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NickKo

Good smallmouth flies for a beginner in fly fishing

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Hi all. I'm going to try my hand at fly fishing this summer and wanted to know what are some must have flies for SMB, LMB and possibly carp? I'll be mainly fishing the Fox River and some lakes and ponds in the area. I will be using a 7wt. With soooo many flies out there I just wanted to reach out to see what works in the area to narrow down my search. I figured I'd find out what works to get started and I can start tying my own. I already tie my own jigs, so I have most of the equipment for flies as well. Thanks in advance for any help!

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Clouser's Deep Minnow and Wooly Buggers, it's nice to have a top water too. Those will get you fish for sure, for Wooly Buggers I usually go with Olive tones and with Clouser's just tie them sparse. Carp I can't help you though I have seen them heavily feeding on top for caddis flies on the Fox so maybe some larger Caddis patterns (size 12,14)

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I haven't fished carp in the Fox, but I have had good luck sight fishing common carp with size 8-10 crayfish patterns (seems like any work fairly well). Also any size ten or so black nymph works well when they are tailing. You just need to get it in front of them and watch your line well to see the take. I've had luck with ants when carp are feeding on the surface. I've had some luck with flies tied to look like cottonwood seeds when targeting grass carp when they are focused on them. I have also had good luck sight fishing them in the local river with size 1-4 bead chain Clousers tied with tinsel instead of deer hair.

 

Tom Loos foxy works quite well for smallies in the Fox and anywhere else I have used it. Small crayfish patterns are good too. You can't go wrong with what Nickk had to say.

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A clouser is a good fly for a beginner as it's easier to cast than any other weighted fly, almost as easy as casting an empty leader.

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I should explain the pic. I call it my basic 4 for bass. (I do not do Carp.) They are from the top, surface, diver, deep, and shallow.

 

1. Foam Spider #6 or 8. Easy to pack and good to have around when bass start acting like trout. The size is close enough when fish are on mayflies or hoppers.

 

2. Stealth Bomber #4. At 3" it is easy enough to cast with a 6 weight. Depending on how you work it, it will slide, pop, or dive giving you a 3 for 1 fly. PS it does not really need legs.

 

3. Whodat Fodder #1, 4". This is my take on Craig Riendeau's classic Hairy Fodder tied to celebrate the Saints Superbowl win. I sub Gilt Eyelash for the bunny wrap on the body so it is not so soggy. You do not see that there is a rattle in there. You do see the ringer on the front end that allows you to button in different sized dumbell eyes to get to the depth you want.

 

4. Lefty's Red and White, #2, 4". This is a good shallow running streamer. Lefty sez you can tie this fly in various color combinations but red and white catches the most fish.

 

I might add a Blockhead or another similar popper or an articulated streamer, but not here.

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Jude Bug and a Clouser Minnow....enough said:-)

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Add a leech pattern and you're good to go

Agreed! Barr's Bouface

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I already tie my own jigs, so I have most of the equipment for flies as well. Thanks in advance for any help!

If you already tied your own jigs then you should try 1/32oz and 1/64oz marabou jigs. You can also add rubber legs to the marabou jigs to make them more potent. Olive, brown, yellow, and white should do for the Fox. Good luck.

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If you already tied your own jigs then you should try 1/32oz and 1/64oz marabou jigs. You can also add rubber legs to the marabou jigs to make them more potent. Olive, brown, yellow, and white should do for the Fox. Good luck.

Yeah, I use those for float n fly in the winter and they are absolute killers. Could I use them on a fly rod as well? Thanks

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Absolutely. 1/32oz is the heaviest I would use.

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A nice sparse clouser will work wonders, but don't be afraid to experiment with other materials than bucktail using the same style hook and eyes. The half/half is a good example. I also love a murdich minnow for subsurface, they are a breeze to cast and simple ties.

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"Awesome, I have a bunch of those laying around."

 

That is good and bad. If you are just starting with fly fishing, weighted flies like Clousers and Jigs are not your typical FF 101 flies. It takes a little something more to sling them. Unweighted flies like Streamers, Woolly Buggers, Spiders, and Poppers are a better place to start with the true Fly Casting experience. Just a thought.

 

 

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"Awesome, I have a bunch of those laying around."

 

That is good and bad. If you are just starting with fly fishing, weighted flies like Clousers and Jigs are not your typical FF 101 flies. It takes a little something more to sling them. Unweighted flies like Streamers, Woolly Buggers, Spiders, and Poppers are a better place to start with the true Fly Casting experience. Just a thought.

 

 

 

That's what I've been told. I have a bunch of flies the flies you mentioned on order to start out. I plan on practicing in the yard with a piece of brightly colored yarn for my "fly" to start and once I get the hang of it go out and see what I can do with the unweighted stuff.

 

Thanks for all of the info guys, saved me a bunch of money narrowing down the fly selection and the pointers have been great!

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Haha, once you start fly fishing there is no saving money!

 

Enjoy!

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I will echo what several others have already stated and what I never leave home without,

weighted woolly buggers in olive, brown and/or black, though black often gets the nod. A crystal bugger in white pearl if I can have only one.

Clousers, I like craft fur but the traditional bucktail can't be ignored.

Finally some type of topwater, and though many will vote poppers, I'm more partial to a Crease fly or a big black bug

 

This is keeping it simple for someone just starting out and in fact, though I might carry two boxes loaded with many other different flies, I could easily make use of only these three and catch 90% of the smallies that I catch.

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After tying a clouser on a jig hook, i have not used a straight hook ever again. #10 to #6 is my hook size preference.post-1439-0-23973000-1502456191_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for the info guys. Still getting the casting thing down. Tried to email a local fly shop that my wife got me a gift certificate to for a casting lesson, they never got back to me... So I've been going at it with youtube for the time being. So far about one out of five casts are good...

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Thanks for the info guys. Still getting the casting thing down. Tried to email a local fly shop that my wife got me a gift certificate to for a casting lesson, they never got back to me... So I've been going at it with youtube for the time being. So far about one out of five casts are good...

 

Try one line weight heavier than your rod is rated for. It will load easier.

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