OK, I give up... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: OK, I give up...

05-09-2006, 08:16 PM
My flycasting skills are probably as good as any other average Joe. Been fly fishing for around 18 years, in-shore sight casting, blind casting (when can't be sighted) from a canoe or shoreline for bass (LM and peacock), pickerel, northern pike. Trout and off-shore species are about the only fish I haven't gotten into via the long rod. Retired to Boynton Beach 6 years ago and live on one of those water catchment ditches which our development calls a lake.

The "lake" is 6 years old, has a middle depth of around 15', is about 1X2 football fields, has a littoral at both ends and is nice and clean. Plenty of birds, frogs, mussels, snails, snakes, and there are about 7 species of fish in the water: LM, red Mayan cichlids, blue gill, catfish, crappy, tilapia, "minnows." LMs as big as 7-8 have been taken and released by some of the guys who use either live bait and/or lures. My biggest on the fly was around 6#. Sounds great, right? Clean lake with plenty of fish right outside my door. Well, here's my problem:

I'm not particularly into the fighting of the fish, it is the "take" that gets to me. So, whenever the water is relatively calm, I'm out there with my 5 wt at sun rise and sun set, fishing almost exclusively with topwater stuff (eg, gurglers, poppers, sliders). My casts are usually along the banks, anywhere from 1 to 20' out, or in and around the littoral. Although I do catch fish, their size and number are nowhere where I think they should be. And when one of the conventional caster is there with me, he will inevitably catch more fish than me.

What I'm trying to get at is: I know that I can (and have) caught nice fish there with plastic worms and on occasion with a zara spook or a skittle pop, but why am I having so much trouble catching fishing on the surface? They all don't have to be LMs, I also use small surface stuff for fish other than LMs. Where's the action? Oh yeah, although LMs do crash the banks, I haven't seen anything that would reallly shake my knees...yet.

So, guys, how about helping me regain some of my sanity

05-10-2006, 07:19 AM
If the fish won't come to the fly you have to take the fly to the fish.

Fish have two things on their mind. Eating more calories than they use up to catch them, and not being eaten by something else. Coming to the surface is too much work for a big ol' bass compared to the calories he'll get out of it so he won't bother. The small ones will come up to the surface since it's not so much work for him to move up to take a surface item.

Big fish don't get big by taking chances. Coming to the surface makes them available to birds and other anmals as food. They'd rather not take that chance. Especially if they can find enough subsurface food.

Oh, one more thing. I'm pretty sure fish take surface bugs more from annoyance than because they think it is food. Big fish just swim away, while the younger ones will smack that anoying suface bug down. (Kind of the same as grown ups and teenagers. A grown up will walk away from someone annoying while a teenager will pick a fight.)

Try a good sized Clouser.

05-10-2006, 07:39 AM
Yeah, I know what you are saying. Thanks. I have the clousers and other assorted flies that will get down a few feet. Got them all in colors and sizes. But this is my problem in that I enjoy most seeing the surface take and seem to be willing to catch far fewer fish because of this addiction. BTW, even when I'm in the Amazon for peacocks or on the flats for tarpon, I don't use sinking lines. I'm fully certified nuts, eh?

I guess what I'm really trying to get at is when are the bass most "surface" active in these south florida waters? Morning, evening, after rain, before rain, moon phase, month of the year, etc, things like that.

05-10-2006, 07:52 AM
I guess what I'm really trying to get at is when are the bass most "surface" active in these south florida waters? Morning, evening, after rain, before rain, moon phase, month of the year, etc, things like that.

I'm afraid I can't help you there. You are the one that lives in sunny Florida. I live in cold rainy New England.

Oh, try after dark. Not dusk after dark. 1:00AM after dark.

Dble Haul
05-10-2006, 07:58 AM
Baldmountain has it right. If you really want to catch more fish, go subsurface. If you want to limit yourself to surface flies, then concentrate on low light conditions.

05-10-2006, 08:22 AM
A deer hair mouse might be big enough to make coming to the surface worthwhile. Previous posts were right, you will have better luck after dark.

05-10-2006, 10:49 PM
how aboat translucent and low visibility flies?

I know many gear chuckers who swear by clear spooks, and the whole theory behind it is that piques the fishes curiosity because of the movement

I myself am somewhat a believer in it, i have noticed that i get substancially more strikes when other tops fail, but with the low visible nature the strike to hook up ratio suffers

to gain some of this transparency ive lately been experimenting with sparse white ep fibers. It looks promising but i havent been able to get enough time on the water.....

06-09-2006, 04:52 PM
I live in Sarasota and fish on a small 44 acre lake. Pick up a sinking tip fly line & try wgted ( beads or DB's) Chart and white closure minnows, deceivers and purple or black worm immitations. I pick up more bass on sinking flies than poppers; surface hits are more fun. Good luck!

06-14-2006, 07:59 PM

here is someone who fishes pacific northwest lakes, dawn and dusk.

uses a frantic fry synthetic hair and flash minnow...


might give it a try.


Dble Haul
06-15-2006, 08:03 AM
Uh, am I the only one who sees that fly winking? :confused: :whoa:

06-15-2006, 09:08 AM
Where can I get some?

Looks like one of Striblues inventions.:lildevl:

I bet it would sell almost as well as his portable fishfinder :hihi: