Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Fly Patterns Tied-Up

Here's some more fly patterns I've been tying lately:

This is a lead-eye zonker bass worm pattern:

This is another lead-eye bass worm pattern using very thick chenille:
This is a Craft Fur Baitfish pattern, tied behind a beadhead:
This is a very different-looking Craft Fur minnow pattern...this is small...Size 10 hook:

Here's a Scud (aka Freshwater Shrimp) pattern...thought it also might work good for ice-fishing:

Speaking of ice-fishing, I tied up the next two patterns on 1/64 oz jigheads. The rabbit fur moves very well in water, and I hope this will entice some finicky fish into biting.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fly-Fishing Articles I've Written

I've submitted a handful of articles to the Fly Anglers Online website over the past couple of years. They've been kind enough to use them. For those interested in perusing these articles, I've included the links to them here (in no particular order):

Warmwater Fly-Fishing at Night:

Late Summer Mid-Western Reservoir Outing:

Iowa Bluegills - Spring '08

Fish When You Can!

Fly-Fishing Around Central Iowa

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Iowa Stocker Trout - Fall 2009

I fished Lake Petoka on "stocking day" yesterday. Great weather! It was 48 degrees...light rain. Wind wasn't bad.
I didn't get there until almost 2 hours after the fish were stocked, and apparently I missed the big FRENZY! Most folks had already caught their 5-fish limits quickly on spinners and small spoons. The action had pretty much died by the time I arrived. I probably saw a half-dozen caught during the 2 hours I was there.
I was hoping to catch some on fly gear. I tried Clousers, a Rabbit Fly, Boa Yarn Leeches...I had looks and follows, but no takes on any of them.
I tried spinning gear, and caught 2 rainbow trout on Reef Runner Cicada blade baits. Had a lot of follows on those. However, the water where I was fishing was rather shallow, so I had to move these lures faster than I really wanted to in order to keep them above the bottom.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Some flies I've been tying lately...

I've been tying more flies lately, so I thought I'd share some of the patterns that are working for me...or that I HOPE will work for me.

This is an "Epoxy and Mink Baitfish" pattern, but I used neither epoxy nor mink. The fur strip is Pine Squirrel.

These are excellent bluegill topwater flies tied using sheet foam...called "Gurglers":

Below is a Clouser Deep Minnow...this is a small version tied on a #10 hook and using Craft Fur instead of bucktail. I think the craft fur is a better choice on Clousers this small. I've been doing VERY well with these lately on bluegills and hybrid sunfish:

Below is a Stayner Ducktail pattern. The mallard flank feather is tied flat on the back...which is supposed to give it great action as is slowly sinks, and when it is retrieved. I haven't fished this pattern yet, but it looks pretty good:

This is called a Rabbit Fly. Rabbit fur tail and wing/thorax, dubbed body, and peacock herl head.

This is basically a Pine Squirrel Cheater, although I added some soft hackle near the eye of the hook.

Some EP-style baitfish

A crayfish pattern:

A zonker (rabbit strip) minnow pattern tied with a heavy conehead:

Some examples of the Boa Yarn Leech patterns that have caught a BUNCH of fish for me this year:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Night Fly-Fishing 11-13-09

We had an unseasonably nice evening on Friday night, so after supper and a bit of time with the family, I headed to a local pond to do some fly-fishing.
It was slow, as it has been for several weeks now. But, I did manage to catch a few fish. I stuck with the #8 yellow boa yarn leech pattern, and landed 3 crappies, 3 bluegills, and this 19" channel catfish. The catfish was a nice surprise this late in the year, and put up an excellent fight on my 5wt fly gear.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Night Fly-Fishing 11-01-2009

I fly-fished last night after dark. Once again it was slow?but I found a few fish scattered in the shallows. Ended up with 12 crappies, 5 bluegills. BEAUTIFUL night to be out! It was calm... comfortable @ 52 degrees?I did get sprinkled on a couple times, but it never lasted very long before clearing up again. The almost-full moon kept popping in and out of the clouds, which was pretty cool.You can see the yellow boa yarn leech I used in the picture below:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Night Fly-Fishing 9-19-09

Beautiful night last night...calm...mid-60's. No ducks or geese on the pond!! Great night for fishing, right? YEAH!
Well, really fishing was S-L-O-W. I fished for a about 2 hours...from 7:30pm-9:30pm. Caught 10 crappies, 5 bluegills...and a minnow.

A muskrat had been swimming along in front of me, and kept splashing everytime I would move or cast...but he'd come right back up and continue to swim around in front of me...like 20 feet away. Finally, it swam along the shoreline to my right and then swam to the bank, where I could no longer see him. Just a couple minutes later, I hooked something big...and it splashed a several times, and I was sure I'd hooked that darn muskrat. It swam across in front of me, so I turned on my cap light...and it was a fish! The minnow. BIG MINNOW!

It was a trick to land by hand, alone in the dark, but I managed. The "minnow" was a 29" Grass Carp. SWEET!!
Plugging the length into a couple of weight-to-length conversion equations specifically for Grass Carp yields an average calculated weight of 12 lbs. Not bad for the 5wt fly rod!

I used a yellow boa yarn leech pattern again, although I had started off the evening trying something like a Thunder Creek minnow pattern tied with yellow calf tail...(had some bumps on that, but no fish).

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 16, 2009

Wasn't sure if the weather was gonna get any better, so I went fly-fishing after dark on Friday. Air temp was around 43 degrees. Fishing was slow at the local public pond I elected to fish. I managed 6 crappies, 6 bluegills, and a 16.5" largemouth bass that provided a heckuva good fight! Also lost another good fish, that was probably either another bass, or possibly a catfish.

The fly I used was one that has worked really well for me on this particular pond all year. It is a #8 yellow boa yarn leech, which you can see in the bass's mouth below:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday White Bass/Wipers 9-27-09

My buddy Phil calle to invite me fishing with him at Saylorville on Sunday. We trolled along a good drop-off area...that went from about 9' to 16' deep, and also a little bit of trolling on top of the 9' flat. I used a white Bomber crankbait. I had something big on…felt like a wiper…it just peeled drag going straight away from us…until the hook pulled out. Awhile later, Phill got a 19.5” wiper.
He also got a “double” white bass and wiper on his “hillbilly rig”.

I generally only keep fish to eat maybe once/year, except when fishing in Canada or out-of-state for walleyes. I kept some white bass in the 13”-15” range and cleaned them, cooked them up last night. Still have some leftover, but my daughter Kennedy and I were LOVING IT! Good stuff!!

Lunchtime Catfish on Fly Rod

I hadn't fished during lunch in quite some time. I did on Sept 24, 2009, however. I fly-fished a public pond not far from work. This is the pond that got hit hard this past winter by ice-anglers, which decimated the bluegill population. I tried for bluegills anyway. Didn't catch any.
I did catch a 21.5" channel catfish, which was really fun. Good healthy fish, excellent fight:

It was kind of a long fight, but I had time after releasing the fish to make some more casts. That's when I hooked this next catfish. Its a personal best for me, at 31" long. I ran the length through a complicated mathematical formula to come up with an approximate weight, which suggested just slightly over 12 pounds. What a brute! The pics don't do it justice...but it sure makes the fly reel look small! Awesome battle on a 5wt.

It was caught on a silver-ish boa yarn leech pattern tied on a #8 streamer hook.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Night Fly-Fishing 9-10-09

Had family activities after work last night. Got home from those around 8:20pm. It was such a nice night, even though it was dark already...So, I decided to go fly fishing at a local public pond.Used a yellow Boa Yarn Leech, and did pretty well. Fished for 2 hours, and stopped when I reached 40 crappies. Also caught 4 bluegills, and 1 channel catfish.The bluegills were smallish. The crappies were "medium-sized"....averaging around 9", but I measured one bigger one that went 11". The catfish was 20.5".

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 6, 2008 - White Bass

Went to Saylorville Lake one afternoon during the Labor Day weekend. Waded the Sandpiper area first...two different spots. Used spinning gear, hoping to find some White Bass action.
Nothing going on at those spots. Tried a 3rd spot, which we just fished from shore.

Success! The fish were very active in this area, and there was some good-sized whites around. Biggest I caught were 15".

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Finally WON!!!

I finally won the Central Iowa Anglers "Traveling Trophy", by winning our fishing "outing/tournament" on Saylorville Lake on Saturday.

A cold front had put the damper on fishing, and most boats/anglers had difficulty finding active fish. We found some, finally.
The scoring for our tournaments is a sophisticated "Points System". Fish of various species have to meet certain size criteria to be eligible for points, and species determines how many points/fish, and there is a maximum number of points per species possible. I blew away the competition.
The attached pictures show me with the biggest fish I caught...a nice largemouth bass. Also lost another nice bass next to the boat, caught some really nice 14" white bass (plus a few smaller ones), and also a small crappie and smallmouth bass. Beautiful day to be on the water!

The other pictures are of the patch I earned, and the Traveling Trophy that my name will be engraved on (in the picture with me with is Ron White, whose boat I fished from, and who worked hard to find us some active fish!).
I've come in 2nd place several times for our tournaments, its nice to finally WIN one!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fly Rod Grass Carp!

One of my "fishing goals" for 2009 was to catch a Grass Carp on a fly rod. With the help of some friends, I finally did it! Measured out at 36.5", and the calculated weight is @ 25 pounds!

Here's pictures from the battle (photos taken by Julie...THANKS!)
Jenni was the designated "netter". Tough job, but she did great!

And here it is!

The fish was returned to the water after the quick photos & measurements. I rescusitated the fish, and it soon swam of strongly.

Here's the fly I used. Its a boa yarn leech that I tied. The pattern was originated by Rick Zieger.