: largemouth on the fly
02-18-2000, 10:53 PM
Well, there's no doubt the bronze-sided smallmouth is a great flyrod target. Do not ignore his big mouthed cousin from the south, however. My favorite thing about largemouths is their surface feeding habits. Nothing says "eat me" like a deer haired popper splating into a hole between the lily pads. Put the two together and you're in for some fun! One of the real beauties of fishing largemouths is the universal availability of these gamesters. Almost every one of us [in the States at least] is within striking distance of some good largemouth fishing even as I type [or you read] this message. Trophy largemouth have a loveable habit of turning up in little farm ponds and insignificant waterways of all shapes and sizes. Truly a working man's quarry.
For tackle I like the same 9wt Sage I use for stripers. True, the largies aren't too large when compared to a good sized striper, but thick weeds and heavy flies are dealt with alot better with the big stick. And let's face it, if you're not throwing big flies into thick weeds, you're not gonna get out of kindergarten. A floating line with a heavy forward taper to roll over the big flies and a short, heavy leader do the trick nicely. The new clear lines oughta make great largemouth lines, does anybody make a clear floating bug taper? Flies need not be elaborate, if they land with a splat and float, bass will eat them. It's much more fun, however, to put a little effort into coming up with just the right fly. The number one drawback of bass flies is weedlessness [or lack thereof]. Weeds are gonna drive ya batty. Weed gaurds on your flies are gonna drive ya batty. If anyone's mastered that problem I'd love to hear from you.
If you're interested in flyfishing for largemouth, and want to look into it further, I wholeheartedly recommend Dave Whitlock's bass video. Good info and very entertaining. The scene that I love the most is where Dave's standing in his boat talking to the camera when a big bass busts in plain view right behind him. With the camera running, Dave spins around and drops a fly on the fish and promptly hooks and lands a real cow. Very cool!
Mike - Good to hear from you! I've done some bigmouth FF'ing with deer hair bugs and poppers... you're right the surface take is very exciting. They peter out much quicker than the bronzebackers, but are fun just the same. Monic makes a floating clear line, although I have yet to field test it. It's not specifically a bug taper but I believe you could either build a radical butt-taper-tippet graduation or maybe even snip the last level foot off the end of the flyline to get a little more punch out of the standard FWF.
I'll have to write Monic and ask for a test line... floating WF 9wt, bug taper preferred - correct?
02-21-2000, 09:07 PM
Actually, I usually load up the Sage with a 10, but a bug taper might cast better in the 9 [which the rod is rated for]. I do believe you can cut off a piece of the end of a weight forward line to get the bug taper. If I'm not mistaken, that's how the bug taper was developed in the first place.
Let me know if you get the line, I've got just the place to run a field test on it. It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it!
I may be young(19) but i do alot of Flyfishin for Largemouth here in mississippi. The best rod for big flys( 1/0 to 3/0) is the Orvis Clearwater 9 foot 9 wt. Use a 9 or 10 wt line, but is has a lot of flex and does the best with bass tapers. Ive used a 10wt pike/musky taper for those 8 inch streamers I tye. For #6 and smaller bass flies i use the St Croix 8'9 8wt, it is made for bass fishing. I did a test, I put several lines in a pool and looked at them like a fish, they were all hard to see, almost white, so I see no need for a clear line, plus it would be a mono line wouldnt it??? That would not be good for my type of bassin. There is nothing better than seeing that fly get exploded on by the old mossyback bass now is it. my .02 cents
A subject near & dear to my heart.
Here on the South Shore ponds I use my #4 (Sage)#6 (my old Fenwick) or # 8 (Diamondback Backwater) depending on the pond. My favorite fly is a small yellow balsa popper #10.
Of course one of the trout ponds I'm hitting tomorrow is where a black 2/0 Dahlberg Diver disappeared as soon as it hit the water & broke off within 20 seconds. I figured the fish would have died and went back for several days looking for my fly & to find out what the fish was. In the last 7 months I haven't found him yet
I have a Whitlock video (whoever I loaned it to - please return) where he is fishing a pond in FLorida I think, gin clear water, and he is pulling in some REAL MONSTERS. That's what I would like to try some time.
11-14-2000, 12:08 PM
Thanks for reviving this thread. I finally made the crossover to fly on bass last summer. Got some nice 1Lb. smallies and a couple small Largemouth. But using a 9wt.? I thought it too big. I was looking at getting a 6wt. for bass. Maybe a cheaper 7wt. will do. Roop, great story getting broken off and all! Would love to bass fish with ya.
Got a canoe or john boat? 2001 is the year.
You probally think a 9 wt is too big cuz you are from a different area with a differnet fish, the large mout i throw at like the bug flies, and it aint uncommon to find 5 pound plus, the biggest bass i have is 13 pounds. I use a 6 weight for bream, thats it. but the Bream are the most fun too catch, they are easy and plentiful.
Hey JH -
I don't know about everyone else but I am dyin' to see a picture of the type of water you fish, and of course these monster bass. I guess any bass that can survive a bayou full of gators must be a tough mutha bass!
They get some pretty nice lunkers out on Cape Cod. These are native fish for the most part. I've seen 10 lb. largemouth come out of certain spots. The largest I've caught on the fly rod was in Sandwich on a 7 wt. Somewhere near 5 lbs.
I've used a 9 wt. for pickerel near my local pond and did not feel I was over rodding it. Big, aggressive, hard fighting fish these are that seem to be attracted to waders. They cruise over to investigate your legs, which must appear to them as big tree trunks that move in the water. You never know how many of these "alligators" are just hanging there watching you. I've had fish take my fly not more than a rod's length away, usually on the pick up. It's a little spooky, really.
I just stole an old 3 wt. off E-bay that I'd like to rig up for some of the smaller largies that seem to infest most of the great (and not so great) ponds close to my home.
Wish I could find some small mouth water close by.
JH - what are breem? We use clear fly line in Saltwater, mostly for small tuna that make it to our shores every summer/ autumn. These "tunoids" as we call them have 2 or 3 times better vision than most other species and will spook at a white or brown line under certain conditions. Then there are the flats where striped bass sometimes scoot at the mere mention of LC-13. A clear line in that situation can help.... We tend to carry our slatwater experiences over to the ponds.
Its bream, I must have mispelled it. You may have heard these names, sunfish, panfish, or bluegill. They are a small fish that you use those tiny #8 and #10 poppers on, they will just about eat any nymph fly or wooly bugger. The bigger ones (1 lb or so) are in the deep parts of the lake and are very picky, Though not enough too use a clear line. In the summer they get up on the bank to bed, there will be hundreds of them ready to eat anything they see (this is when they are most aggressive). This is also when the bass hang around there beds to have a all day buffet.
But about smallmouth- I have always wanted to catch one of those things. Dont they fight harder than largemouth. I am goin to try too take a pic of my favorite fishing spot and show yall. Later
11-25-2000, 10:35 PM
I have been using a 8wt and a 7wt this spring and summer for largemouth fishing. Just bought a slower action 8wt blank to build specifically for the FW. The 6wt might leave you a bit under-gunned for tossing those big deer-haired flies and poppers. Just picked up one of the LL Bean Quest rods in a 7wt for $40 - I think they are discontinuing that particular model (8'6"), maybe they have some left. I wish it was a 9', but the blank is fine for my casting ability. As a matter of fact, it actually allows me to cast the same as much more expensive rods.
If you are looking to build one I don't think you could go wrong with the St. Croix LU, Avid, or a PacBay blank. You'll enjoy building the rod, and will find that you can certainly do at least as well as most of the manufacturers out there (after you have a few rods under your belt). I get a little charge knowing that I built the rod (or at least assembled the rod) that I catch my fish on - much the same as the satisfaction you get when catching a fish on a fly you tied. You could buy a PacBay blank (~$45), reel seat ($5-fuji)decent guides ($10), thread ($2.50) epoxy ($10), and handle($15), and PVC rod tube for under a hundred bucks. All it would take is a couple of weeknights and you could have a very nice rod that could be used for FW bass and schoolie stripers - the bonus is your wife won't take your head off for dropping $600 on a new 5 piece RPLXi)!
What I have found is the more expensive rods so not cast the slower lines line bass bug taper and ind resistant flies like the cheaper whip like ones. I dont mean Walmart or Kmart brand cheap rods, but the lower lines of Orvis and St Croix. The Orvis Clearwater series is wonderful for wind resistant SLOW cast. However, the St Croix L.U. has a faster action, I dont throw big flies with this one, but the Imperial and Pro Graphite are better for slower line speeds. You can get a Clearwater rod for about 140$, This is cheap when compared to some rods. I may build a rod one day, I once tried to get a custom made Orvis Trident, but the dont sell the blanks. Does anyone know why?