Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass and Bluegill

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Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass and Bluegill

Postby wyldechylde77 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:56 pm

Hi guys,

Sure is quiet around here! Hopefully some if you are out taking advantage of the Salmon runs right now! I am trying to get up to Eighteen Mile Creek in Niagara County to hit some King Salmon before the spawn ends. Time hasn't been on my side though, among other things. However, I did get an opportunity to fish for bass and Bluegill in Franklinville, NY at Gary's Place. My father and I went out there to help Gary winterize his cabin. After we were done, we had a few hours so I fished while they relaxed. Even though I had a spinning setup with me, I told myself that I wanted to strictly use flies this time around. As I looked around the front pond, I saw sporadic activity on the surface, even watched a huge Largemouth chase a Bluegill, though he missed. A little pic of part of the front pond:

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I assembled my fly rod, tied on a small popper, and cast over near the edge and using quick strips, worked the popper. I soon saw a wake coming behind the popper, and as I prepared, the fish hit and I set the hook perfectly in the snout. Didn't take long, but turned out to be this little guy:

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So, after I let him go, and kept a watchful eye out for one of the BIG bass that reside here, I had a few more explosive hits but missed each time. This little guy wasn't quick enough though LOL:

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So, Gary comes on up and we're talkin, and he asked me if it is possible to use live bait on a fly rod. I told him I'm sure it can be done but the casting might be a little weird. Asked him if he wanted to try it, so I untied the popper and tied on a small #6 hook for him. Nabbed a grasshopper, put him on the hook, carefully casted out, and passed Gary the rod to show him how to strip. Didn't have to wait long. The hopper was grabbed with the quickness and the fish actually hooked itself LOL. So, here is Gary's first ever fish on a "fly" LOL!!

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Nice little Bluegill, and while I don't think we've created a new fly fisherman, Gary was astounded as to how much different the fight was on a fly rod, even for a Bluegill!
As the afternoon wore on, and after I tied on a black wooly bugger, I kept getting hits but missed more than I'd like to admit LOL. My thoughts drifted to the BIG Largemouth in the ponds....the ones that can get up to 10 lbs. I've mostly caught them on spinning and baitcasting gear, with the best luck coming on live Bluegills. So, I made my way over to the weed areas where almost immediately I saw a very big Largemouth Bass make for the safety of the weeds. I was determined to catch a big 8 lb bass on the fly rod, so I started tossing my bugger around the area to entice them. No luck. Changed retrieve to a slower presentation, still no luck. Switched over to a San Juan Worm, and let it sink slowly. Soon, I saw my line moving and I set the hook, and away to the races he went!! What a BATTLE!! The best part was playing tug-o-war with this bass to keep him out of the weeds. He jumped, head shakes, and bulldogged for a good 5 minutes a before I was finally able to lip him. He was a bit skinny, all head LOL. But a big bass nonetheless. Probably about 3.5-4lbs, wish he would of had the weight to match his size!

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As you can see in these two pics, he was quite large. Didn't get an exact measurement, but I would think from the tip of my hand to the middle of of my bicep is pretty large LOL.

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After a bit more, I ended up hooking a little Bluegill. As I am stripping it in, out of nowhere I see a wake come right at the bluegill, and underwater a HUGE mouth engulfed it! My fly rod dipped hard, and I pulled extra hard to set the hook from the Bluegill into the enormous Largemouth. My rod got really heavy, drag screamed, he gave one mighty head shake and *SNAP*. My rod went limp. I was releaved to find that the bass did not break or damage my rod. However, it was strong enough to break the tapered leader straight off the fly line. That was one of the biggest Largemouth Bass myself or even Gary had ever seen in his ponds. If I had to guess, I would of given him 10lbs, easy. I may have lost this time, but I know he is still in there. I will be back to hunt him out. That is a real trophy Largemouth.
So that is the tale of my latest fishing excursion. I hope to get out for King Salmon and Steelhead soon. I am relieved that the only thing that snapped was the leader on my fly rod, but I guess with the Bass' strength and the added weight of the Bluegill, I kinda got lucky. Harrowing experience, and I really wanna catch that big girl on the flyrod. Might be able to, might not....but at least I know she preys on Bluegills. ;-)
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Re: Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass and Bluegill

Postby Yellowstone7 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:55 pm

Hi Chuck and All:

Once again a great post with interesting fishing details and great pictures! :lol: It is kind of fun to follow your progress from a non flyfisherman to becoming a pretty competent one in a relatively short time. Great catches on your third or fourth outing with a flyrod! Some of the guys on the Forum would give their right arm to hook into a Largemouth as big as the one you had on your outing. I told you a while back that once you caught a big Largemouth on a flyrod it will become a life long obsession and addiction. Under the right conditions (such as what you have around your area) this should be the tackle of choice. :P Did you notice how fast your heart was beating and how the hands shook as you fought the fish? A really unique experience indeed. :lol:

I am glad the Panfish are cooperating as well. They are great fun to catch when the elusive big Largemouth are not biting. Spring will be a particularly good time to catch the larger Sunfish when they are protecting their redds. They will hit almost anything that comes near. In some lakes where there are large Pikes and Muskies you will be in for a great big surprise. The fight will be very brief as they will cut the nylon leader like a piece of over cooked spaghetti with their sharp teeth. Wise to have some wire leaders in your tackle box if you should go fishing in lakes where they are larger toothy Pikes and Muskies. LOL

I am really glad to hear you are doing so well with your flyfishing techniques. Hours of practice on the back lawn really paid off for you. Can't wait to see your story, and pictures of a big Salmon or Steelhead caught on a flyrod. Keep those great posts coming!

Last not not least, thanks for sharing your wonderful fishing day with us. Some of us are not so lucky to be living in a good fishing area and have all the great fishing available for most of the year. :oops:

Now you have to buy a basic flytying kit and start learning to tie some flies for the Salmon and Steelhead! LOL

Best Regards,

Stanley
Stanley (Yellowstone7)

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Re: Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass and Bluegill

Postby wyldechylde77 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:04 am

Hi Stanley,

Thank you very much for the reply. I thought a little fishing report would bring one of ya out of the woodwork LOL! But yes, I am thoroughly enjoying learning to fly fish. Becoming very confident in it, as I take the rod with me now in every excursion in case the opportunity presents itself. So far, I've only been on bass and sunfish, but that's ok with me! I really enjoy the fight with a Largemouth Bass on the fly rod. And yes, I sure did notice the way the adrenaline pumps as I fight! Really was exciting when that big Bucket Mouth slammed that Bluegill. Was just too bad I couldn't get her in. Should also be thanking my lucky stars that she didn't snap my rod. I figure though that she must of wrapped herself around some weeds in order to snap my leader right off the line. I mean, my drag was set fine. That's ok. I know she's in there now. Hopefully, I'll get one last crack at her before it gets too cold!
I was also looking into some beginner fly tying kits. Might be a kind of nice way to spend the winter months. I looked around and so far found this one, although it is a bit pricey IMO: http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product. ... BIK-310733

Pricey, but just might be worth it in the long run. Well, before I get ready for work here, I have come to the realization that during this month of the Salmon run, I am currently out of vacation time. What's a guy to do? I mean, I gotta have a crack at these Kings, considering that I really didn't get a lot of chances this year for big fish. What to do, what to do..........SICK DAY!!! LOL!
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Re: Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass and Bluegill

Postby Yellowstone7 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:59 pm

Hi Chuck:

I sent you a long email and I have some great news for you. Check your inbox! :lol: :lol:

Regards,

Stanley
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