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Rob G

What's your favorite topwater fly for river smallies?

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Rob, nice catch! As I said, we often think alike on the water. Tie that fly in white, yellow, orange, and brn and you may be set up for when they are feeding on cottonwood fluff and, in the fall, leaves. They seem to fo us on a single color leaf on a given day. 

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I'm not sure who is more hooked, this other grassie that I took today or me chasing these darn things.  This one also took "da Bomber" but I had another one on today that hit my big black bug, unfortunately he got off but not before breaking off the tip of my favorite smallie rod.  This super light weight and very high modulus MHX graphite is probably not the ideal rod when targeting these brutes.   The other thing is that I've got to switch over to one of my better reels for this game as the drag is really getting a work out during these 30 minute battles. 

Btw John, you were right, I sat crouched down on this rock watching this one grassy holding in the current who seemed focused on only orange leafs as they floated down the river.  He would move up and take it in for a second or two then expel it, and of course I had absolutely zero orange flies of any nature on me.  He had no interest in my black bugs or any other colored leaf.   Curious fish.   

 

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Grass Carp are said to be good eating fish. Have you tried any?

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I would make sure those invasives aren't going back in the river alive.  The rivers here are absolutely loaded with them.  Say goodbye to any aquatic vegetation that is palatable to grass carp in the river.

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Mike,

I have not eaten grass carp but when I used to bowfish a lot, we often kept a big cooler with ice on the boat when there was a good chance that we might take one.  There is a local Chinese restaurant owner that LOVED it when we would bring him one or two of these after a day on the water.  He prepared them for his patrons and in return he would give us free lunch buffets.  It was a great deal for us but then we were able to transport the fish via the boat, not so easy now when I've waded back up the river a half mile or more.

Andy,

you bring up a very good point that I have not considered.  I released the couple that I landed, probably would have been better for the water and the nearby eagles and critters if I had not.  What's surprising to me is the number of large grassies that are present, since I don't ever remember seeing this many in the past.  Interestingly, I'm not seeing the numbers of gar that were present here, specifically the large long nose.   Maybe related, maybe not.  The water is about as low as it gets and I'm sure they're more concentrated than usual.

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19 hours ago, Rob G said:

I'm not sure who is more hooked, this other grassie that I took today or me chasing these darn things.  This one also took "da Bomber" 

 

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They can be addictive. That black bomber would most likely work well during a periodic cicada hatch also. They love the cicadas.I noticed them feeding on them many yrs ago. They just sat In a lane like trout waiting for a cicada to drift by. A small black popper was just the ticket for an afternoon of fun picking off fish from the back of the pack. Have fun with them Rob.

 

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John, I present to you the Cicada Bomber Ha, from your inspiration.  Hope to get a chance to try it out in the next few days.  Btw, I tied one in orange as well to represent that leaf.  We'll see if any of them pan out.

 

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I am sure they will suck that thing down.  The grass carp around here select for certain kinds of leaves.  I see them pulling branches of walnut trees when the river is flooded, and any downed walnut is stripped of it's leaves in hours while the maples go untouched.  They do love the maple seeds (helicopters) though, cottonwood fluff, and other leaves.  I'm going to have to figure how to tie a leaf imitation.

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On 8/16/2019 at 8:08 AM, Andy C said:

I am sure they will suck that thing down.  The grass carp around here select for certain kinds of leaves.  I see them pulling branches of walnut trees when the river is flooded, and any downed walnut is stripped of it's leaves in hours while the maples go untouched.  They do love the maple seeds (helicopters) though, cottonwood fluff, and other leaves.  I'm going to have to figure how to tie a leaf imitation.

Interesting about the walnut  leaves. For a leaf pattern I have had some luck with a zonker strip tied to a craft foam strip to keep it afloat. 

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37 minutes ago, Rob G said:

very creative, after the cast does the hook normally ride down ?  

Yes. This one is on a size 4 hook. I have not yet thrown it, but those I tied on my original size 8 hooks always land hook down. The smaller ones often go unnoticed. I thought maybe a larger one would attract more attention.

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I finally got a chance to seek out those grassies again and they mostly disappeared from where they were holding before.  I only spotted a couple of solos here and there.  No chance of sight casting to them since the water was still a bit stained after the 2" of rain we received.  I did have one incident that has now occurred on at least 4 different fish, and that is, they move up and open their mouth 2-3" out of the water, right on the precipice of inhaling the fly, I mean it's on their lips, but then they back off slightly, close their mouth and .show no further interest.  They must have some olfactory or taste receptors just on the front of the mouth so they can move up to something, determine if it is real food (or black Hobby Lobby foam) without inhaling first.  Darn good adaptation.  I'm wondering if I could scent these bombers in something that might be attractive.  When I was a boy we would add garlic and onion salt to our Wheaties dough ball for common carp, also dad and I would soak our chicken livers in anise oil for our throw lines for catfish and turtle.  Wonder what these grass carp would find appealing that I could soak some foam bombers in?  Got any ideas.   Walnut leaves ? Ha   

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Thanks Ed, it looks like walnut oil is good for what ails you.  It seems like it would be worth a try if Andy has seen their preference for walnut leaves,   Guess those grassies really are intelligent, having already figured out all health benefits of consuming walnut leaves/oil.

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24 minutes ago, Rob G said:

Thanks Ed, it looks like walnut oil is good for what ales you.  It seems like it would be worth a try if Andy has seen their preference for walnut leaves,   Guess those grassies really are intelligent, having already figured out all health benefits of consuming walnut leaves/oil.

Like the old saying goes  " it couldn't hoit " 😁

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That is a good idea Ed. My thought was to boil some walnut leaves in a small amount of water then soak the foam bug in it. 

You may want to try a silver tinsel or flashabou streamer on a size 4 hook tied clouser style with a silver bead chain head. They will often  chase it when they are not focused on other things. A size 3 silver Mepps Aglia often is the ticket with spin gear. A steady retrieve seems to work best for both baits.

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Based on Andy's comment my thoughts also went toward walnuts. This is the time of year when walnuts start to fall off the trees a nd messing up yards. I remember collecting them and smashing the husks with a hammer, and I remember the brown stains or our hands from the juice. Rubbing that juice on your fly might be the answer. Wear rubber gloves.  Or make a pesto of leaves and walnut meat to smear on your bug.  Walnut bark tea might work.  Walnut oil is easy to buy. Amazon has a 6 oz spray bottle at about $6. Tuck one in your vest so you can respray the bug when it looses its aroma. If the fish get really fussy you can also get first press extra virgin walnut oil or kosher walnut oil. Both are $20-25 for 16 oz. 

Finally, only on the ISA site will you find cutting edge discussions like this. It keeps me coming bask. 

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After a poor yr trying to find some European carp to sight fish for, and going 0 for 4 on the ones I did see, I had my first outing for grass carp. Finding them was no problem. They were thick in both spots I checked. No leaves on the water, so the tinsel fly was in order. I no sooner had it rigged and the wind went bonkers and sent the leaves flying. The catp started eating them immediately. The tinsel fly was a  bust. Switched to leaf flies of various sizes and colors to no avail as well as a yellow popper,nothing.not even a look. The same at the next spot. Spent an hour total experimenting before I thought of Rob and his  black stealth bomber. The next half hour was a  blast landing 3 before I had to leave.

THANKS ROB:

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This was the big one at 32".

 

 

 

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Oh Yeah !  "Da Bomber"  Well done !  Glad to hear things worked out for you but I need to know if you went out and started smashing walnuts ? Ha    So they wouldn't even look at your neat leaf flies ?  Curious fish.

I hope to get back after them if I get a chance but I'm not sure whether that will happen because I need the water to be really low and hopefully clear.  

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The small leaf flies have worked in the past. None worked today. I may get out tomorrow and try again, but start with "Da Bomber". We had a bunch of rain this past week but the river only came up 0.5" with a little stain. 

I haven't resorted to smashing walnuts or boiling leaves yet, but it is in the back of my mind. 

 

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The same deal.today, but very few leaves on the water. Tinsel and leaf flies ignored again today.Yesterday the bomber was taken all 3 times without hesitation. Today they often showed hesitation or no interest at all. I gave it about 2.5 hours. Had 6 good takes. I struck too soon on the 1st three but hooked and landed the last 3. I had about 5 false takes where the fish were about to gulp the fly in but then turned, gulped next to it then swam away. There were also about 5 times when they mouthed it without a take. (Walnut oil?) A number of nudges and suspicious looks. The black bomber has been the ticket.

 

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John, I know what you mean. I had a couple that I swore had inhaled the fly  but when I went to set the hook, I whiffed , nothing but air and so their mouths must have not have been fully closed on the fly.  Btw, what hook size are you tying those on ?

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