Monday, May 23, 2011

Its Smallmouth Time

Smallmouth are one of my favorite species of fish to target. I fish for them all spring and summer, often three or more days a week on my home, and favorite river. I mainly fish for resident smallmouth in the rivers, just because it is a close and easy drive or bike ride to the river from my house, but smallmouth in lakes can be just as much fun. I'll start with the gear. For smallmouth, especially in the rivers a 5 wt. or 6 wt. fly rod is plenty. Although rivers can hold some monster fish, it is much more fun to have a 5 or 6 wt fly rod to fight it on. The rest of the rod features are all preference. I fish a tip flex 5 wt. and a mid flex 6 wt. Everything about the length, flex, and brand of fly rod is personal preference. Next comes the line. I don't like throwing an intermediate line on 5 wts, but if you were to get a 200 grain intermediate line I'm sure it would be just fine. A normal WF-F line will do the trick especially for rivers. I do however throw an intermediate line on a 6 wt. I like the way a 230 grain line feels and it gets the flies down where they need to be in rivers or lakes. Now we are onto reels. I have a whole variety of reels that I use, but whatever reel you use for trout should be sufficient for bronze backs. And now for the flies. Everything comes into play now. Overcast vs. sun, high water vs. low water, clear water vs. murky water. This is true for some situations, but generally I throw whatever big gaudy looking fly stands out in my box. If its big, has good movement and you present it right in the right areas of a river most likely your going to catch a fish. It isn't until really specific times that I will take everything into account. Crayfish, leech, or baitfish patterns work like a charm. So here are some of my new and old smallmouth patterns. Most, if not all (too many posts to count) are on here with directions on how to tie (if not I will get them up within the week). Enjoy and tight lines!

And as always, you can never go wrong with a classic woolley bugger. I am shocked that I don't have any pictures or directions. As I said all these patterns that are not up on Fly Bible with directions will be within the week. Tight lines and I hope these patterns work for you as they have for me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fly Tying Tip: Streamer Extension

I've been using this technique for about a year, but it is the first time I used a coastal lock/clip instead of a barrel swivel. Basically what this allows you to do is if you want to run a tandem streamer rig, you can switch the back fly and leader extremely quickly. Not only does it make it easier to put a second streamer on, but it also allows you to make your streamer look bigger. You can easily slide an ordinary rabbit strip zonker, woolley bugger, or literally any type of fly that makes the streamer looks bigger. 

Tie a coastal lock in the same way you would tie in a loop for a stinger hook. I used two pieces of backing and I put both pieced through the hole at the top of the coastal lock and then tightly secured the backing to the hook shaft. This coastal lock can be opened and then a fly or leader can be slipped onto it and then it is closed. Tie whatever pattern you want for the fly the same way you would if the lock wasn't there. 
Example of the lock with the pattern. where it gets light in the back is where the second hook is. 

Week Full of Rain

It is supposed to rain all week, and unfortunately it is necessary to wade the river to get to the good holes. With the rain, the water will be up and most likely not wadable. With that said, I will try to get out and get some fish, but its unlikely. Just as the season started to look really good, the rain comes and it is coming every day this week. Look for some fly tying posts in the near future; I've conjured up a few new patterns with a couple new features that have smallmouth bass written all over them. Because of the most likely slow week to come, here is a picture of the first fish of the season.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Its Time

Its that time of year again when the water starts to warm up a little, and its sunny. The trees are starting to get leaves and the skies are blue again, but the best part is that the hatches are starting and that is super exciting. I know there has been a dry period of few posts of fish, but that period has come to an end.  Learning a new stretches of river can be challenging, especially when its the Deerfield river, because each stretch of water is different, but with the holes and runs marked out after countless days on the water there should be more fish photos. Despite missing almost all of steelhead season due to poor water in the fall when on break and the river freezing up before my last break, and missing majority of great lakes small mouth run, Im planning on ripping some sweet fish from the Deerfield and surrounding areas. Stay tuned and tight lines.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Crayfish Pattern

This is one of those patterns that when I see it I just like to admire it for a second. After tying way to many different types of crayfish patterns that weren't very realistic and would only work on aggressive bass that don't get fished to that often, I can truly say that I am happy that I finally have a pattern that will work a lot better. Here is the video to tie this pattern.

Redington Rods

Not long ago, I received four brand new rods from Redington. It was like christmas in May. Theres not many things that get me more excited than fly fishing gear does, and with sweet gear like these Redington rods, I was bouncing off the walls with excitement. Fresh rods need to be tested immediately I thought, so it was necessary to go cast with them outside the dorm, and wow they casted well. I have fished Redington rods in the past and have had a lot of success. They are good, reliable, and affordable.

Fly Bible Tip 1

Im testing new waters with this one but I think it would be helpful to everyone if I did a few posts a week that are solely for giving the reader a new tip they may not have known. So with that said... Tip #1 is a cleaning tip for your rods. Although a nicely worn grip may show how many hours you have logged in on the river, nothing feels the same as a fresh grip. I have found that using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, you can clean your grip up to look and feel of a rod in the store. Its a cheap and easy method.