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Rob G

What's your favorite topwater fly for river smallies?

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Rob, you pretty much have to wait until they drop their snout under the water then stick them. Sometimes I get too anxious. Wait too long and they may spit it out.

The tinsel fly is usually on a size 4 hook. The leaf flies that I have had luck on have been on an 8. The larger ones on a size 4, but no luck with them yet. The bomber on a size 4. Mustard 3366.

 

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On ‎8‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 11:24 AM, Rob G said:

 

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.

I don't think it's a good idea to just dump an enormous fish carcass on the bank, or in the water if you are to feed anything it would likely be rats or racoons and you would probably unleash a ton of bacteria that normally wouldn't be there.  It's also depending on how you interpret the rules in  a lot of states to be illegal.

Imagine if a grocery store decided to dump it's expired meat in the water most people would be outraged.

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Mark, you bring up some good points but, eventually all fish die and do decay within the water.   When I used to bowfish a lot, one night on the Tennessee River, I and my friend shot exactly 100 Asian Big head carp with the average fish weighing in easily at 20-25 lbs, and the largest at 42 lbs.  Do the math, that's 2500 lbs of fish that evening and when we started to haul them back up the ramp, the Kentucky DNR stopped us cold and told us that we must go right back out there and dump them (all dead by now) right back into the river.  We were not allowed to haul any of them out as they didn't want to take any chance that they could end up in an;y other waterway.  Other fishermen had dumped their catch on the far side bank and you could smell the stench  several hundred yards away.  

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Rob, I'd like to comment on the gar situation. The Vermilion, between its mouth and the Wildcats, has had a large population of shortnose gar since I was a boy. Their size and numbers have dropped dramatically since the arrival of Asian carp species, in this case silver, bighead, and grass carp. The gar always fed on the large population of shad which have also all but disappeared from the river since the arrival of the Asian carp. For some reason the rivers large emerald shiner population crashed long before the arrival of the carp. In my opinion the gar have little to feed on compared to past times. I would say there are  smaller numbers of native fish in general, since the Asian carp arrived, except for maybe sauger and walleye which are stocked as fongerlings.The Asian carps impact on both the Illinois and Vermilion Rivers has been dramatic.

As for what to do when an Asian carp is landed, I was also told by the IDNR to kill them and throw the carcasses back into the river. It's a bad situation with seemingly no good solution.

 

 

 

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John, couldn't agree more.  On the near by Wabash River, there were a couple of specific places that once summer arrived, were always guaranteed to be stuffed with large long nose gar and of course a bunch of smaller shortnose gar.  Not coincidentally, there were large schools of shad found in this particular river bend as well. Though we still see a few smaller shortnose, the longnose gar and schools of shad have disappeared since the Asian carp have arrived.   Unfortunately my rope flies have been sitting idle. 

 

But hey, this thread is about topwater flies that fool smallmouth   :)

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11 hours ago, Rob G said:

Mark, you bring up some good points but, eventually all fish die and do decay within the water.   When I used to bowfish a lot, one night on the Tennessee River, I and my friend shot exactly 100 Asian Big head carp with the average fish weighing in easily at 20-25 lbs, and the largest at 42 lbs.  Do the math, that's 2500 lbs of fish that evening and when we started to haul them back up the ramp, the Kentucky DNR stopped us cold and told us that we must go right back out there and dump them (all dead by now) right back into the river.  We were not allowed to haul any of them out as they didn't want to take any chance that they could end up in an;y other waterway.  Other fishermen had dumped their catch on the far side bank and you could smell the stench  several hundred yards away.  

The mental picture is revolting.

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3 hours ago, Mark K said:

The mental picture is revolting.

Indeed! We, just a few weeks back, had a huge fish kill in the pool below lock 14 on the I&M canal. A stinky mass of almost all Asian silver carp. It was supposedly due to their sheer numbers and the heat causing a lack of oxygen in the water.

8 hours ago, Rob G said:

 

But hey, this thread is about topwater flies that fool smallmouth   :)

Indeed again! Unlike some who have been catching some dandy smallies this season as proven by some very nice photos, I have been having a so so season with only a couple fish hitting 17". I have yet to find a topwater bite. This is a fly I've been wanting to try. The pattern is from the forums here, but I can't think of who posted it for the life of me. It looks like a good one that is easy to tie.

20190906_104250.thumb.jpg.ebf78494359364069ae46f8012e54aec.jpg

 

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But then again, it’s tough to beat a Hopper pattern in September

So to get back on topic,

I walked for 8 ½ hours today and I couldn’t buy a topwater bite for the first 8 hours.  Nothing worked so I kept going back to streamers.  Then when the sun finally dipped below the tree line, it came alive, but only for a few short minutes.  I only caught a few but was fortunate enough to land a couple dandies, an 18 and a nice 19 on the Hopper. 

Btw, saw a few grassies today and they wouldn’t even look at my surface bugs.   We are starting to get some significant leaves on the water and I’m thinking that they’re probably focused on that easy meal.

 

c.jpg

a.jpg

 

d.jpg

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That was quite a walk Rob. The last time I got close to that was a past outing with you. Between the walking and the cycling your calves must look like the bicyclist on the Gyco adds 🙂.Those are very nice fish on a very nice fly. Is that a special material over the yellow foam on the flies underside to give it a buggier look, or is it your handiwork with a pen?

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This is a simple two piece foam fly.   The top 2 mm thick foam is tan, and the bottom piece is yellow with the hook sandwiched between.   I have some foam pattern cutters that create the  perfect shape each time.   I use black thread to highlight body segmentation and leave the pattern a little longer than a Mustad 33903 size 4 popper hook, so as when cinched down in the front over the eye of the hook, you get a small cupped area that produces a nice subtle pop and gurgle when you give it a quick twitch.   

As to the long walk, I keep telling myself  that just around the next bend is an area that doesn't get hit very hard and a 20"er has surely made his home there.  I know that one day not too far in the distant future, that I won't be able to trek miles upstream, but darn it, I hope to be that old guy who can no longer stray far from the bridge but is still giving them hell.  Ha   

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On ‎9‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 6:15 PM, Rob G said:

This is a simple two piece foam fly.   The top 2 mm thick foam is tan, and the bottom piece is yellow with the hook sandwiched between.   I have some foam pattern cutters that create the  perfect shape each time.   I use black thread to highlight body segmentation and leave the pattern a little longer than a Mustad 33903 size 4 popper hook, so as when cinched down in the front over the eye of the hook, you get a small cupped area that produces a nice subtle pop and gurgle when you give it a quick twitch.   

As to the long walk, I keep telling myself  that just around the next bend is an area that doesn't get hit very hard and a 20"er has surely made his home there.  I know that one day not too far in the distant future, that I won't be able to trek miles upstream, but darn it, I hope to be that old guy who can no longer stray far from the bridge but is still giving them hell.  Ha   

I am going to try it Saturday or Sunday.

I also tied one the 6th one down in the link below.  My son and I were catching enormous bluegills with it in this really clear pond in Wisconsin.

http://www.bigriverfly.com/p/fly-bin.html

 

 

 

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On 9/7/2019 at 6:15 PM, Rob G said:

This is a simple two piece foam fly.   The top 2 mm thick foam is tan, and the bottom piece is yellow with the hook sandwiched between.   I have some foam pattern cutters that create the  perfect shape each time.   I use black thread to highlight body segmentation and leave the pattern a little longer than a Mustad 33903 size 4 popper hook, so as when cinched down in the front over the eye of the hook, you get a small cupped area that produces a nice subtle pop and gurgle when you give it a quick twitch.   

As to the long walk, I keep telling myself  that just around the next bend is an area that doesn't get hit very hard and a 20"er has surely made his home there.  I know that one day not too far in the distant future, that I won't be able to trek miles upstream, but darn it, I hope to be that old guy who can no longer stray far from the bridge but is still giving them hell.  Ha   

Thanks for the fly info. 

As for the long walks, I feel the same way. They just haven't  been as long this season. I was saving that long one  for you, but as long as you are going to be biking it looks like I'll be hitting that little creek with another fellow who just got into fly fishing /creek fishing last yr. I'll let you know how it goes. It would be nice if he found that Brutus that may be around the next bend.

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Top water bite still going strong down this way in the afternoon.  Yesterday I ran a double rig of a Big Black Bug and a Hopper, and the first 4 or 5 hit the BBB so used that one most of the day and it fooled a bunch of smallies, nothing really large but lots of em'

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Hit the creek yesterday with my buddy. We fished about 5 hrs hitting the creek you and I were going to fish. You didn't miss much. The water was very low with poor visibility. I thought topwaters would be the ticket so I threw them about 50% of the time. Not even a bump on top or on any of the streamers thrown until about 3 hours into it when a large smallie hit then threw a large white articulated fly I was throwing. Our only other action came on a size 10 black woolly bugger and  a size 8 chartreuse crayfish  which accounted for about a dozen  shiners and green sunnies along with 4 smallies the largest going 12".

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In the immortal words of Stan Lee, "Nuff Said"  :  )

b.jpg.c68de17745fa55b1eba93e2bcf5d5f64.jpg

 

Took a few today on topwater but it's getting tough.  The night time temps have plummeted making for much colder water temps and it's taking all afternoon for the water to warm up.  

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