Brandon made a comment years ago while talking about Largemouth Bass, â€œIf you want to catch bigger fish, use bigger fliesâ€, simple enough. Well, with the cold water and slowed fish metabolisms this time of year you need to tempt them with a mouthful worth moving for. This means big flies. And like Brandon had said, the results typically mean â€œBIG fishâ€!
As I pulled out of the marina at sunrise the water temperature read 46 degrees! The warmest water I was able to find all day was a chilly 47.
This was the perfect opportunity to test out some new flies I had been playing with. The idea was to come up with a buoyant fly that would slowly rise on the pause when fished on a slow sinking line. I wanted something that I could keep in the column with a very slow retrieve. It also needed to â€œswimâ€ well at a slow creep and breathe on the pause. The ability to â€œpushâ€ water was also important. For this I used spun deer hair for the buoyancy and trimmed it fat to throw it off balance for an erratic response and to push water. Marabou wrapped behind the head was used to â€œbreathâ€ it and a webby deceiver style tail was used to create the â€œswimâ€.
Its first cast scored with a 13 POUNDER!
(Check out the water temp on the sonar)
The 2nd cast, an 8 pounder!
And the third cast, a 12 pounder!
My cell phone rang about that time, it was Al and he was pretty upset with me. Apparently, he wasn’t appreciating getting out of bed to multiple, back-to-back text messages (Msg 1, â€œ13# !â€, Msg 2, â€œ8# !â€, Msg 3, â€œ12# !â€).
Later that day in a differnt location I got into another big fish that ran for cover, wrapped me up, and broke me off, taking my fly with him. Twenty pound test maxima and a 10wt, that’s just the price you pay when you fish a spot appropriately known as, “The Bay of Tears”.
The next morning, optimistic of the big 20 pounder, I set the tripod back up in the boat. I had a new plan for handling a big fish for a picture. I fastened a carabiner to my boga grip and had a 5 foot rope with a loop at one end tied to the boat. When the big fish was landed I would use the boga & rope to tether him along side in the water, unharmed, while I used the cameraâ€™s remote to start the 5 second timer. That would allow me enough time to drop the remote and lift the fish out of the water with both hands for the shot.
Unfortunately, the big 20 eluded me again, but I did get some nice fish including this 11 pounder.
And an absolutely AWESOME Blackie!
Like last weekâ€™s trip with Jeff, I had another fish come right up to the fly alongside the boat, pause, inhale, turn, and drop the fly. That was earlier in the day, and I did manage to get him eventually after making a fly change. Later in the day I had the same thing happen again, only this time he came from under the boat, grabbed the fly and went back down. It looked exactly like that tarpon footage in Chasing Silver! I was mesmerized, but eventually came to my senses and set the hook!
On my way back to the marina I made a last minute stop at the â€œ16 Pounder Spotâ€ from last month. I wasnâ€™t expecting anything there but couldnâ€™t resist it considering how perfect the tide was. On the second cast I lost contact with the fly on the retrieve, typically an indication of a fish grabbing the fly and slowly swimming toward you. I set up but there was nothing there. Next cast, the fly hits the water and BAM!
Totals for 2 days (in order):
Day One: 13, 8, 12, 3, 4, break-off (big), 4, and five or six dinks at dusk
Day Two: 3, 11, 5, 3, 3, 7, 7, three dinks at dusk