Bass Trouble [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Bass Trouble

06-16-2005, 10:54 AM
Yesterday I headed out to my bass/pike quarry with the canoe. I just got some new Scientific anglers pike/muskie line for my 9wt so I wanted to try it out with some bass lures. I could cast much better than with my troublesome old line, but I couldn't get a bass to touch the popper. I had my conventional tackle along as well and the fish ate regular poppers up, but I didn't get so much as a look at my fly popper. I don't know if it's the orange (sunset) colored line spooking them or if they're just false cast shy. The water is very clear and usually around feet deep so I think the line may be blowing them out of the way before they get interested in the popper. Is there anything I could do to remedy this, or am I doomed to dismal success with my long rodding? Also I couldn't get my pike/ bass sliders and divers to work at all. The foam head ones just slid along the surface, not diving like intended, and the deerhair ones didn't have the floatation to completely recover, even with gink on them to help the floating. Any suggestions on how to help my foam divers out in diving and my deer hair ones to float? I'd like to get these things sorted out before I go to Canada chasing pike.

As for the fishing, it was great, I got about 15 bass on buzz baits, zara spooks, and poppers. I also managed a respectable 28 inch pike, first of the season. When darkness fell the fish really lit up, but due to the floating debris, I couldn't fish efficiently in the poor visibility (fouled lures).

06-16-2005, 11:32 AM
Sounds like a longer leader may help with the 'spooky' bass - what length are you currently using?

There are actually two reasons to lengthen the leader: First, so the fish don't see the brightly colored line as you mention. Secondly, when the line touches down after the cast it disturbs the surface. How much depends on a number of factors including casting technique, but those big-bug tapers (especially 9wt) can make a healthy "splat" when they hit the surface. Try adding more length at the butt end first - it will be easier to handle. Very long tippets are tough to turn over with bulky surface flies.

As to your fly designs I think we've all been there. With the foam heads you might try doing a bit of "minor surgery" on the water - a trim here and there might make all the difference. Deer hair takes a bit of time to get right. It's important to have the hair really packed into a dense head to give any reasonable bouyancy. Even then I find that after a couple of fish I have to clean them up and wait for them to dry.

Good questions - hope this helps. :smokin:

06-16-2005, 12:41 PM
Right now I'm using a 9 foot leader and it's pretty heavy all the way down. Maybe I'll add a foot of lighter tippet and two feet of heavier butt end. The leader already feels "sloppy" in that the fly doesn't get all the way back on the back cast before the line hits the water, which with a popper, can cause a heck of a noise/comotion. I'll just have to adjust my casting with this beast of an outfit.

Dble Haul
06-17-2005, 09:13 AM
You're going to have a pretty tough time getting a fly whose main component is foam to submerge or dive on a strip. Most foam flies are made to float for popping, sliding, or waking.

If they continue to ignore surface flies, try something subsurface with a subtler presentation. I know they were hitting conventioanl poppers and buzzbaits, but sometimes a changeup can work wonders too.

06-17-2005, 02:44 PM
Today I didn't make it to the quarry but I went to the river chasing some smallies. I managed to catch three on conventional tackle along with a walleye, but I also got some action on streamers and the popper I used for largemouth. I've gotten the line to cast a little better now, I just have to change my cast a little. Those smallmouths can really be fun on the fly rod, they even put a heavy bend in the 9wt in the current, and the jumps make it more fun to watch. Too bad I have to go to work in 15 minutes or I'd still be out there :razz: :)

06-20-2005, 12:10 PM
Those smallmouths can really be fun on the fly rod, they even put a heavy bend in the 9wt in the current, and the jumps make it more fun to watch.
I hooked a bunch this weekend on my 4 wt and they were practically bending the rod in half! :)

What color/shape is the fly popper you're having no luck with versus the spinning poppers that were working? I'm betting it's the color, not the popper itself. For the smallies this weekend, I had two bead head woolly buggers, one kind olive with one strand of crystal flash, and one kind black with a lot of green flash material woven into it. They wouldn't touch the olive one, but the black one was taking a lot of fish on the first cast, including those that had just turned down the olive multiple times. I had a fish turn down the olive one at least 20 times (plus two other flies) and then hit the black on the first cast. Pickiest smallmouth I've ever seen!

06-20-2005, 08:52 PM
The poppers were both similar colors, frog patterns. I don't think it was the color. I don't have to work tomorrow so I'll head down there and hope that this torrential rain didn't turn the fish off. I'll use the rig I just cooked up with a longer leader and thinner tippet, and hope it leads to some fish. All else fails I'll have to throw some streamers to entice them. Wish me luck, sometimes it seems that's all I have going for me. :razz:

06-22-2005, 10:27 AM
Went to the quarry yesterday and the fishing was dead at first. I did manage to catch a couple nice bass on the longrod by sight fishing the shallows on the north end with a streamer, but after the sun went down there was too much action in the shallow slop for the fly rod, so I switched to conventional tackle and got a couple dozen fish with a soft plastic jerkbait. Any suggestions on a good weedless (more like pondscum) fly. The bass were really active up shallow, but I couldn't get a fly in without catching a mat of green scum.

06-27-2005, 01:20 PM
For pond scum situations, I'd go with an epoxy head fly and stay away from bucktail. The epoxy head won't attract as much weed as bare material and the fly will slide through it better. Bucktail also attracts a lot of weed. Try tying a fly with the hook up and the material going over the hook point a bit to protect it from snagging. I use the quill of a thin hackle feather as a weed guard on some of my flies.

Another thing to consider is changing your tactics. If you're using a floating fly, a lot of times you don't need to move it far. Just keep twitching it in place. Sometimes it can take 5 minutes of this to get a strike. Then you'll end up cleaning off the fly a lot less because you're casting a lot less. And twitching it in place won't pick up weeds.

06-27-2005, 03:36 PM

A little bit "off-thread" but I like the sound of your quill weed-guard solution.

I have an idea of how that might work but would be interested to hear more?

I have been struggling to come up with a "foul-proof" adaptation for flat-wings and ultra sparse bucktails and I think the quill solution might just do it.

06-28-2005, 11:11 AM
I'll start a new thread about it in the "Works for me!" section so I don't hijack this one...