Thursday, March 31, 2011

Game On

It's official - the bass are in in the shallows and fishing is good.  Check out this big sucker I found lurching in the brush.  Sorry I didn't take more pics today but fishing was pretty dang good so I was busy.

Nice bass


I saw a couple fish on beds so the spawn is starting.  Can't wait for the topwater bite to start.  Gonna head up to Payson this weekend and see how the creeks up on the rim are shaping up.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rapala Knot

It is almost pike time.  It took me a while to figure out a good leader/tippet setup for pike.  I ended up settling on 15lb. TyGer wire attached to the fly with a rapala knot.  It is a strong knot with lots of movement that works with mono as well.  Here's how it goes.

Form an overhand loop and thread tag end through eye of hook.

Thread tag end through loop.

Take two wraps of tag end around tippet.

Bring tag end back through the overhand loop and cinch down.

Bunny Split ready to hunt.

It takes a little practice to get the size of the loop right so practice with mono, that knottable wire is expensive stuff.  When I tie this knot with mono I wrap the tag in around the tippet 3-4 times instead of just 2 with wire.  I use about 8 inches of wire and attach that to a small o-ring and then attach 0X leader to that.  Tight lines.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bunny Midge Tying Instructions

Living in Tucson unusual.  It is hot enough right now that after I went biking the other day I was thinking it was damn hot and the bass are getting ready to spawn already.  The weird thing is that midges are popping and olives are soon to follow on most of the waters I'm used to fishing.  Here is my favorite midge pattern.  It is an easy tie, floats great and you can actually see it on the water.  I have had great luck with it on the Green, Provo, South Fork of Snake, and pretty much everywhere I have tried it.

Bunny Midge - Trout Fly

Hook: TMC 2487 #18-22
Thread: 8/0 Uni
Wing: Snowshoe hare's feet and orange polypropylene yarn
Body: Thread
Thorax: Superfine dubbing
Rib (optional): Krystal Flash

I usually tie this fly in either olive or black.  Add a krystal flash rib if you like.

Step 1: Tie in snowshoe hare on top of hook.
This is the only tricky step to the process and it isn't tricky.  Just x wrap over the snowshoe and don't worry about length you'll trim it later.

Step 2: Tie in orange poly yarn on top of snowshoe.

Step 3: Post up wing like a parachute.

Step 4: Wrap body with thread and dub thorax.

Step 5: Clip wing.
The best part about this fly is you can fish a midge emerger as a dropper and see strikes very well.  There aren't many midge dries that are as visible as this sucker.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Headed to the Henry's Fork to see the family over Memorial Day which usually coincides with salmonfly hatch.  May try to get a day on the Firehole too but we'll see.

Fly boxes packed with bugs - Check
License - Check
Maker's Mark and new fly line - Check, check

From what I hear it is still winter up in Idaho.  Come on May!!

Salmonfly goodness.

Drone Stone

Drone Stone underside.

The drone stone is a fly I haven't used before.  It was in Fly Tyer magazine a couple months ago.  It is a cool woven pattern.  I let you know how it fishes.......

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bass Flies - Jig Style

Fly fishing for bass is still relatively novel to most people.  If you ask most people what flies to use the typical response is a woolly bugger or a popper.  Those flies still have their place in bass fishing but fly design is changing and that correlates to increased catch rates.  Flies that fish like the jig n' pig setup used by the gear jerkers are one of my favorite styles of flies.  Here are a couple of flies that fit that category and bridge the gab between a traditional jig and a bass bug.

Barrett's Bassmaster Cascade Killer

Reindeau's Hairy Fodder

Pirate Hooker

Meat Whistle

Another fly I'd add to the above is the Geezus Lizard created by Jay Zimmerman.  He just seems to have a knack for creating flies that put fish in the boat.  When fishing this style of fly I like a long leader of at least 10 feet and a floating line.  90% of the time the fish will hit on the drop so get you line tight as the fly sinks.  I really like the jig hook 5444 made by The Fly Shop.  These hooks aren't as sharp as the jig hooks made by Gamakatsu or Diaiichi but they are a lot cheaper so you won't break into tears when the weeds eat them.  Give them a try and see how they work for you.

The Grab

Eat Up!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Springtime Bass n' Gills

Got out to Patagonia Lake this morning.  It was my first trip down there and it is a damn nice spot.  The bass fishing was slow although I did get one and saw one big boy in the shallows.  After working hard at the bass I figured it was time to get some fish for tacos.  I ended up keeping like 15 bluegill and everyone of them was a male so it is definitely prespawn.  The next month should have some good fishing.  I'm ready to get after it!!

Coues deer.
Looks bassy!
Mmm...simi seal leech my favorite
Patagonia Lake
As for flies I threw a lot of bugs for bass from bellyache minnows to the pirate hooker. The best fly for bluegill was a size 10 black simi seal leech.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Snowshoe Mania

Snowshoe hare's foot has become one of my favorite materials to tie with.  It floats like cork and is highly visible.  The only thing difficult with it is that it can be a bit bulky so it takes a couple flies to figure out how much to add so you fly doesn't look swollen.  It is okay to pull out some of the shorter guard hairs but leave the longer ones in as they are the secret to the floatation.  I use it for emergers, cripples, and duns. Give it a try if you haven't already.

Snowshoe Emerger - PMD

Bunny Dun - PMD
The snowshoe emerger was absolute money on the South Fork last year.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Simms MIdwest Tour: Trailer

Chris I am putting you in charge of finding this fishing. Jay will bring his boat. I'll bring flies and help drink whiskey.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Study Break

Test tomorrow, yeah, but I was just sitting there thinking about fishing and not studying anyway.  I had caught a carp out of this urban lake this winter and figured with the nice weather there'd be some fish in the shallows.
Where to start??

Tough to go wrong with a backstabber.

Chaco weather = good carpin' (usually).

Good looking flat.
Well there is a reason there is no carp shoot....because I didn't catch one.  I saw a couple wakes out a little deeper but nothing in close.  I'm gonna have to keep exploring to find the carp honey hole.  Alright, back to the books.  Gonna try and get out for carp and/or bass this weekend.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011