Catching Black Bass on the Fly

Anyone that enjoys fishing with light tackle will enjoy catching fish with a flyrod. This is ultimately what brought me to the sport. Experienced fishermen know that when fish are pressured lighter tackle and quieter presentations can make the difference between a day catching and a day just fishing. My 1st warm water fish on a flyrod came when I saw a carp feeding near the surface in the middle of a hot day on a large lake. As fast as I could I tied a hopper on my fly rod and cast it towards the marauding carp. The fish turned and took the fly, and the fight was on. From that day forward I always kept a flyrod ready to go. 

What started as a part time distraction, keeping a fly rod with my bass rods in my boat, eventually turned into a full-blown passion, keeping ONLY flyrods in my boat. Teaching myself to cast proficiently and learning how to tie flies. Change can be scary especially when we’ve done things the same way all our lives. Using a different technique than everyone else not only sets you apart from the crowd but presents a whole new look for the fish. This also invites sometimes bizarre comments from other fishermen. “You catch anything with that thing?” “Nope just working on my tan”

Can you catch a big bass with a fly rod, you betcha. Learning to fight and land big fish with light tackle can make a huge difference with conventional fishing as well. Having the ability and experience to land a large fish with a fly rod will teach you how to play and control the fish and that can make a huge difference regardless of the gear you’re using. I once landed a 10 ½ lb. bass on a spinning rod with 8 lb. test line and I credit my fly-fishing experience with knowing how to be patient with that big fish and land it.

It’s not unusual to have several fish following my fly at once, mostly curious about this strange looking thing swimming over their head. A thing that they’ve never seen before, gracefully gliding through their zone enticing and tempting at the same time much like the real fish they feed on. A fly made of fibers is totally different than a lure made of plastic and metal, not only when it hits the water but also when it is retrieved through the water. The satisfaction of catching a fish with a fly I’ve created is worth every trip. The joy of helping my clients catch fish with flies I’ve created is thrilling.

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Fishing Report from TPWD (Jul. 17)

GOOD. Water Stained; 81 degrees; 0.09 feet above pool. Bass are fairly slow in the mornings, but there is a shaky head bite with yum dingers in both sizes on timber in 5-7 feet on breaklines. Best bite is Carolina rigs offshore in 15-25 feet on humps, road beds, points, all are producing. Big worms like blue fleck, tequila sunrise and plum seem to be best 10-12 inches. Crankbaits are still good over channel catfish bends deep humps and road beds. Shad patterns and chart blue back XD 6 - XD 8 are best, Report by Marc Mitchell, Lake Fork Guide Service. Black bass are chasing topwater patterns early in the day and later in the day when it is dark. Check out the brush piles as big bass are using them to feed on crappie. Bream are excellent in the shallows on wooly buggers and small poppers. Report by Guide Alex Guthrie, Fly Fish Fork Guide Service. Lake Fork crappie fishing is in full time summer pattern. Huge numbers of black crappie are loading up at the base of trees, on main lake points and lay downs. There are still good numbers of white crappie on brush piles and in trees. Focus on areas in 14-22 feet for the most fish. The bite has been finicky when fishing for schools of fish. Minnows on very small gold Aberdeen hooks and 6-8 pound test fluorocarbon line has been the go to set up. Small hand tied jigs in natural colors are also working if you swim them over and get those fish to chase and grab. Even if you see a hundred fish in a group just catch the few more aggressive fish and move on if you want to catch numbers. Larger soft plastics should still work on bigger white crappies that are solo on timber. The catfish bite is still red hot. You can load the boat fast in roosting areas that have overnight birds in the trees. We are also seeing big numbers of catfish on main lake points in 14-28 feet around timber. If you find an area with lots of bait the catfish will be close by. Bait an area with cattle cubes or sour grain to group those fish up. Then use your pre

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