With a few adjustments and a lot of tenacity we can still have some fishing success, and it’s usually at this time that big trophy fish can show up.
You have to be an extremely versatile angler at this time; fish can be deep to find a thermocline that suits them, and in other instances a bright winter sun can bring fish in the shallows for a few hours to warm up. Now more than ever you need to keep an eye on the local meteorological conditions and adapt.
Here are a few pointers to help you in your winter quest.
Being known as a pretty major streamer lover, I often get lumped into the crowd that only ties big, gnarly streamers. But I'm also a fly fishing guide, and not everyone enjoys throwing streamers on 8-weight rods with sinking line all day, so nymphing is a huge part of my guiding.
The Wiggle Stone is my standard when nymphing deep in a stream where stoneflies live. As with any Stonefly pattern, the most important question is "How quick does it get to the bottom" and with the Nymph-Head Evolution Stonefly tungsten beadhead, this pattern goes straight to the bottom and into the strike zone.
If you haven't noticed, there are a lot of designs out there. One thing I've noticed about the plethora of new streamer patterns is that many of them (other than a few highly specialized designs) are designed basically around one thing: catching trout in fast-moving water.
So when I grabbed a handful of cleverly crafted baitfish patterns and headed out to my local warm-water bass lake, I found them highly lacking in some important qualities. They didn’t catch very many fish. I quickly realized that something designed for moving water didn’t automatically fit the bill when things became more static.
My answer was to just develop my own streamer patterns and fish away, but if you don't tie your own or have countless hours to experiment and design your own stuff, I realized that the already established cold-water patterns can be just as effective for warm-water species — they just need some adjustment in rigging and common sense when it comes to fishing techniques.
Here are some tricks I’ve used to adapt some commercial fly patterns to be as effective on your local warm-water lake as they are in the famous rivers they were intended for.
The insatiable drive to master the many aspects of the sport is just one of the many reasons why we love it so much.
Blane Chocklett embodies this passion, and his Game Changer style of fly design is the product of decades of trying and failing and trying again to create something no fly tyer had ever fully captured the essence of before: a lifelike streamer pattern that realistically imitates the swimming action and movement of a fish.
We've teamed up with Blane to commercially produce a full range of modern Game Changer flies to his exact specifications.
Your fly boxes are crammed full after hours watching videos while tying at the vise — heck, you probably know more about Brian Wise’s hands at this stage than his wife does.
Flies, lines, and water are all essential tools, but it's not going to work out if you can’t make those bugs swim.
When the Flymen crew asked me to work up another streamer piece for the blog I went back to my 2016 article, “Beyond Banging The Banks”. What we didn’t cover was how to make that fly swim when it hits the water. Consider this Chapter 2.
With each client I try to place an emphasis on proving yourself wrong, and by that I mean, take some rule/tactic/method and try to disprove it. After all, how many times have you done what was considered to be wrong and yet still caught a fish?
Habits on the other hand, are another story. Unlike mistakes, habits — especially a certain few — can be detrimental to catching trout. I'm going to address three of the worst habits I see on the water and how you can go about improving your habits to catch more trout.
For those of us who fly fish, Blane is living the dream. One of the fly fishing industry's most forward-thinking and innovative anglers, Blane pioneered the Game Changer style of fly design, co-developing the Articulated Fish-Spine with Flymen Fishing Co., and has been a major catalyst behind the rise of big game fly fishing in the last decade.
We recently had the chance to interview Blane on the banks of the French Broad River in Western North Carolina. This resulted in an insightful look at fly fishing, community, and life from a man who continues to impress us all with his creativity and willingness to push the limits of fly tying and fishing.
Without a doubt, golden dorado rank among the most exciting gamefish on the planet to catch on a fly rod. If it happens on the surface, not to mention with a popper, your adrenaline levels can raise to new all-time high levels! When fishing with a popper it is not...Continue reading
How Do You Decide Which Streamer Color to Fish With? Choosing the right color for your streamers based on the kind of water, depth, and brightness of the day is quite important in fly fishing. Like many casting or spinning anglers do with their lures, we must tie our fly patterns...Continue reading
The Machaca Is One of the Baddest Freshwater Fish in Costa Rica, Hands Down. When I first started talking to my friends back in Florida about how awesome catching machaca on a fly was, most of them had no clue what I was talking about. So let me give you...Continue reading
If you always have to set up and break down your fly tying area you are apt to tie less often. Setting up and breaking down will soon become an unpleasant chore. If there is any negativity associated with your tying sessions you will tie flies less often, guaranteed.
Michael Phelps may have 23 gold medals, but the Phelps Frog is all about bronze... Bronzebacks that is! This leggy frog fly with serious swimming action is an absolute bass magnet. Learn to tie it today. Fly Recipe Rear Hook Hook: Fusion Drop Shot, size #1 Body Filler: Chocklett's Game Changer Chenille Legs: Fish-Skull...Continue reading
The Flymen team hit up West Palm before the 2018 International Fly Tackle Dealer Show to fish the new Surface Seducer Double Barrel Baitfish Popper.
Fly Fishing The Ozarks released a fly tying video covering how to tie this creative pattern designed by Spanish fly tyer Nacho Heredero. What a creative use of multiple foam Surface Seducer Double Barrel popper & slider bodies!
Efficiency is the name of the game here, and being that I produce over 50,000 flies per year, I've developed some methods to boost my fly output over time. Here are some simple tricks, some of which I've been using for well over a decade, that you can use to make your own fly tying quicker and easier.
While the Clouser Minnow is the staple fly for most temperate bass, sometimes you've got to shake things up a bit. The Clouser would be the equivalent of a Hare’s Ear nymph in the trout world; you can almost always get fish to eat it, but it may not be the most productive at that given time. Consider it like Sex Panther Cologne: “60% of the time it works every time." With that being said, I would never go on a white/hybrid bass fishing trip without a box of Clousers.
Fly tyers before us had to work hard to get the most out of their feathers and hair, but with new fly tying materials readily available in today's market we have the ability to alter the action and profile of the fly relatively easily.
Here are some things to consider to shake it up and get a more diversified bass fly box.
One such method, two-handed casting (better known as spey casting), has exploded in popularity in the last five years, though some would say ten years or so. For those who don’t know, spey casting is generally done to target anadromous fish with a much less-tiring casting stroke, capable of handling larger flies and sinking tips with relative ease.
While they do not frequent as wide of a variety of habitats as striped bass do, they have their own eccentricities that make them unique. As an angler, playing upon these eccentricities is part of the strategy and fun.
Enter today with the form on the blog page! Sweepstakes end on Friday, March 16 at 12 P.M. EST.
The dictionary defines the phrase, “One trick pony” as “a person or thing with only one special feature, talent, or area of expertise."
I see fly anglers all the time who are one trick ponies — for example, only fishing with dry flies or dry and dropper rigs no matter what the stream conditions are. Even guys who nymph fish can get caught up in only euro nymphing or only indicator nymphing.
We've all been guilty, myself included, of sticking to a favorite technique or fly for too long when it’s not producing.
I don't know about you, but before I started tying flies full time I would get super excited at the beginning of fly tying season only to have my excitement fade into disappointment heading into spring when the fishing started to get going and I hadn't even tied 10% of the flies I planned on tying.
It doesn't have to be this way for you.
There is something seemingly primal about these fish — maybe it’s all their teeth in that crooked grin. There are a couple of puzzles to figure out when designing and tying big flies for big fish.
To get bigger fish interested in your flies, they have to be of sizable equity to the fish. In other words, you throw a big fly to a big fish because they need a bigger meal to sustain their weight. Smaller patterns will more often than not get the results that a larger fly will, especially in waters known to house bigger fish.
Big flies can often be mistaken for a lot of materials stacked onto a hook. The more materials you tie on a hook, the heavier it will be. With some musky flies being a foot long, you don’t want your arm to fall off halfway through a fishing trip.
A Flymen short film featuring Lefty Kreh and Walt Cary chronicling the rise and fall of a legendary fishery in Coastal Virginia.
If you want to share this trailer with your friends on Facebook, use the Facebook video link.