Tuesday, July 20, 2010


It's popper season. The bass are aggressively attacking poppers on the surface, and for the first time this season we actually saw poppers out produce sub-surface presentations. Although poppers are bringing good numbers of fish to hand, don't be afraid to go deep mid-day during bright sunny afternoons if top water action starts to slow down. Switching up to a sink-tip and getting down in the main channel with a meaty streamer will likely produce some of the better fish of the day.

If you aren't down with articulated streamers yet- get with the program! If thingamabobbers were the last major gear innovation that brought marked results- these might be the next big thing to catch on. Originally designed to entice aggression strikes from big trout, these patterns are proving deadly on bass as well. Think "Jointed Rapalas"... with a fly rod. Scary stuff.

More on these later...


Friday, July 9, 2010

Speak the Language

I get the chance to fish with new anglers on a pretty frequent basis. And often I realize that I'm saying things that aren't necessarily making sense to the uninitiated. Like any endeavor, fly fishing has a language of it's own that is constantly changing and evolving.

So, in no particular order, here is a down and dirty guide to fly fishing terminology and phrases that will help to clear up any confusion:

1. Hog (or Pig or Toad) - this is what you are after. This is by all acceptable standards a big fish. Granted that may be a bit subjective, but if we are talking about trout, we mean at least 20 inches.

2. "You Farmed It!!" - This is what you don't want to hear after hooking #1. This is when, for some unexplainable reason, you decide to lose your wits and perform an LDR.

3. LDR- Acronym for "Long Distance Release"- also see Farmed.

4. LFT- "Lack of Friggin' Talent"- this is what you may be muttering to yourself after an LDR.

5. DFD- Drag Free Drift- the presentation of choice in certain situations.

6. Dredging- Fishing deep along the bottom with heavily weighted streamers and some form of sinking line.

7. Chuck and Duck- This describes your casting method when Dredging. The Chuck is the cast, the Duck is what your head should be doing as that heavy streamer and sink tip come rocketing by your head at ear level.

8. Bobbers- Any type of "strike indicator" but usually a reference to fishing with a thingamabobber. Can be used to describe fishing with nymphs, streamers, or a combination of the two.

9. Throwing Junk- A type of nymph fishing that employs multiple flies, split shot, and a bobber. Shadow casting is not recommended.

10. Eat It!- Often muttered (or screamed- depending on the stakes) on a really good drift over particularly fishy water.

11. Dink- little fish.

12. Bucket- Fish magnets. These are the deeper hole that drop off after a shelf or gravel bar, often obvious from the color change from light to dark and the change in current speed from fast to slow(er). Pay attention to this, if you hear, "good bucket coming up on the left" start looking and make the cast count by hitting the top of the bucket (above the color change) and letting the fly roll or drift down into the abyss where Moby lives.

13. Floor- The bottom. As in "Floor?"- usually uttered after a bobber takes a sharp dive with no eat.

14. Beach- The bank of the river. As in "There is a good bucket coming up along the beach on the left."

15. Tight is Right- Cast to the beach, like, as close as you can...

16. Living Clean- This comes after you hear "tight is right" and you launch your cast into the bushes on the beach, but somehow manage to pull your rig free without breaking off. Works when you hang up on the floor when throwing junk or dredging.

17. Train Wreck- Any terrible knot situation involving leaders or even fly lines. Usually the result of throwing junk.

18. "Put the bolts to it!"- Set. Hard. Now!

19. Rolled Him- This is the flash or swipe of a fish moving toward your fly but rolling off at the last second. Too many of these generally result in people screaming #10. This should also result in an immediate fly change.

20. Devil Dirt- Any type of smokeless tobacco product found tucked in the lip of most fishing guides.

21. Colorado Kool-Aid- The Silver Bullet. The refreshment of choice on especially hot afternoon bass sessions.

22. Mend- If your fishing with a guide and not doing it, you will get tired of hearing it.

So... the next time you are in your local fly shop and you hear...

"How did you guys do?"

"Well, we started out throwing junk tight on the beach but we couldn't get anybody to eat it, so we started dredging the buckets. We rolled a few and picked up a couple of dinks before we farmed a hog!"


...You will be in the know.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pick Your Poison

The smallmouth fishing is like the weather right now- red hot. The bass are actively feeding throughout the water column (and the day), which means you can pick your poison. Sliders on the drift, buggers banged off the bank, or nymphs and crayfish on the dead drift will all produce fish. If you haven't tried the bass on a fly game, do yourself a favor and give it a whirl. If you a need a guide, give us a call!

It is no secret that Maine has some outstanding smallmouth fishing. And fishing the big rivers for smallies is a unique experience that is every bit as much fun, challenging, and scenic as chasing their cold water relatives. I've heard the lame cliche' that "trout don't live in ugly places, bass do", well who ever came up with that one was probably referring to their grand daddy's farm pond back in Iowa after they had transplanted to a Rocky mountain state. Trust me, I like catching trout probably more than the next guy, but Maine has some beautiful stretches of smallmouth river loaded with fish that are wild, aggressive, and strong.That is just to much to pass up!

"Bad Medicine"

One of the deadliest patterns you can throw at bass are crayfish. There are a bunch of patterns that imitate a crayfish to some degree or another. This is one of my favorites. It's a spin-off on Clouser's Crayfish, with the biggest difference being the fur "claws". I like to fish it on a sink-tip and bounce it along the bottom with short quick strips mixed in with some pauses. Read the water just like a trout stream, hit your buckets, seams, and shelfs- and have fun.