In reviewing the ups and downs relating to my warmwater fly-fishing adventures of 2010, here are some things I learned...and wanted to post here so I don't FORGET.
-Springbrook Wunder: Dale, a local fellow fly angler (and friend) with knowledge, personality, and fly-tying skills I very much admire, has been showing me this pattern for a few years as being good for crappies. I had tried it on occasion, but not very often. Well, I finally DID give it a solid effort this Fall, and the results were absolutely excellent! Depending on the depth and aggressiveness of the crappies, I used this both with and without a strike detector (Thingamabobber). This pattern has worked very well for me in a number of color combinations, including (body/tail colors) red/chartreuse, chartruese/white, pink/white, all chartreuse, and gold/natural grizzly. I used 1/80th and 1/100th oz jigheads. Both worked equally well. I think for the various uses of this pattern, I will probably stick with the 1/80th oz heads once my micro jighead supplies run out.
-Strike Detectors: Finally actually tried using these, and had definite success. I feel this is a worthwhile addition to my repertoire. I like the 2 smallest sizes of Thingamabobbers. I plan to try these in a few more situations in the coming open-water season.
-White Bass: I didn’t use fly gear very often on the local reservoir, but when I did, the fly pattern that worked best for me this year was a Deceiver.
I also had plenty of White Bass strikes on foam topwaters such as Blados’ Crease Fly, but for some reason hook-ups were difficult. White bass often strike at the head of the fly, so I feel they were just missing the hook. At any rate, White Bass are super-aggressive hitters and excellent fighters….a perfect match for fly gear when they are in shallow waters.
-Crappies: I caught more crappies this year than ever before, and was by far the species I caught most often in 2010. One public pond that produced well the previous 2 years did NOT produce well for me this year. Fortunately a 2nd local public pond that I had been ignoring came through with some excellent crappie action late in the season. Although I tipped Ben on the location, his RESULTS are what encouraged me visit this pond this Fall.
This is sight-fishing for sure…more like hunting. You don’t cast until you see the fish and get into position. In contrast, much of my bass, bluegill and crappie fishing is completely blind fishing…just casting into likely areas and watching the line during the retrieves for strikes.
-Carp: Fished under a ripe mulberry tree and caught a few carp, missed several others. This is really fun and I hope I manage to time it right again this coming year. I want to try some new “mulberry fly patterns”.