Monday, March 18, 2024

March 16, 2024

 With my Bowfin spot finally open for the year, I was excited to give it a shot, and check out the water levels, and what the recent rains may have affected.

I'd tied up a few Bass Master flies... and then realized I forgot the rubber legs on all of them!

At the first spot I fished, I caught a small female Eyetail Bowfin, and lost a slightly larger one.  Success!
I moved to the 2nd and 3rd and 4th spots... Caught a Bluegill and a half-dozen or so Green Sunfish.
At one spot, I spotted a fish in the opening of a shallow weedy area.  Decided to try for it.  I put a microjig in front of it several times, it appeared interested and looked, but did not eat.  It moved to another spot in the small cleared area.  I put the fly in front of it repeatedly, and got it to eat the fly at least 3 times.  It spit the fly out so fast, I wasn't able to set the hook quickly enough.  Frustrated at wasting time on this Silver Carp, I finally just foul-hooked it.  DON'T JUDGE ME! 😜😅
At the next couple areas, there were lots of (mostly pretty small) Common Carp feeding in very shallow water, their backs often out of the water.  Tough to fish for them, it was VERY windy, and strike detection was nearly impossible for me.  I managed to hook 4 of them, but I think all may have been foul-hooked.  After WAY TOO LONG, I gave up.
I did get to meet another fly angler on my way out, and as luck would have it, we follow each other on Instagram, but had never met.  Jack is super-nice, and a much better angler than me!  Very glad to have met up!

Monday, March 11, 2024

March 10, 2024 Micro-Flyfishing

 Tried a different section of the same creek yesterday, with the micro stuff again.  Caught 29 fish.  13 Striped Shiners, 4 Creek Chubs, 3 Bluntnose Minnows, 3 Bleeding Shiners, 1 Northern Studfish, 2 Longear Sunfish, 2 Bluegills, and 1 Green Sunfish.  Finally had a couple Darters hooked, and several Topminnows hooked, but all fell back into the water instead of into my hand. Rats... would have loved to have gotten pics of them!

This looks like it would be really easy to catch these little fish.  Sometimes it is (for the Striped Shiners and Creek Chubs), but its also a lot of work and time, and patience when trying to get the smaller-mouthed fish to strike something that isn't real.  Many times I see fish come up and look and decide my offering is NOT FOOD.  Frustrating.  Equally frustrating is when a fish finally DOES hit, and somehow manages to not get hooked on the tiny hook.  You only get so many shots!

Friends were consulted again to help me I.D. some of  the fish.  

The Bluntnose Minnow was a new species on fly for me.

Bleeding Shiners:

Bluntnose Minnows:



Creek Chubs:

Northern Studfish:

Striped Shiners:



Monday, March 4, 2024

March 2, 2024 - Micro-Flyfishing

Having reached my goal of 100 U.S. Freshwater Fish on Fly, I've considered changing my stance on micro-fishing.  It wasn't something I was particularly interested in, although I DO like seeing some of the cool micro species folks catch, such as the beautiful darter species.  Most Micro-anglers use bait, often a tiny chunk of worm or even a piece of a grain of rice.  I'm going to try it with micro "flies" on a fly rod.  Something artificial (not bait) tied on a very small hook.  Trout anglers have been using very small hooks for some midge dry flies and midge larva nymph flies for many years.

Anyway... So I looked into micro-fishing a bit.  Many micro & minnow species have TINY mouths.  Gotta have a tiny hook they can get in their mouth.  For my first go at this, I bought some Tanago hooks that are pre-snelled on a length of line/thread.  I tied some material to 3 of the hooks (so far), each one a bit different material and different color.

I took them fishing to a new-to-me creek.  I fished for at least a couple couple hours, caught at least a dozen fish.  Lost 2 of the 3 tanago flies to overhead trees after missed hooksets.  Might be a little too aggressive... hey, I'm just learning! :)

One of the reasons micro fishing didn't previously appeal to me, was that minnow species can be pretty hard to distinguish from each other.  Today was a good example.  There were 4 species I recognized (3 I'd caught before on larger flies), and then there were some I was not sure about... and still am not sure about.

These 2 are Creek Chubs.  Much smaller than I'm used to catching:

Mottled Sculpins:

Southern Redbelly Dace (just one):

Striped Shiner:

Some or all of the following may also be Striped Shiners, or not...I really don't know.

Addendum.... I just got a pack of Daiichi 1130 #26 hooks.  Close to the same overall size as the tanago hooks, but the tanago hooks are finer gauge wire and the distance from the hook bend to hook point is about 1/2.