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.

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