Friday, December 2, 2011

End of Open Water Season, 2011

I think its official.  A major warm spell  could turn this around, but at this time of year in central Iowa, you just aren't going to avoid the inevitable for long.


On the way to work this morning, every pond I passed appeared to be 100% ice-covered, and our temperatures in the 10-day forecast appear to be those that will build MORE ice, rather than melt it away.  So...I believe I will call this the END of my open-water fishing for the year, and will now wait for the ice to get thick enough to safely stand on (3"-4"+), so the ice-fishing season can begin.

I will have more to say about my 2011 fishing season in a future blog entry.

For now...I will tie up some fly-fishing patterns that I feel will be useful in my pursuit of next year's fish.

Below are some examples of what I've been tying over the past week or two.

Flashback Scud/Sowbug:

Deer Hair Popper...I tied this for Smallmouth Bass, but it could see some use for other species as well:

Below is a size 14 Shad Fry I created to imitate that phase of a shad's life when nearly every other fish finds it to be an EASY meal.  Not much as nutrition, but they can't swim very fast at this size, so even fish like Common Carp will hound these pods of tiny fish.  The color of this artificial is nearly identical to the shad fry I've seen.  I always thought to myself, "If only I had something that was tiny enough and looked like these shad fry!"  Now I do:

This next pattern is my first attempt in YEARS at tying a Muddler Minnow.  It isn't perfect...the proportions aren't the best, the head could be a bit larger...but I think it'll catch some fish:

Rick Zieger recently sent me, at my request, some of his Goldie Jr wet flies.  There have been some notable instances this year when a super-flashy patterns caught fish while more subdued offerings were being ignored.
I tried to tie some of them myself.  I tied one with gold Flashabou, one with gold Krystal Flash, and one with some pearl Flashabou that was mixed with the gold Flashabou hank I have.  They turned out well, I thought, and I look forward to trying them out in the coming year:

I've always liked the look of the Thunder Creek Minnows.  Here's one I tied with Craft Fur, and coated the head with Clear Cure Goo (a UV-cured epoxy alternative), then added eyes with fingernail polish.

Below is a trio of rather generic Beadhead Nymphs I tied up:

Below is a Morrish Anato-May Peacock I varied slightly by adding a flashback, and used brown goose biots for the tail instead of 3 feather fibers.  Its a great-looking pattern:

Below is a group of my "Somethings" and variants I've tied up, which trout especially have fallen for:

And lastly (for now), here are some "Booby" style patterns in an Electric Chicken color scheme.  My thought was that these might do well on White Bass in the Spring.  White Bass seem to really like this color combination.  With a sinking line or sink-tip fly line and a short leader, I should be able to fish these close to the bottom in the river next Spring, without getting snagged up too much (since the foam "eyes" will keep the pattern from sinking to the bottom).

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