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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 06-23-2009, 10:11 AM
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Default Newbie needs help!

Hey

I am a hardcore trophy bass fishermen on rod and reel, but I am really new to fly fishing. I would like to start fly fishing in a small creek or river that holds small bass and sunfish. I have fly fished in a pond with a spider type fly for bluegill after they were fed, but that is the extent of my fly fishing. Any ideas on what I should fish with in these small creeks and rivers? I also need to know the technique to fish. These are the beuts that I am after with a fly rod.

Click the image to open in full size.

Thanks
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Newbie needs help!

i caught a decent sunfish the other day, too bad it was the only fish i caught! my searching fly is almost always a bead head wooly bugger under a gurgler or foam spider.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Newbie needs help!

Hey Stumpy welcome to the forum--- and to fly fishing.

It looks like you're off to a great start--- and one of the advantages you have is your fishing experience so you know where to find them. You can translate a lot of that knowledge to fly fishing too in terms of colors, different sizes and profiles of baits and depths.

What size (line weight) rod are you using? That will help determine the upper limit of the sizes you can throw with your rod since lighter weight rods won't throw big wind resistant stuff like big poppers or heavily weighted stuff like big clousers as well as a heavier weight rod.

In general though you'll want stuff to cover different layers of the water column-- don't feel like you need all of it- just some options from each group

Panfish
Some Topwater stuff-
small panfish poppers size 10-12 (any color) cast up current and twitch
Rubber spiders- cast up current and dead drift or twitch
Dry Flies- any trout stuff will work, but I'd go for bigger sized 10-12 flies with lots of hackle so they don't swallow the hook. (Any type of Wulff, Humpy, Grasshopper patterns). If you want to try some of these you'd want some dry fly floatant (unless they're made of foam) like DAB to mush into the hackle and body. cast up current and let dead drift.

Some suspending or slow sink subsurface small stuff
Bead Head Nymph size 12-14 (Pheasant Tail Nymph, Gold Ribbed Hares Ear Nymph)
Small bucktail or marabou streamers size 10-12 (Mickey Fin, White Marabou)
Maybe a wetfly like a soft hackle (Partridge and Orange/Green) or winged wet (Hares Ear Wet) size 10 or 12

Some deeper working stuff
Bead head Wooly Buggers 10-12 (Black, Olive, Brown)
Weighted Crappie Jig looking stuff (crappie candy etc)


For bass, basically the same idea but upsize. How easily you can throw stuff in terms of size will be determined by your rod weight-even small bass will whack big stuff. As sort of a general rule you should be up to size 2 with a 7 or 8 weight, sizes 6 and below with a 6 weight, 8 and under with a 5 weight, and mostly 10 and under with a 4 weight. It doesn't mean you can't throw bigger stuff, just that it might be more difficult, especially the more wind resistant or heavily weighted the fly is, regardless of size.

Again, don't feel you need all of this, just add some representatives from each category over time in whatever you're rod will comfortably handle. There are a lot of other choices that would fit here too in each category to pick from, so don't feel like these are the "must haves" if you ask 10 folks you'll get 20 different answers in terms of what to have. Use your experience tossing gear to pick out stuff that looks like it would do a similar job to the other stuff you've been using to cover different conditions.

Top water
bass poppers 6-2
bass bugs-spun deer hair heads 6-2
Gurglers 6-4
Dry fly patterns like foam grasshopper or stonefly patterns 10-4

Diving stuff that floats at rest
Dahlberg Diver (work it like a Rapala) size 6

Suspending stuff
Marabou Muddler (Black, Yellow, White) 6-2
Bucktail Streamer (something baitfish like and something attractor style like a Black Nosed Dace and a Mickey Finn) 6-4
Shad imitation (if you have them) (White Deceiver or EP Minnow) size 6-4

Deep water bottom bouncing stuff
Clouser Minnow (Chartreuse) size 2
Crayfish imitation size 6
Wooly Bugger (Black, Olive, Brown, or "Chili Pepper") size 8-6
Pig Boat- Black size 6

A lot of these are pretty easy to tie an use inexpensive materials--- not that you'll save any money tying, since there seems to be something addicting about buying all kinds of materials and gadgets. You are starting down a slippery slope.... welcome from all the guys at the bottom!

mark
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Newbie needs help!

Listen to the sage Peregrines....if he doesn't know about it, nobody does.

I was out this evening and caught 8 sunfish, ranging from 3" to 6". All but one was caught on a elk hair hopper. Loads of fun....
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Newbie needs help!

I catch that species one after another with #10-#12 beadhead olive wooly
buggers. #12 Green Weenies also work well.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Newbie needs help!

thanks guys for all of the replies. Where should I get my flies? I don't think there are any stores around here that sell them. It would be cool to tie my own, but I really don't have the time for that. I may be able to get to a bass pro shop soon. I know they have a fly section, but I have never paid that much attention to it. Do they have a good selection?

I have some wood duck feathers. I have all the different feathers from wood duck. I am not sure if they are all good, but I know that people use the black and white feathers to tie flies. I also have the same feathers from another bird. I think it may be hooded merganzer. I would be willing to trade some for some flies. I started saving them to sell to someone that made flies, but I just never got around to doing it. From what I remember they were pretty pricey feathers. Let me know.

I am not sure what wt the rod is. I will check tomorrow. It was a cheap walmart combo. I think it maybe shakespeare. If I start getting into this fly fishing, I will definately be upgrading.

One other thing, if you could post pics of the flies that you mentioned that would be great because I don't know what any of these are. Nymph, dry fly, wooly booger it means nothing to me haha. I've heard the names before but don't have a clue what they look like.

I think I may have some flys somewhere. I remember buying some several years ago. If I can find them, I will take a pic and see if you can identify them.

Sorry about all the questions, I am just trying to learn as much as I can.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:19 AM
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Default Re: Newbie needs help!

Those feathers are great for tying. The wood duck flank feathers are in demand for dry fly wings, especially the “lemon” colored ones and the barred black and white. Tyers also use flank feathers from other ducks (mallard, gadwall etc) and matched pairs of wings for dry fly and wet fly wings (you cut slips from left and right feathers to get matching wings), the bronze shoulder feathers of mallards are also in demand, and I’m sure there’s lots of stuff on a mergansers that could be used though I’ve never used any. Not sure what laws (if any) might apply to selling them (migratory bird act). But they can be “gifted” for sure. And of course all kinds of other stuff- turkey, pheasant, quail, starling and anything with hair are great too---- the catch is they have to be bug free, but there are a variety of methods to ensure that.

As far as the weight of your rod, it should be listed on the blank above the grip. The reason knowing that is important is to help in determining the upper limit of the size of flies you can comfortable throw. Throwing a size 2 with an 8 weight should be no problem. Trying to throw it with a 4 weight would be a long day on the water.

Let us know what you have, but assuming it’s something like a 6 weight…

To get started, I’d order from one of the discount fly shops on line, especially if you don’t have fly shops in your area. Flies in shops will be more expensive, but you’re likely to get great advice and help. The flies will likely be of better quality too.
As far as discount places, there are a number of them. I’ve used Big Y. Their flies are decent – close to what you find online from the big box stores, but less expensive. And they have superfast shipping so you should be set to go in short order.
Using these guys as an example:
Big Y Fly Co. Premium Discount Fishing Flies, trout flies,
After just a quick browse, it looks like you could get a pretty good selection of different things for both bass and panfish. Just as an example, here’s a bunch of stuff for around 20 bucks that would cover a lot of different situations for both:
Under “Bass”
Sneaky Pete size 6, 1 @ 2.29
Swimmin’ Jimmy (whatever size) 1 @ .85
Dahlberg Diver (Black) (whatever size) 1@ 1.29

Under “Streamers”
Beadhead Flash Bugger size 6, 2 @ .74 each
Bead Head Woolly Bugger (mix up sizes and colors) 6 @ .69 each
Conehead Autumn Splendor size 6, 1 @ .69
Clouser Marabou Muddler size 10 1 @ .74
Marabou Muddler (one yellow and one black) size 6, 2 @ .69 each

Under “Bead Heads”
Bead Head Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph size 10, 2 @ .65 each
Bead Head Hare’s Ear (Natural) size 12, 2 # .60 each
Under “Dry Flies”
Royal Wulff size 12, 2 @ .59 each
Humpy size 10, 2 @ .59 each
Giant Foam Salmon Fly (for twitching along the surface for bass) size 4 or 6, 2 @ .75 each .
This should end up being about 25 flies for about 20 bucks, and is a bunch of different stuff for panfish (smaller stuff size 10-12) and bass (bigger stuff ).

Another discount fly shop is Fly Fishing Flies, Dry Flies, Nymphs, Streamers - Blue Fly Cafe Other folks from the board have used them and have been happy and I’m sure there are others.
They don’t seem to sell a lot of poppers, but you could add some up at some point for bluegills size 10 or 12, and some bigger ones for bass size 6 if you have something like a 6 weight (or larger if you have an 8 weight you could throw size 2)

And let us know where you are. Some folks on the board may be nearby and could recommend shops, fly clubs or whatever to get you off to a good start.

mark
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Newbie needs help!

Thanks for the great reply.

My rod says line wt #5/#6 is that what you are talking about? It is 8ft also.

I am located in Mississippi.

Here is a pic of some old flies that I had. Can anyone ID what kind they are and how I should fish them? I know most are poppers, but what about the others?

Thanks

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: Newbie needs help!

Those poppers look great. Big ones for bass, and small ones for bass and those big MS panfish you have down there.

The other flies look an assortment of panfish flies. Most look like they'll sink a bit below the surface (wet flies). They should work on panfish, but may not be very durable.

Dry flies would have a collar of stiff hackle so they ride on the surface.

A 5/6 should be perfect. I'd try and get flies at size 6 and under, at least most of them, so they'll be easy to throw with your rod.

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