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Lower Mid-U.S. Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. Post fishing reports, ask for information, discuss this area...

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Old 06-06-2011, 09:51 PM
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Default I beg your indulgence

I see a lot of comments about fly fishing and the desire to seek after the vaunted trout. I grew up in PA and fished for wild native brookies in itty bitty creeks, and wild browns and rainbows. I now live in Texas. Reading the comments and requests hear I see people looking for the greener grasses of real trout fishing. Frankly, there is is no trout fishing worth it save very unusual spots in Arkansas and, even fewer, in OK. Fly fishing is the art of using a fly rod to cast lures (flies) to light to use with a spin rod. In Texas using a fly rod on big 12 or 14 inch bluegill (yes, I have caught them) and big ol' 4+ lb bass (ditto) on a fly that would not have other wise produced, as exciting as catching a 6" wild native brook trout in a stream small enough to spit across.
I hope ya'll (or youns) don't take this wrong, but fish for the fish native to your home. It is way more difficult to catch a 12" bluegill on a fly rod than a 10# trout, they fight harder and taste just as good.
Having said that, my last 12 3/4 " 1.2 lb bluegill was caught on a clauser minnow made from alternating white and reddish brown hair from my Australian Shepherd's guard hairs. I had caught about 18 nice bluegill, one nice catfish (on a crayfish fly) all day, out of literally hundreds of hits. Brookies in PA streams could take lessons on slurping up and spitting out flies from bluegills. I cast it out into a deep pool. I had decided to make this my last cast before moving on to the next section of the creek. It was perfect 40 foot cast. The Clouser skipped under a log to land in a very shallow bank area. I slowly stripped it to me to try to keep it from catching any of the weeds growing along the bank. I gave it one more gentle strip to ensure it was far enough away from the bank to keep the weeds from fouling, let the lure gently fall into the 5 1/2 foot deep water and twitched the Clouser. I was about to give it a good hard strip (I was fishing for bass) and felt a hard tug on my fingers holding the fly line. I reflexivly simultaneously pulled the fly line sharply back about 12 inches with my stripping hand and set the hook. Holy ****! The rod, a 5 wt, jerked almost out of my hands and then fought like hell. Being a narrow creek, the fish hadn't far to fight before turning back to me. I stripped line like a mad man, trying to keep tension on the fish. It felt like a 3 or even 4 lb bass. Odd thing was, it never jumped. I began to think maybe I hooked one of the big catfish or (heaven forbid) 20lb carp. As I stripped it in closer and it became visible in the clear water it was a massive bluegill. I had fortunately hooked it solid. Grilled with a salt, lemon pepper, garlic, and lime, it was delicious.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: I beg your indulgence

Hi Zedd,

Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you've got some great fishing down there and the way you wrote that up I thought I was there. I've lived in 5 different states and traveled 40 more, in the wanderings I've fished for whatever swam in those places. All of the fishing was good fishing but I admit my first love being trout. Here there aren't as many trout as I was used to back in Pennsylvania but every once in a while I tag into a good one. I loved fishing for 'Gills' in Georgia and bass along with redeye, it is as you say.......

I guess I kinda wrote that in my signature line years ago,

Ard
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: I beg your indulgence

So true. If I had my druthers, Id ruther be fishing for trout too. Mostly because the weather is far more to my comfort level. It is consistently in the mid to upper 90s and going to be in the 100s shortly. I do not fish when the water pre cooks my food. I was in Idaho in the Navy and fished in the Tetons, Caribou NF, Sawtooths, etc... That was greatness. Wonderful fishing, great weather, the occasional snow or blizzard and the occasional heat wave. Not this 99.999% humidity and hotternhades. I figure on about 1 more month of fishing. The creek i fish is in a smallish canyon for the entire length and is 10 to 15 degrees cooler than higher.
Alaska huh? One of two states I have never been to (the other being N. Dakota). I kinda figured it be awash with rainbows etc.? Still, I imagine it different than wild brook trout streams in the mountains of PA.
I have been out of the fishing scene for a while, married two jobs, college, kids in college and was reading forums about fly fishing and remembered what a blast it was. I caught my first big bass and bluegill on a flyrod over the last few months (the bass was 5.3 lbs on a 5 wt rod with a hand tied black crayfish made from my australian shepherds tail hairs. It was an amazing experience. Recipe below.)
Anyway. Great to read all the stories. I hope other southerners will share their recent experiences so I can reap their knowledge.

Hook-#4 long shank tiemco streamer
Eyes-Black beads tied just below the hook point on the bottom of the shank (allowing the hook to swim point up and crayfish to swim backwards in a defensive posture)
Body and legs-Dubbed raccoon fur, done sparsly, the bottom brushed out to become the legs.
Claws and shell-Black Australian Shepherd guard hairs split at the hook into two claws and then tied both in front and behind the head and then again at the end for the tail.
I used 4 wraps of wire about 1/4 of the way from the eye of the hook to get the fly down quicker while causing the tail to flutter down leaving the 'claws' dancing up in the water in a defensive posture)

I am sure I am not the only one to tie such a thing. It is a simple representation of the mudbug. Dripping wet and out of the water it looks like a black streamer of bull snot (remembrance of my earlier childhood), but in the water, the claws open up and dance about as if by magic.

I fished it with short quick 2" strips about 2 seconds apart.
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