instructions - Brown Evazote Hopper

So, here's another lovely hopper pattern.  This pattern is similar to my "Juicy Foam Fly" (yes, i know - not the best name but it catches fish) - so, I am certain this will be productive for you.  I have caught a few Bluegills and Pumpkin Seeds on this hopper.


  • River Road Creations Chernobyl Cutter - OR - a pair of scissors.
  • size 8 hook - I use the 2XL dry fly hooks from Cabela's
  • EVAZOTE foam
  • 2 mm foam
  • Rubber legs
  • Antron yarn
  • Zap-a-Gap
  • Marker or stick-on eyes

1. Cut out Evazote foam with cutter or scissors.

2. Cut a slit with razorblade or scissors.  Make sure not to cut up to far - you may need to stage your foam along the shank to gauge length of cut.  As you can see, you will need to put adhesive along the shank.

3. Lay down several layers of thread.  With 1mm or so of foam sticking out over the bend of the hook, secure body at the point of the hook.

4. Wind thread near front of hook.  Bend back the head and make a wrap to gauge head and to softly mark with thread the placement of the wing.

5. Let the head unravel and make several wraps at the point you gauged your head to be secured at a later time.

6. OPTIONAL - Tie in yarn.  Make sure you have enough to reach the butt of the fly when folded back.

7. DO THIS IF YOU ARE NOT USING A YARN WING.  From the 2mm foam, use the cutter to make a wing.

8. With 2 mm of foam pointing over the "tie-in" point for your body (step 3) secure wing with several wraps.  Trim wing.

9. Form head and secure with several wraps.

10.  Secure legs - top set of legs should be a little shorter then the bottom set.

11. Make several half-hitches around body and legs.  Or, wind thread back to shank and make several whip finishes.

12. Put adhesive along the slit and thread wraps.

13.  Put on the eyes.
14. FISH

Let me know if you have any questions.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Gotcha - Smallmouth Bass Fly - Tying Instructions

This fly came to attention from the Ozark Smallmouth Alliance.  I hope to break out of my comfort zone of casting the same 5 flies and tie this pattern.  It is the variation of a salt water pattern.  I'll let you know if I ever stop casting the same streamer all day and tie this one on.  This is not my video - just sharing.  Thanks.

Tight Lines - Josh

Video - creek fishing for Smallies.

Over the past week, I have viewed this video several times.  I enjoy this video because I can relate to it.  They are just creek fishing.  It's not like they are fishing a crowded trout fishery for pellet heads or "native browns".  These guys are just enjoying each other's company and have a good time on the creek - and they can appreciate they won't be catching trophies or native Brookies.  The waters I fish tend to hold some larger Smallies and panfish but I used to fish the heck out of creeks like this one.  This video makes me remember all the times I used to curse at the water and wish for better fishing - when in fact, I had some great times fishing on those criks - and still do.

These guys have a few other good videos to watch such as drifting for trout on a local stream for Brookies.

Tight Lines - Josh

Friday, February 3, 2017

Bass Popper Coffee Mug?! Yes, please.

I've read the Die Fische blog for several years - trout and warm water posts.  These guys are in Texas Hill Country.  Love that area.  You can find this coffee mug and cool decals at

Tight Lines

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Tying instructions for my top foam pattern.

I'm gonna send you to the link for the tying instructions.  As one of my top pages, I'm gonna just leave the instructions where they are placed for organic web results.  I created this pattern years ago but refined it with the River Road Creations Chernobyl cutter.  The page was updated today.  You don't need dubbing or wings or special eyes or antennae.  That's just to catch fishermen.  All you need is a basic pattern that is effective.  But you can create this pattern however you want.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Tight Lines.

*No, this isn't a copy of any pattern.  There are those patterns out there who are similar and were created several years later

Friday, January 27, 2017

My first fly-fishing article.

I got to be a contributor to So Much Water Magazine.  I was put onto these reads from Drew Ross at  It's a nice little article from last spring about chasing Smallies in the Ozarks.

This is a great publication.  I love these digital magazines that you can read anywhere.

Steeve's Los Alamos Ant - foam fly pattern for bass and bluegill

I learned about this pattern in about 2008 or so.  The pattern is from "Tying Flies with Foam Fur and Feathers" by Harrision R. Steeves III.  I began using the Los Alamos Ant for panfish with very succesful results.  I started out using size 8-10 patterns and then moved up to 6.  I used to drift this fly on the Middle Fork of the White River for large Pumpkin Seed and Bluegills.  The Spotted Bass of Richland Creek took to this fly very well.  I use basic streamer Mustad hooks supplied by my father but I will also use larger gap hooks such as those from Allen Fly Fishing and Gamakatsu.

I was an idiot and for some reason thought that cutting the tip off the bottom piece of foam (step 6) looked stupid and I just fished it with inverted triangles and an indicator on top.  Pictured above.


  • 2 mm foam
  • rubber legs
  • chenille or peacock herl
  • whichever hook you choose
  • marker for eyes or spots on body

1. Cut two triangles from whichever color combo you choose for this pattern.  It took me several attempts to get the proportions correct.  

2. Lay down a good layer of thread and then tie in legs.  If needed, trim legs.

3. Tie in foam - reverse the triangles - make sure they lay down opposite each other with the top foam pointing up and back.

4. Tie in chenille or herl.  I believe the original pattern calls for herl but I always use chenille.  Leave enough space to secure the front of the foam body.

5. Secure foam.  

6. Trim bottom piece of foam back at the tip of the eye.

7. Tie in legs - secure against foam body.  

8. Make several half-hitches around the body and legs or wind thread back to shank and whip-finish.  

9. Make sure to apply adhesive on thread wraps at the rear and front of the fly.  Do your best to keep adhesive off of legs because it will mess them up such as hardening or warping.

10. Draw on eyes.  Give this fly some life!  You can also choose to design a pattern on the body.  OR - as I do sometimes, design the pattern on the foam before cutting it.  You could draw black eyes with yellow pupils and have a yellow body with black spots (try crystal chenille or something flashy for the underbody) - the combos and designs are endless and fun.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Tight Lines.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Smallie Hopper

Another creation with the help of the Beavertail Cutter from River Road Creations.  I am more than certain this pattern will land a fish. I have tossed hopper after hopper to fish and they all have landed bass or panfish.


  • .5 mm green foam (1/2 mm)
  • 2 mm tan foam
  • 2 mm yellow foam
  • rubber legs
  • Gamakatsu b10s hook

1. Use your Beavertail Cutter to press out tan and yellow foam bodies from 2 mm foam.

2. Tie a knot in 2 pairs of legs.

2. Lay down several layers of thread on the shank.  Some people prefer to dub the shank.  It's up to you but I don't mess with it because the fish don't care.

3. Tie in foam pieces at first segment.

4. Add legs

5. Trim legs.

6. Wind thread forwards and secure body at the next segment.  Make several wraps at the least.  Don't tie in legs yet.

7. Cut out the wing from .5 mm foam with a Size 6-8 Chernobyl Tapered Foam Cutter (or just cut one by hand) and tie in about a millimeter or two short from the back end (if you want or just extend it same length as body - I don't like a long wing).  Trim wing after tying in - NOT BEFORE.

8. Cut an indicator and tie it in.  Then secure legs.  If needed, trim legs.

9. EITHER - Make several half hitches around the indicator and body or wrap thread to eye and make some whip finishes - It's up to you.

10. Make sure to use plenty of adhesive - preferably Zap-a-Gap along hook shank and thread wraps.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Tight lines.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tying instructions for the "Shucker"

Here are the tying instructions for the Shucker.  I've been getting a lot of requests for it on FB and Instagram.  Great for Smallmouth Bass and other warm water species.  My "go-to" pattern for Smallies.  It just might be original but there are so many patterns out there - I don't know.

*I've made changes to the pattern - Allen B200 size 10 bass hook and nickel or brass eyes.

Here is a blog post of an outing with the Shucker.

Good luck tying and let me know if you have any questions.

Tight lines.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Rainy's Gorilla Body Hopper - fly tying instructions

I found some Rainy's Gorilla Bodies on sale for 88 cents.  Never having used them, I figured it would diversify the fly box a bit more and keep me entertained at the vise.  If you don't have any foam cutters or are not looking to spend a few bucks on them, pick up a few of these at the fly shop.  I think they are reglarly priced at just a few bucks.  Good investment for a fun time on the water.  Expirementing with hopper patterns, I figure just about any well tyed hopper pattern will land fish.  After all, there are soooo many hopper patterns at the store, in catalogs, etc.

1. (Using a 4 segment Gorilla body) With razor blade, or scissors, cut slit in foam from about 2 mm past last segment through head - 1    mm deep

2. Wrap thread on hook (Gamakatsu b10s size 6, daiichi, Mustad or whatever you think would work for you) and set bobbin at middle of body.  Make about 10 wraps (depending on thread size).

3. Add a leg (1.5" in length) on front side and make several wraps of thread and then do the same on    the far side.

4. Tie in about 1.5" to 2" of antron yarn.  Fold yarn back over abdomen and then make several wraps    of yarn around segment.  Trim to match length of abdoment.  You may have to use a brush to even      out the wing.

5. Tie in foam indicator (cut it several millimeters narrow of the body and then cut a little point into    the front of the indicator and a longer point like an isosceles triangle on the top of the indicator          which will be placed over the wing).  Sometimes, I trim the foam after I finish the body.

6. Wrap thread up to front segment.  Make 6 wraps of thread.  Add legs.  Place front of indicator          down and make several more wraps of thread.

7. Make several half-hitches - I make at least 3 - around front segment (between legs).
 If you are not comfortable make half-hitches around the body, then wind thread to front and do           some whip finishes or wahtever you need to complete your tye.

8. Apply adhesive down hook shank (slit) and at front and rear wraps of thread.  DO NOT get adhesive on the legs, it makes them shrink up or harden or "twonky".

If you desire, add eyes.

One key to landing fish is a proper hook.  I've been using Daiichi hooks but have since moved to a Gamakatsu b10s - just the right gap for smallmouth bass and very sharp.  While I have caught Smallmouth Bass on 2X streamer hooks, wet nymph or dry fly hooks, I was frustrated on several outings when I just couldn't set the hook - maybe it was me but I think a more exposed gap could essentially land more Smallies - or other species.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Tight lines.