Its 106 Degrees today!!! Its HOT but the bass are biting if you know where to look! The frogging, flipping, and punching bite is going strong! Come along for a day on the water with Matt as he patterns bass on a hot Summer day and explains why he’s making changes along the way.
A lot of anglers are afraid to fish in the Summer heat. If you’re willing to get out there and know where to look it can be incredible shallow water fishing. Understanding shadows and bass behavior makes all the difference! Matt started off his day on Clearlake with a plan to frog and flip. He began with 3 rods on deck; a frog rod, a flipping stick with a 1 oz tungsten weight, and a flipping stick with a 3/4 oz jig.
The bass started biting on the first cast and Matt never pulled out another rod. As the day progressed he dialed in the pattern and fine tuned his color choices to get more bites. The combination of frogging the edges of cover and flipping deep in the thick patches is a 2-pronged approach that can be applied on any fishery that has heavy cover. Below is a breakdown of the gear Matt was using throughout the day.
Many of the fishing rods in the old days were made from bamboo or steel, but most of today’s rods are made from graphite, fiberglass or a combination of both materials.
I remember buying a boron bass rod back in the 1980s when boron rods were popular. But boron fibers were extremely stiff and expensive so the amount of boron in so-called boron rods was usually less that 25 percent. Now boron is used merely in the butt end sections of rods and some rod blanks will have a layer of boron with graphite or other materials wrapped around it. The boron adds to the power and strength of the rod, and its stiffness generates a fast recovery from a bend of the rod.
Fiberglass Fishing Rods
Fiberglass is highly flexible and heavier than graphite but it is also less sensitive and weaker. Fiberglass rods flex in a parabolic arc so that the entire rod bends from tip to butt when you lift a weight at the end of the line. The distance of the area from the tip of the rod where a rod flexes when loaded determines the action of the rod.
Fiberglass rods are usually slow- or medium-action rods. The slow action of the rod tip gives fish more of an opportunity to get the bait before you pull it away from the fish. Fiberglass rods are ideal for novice anglers because the rods are less expensive and more durable than graphite models.
Graphite is a more sensitive and stiffer material than fiberglass.
Graphite Fishing Rods
Graphite rods are available in different degrees of stiffness referred to as the modulus, a measure of applied stress that it takes to deform or bend a material in its finished process state. The higher the modulus the stiffer the material, which means rod manufacturers can use less material to get the same stiffness. So a rod with IM8 graphite is lighter in weight than a rod of IM6 graphite, yet both rods will have the same amount of stiffness. The sensitivity of graphite rods allows you to detect strikes easier and the stiffness of the rods produce stronger hook sets. With less flex in the material, graphite rods are rated as fast or extra-fast action.
Composite rods are constructed from fiberglass and graphite or other fibers. The combination of materials makes these rods more sensitive than fiberglass but less powerful than graphite when lifting heavy fish.
No matter how many lures you carry in your boat there’s always a color you need but don’t have. That’s a problem that plagues professional anglers just as much as recreational anglers. You just can’t carry every color combination of every bait out there.
I’ve solved that problem with a few quick tricks that allow me to change or alter colors quickly and efficiently. Here they are…
First of all I mostly carry just the basic colors in every lure. I’d rather have more shapes, sizes and actions than colors, especially when it comes to my hard baits. I can change colors quickly with simple paint markers that are sold in hobby stores. They’re cheap and they dry in a minute or two in the boat.
I can make a black back, a blue back, a white belly, a chartreuse belly or a shad spot almost as quick with them as I can dig a new lure out of my tackle.
With my plastics it’s all about dye. I’m a firm believer that you can’t carry too many white plastic lures in your boat. They can be changed into almost any color or color combination with a Spike It product. It’s the easiest way I know of to match the hatch.
Look over everything they offer and buy what works for you. I’m partial to the pens. I do, however, carry some of their liquid dyes and a handful of Q-tips for detail work.
A third thing I want to talk about is taking the shine off of your lures — hard and soft. Those of you who follow me know that I’m a firm believer in making things look old. Not much out there is all new, perfect and shiny.
To get that worn look I use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Pad. They’ll take the shine off of anything and the beauty of using them is that you can just take a little off, or a lot. It’s your choice. I used to use steel wool but I like the Magic Erasers better. I have more control with them.
Everything I’ve talked about here can be carried is a medium size clear plastic freezer bag and stored almost anywhere. Modify your lures on the fly when you fish. You’ll have more efficiency and success, and you’ll save a ton of money by not buying lures that you rarely throw.
Inline spinners are fishing catching machines, they’ve continually helped anglers catch trout, panfish, bass, pike and other many other species for decades. Fly fishing purists snub their noses at it, but to novices and spinning tackle anglers the inline spinner is a gem for catching trout.
During my early years of fishing at the trout parks in Missouri, my most productive lures for catching trout were a Rooster Tail, Flatfish and Woolly Worm and spinner. I must confess that I am now an avid marabou jig fisherman and rarely throw inline spinners for trout anymore, but I realize there are situations when it works better than my jig. I recall one particular trip to a trout park when a friend, who was a novice angler, kept catching trout after trout on an inline spinner while I struggled to get a bite on my jig.
Inline Spinners, It’s All In The Blade
Inline spinners are great for catching trout mainly because the spinning blade on the lure’s shaft triggers strikes from both aggressive and inactive fish. The flash produced by the spinning blade mimics the movement of the shiny minnows trout feed on in rivers and lakes.
Which Weight To Go
The weight of inline spinners also provides a couple of advantages over other trout lures. The compact, heavier inline spinner can be cast longer distances and more accurately allowing you to place the lure in tight spots other anglers are unable to reach with lightweight flies. The heavier spinner also sinks faster so the lure can run deeper even in fast currents. Retrieving the inline spinner at a moderate to fast speed is the best way to present this lure to trout. You can retrieve the lure at a moderate pace when fishing the lure against the current because the current will provide enough push to make the blade spin fast enough to trigger strikes. If you are fishing the lure down current, you need a high-speed retrieve to make the blade spin fast enough to entice trout.
Keeping It Light With Inlines
My favorite sizes of spinners for trout are 1/32-ounce for the most finicky fish, 1/16-ounce for most situations and 1/8-ounce for fishing in fast current. I prefer inline spinners with gold or silver blades for fishing in clear water and white or chartreuse blades for stained or murky water.
Picking the right size line is crucial for inline spinners. I found 4-pound test monofilament was best for my inline spinner tactics. Hard-striking trout kept breaking my line when I used 2-pound test and I discovered heavier line prevented the blade from spinning properly.
Family, Faith, and Fishing are the best words to describe this week’s Faces of Fly fishing. We had the opportunity to sit down with THE Derek Olthuis. There is no doubt this guy can fish… He has the patience, intelligence, and spirit that several fishermen seem to lack. This past winter he and InTents Media released a trip targeting the “holy grail” up in Canada’s Arctic Circle.
Flylords: Who is Derek Olthuis?
Derek: I am simply a guy who loves fly fishing so much that I couldn’t possibly handle the thought of an office job and so… I pursued a career in fly fishing! I am a Christian, a family man, and an outdoorsman.
Flylords: How do you get to do what you do?
Derek: Obviously, there is a lot of luck involved in being able to travel and fish some amazing places around the world. Probably the biggest thing is developing relationships with companies and providing them with value. Lodges, guides, and outfitters need media more than ever and being able to provide them with content that will help bring exposure to their fishery and business. It has been a good way to build great relationships and open doors to fish in various places around the world.
Flylords: When did the fly fishing journey begin?
Derek: As a boy, I grew up on a small lake in Montana, fishing was the daily norm. Around 8 years old my uncle invited me to come to Bozeman and give fly fishing a shot. He set me up with all the gear, gave me a quick lesson, and sent me out on the Gallatin River. My mind was blown, casting, reading the river, and the fish was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It only took once with the flies replacing the spinners, and the ugly stick turned into a Browning fly rod with an Orvis reel. Since that first time I have never looked back, fly fishing became my main focus.
Flylords: Is there a downfall to all the traveling?
Derek: The hardest part about traveling is being away from my wife and kids. After roughly a week on the road, it becomes tough to be away and as good as fishing might be I start looking forward to being at home.
Flylords: How do you manage fly fishing time and family time?
Derek: Managing time between family and fly fishing can be tough. My wife and I look at a calendar and figure out when there is a family event or something for the kids that is important and we plan around that. Often fishing means hitting the water early in the morning and coming home around the same time the kids are home from school or fishing at night when the kids are asleep. It certainly requires some sacrifice but if doable when we sit down and figure out the days of the week that will be best for me to get on the water.
Flylords: What was one of the most memorable films that you were apart of?
Derek: Without doubt one of the most memorable trips was heading to the Canadian Arctic to film Seriously North.
Flylords: What makes the Arctic char the “holy grail”?
Derek: All of us (the InTents Media crew) love char, for us, those colored-up sea run arctic char are rare, difficult to access, and among the most beautiful fish on earth. That combination makes them extra special to us and the Holy Grail.
Flylords: Whose idea was it to kneel during the struggle?
Derek: I am not sure that anyone person came up with the idea to kneel down and pray. Everyone on the trip is religious and believes that God is aware of us. As we talked about the trip, the struggles and that this might be our one chance to catch these fish we decided to kneel down together and ask for help from a higher power, from our Heavenly Father.
Flylords: Were you ever afraid of the dangers on these trips?
Derek: We are always aware of the dangers involved in a trip like that, part of the fun is knowing there is a risk that can really turn the trip into an adventure. We do a lot of research and talk through the possible dangers to make sure we have the proper gear and a game plan for anything that might arise. I am a firm believer that being prepared removes the majority of the fear and allows for a more carefree experience. On almost every trip we have experienced discomfort, bad weather, tough fishing, and genuine adventure but I guess that is what makes these types of trips so much fun!
Flylords: What’s the largest fish you’ve ever caught on a fly rod?
Derek: Probably a tarpon. There is something special about tarpon. It is almost as though electricity pulses through the line and into your body when you hook up on a big poon. Trout and char are my bread and butter; however, every fly angler should catch a tarpon on the fly at least once!
Flylords: Favorite fly pattern?
Derek: I am going to have to say a bugger. Buggers are so versatile, you can pound the banks with them, dead drift them, or fish them like a leech in lakes. In fact, I am sure that if you tied them on a salt hook you would do well in the ocean with a bugger. I have caught several species of fish all over the world on a bugger and can’t think of a pattern that is a better no brainer searching pattern like a bugger.
Flylords: What’s the most underrated piece of gear you have?
Derek: Either sunglasses or the hook. I see a ton of people show up to fish with an expensive rod, reel, line, fishing bag, waders, and so on. Then often people’s hooks are cheap, rusty or dull and they are wearing sunglasses they bought at the gas station. Sunglasses are what allows me to see fish and observe them, giving me all the clues to catch them. And hooks are your most important link between you and the fish. All the other pieces of equipment only work if the hook is sharp and strong enough to get the job done. All of the best gear is next to worthless if you have a crappy hook.
Flylords: What destination would you recommend for a group of angling buddies?
Derek: Huh, that’s a tough one. There are so many great places to fish it is hard to choose one but I might say Alaska. Alaska has so much to offer any angler it is hard to think of a better place for almost any ability level or type of person. There are enough salmon in the river that anyone can catch a fish, a trophy rainbow will provide a challenge and if you get tired of catching fish just look around and enjoy the bears, scenery and overall experience of being in a location that has so much to offer an outdoorsman.
Flylords: Have you learned any lessons about life or fishing from all the fishing you do around the globe?
Derek: Fishing around the world has really taught me a lot. It has shown me how many amazing places there are in the world, how many great people love fish and fishing, and just how lucky I am to live where I live. As much as I love traveling it is hard to beat the Rocky Mountains in the US and Canada. There is so much diversity in the West between types of fish and places to pursue them it has really made me appreciate the areas I so often take for granted.
Flylords: Any upcoming trips?
Derek: In the remaining months of the year myself and the crew will be heading to Minipi in Eastern Canada, Katmai Trophy Lodge in Alaska, and Seychelles. Each will be unique from the others but I can’t wait to fish them all. To be honest, I am really looking forward to fishing around the home from most of the summer, it has been a blast so far!
It was supposed to be easy, I grew up on this piece of water, cut my angling teeth chasing pike there. As the top predator in the lake, they mow down pretty much anything that resembles food and sometimes things that don’t. I’ve caught thousands of them from this pocket of water.
I was stoked, I’d spent the season getting serious about fly fishing, I was super fired up for my annual trip east to visit the family and hang at our cottage. With almost three weeks off, the plan was to spend most of it on the water. The previous year I’d only had 10 days back there and managed to land a few big bass and some decent pike on gear. Landing the large bull trout on a fly rod had me salivating at the thought of tying into a northern, even if it was a small hammer handle I was ready for some slime time.
My girlfriend had arrived in Toronto several days earlier: with my brother and his partner they picked me up at Pearson airport which we escaped straight to the cottage to sleep. Early morning coffee with Dad while unpacking the rods and sneaking out in the boat before Rachael was awake set the tone. Right off the bat, like a slap in the face the fishing was hard. Feeling the effects of climate change, Ontario had been in the midst of a crazy hot summer.
It was just too damn hot, my tried and true spots, while producing the odd fish were not working out like last year. The previous August I’d spent eight or nine days on the water and managed to tie into a lot of pike and some pretty decent bass. Paddleboarding around the lake the shallows which are normally teaming with largemouth bass and panfish were strangely barren. Our stealthy paddles were only showing occasional schools of little bluegills and perch.
Over the months leading up to August, I had stocked up on big streamers, outfitted myself with a couple new rods, the main objective to be ready for Ontario. I wanted to feel the slashing strike, the violent boat side head-shakes and power that would have my rod bent deep. Day after day slinging long casts with big flies my shoulder was aching and I was getting nothing. Now and then I’d cave and search out some bass but most of my time was spent scouring the deep weed edges and troughs trying to sink the hook into a northern’s toothy maw.
A week after arriving we had a change in the weather, a slight cooling that dropped the water temperatures a touch and made it bearable. Finally, I started to get some pike action. They didn’t seem to be hungry but were willing to tentatively slash out at a tantalizing strip of rippling bunny leech. It was simple to tell that the pike were starting to hit, the strike is much more violent than a bass and when an 8-inch fly comes back 4 inches shorter you can figure the rest is tangled in a pike’s teeth. Not to mention the occasional strike that was close to the boat, a slashing streak of green and gold that would always surprise me and get the heart pumping.
For over thirty years the northern pike has been my favorite fish, three weeks of fly fishing and not burying the hooks into one did leave me a little disappointed. Not the sort of disappointment that ruins a trip, but in the months leading up to the trip, it hadn’t crossed my mind that I might not catch a pike. I was not prepared for the reality of spending hours upon hours working drop-offs, weedbeds, and troughs and not sinking hooks. The disappointment of not catching a pike on my fly rod this trip is just a minor setback that has steeled my resolve for next year; hope for a change in the weather, some changes in fly set-up to maximize the short strikers and a raging desire to connect with a nice northern.
Living in trout and salmon obsessed British Columbia I’ve spent my winter scheming about pike. It might be a year between trips but I am fired up for more of those green and yellow snot rockets.
Article from Matthew Mallory, a writer, and photographer based out of Whistler, British Columbia. His work has covered mainly mountain biking and mountain snowmobiling and now has found a passion for fly fishing. Check him out on the web at www.mmcreatives.com.
Smallmouth bass are one of my favorite species to target and can be an absolute blast to catch. In Utah smallmouth bass can be found in several bodies of water and can provide anglers with some great fishing opportunities. With that in mind, Aaron at tilt fishing help put together this list of his favorite places to catch smallmouth bass in Utah. When determining this list, he took into consideration the size and quantity of the smallmouth as well as the scenery and angling experience of each location. Each one of these destinations brings something unique to the table and if you haven’t already I would highly recommend you go chase some smallies at one of these spots. Let’s get started.
Come underwater to watch how 5 different BIG plastic worms react on the bottom! Summer Bass Fishing is prime time to fish the big plastic worm. Today we’re looking at a giant senko – style stick bait, several straight tail worms, and two giant curly tail worms. Have you been rigging and fishing your plastic worms correctly? We’re about to find out!
Whether you prefer a Carolina Rig, a Texas Rig, a Shaky Head, or even an oversized wacky rig, the plastic worm has a place in every serious bass angler’s summertime arsenal. The purpose of today’s video is to see how these 5 popular plastic worms compare to one another. We all have our favorite baits but you may be surprised to find that your worm of choice moves completely differently than you expect. By going underwater we discover new baits, new retrieves, and even new rigging methods.
Its amazing how much you learn in a few short minutes below the surface! Today we found out that we’d been rigging curly tail worms incorrectly our entire lives. Who knew that turning the worm 90 degrees would completely change the presentation? Amazing! Below is a breakdown of the worms we used, the heads, rods and reel recommendations, and more.
A few weeks ago I compiled a list of the top rated fly shops in each state. The list was just that: top rated, not best.
So what makes a fly shop the best? Maybe even better than another that is highly rated online? Admittedly, it is very subjective. Your preference might be dictated solely by proximity: either to your home or your home water. Your choice could be all about brand loyalty: whoever carries Company X is going to get your dollar. For a lot of fly fishers, preference and choice isn’t a luxury: you’ve got one fly shop, love it or leave it.
All that to say, there are some things that virtually every good fly shop has in common. Here are a few criteria that my favorite shops meet, and that I personally value as being necessary. Necessary for my loyalty, and necessary for keeping their doors open in a difficult market.
Check out my thoughts below, and feel free to leave yours in the comment section at the bottom:
We just had the most INSANE day of fishing! We had bass trying to eat each other, two bass on at the same time, fish jumping out of the water to catch a crankbait, it was CRAZY! 85 bass in 2 hours and we hardly even moved the boat! You have to check this out…
We found a huge school of largemouth pushing Threadfin Shad up on a point. Once the feeding frenzy began it was clock work. Cast after cast produced fish after fish as fast as we could reel them in! We caught most of the fish on a squarebill crankbait and a swimbait on an underspin. We’ve said before that causing a “reaction” is key when bass are targeting baitfish and these two baits did an excellent job of creating a trigger.
We were fishing in Mexico when this all took place but even the locals were shocked by how aggressive these bass were. It just goes to show how incredible Summer bass fishing can be when anglers are prepared to work as a team to keep a school of aggressive bass fired up.