Saturday, May 28, 2016

Wading Lilies

Wading Lilies with the 7' 6" 6wt CGR

First outing on my favorite local lake, wading the evening lilies. Only a few smallish bass on the evening, but the Crappie were a nice surprise chasing bait fish through the shallows and the gills were fat. 

The fly of the day was the Foam Butt Caddis. However, the fish were particular. The gills were leaning more towards the blonde version.  While the crappie chased the original dun version.

Crappie number one the night.

They were cutting schools of bait fish between lily flats

The water as the evening winds began to calm

As usual, the gills were on point.

A little bit of spawning color

All-in-all a good night for the first real warm week of spring. A few more days like this and the bass will turn on as well. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Bass 2 Bluegills

Bass 2 Bluegills

Tying an evenings  horde.....a bug for all things from bass to bluegills.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tying the Swimming Cray

The Swimming Cray

The Swimming Cray is designed to mimic a swimming juvenile crayfish.  Unweighted, it is most effective cast down and across in shallow tail-outs, swing to the end, then retrieved back upstream in slow short strips. Originally tied for the Big Pine, where it did very well on both trout and smallmouth, it has since proven itself throughout many smaller limestone waters also.

Swimming Cray Recipe

Hook:  #10 Daiichi 2370
Thread:  6/0 Black Uni-thread
Body:  Gold Mylar Fish Scale
Wing:  Grey Squirrel Tail
Cheeks:  Hen Pheasant Rump
Collar: Brown Micro Pine Squirrel strip

Friday, May 20, 2016

Mini-Squirrel Popper

Mini-Squirrel Popper

I began tying the Mini-Squirrel Popper as a small version of my Mule Deer diver. Eventually swapping squirrel tail for the bucktail to get the contrasting barring, and clipping the legs shorter. The result, over the past few seasons is what you see here. An easy to tie, durable and very effective panfish popper. The original in natural deer and the olive tied for the video, are my two most effective versions of the pattern. 

MSP Recipe

Hook:  #6 Gamakatsu Stinnger
Thread:  6/0 Black Unithread
Tail:  Grey Squirrel Tail
Legs: Round Silicone
Hackle:  Black Rear Collar
Body:  Deer Body Hair

Drive By Fishing

A fat Gill that decided it was large enough to eat 

a #4 Mule Deer Diver

You know those times when you have passed a small local pond enough times that you just HAVE to stop, rig up and see what is hanging around under those lily pads?

Well.....this is just one of those times.

First cast was the bluegill above.

The bass weren't large....but they were hungry and plentiful.

When these fish decided to take, it was like watching a 20" pike attack your fly. They cut a wake from the lily pads to the bug. It usually only took one-or-two small twitches. A single Mule Deer Diver carried the day.

After a half dozen bass and a dozen fat gills, I was kicking myself for never taking the time to stop before this. I great surprise after years of glancing at it from the truck.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tying the KC Bug

KC Bug

(Kit & Caboodle Bug)

The KC Bug or "Kit & Caboodle" Bug arrived at it's name via the 3 patterns it was patterned after. Looking for a warm-water pattern midway between the Deer Hair Dive and the X-Gurgler, and with the attributes of the Foam Butt Caddis, here are the results. It lands feet down each time, is durable, floats well.....and most of all pulls both bass and large panfish out from under the lily pads and off the edges.

KC Bug Recipe

Hook:  #4 Gamakatsu Stinger
Thread:  6/0 Black Uni-thread
Body:  Olive/Yellow 2mm Laminated Foam
Tail:  6-8 Strands Pearl Flashabou
Legs:  Olive-Barred Centipede Legs
Wing:  Deer Hair

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Finning-up Gills

Finning-up Gills in the Tube

With a calm muggy morning and storms threatening this afternoon, I took the chance and hit a local lake with the tube and fins.

Ready to go. Rod of the day was the 7wt Profile. Problem is, I grabbed the wrong reel. So with only a WF4F Easy Mend line to make due with, I was restricted to  a Foam Butt Caddis. No way to cast a bassbug with a 4wt line. I made it work, but at the expense of my shoulder. 

The gills were hungry, and I took the chance to snap a few of the more colored-up males.

Turtles were out in force on all the platforms.

Bright and aggressive. But the single FBC that started the day, ended it as well.

The fatboy on the day

One of 3 bass on the day. All were tight to the edges raiding the bluegill beds.

An great morning on the water. With the only downside being my forgetfulness with the correct reel/line.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Days Wages

A Days Wages

For a Successful Day on the Water

The replacements, after the carnage of an afternoon chasing bluegills. 
Always nice to replace successful flies.

(Top:  x2 Ginger and x1 Dun Foam Butt Caddis)

(Bottom: x1 X-Gurgler and x1 Mule Deer Diver)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Never Underestimate the Power of a Bluegill

Never Underestimate the Power of a Bluegill

After a great week of Mothers day events and enjoying my 6 month old Granddaughter, I unfortunately had to say goodbye to my daughter and granddaughter this morning. Being no good to anybody, including myself afterwards, I headed for water. 

A local lake seemed like the right place. So with my float tube loaded  in CGR in hand, I headed for seclusion. 

Cabelas 7' 6" 6WT , a handful of Mule Deer Divers & Foam Butt Caddis and a spool of 8lb tippet was all that went with me. 

#4 MDD's are a staple for me when hunting light bass. But today, they brought up the biggest of the gills.

This guy earned my respect, crushing a brand new Foam Butt Caddis and fighting like a 3lb largemouth

While I cannot say I miss them any less......there are few things better than the simplicity of bluegills and poppers to take ones mind to a better place.