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Everything posted by asherman

  1. Don't worry about matching hatches for smallmouth bass. Spinner baits or Senkos don't match anything in the river and they work well. The same thing holds true for flies. Basic sub surface patterns like clouser minnows and wooly buggers along with wooly bugger variants like Holschlag Hackle flies and Sparkle minnows are a good place to start. Start with minnow patterns tied with white and a darker color and other patterns in browns and olive. Tie them in a sizes that you can toss with the fly rod weight of your choice. It's helpful to have a range of weighted flies for fishing in different conditions. I tie clouser minnows with lead barbell eyes ranging from extra small to medium. Crawfish type flies like the Holschlag Hackle fly are usually tied with heavier barbell eyes. Once the weather warms up, you will want some topwater flies like poppers and gurglers.
  2. Practice makes perfect. I've been practicing in back yard off and on, and I seemed to do OK with my four weight and my six weight. After a few casts, I was tossing good loops. The eight weight rod was another story. It will take a bit more practice with the heavier rod to get me casts down. I tried casting my four weight yesterday at Lake Arlington and the wind was howling so hard that I was kicking myself for not bringing a six weight.
  3. Joseph is right about the fly line. RIO Clouser lines or a quality bass bug line can make a big difference when you are tossing larger, heavy flies. A RIO Clouser would be my choice for a seven or eight weight rod that will be used for smallies. If you test cast the St. Croix Avid and Temple Fork Professional series rods (both somewhere around medium to medium fast action), you should also test a rod or two with a faster action to see what feels best to you. It's not a bad idea to ask what type line it is being used for test casting. A rod will feel different with different lines, and if the test line is a Scientific Anglers GPX or RIO Grand, you will be test casting a rod with a line that is 1/2 weight heavier than other lines.
  4. It sounds like the Tiemco hooks are more brittle if you bending them in you vise or with a pair of pliers. Tiemco hooks are strong enough for fishing, as I use them a lot and I have never bent tiemco as the tippit breaks before the hook bends. I've been tying some flies using Gamakatsu 90 degree jig hooks, which are light, strong and extremely sharp. These hooks work well for meat whistles.
  5. Rich, I could help on Saturday from 10 til 3. Let me know if that works.
  6. The two flies that worked best for me this year for river smallies were a black on white clouser minnow and a white sparkle minnow. A plain old olive wooly bugger worked well as it usually does. I did well in Canada this summer using olive on white double bunnies. I couldn't get a bite on a meat puppet fly this year. Based upon my results this week, I need to spend more time fishing float 'n flies in cold water conditions, which is a simple weighted dark on white minnow pattern using craft hair tied on a jig hook.
  7. About the only time that I use two flies for warm water fishing is when I tie a small nymph off of the hook of a popper for bluegill fishing. The popper often It's fun when you have two fish on at the same time. I haven't done a lot of trout fishing, but when I have, using two nymphs at a time works well. I went fishing with a guide in Colorado in early May this year and I caught a bunch of rainbow trout doubles. The advantage of using two nymphs is that you can fish two depth levels at the same time. The downside of fishing two flies at one time is the tangles that you have to deal with. In order to minimize tangles, you need to open up your loop quite a bit. For smallie fishing with larger flies, I prefer an indicator rather than a floating fly because a round foam indicator seems to tangle less than a bulky smallie sized popper.
  8. Ouch! That's the sound of my head hitting the concrete.
  9. The strike indicator on a Float n' Fly rig is a bobber. I've used the method with both spinning rods and a fly rod with spotty results. When using it with a fly rod, you need to use a foam indicator that is big enough to suspend the fly. I think that it is easier to to use this method with a spinning rod (at least 7') because the method works better with a heavier jig. The Float N' Fly jigs that I have used are 1/16th oz. The heavier jig gets down faster and stays down better than a weighted fly, which usually has less weight than a 1/16h ounce. To fish a heavy fly with an indicator, you need to use a seven or eight weight fly, which diminishes the fun factor on sluggish cold water bass. In cold water, I've found the keeping whatever bait that you are using (plastics, flies, jig and minnow) stationary on or close to the bottom is often the ticket to catching smallies. You can do that in some spots with a Float 'N Fly, but if there is current around the slack water area that you are fishing or if the depth varies much, it is tough to keep the light fly/jig where you want it for long. When I've used the Float 'N Fly, I've had to switch my rigging back and forth from Float N' Fly to jig or streamer change presentations to try to fish in a specific spot., which is a pain in cold weather.
  10. Carp and smallies seem to coexist in local rivers. I have caught smallies, carp, and channel catfish from the same hole in a river while dead drifting flies, especially in the spring and fall. In the summer, carp are often in slow, shallow, silty water that does not hold bass. I don't mind hooking into a fish that gives the drag on a fly reel a much better workout than any smallie can. I occasionally fish for carp when they are gulping flies or if I see a big one rooting around in the shallow section of the river that does not hold bass. Carp, although they are not a native fish, are not going anyplace. The only way to get rid of them from a river is to kill everything else in the river, and that is not going to happen. Throwing a carp on the bank is only going to make the river smell bad.
  11. A #6 black on white clouser minnow tied with some black angel hair ought to do the trick. It is not always a big fish bait but smaller fish will be all over it.
  12. asherman

    madam x

    I caught a couple of dink smallies on Sunday using a Madame X that I tied last week at our tying session. It floated pretty well with a coating of Gink. Once the sun was up I had resort to sub surface flies and plastic baits with the spinning rod. On Sunday, the plastics were working much better than flies.
  13. Lately I've hit the river carrying both a fly rod and a spinning rod. I use a Patgagonia Double Haul vest which has a strap that runs along my lower body and allows me to tuck either rod under the strap. It has been working pretty well. You have to be careful with the "spare" rod when you are walking/wading to make sure that you don't snag it on something and break the tip. I often have the fly rod rigged with a topwater fly and the spinning rod rigged with a jig, which enables me to cover most of the water column with far less re-rigging and tying on lures. It is also nice being able stand on a brush covered shoreline and be able to cast a spinning lure to the other side of the river, which is tough to do with a fly rod.
  14. A sink tip fly line or a fast sinking leader like an Airflow or Cabelas Poly leader will help keep a fly down. With either setup, use a four or five foot flourocarbon leader. Depending upon the depth that you are fishing, a weighted fly will enable you to bang the bottom with the fly.. Experiment with flies with different weights.
  15. I saw an otter on the Kishwaukee river around ten or twelve years ago. It was definitely larger than a mink. I have not seen one on the Kish since then.
  16. The Bass Buggers forum is where the fly rod guys lurk or hang out. Do you do much fly fishing for smallies now or are you just getting started with smallie fly fishing?
  17. I haven't been doing much tying. I haven't been fishing as much as I would like and I haven't had a chance to fish all of the flies that I tied this winter. I did tie up a few #8 and #6 wooly buggers in black and olive using some tungston bead heads. Those "standard" flies worked well a couple of weeks ago when I had a chance to fish in Colorado. I did better using the wooly buggers than I did using #16 nymphs.
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