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Old 06-21-2009, 07:40 PM
 
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Default Smalls in streams

Looking to get a bit more into the warmwater fishing since I move around a lot and some places don't have many trout streams. In my fishing past(pre-enlightenment), I would baitfish for smallmouths with hellgrammites that I caught from the stream. My main question is, would a weighted wooly bugger make a good hellgrammite immitation? Any other help on smallmouth and panfish fly fishing would also be happily accepted. I'm going to start perusing the warmwater section to see what I can glean from it(a lot, I'm sure), but any additions would be awesome. Thanks
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Smalls in streams

for bass and panfish, an olive or black bead head woolly bugger is a must. when i drop it below a popper or a gurgler i have the best luck.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: Smalls in streams

Your trout stuff should work great;

For panfish, any of your trout dries, wets, and nymphs. I usually use larger stuff lie size 10-12 to prevent them from swallowing the hook and they tend not to be too picky. Bushy flies like Wulffs, and Humpies usually work well, are easy to see and it’s fun to catch them on top.

For smallies, any of your trout streamers, buggers, muddlers, bucktails, and feathered streamers) should be good. I usually like them a bit bigger for Smallies like size 6 and a bit bigger than that for largemouth. You might also find some good dry fly action on top with large Wulffs (size 10 or 12), Stimulators (size 10 and up) and grasshopper patterns (or even stonefly patterns) size 10 and up.

You can buy store bought stuff like panfish poppers size 10-12 and foam spiders for bluegills, as well as crayfish patterns, clousers, gurglers or poppers for topwater and other stuff for smallmouth

If you tie, you can knock off a bunch of stuff including chartreuse, white and brown over orange clousers, black, brown, white and olive buggers and other standards like buckatils, muddlers etc. If you want to play a bit you can tweak some of these a bit if you're gunning for smallies. Here are some pretty simple ties that use use inexpensive materials.

A brown bugger should work fine as a hellgrammite, but if you want to get fancy, here’s a simple hellgrammite version of a woolly bugger called a Murray’s Hellgrammite designed specifically for smallmouth though it catches other stuff too:
Hatches Magazine - Murrays Hellgrammite

You can find tons of crayfish patterns, some pretty complicated, but here’s some simple crayfishy type deals. They’re deadly on smallmouth:
Backwater Hawgs Fly Recipe Index
Smallmouth, crayfish pattern for Michigan Smallmouth

and this one from Skip Morris called a Skip’s Dad ( if you want to tie larger sizes use turkey tail fibers, or for really big ones, you can use red fox squirrel or bucktail (tied in split for the tail as you’d tie in the wings on a hairwing dry like a wulff, (or split with a ball of dubbing) and pull the butts over for the back:
An efficient crawfish pattern - My Favorite Dad - A crawfish pattern for bass, trout, panfish and even catfish - Global FlyFisher

Another good one and easy to tie fly for smallies is a Clouser Swimming Nymph:
Clouser Swimming Nymph "Fly of the Week #11 - FAOL

And this swimming crayfish variation (lot’s of other great warmwater patterns for bass and panfish in the “fly pattern“ archives in this link):
Swimming Flies - Warmwater Fly Tyer - by Ward Bean

And a variation of a muddlerish type of fly with a spun deer hair head and flared collar called a Flash Dancer is also a great small mouth fly. (I tie it on 4xl streamer hooks size 6-2 with an under wing of squirrel tail with less flash and a white marabou tail and a sparkly body of pearl or gold sparkle braid over a wool under body) but this will give you the idea:
Backwater Hawgs Fly Recipe Index

Don't be a slave to the patterns, feel free to come up with your own creations and substitute materials, colors etc using stuff you already have. I just threw them out there to give you some ideas. For smallmouth, rather than have a zillion variations on the same thing, try and come up with some patterns that will cover different layers of the water column- big dries, gurglers or poppers for the top. some bucktails or muddlers for the middle and some buggy/crittery heavily weighted stuff for the bottom in light or bright colors and dark earth tones and some mid depth and deep stuff with lots of flash.

Good luck!

mark
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Smalls in streams

As big as a large mouth's large mouth is, you can throw 4 and 2 size hooks at them. I always have best luck with wood and deer hair poppers. All wood poppers for panfish.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Smalls in streams

Buggers can make a decent Hellgrammite imitation but the Murray's pattern that Peregrines posted is better. Note that the main difference is that pattern uses ostrich herl for the tail as opposed to the marabou tail found on a bugger. The theory is that you want to fish your Hellgrammite pattern dead drift. The marabou tail has a tendency to collapse and fold back over the body of the fly unless it's moving faster than the current. The ostrich herl will stay stretched out and create the undulating action of the real Hellgrammite. Or so the theory goes anyway.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Smalls in streams

Ostrich works great for helgy patterns...simple one for you; size 6 hook, black or brown ostrich for tail, rib if you want. Black or peacock crystal chenille for body, bead chain or very small dumbbell eyes. Dead drift in a nice riffle and bang those smallies...

Dan
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