Monday, February 25, 2013

Balsa Swimming Minnow

Been testing this thing out for a while and, well, it's money.  If you've ever fished the "Wiggle Minnow"- this fly does basically the same thing except with a lot more action.  The balsa lip really makes the fly swim.  I'm thinking this will be a killer bass fly come spring. All you need is a little balsa and some sandpaper. Ya- ok, its a crank bait- wanna fight about it?

Hook: 8089 size 2
Body: Balsa, Sally Hanson, Marker
Tail: Olive Brown Marabou
Flash: UV Flash
Eyes: T-Shirt paint/ Home-made

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

At the Vise

I am not sure what this is or if it will be good for anything... or if I will be able to cast it.

But it is sleeting and I had some balsa lying around.  I think it is about 6 inches long and consists of a balsa head, lots of legs and a big ol' stinger hook connected with some beadalon and beads.  Maybe the bass will be hungry for a small snake?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Carp Flies and Cabin Fever

So I don't know about you, but I am getting tired of winter.  We don't even have a "real" winter here in the South, but still- its getting old.  I am ready to really get out there and fish.  Not these every once in a while, bundled up, mitten wearing tailwater trips- I mean some good wet wading, chaco wearing, 2nd degree sunburn kind of days.  And whats with the sun going down right after work?  Come on sun, get it together- you're embarrassing yourself and inconveniencing everyone.

In anticipation of the sun's return, I've been tying some carp flies:

These little puff balls are just marabou, lead eyes and legs- nothing fancy.

I am really interested to try this pink one:

Really, the only carp flies I've had consistent success on have been solid black.  

This little monstrosity is an experiment in carping.  I've seen people use san juan worms with good results so I thought id just make me a worm ball with some weight and this is the result:

Its actually just that same fly as above with some san juans growing out of its face.  Guess I will have to wait until the water warms up to see if the carp approve.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Late Little Red River Report: High Water Long Term?

Many of you may know this, or like me, have found this out the hard way, but the Little Red River is running high and muddy.  This is apparently the result of the flood gates being opened because something is wrong with the turbines at the dam.  

My buddies and I had heard this, but for some reason chose not to believe it.  We had heard that the flood gates had been opened about two weeks before our ill fated trip but could not believe that they would still be open.  We forced John to drive because he go a sweet new Subaru and trekked the hour and a half from Little Rock to Heber.  When we arrived, our stupidity was confirmed.

The river is indeed running high as if the full two generators are on and, as anyone that fishes there knows, it is nearly impossible to fish without a boat in such circumstances.  We, of course, being poor young fishermen, had no boat.  We messed around and chucked some streamers in the slack water on the side.  We even managed to catch a fish or two, but the trip was mostly a bust.

The real concerning thing is that there are rumors going around that this is going to be a relatively long term thing.  That is a huge bummer for fishermen around central Arkansas, as the Little Red is the closest place to catch a stocker when the need arises.  It is also a gem of a brown trout fishery.  While it is still very fishable with a boat, it is a shame that there will be no low water for a while.

The rumor circulating is that because the White River system lakes are low because of the drought, the Little Red is going to have to be used to make up for the deficit in generation.  I received a forwarded email from my buddy that is purportedly the email conversation between a member of TU and a representative of the Army Corp of Engineers.  Here's the gist:

TU guy,

In general, yes we will be generating heavily from Greers Ferry once we have a unit back online.  Right now, I expect there will be multiple days of continuous generation, though that may change in the next couple weeks. 

The rest of the White River lakes are indeed very low for this time of year.  While Greers Ferry is about 104% full, the other 4 are all about 63% full.  Our hydropower projects that we have in Oklahoma and Missouri are also around the 63% full mark.   Southwestern aims to keep our lakes balanced in terms of percent full because it lowers our risk and lessens the negative impact of droughts like the one that most of our lakes are experiencing.   I’m hopeful that spring rains will fill the rest of our hydropower projects, but until then we’ll be generating more frequently from Greers Ferry to slowly get it back in balance. 
-Corp Lady

So apparently if you ain't got a boat, better be headed somewhere other than the Little Red until the water is lowered- and that does not seem to be happening soon.  I very well could be wrong about this and this may be common knowledge to everyone else, but hey, I didn't know- the local fly shop did not seem to know- and I am betting a few other people do not know.  Anyway, I hope I am wrong. Hope y'all are fishing more than I have been lately- Stay Fly.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Articulated Home Invader?

Why not?

Front hook: TMC 765TC size 2
Rear Hook: Gami B10 size 6
Thread: 6/0 tan Uni
Connection: 3 glass beads and Beadalon doubled over
Body: Tan Craft Fur from the craft store- in a dubbing loop
Flash: Black Crystal flash
Eyes: Painted lead eyes, large
Lateral Line: Grizzly saddle hackle

Yep- just a extra hook added on. Oh, and I left off the marabou to slim it down a bit.  Should fish- we shall see.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Product Review: Umpqua Fly Badge

The Umpqua catalog has been some of my favorite reading material for some time now.  Umpqua has always had the best selection of tying materials, hooks, tools, fly boxes etc. Recently, they have come out with a whole line of packs, bags and accessories that show some definite promise.  I have yet to see the bags but I opened a great little package from Umpqua the other day. 

The Umpqua Fly Badge is a clip on/velcro on/pin on drying patch/mini fly box.  I have to be honest, I did not really know what to make of this product at first, but the more I thought about it the more I liked it.  

The Badge has the same small slotted foam as Umpqua's UPG fly boxes as well as a magnetic patch.  The slots can hold dries, nymphs or small streamers and the magnet can hold all your tiny midges. 

 The real beauty of this little gadget is that you can literally put it on any surface (like your hat if you want to look dorky like me).  It has pins that will allow it to be connected to any clothing or pinnable surface.  The velcro comes with both male and female sides and one is adhesive backed so you could stick it to a boat or the visor in your truck.  

There is also a small carabiner that will let you clip the Badge to a pack or whatever else suits your fancy.

My first concern was that I would lose flies.  After using this thing for a while, I have to say that it holds onto flies really well as long as you don't swipe them off.  You can shake it all you want and the flies will stay stuck.  
 I believe Umpqua meant this product to be a drying patch replacement- a job it will perform admirably.  For me, this little guy will hold all the flies I need for a day on the local tailwater.  I think that it will definitely find a place in my arsenal for quick, ultra lite trips without a pack.  I really plan on using it for "pond hopping" for bass and bluegill when it gets warm.  Just throw a rod in the car and the rest or your junk in your pockets and the Badge will hold all the flies you need.  At around 20 bucks, the Umpqua Fly Badge is worth picking up, especially if you are looking for a way to carry a few flies for a quick trip or keep them in an alternative spot.  I want to see Umpqua do a bigger one for bass flies or big streamers in my boat.  Thats it, stay fly.