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MotroutApril 14th, 2010, 6:25 pm
Posts: 319
First off, I know this isn't about trout but is about fly fishing, so maybe you all will let it pass:)

Trout will always be my favorite fish, but I have gotten into warmwater fly fishing lately, and I'd have to say I like it. I sort of got into it, because, well I do live in Missouri, and there are warmwater ponds a lot closer to where I live than trout streams... In other words, when the nearest trout stream is a whole hour away, you gotta start looking for some other options for when you only have an hour or two to fish.

Luckily, my house is just across the road from a big, beautiful warmwater pond. I've realized that there are a lot of worse ways to spend an evening than walking down there and flicking a fly for little bass and bluegill. For example, this evening, I got home about 45 minutes before dark, walked across the road, and enjoyed some beautiful dry fly fishing for bluegill. No, they are not as poetic as trout, but still I'm not complaining. The little guys fight.

Does anyone else like to fly fish the warmwater, or am I alone here?
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
OldredbarnApril 14th, 2010, 8:45 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2601

I doubt very much that you will find yourself alone on this site fly rodding in warmwater. I would bet that the majority of anglers here have a hard time driving by a mud puddle or any ditch where they think there's the possibility of fish.

Smallies in a local warmwater river near my home are a lifesaver for me in the summer months. I manage investing for folks and can't always wander too far from home. On the days when I can sneak out a little early I can be fishing in 20-30 minutes.

Pan-fish are custom made for fly fishing. After back surgery in 2005 my wife managed to get us to Little York lake near Cortland NY for a family gathering and to try and cheer me up and let me heal a bit. We rented a cottage and I sat out on the end of a dock in a kitchen chair. I had a box full of Callibaetis imitations and a small cooler full of Molson's...Great with Vicodin long as you don't fall off the dock!

Everytime my fly hit the water it was smacked by Gills...It was a great distraction. I do wish that the little guys wouldn't suck the fly so far in though. My hemo's were rough on those flies trying to dislodge them from their throats. I really went through the flies!

I think that for many of us we actually learned to fly fish in stillwater and then worked our way to a stream with trout in it. It's good you have your own little spot so close to home...Hey! It can help keep you out of trouble...You could do worse things, eh?!


"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
FalsiflyApril 14th, 2010, 9:01 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660

Your post brought back a memory that I have long forgotten. Back in the early seventies I was just married and living in an apartment building in downtown Littleton CO; a suburb of Denver, or more aptly put, the southern tip of Denver at that time. Needless to say I was within a short drive from some exceptional trout water. Across the street from the apartment building was a small park not uncommon to the typical park one might find scattered around a large city. It was a convenient place to walk the dog and frequented by many parents with small children. My kids were yet to come but walk the dog I did. Anyway, the park contained a small pond and one day I got the bright idea to try a little fly fishing after work. I had a blast and the kids had a blast watching me, as the gills were ravenous, small but ravenous, and in the middle of a city park.

Now I live in the midst of seventeen thousand acres of the Chippewa Flowage here in WI. and rarely do I consider the opportunity of catching crappie, largemouth, smallmouth and even muskie on the fly. Maybe this will be the year.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Jmd123April 14th, 2010, 10:43 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2545
For me, the choice is obvious: drive two or more hours to the nearest quality trout waters (there are NONE in southeast Michigan) or drive 10 minutes to a lake full of gills, black crappie, the occasional yellow perch, and the distinct possibility of a 5-lb.+ largemouth with lots of 10-14" fish to keep you busy in the meantime, Or, when I was living in Ann Arbor, walk across the road, jump in the Huron River, and catch smallies, bluegills, and rock bass until I couldn't see anymore...Or, even when I was living in the West Branch area, within 10-15 minutes of brown trout on the Rifle River, instead walk down to the lake in my backyard for largemouth, 'gills, crappie, pike, etc.

Variety is the spice of life, and convenience has a lot going for it. Not to mention what great fighters bass and big panfish are on the end of a fly line!! Try hanging a 9-10" 'gill sometime on a 3-weight, or how about a 17" largemouth or 16" SMALLMOUTH on same?? You won't be wondering we some of us hit those warmwaters anymore.

I stand proudly with Motrout and will happily fish warmwaters until I die. AND MAYBE EVEN AFTER - don't be too surprised to find a hand holding a flyrod sticking out of my grave, especially if there is a pond in the cemetary...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Shawnny3April 15th, 2010, 11:05 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I used to do a lot of largemouth bass fishing when I lived in Central North Carolina. I don't do it much anymore, but I do still enjoy it from time to time. If you can find good water that someone will let you fish, it can be a great time. But I do hate the ticks.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
EricdApril 15th, 2010, 2:23 pm
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Not one of you has mentioned Carp. It's a difficult topic for fly fishermen, I've found. I have not fly fished for Carp...yet. I see them rising on a nearby lake all the time and I want to take out the one-man pontoon one of these summers. There are very large Carp in my metro area and all of the closest lakes and ponds seem too polluted to carry much else.
Spring came early this year and spawning panfish are waiting for me this weekend. Actually, I'll be in the middle of some great WI trout water and just a little North are the Steelhead, but I'm very excited for the panfish with a dry. Tying dry's for panfish is fun, too. You can get very creative.

Spence, I'm going to have to buy some Molson one of these days.
LastchanceApril 15th, 2010, 4:18 pm
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
I enjoy all kinds of fly fishing, but I fish mostly for trout. I really enjoy fishing for smallmouths during the hot summer months when the water gets low and warm.
Jmd123April 15th, 2010, 5:03 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2545
Eric, I have caught a couple of carp on flies and I have to say I was not impressed in the least. A 10-pound 28-incher I hooked in the Huron River in 2007 on my THREE WEIGHT refused to fight, preferring instead to be led around by the nose until I had to scoop it out of the water by putting my little trout-sized net over its head while cradling the rear two-thirds of its body in my arms like a baby. And this was a nice healthy looking fish with golden flanks and crisp red fins. It took one of my KBFs in chartreuse (works for EVERYTHING). I also had to be on the lookout for the numerous local Chinese grad/medical students who would have happily carted the poor thing off and EATEN it.

Later that summer I hooked a 16", 2.5-lb. smallmouth on the same rod up in Intermediate Lake, northeast of Traverse City, MI (also on a KBF, this time in copper/brown - looks like a sculpin). All I can say is HOLY F*CKING SH*T, I was sure it was going to break the rod, not to mention my line!! In fact, the 10-13" smallies I caught along side that fat lazy carp in the Huron outfought it by a factor of at least 10. I honestly can't help but wonder how much bigger those smallies would be if they didn't have those fat slobs grubbing around eating all the benthos, not to mention far more respectable bottom feeders like redhorse suckers which are also found there (who have a reputation of putting up a good fight themselves).

BTW, there are guys who target those carp with 8-weights. They come out when the mulberries are ripening and they throw purple deerhair mulberry imitations at them (one guy even ties an imitation green stem on his "mulberries"). If the fish aren't rising, they "chum" by grabbing a handfull of the berries off the trees and toss them over the holes...

You guys can have the carp. I'll go after those psychotic smallmouths, big fat bucketmouths, and slab-sided panfish - not to mention those scary-looking northern pike (now THAT's what an 8-weight is for)...


No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
EricdApril 15th, 2010, 5:20 pm
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Thanks for the tips Jonathon. Carping on the fly is not high on my list with all of the other species to target, but when I see those huge fish on my local metro lakes it's hard not to think a lot about.

I'm lucky to live near the Upper Mississippi where a lot of Smallies thrive. They are second to trout, a close second. If they represented all the colors trout did and lacked the fishy smell after a day of fishing, then they would equal trout, in my opinion. My first fish caught on the fly was a largemouth using a generic reel with a loud crank (usually too loud for a quiet trout stream), but when that bass went running and made that reel scream, so did I.

I have yet to catch a pike or muskie on the fly, but crappies, bluegills and pumpkinseeds (or whatever you call them in your own region) do equal trout in their fight per pound.

I practice C&R for all trout, unless the DNR and TU recommends keeping your limit, but panfish...yummy...if you know how to prepare them.
MartinlfApril 16th, 2010, 4:38 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3173
Jonathon, now let's be fair. Individual fish often have different personalities. I had several of last week's good-sized trout kind of roll over and let me skim them to the net after a run or two, while others made me wonder for a brief while if they'd let me get my fly back at all. And I've had carp break my line--though I don't target them often at all. However, I can't remember a docile smallie, I must admit. They are something special.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123April 16th, 2010, 11:22 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2545
Louis, I can't remember a trout of any speices that did not give me a serious run for my money. I once caught a little brookie who looked like he had been manhandled by a much bigger brown - all cut up and wounded like he had a knife taken to him! He still hit my dry fly and gave me a good tussle...

However, I do have to agree with you on those smallies - even the little guys go off like bombs and fight like they're on crack or something! And I love releasing them after reviving them in the current - they lay there panting for a few minutes, then suddenly BANG, they're gone. They are near and dear to my heart and will always satisfy when I can't get to trout waters. And sometimes, I almost think I prefer them because they are a little easier, can get bigger, and will take dries just like trout do. Plus, I'm not much of a bass eater - I find them fairly bland and tasteless - so I never have any question about letting them go (though I don't think I've killed a trout in at least a decade, either).

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Shawnny3April 16th, 2010, 12:07 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Agreed regarding the smallies. I have caught them both unintentionally and intentionally, and pound-for-pound I have found them to be significantly harder fighters than trout. Nothing I've seen can compare with the stunning violence of a big largemouth strike, but they don't have near the stamina of a smallie.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
RleePApril 16th, 2010, 1:08 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
Well, I'm going to date myself, but so be it..

I got my first fly outfit at the Western Auto and my first tying materials from Herter's in 1964. I was 12. All the trout fishing I did (with my Dad) at the time was poke a worm through the alders on little creeks in Crawford County, so for the first 5-6 years, I cut my fishing and tying teeth on warm water fishing. It was a natural.. We lived right on the outlet stream of a small Erie County glacial pothole lake and the creek was full of bluegill, crappie, largemouth, carp, grass pickerel (those little rockets that top out at about 12") and a few smallmouth.

I had a Herter's cast iron vise that only held hooks down to size #10. Every year, I'd wait for the inchworms to come in June. All the fish in the creek, but especially the carp, would queue up under the willows and suck in falling inchworms all day. I'd wrap some green chenille around a hook and have at them with my 8 1/2 foot Revelation rod balanced for a HCH line. I'd hook maybe 30 carp a year and land 2 or so. I'd tie up ersatz Nine-Three streamers and go down the creek and float them in under the log jams for bass and I'd make McGinty Wooly Worms and cast them to the bluegills laying out in the sun in the shallows and fill a bucket with them in a couple hours. Then I'd go home and clean them and throw the skeletons to my Dad's coon hounds. They'd eat anything and had iron constitutions.. Then, I'd get the hose and wash up and hope that the neighbors cat would come by so I could see if I could get him wet from 40 feet away. Well, twice I did, anyway...:)

Then, when I was in college, I discovered fly fishing for trout and took off on that for the next 40 years, only interrupting my obsession now and then to float fish with UL spin gear for smallmouth with my brother-in-law or wade fish any of a dozen way underutilized smallmouth creeks around home with a fly rod.

The older I get, the more I feel like I'm coming full circle. From April to September, I still spend 8-10 days a month running all over the Spring Creeks of WI and Iowa for trout. But I'm also looking forward to moving back to PA in 4-5 years (maybe less) and getting back on the creek of my boyhood. Floating a fur leech under the logjams, seeing if the carp still queue up for the inchworms and going up to Lake LeBoeuf and flipping a McGinty wooly Worm out to the nearest submerged stick pile and then lifting the rod very, very slowly and waiting for the "tunk" of a crappie.

Fill the bucket, go on home, find a cat to squirt with the hose... And them coax him in and give him a little chunk of crappie fillet.

Warmwater fly fishing is where I started and I'm pretty sure it will be where the story ends as well.
Jmd123April 16th, 2010, 2:01 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2545
Great stories, Lee. Ah yes, those days of our youth...It took me until the asge of 21 to first start throwing flies, even though I began fishing at nine. I was inspired by a professor at the U of MI Bio Station (forest ecologist) to start throwing Hexagenia imitations after dark at big slashing browns - talk about baptism under fire! Although, the truth is, the VERY FIRST FISH I ever caught on a fly rod was a 6" rock bass that took a Muddler Minnow I was tossing off the pier outside the Station's boatwell for practice...I came full circle on that one last year when I brought in a 12" rock bass on my friends' dock on Cooley Lake (plus many 10-11-inchers, largemouth up to 16", bluegill and pumpkinseed up to 9", etc...).

My best sunfish experiences ever were down south, in MO and TX.
They get a LOT bigger on the average down there, like salad-plate size, plus there are more species like warmouth, redear, redbreast, and spotted sunnies (the last not usually over 6" but incredibly beautiful fish). In a pond in SW MO, a private spring-fed affair I was invited by the owner to fish, I actually had 10" bluegills BREAK ME OFF on 6x tippet! In the San Marcos River in TX the big bright blue-and-orange redbreast sunfish fed on caddisflies skimming over the water at dusk just like trout, in big pods where you could see their noses and round foreheads poking out of the water as they fed. On the same river I caught a species of cichlid known as the Rio Grande "perch" (they call EVERYTHING a perch down there, especially sunfish, and they have no real ones like yellow perch we have here in MI), a close relative of aquarium fishes like Oscars and angelfish, up to 10-11" on my favorite #10 chartreuse WBs. I even caught Mexican tetras there, larger (4") silver relatives of neon tetras and other cute little aquarium inhabitants. And, in the Lampasas River one afternoon after finishing up a field project, I came across hundreds of square yards of spawning longear sunfish, gaudy blue and orange males that hit my flies on about every other cast (often on consecutive casts). GEEEZ, I could go on forever...



P.S. BTW Lee, you are the first person I have EVER heard mention the good old Nine-Three. I popped a nice 10" brookie in the U.P. on one back in 1990, the first year I started tying. Thanks for bringing back that memory (and all of the others).

P.P.S. Shawn, I agree with you on surface hits by largemouth - they are SPECTACULAR. However, I've had some pretty explosive hits by big browns, too. One night on the Maple I caught a 15-incher that sounded like it came completely out of the water and hit the fly on the way back down - after dark too so it sounded all the louder!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RleePApril 16th, 2010, 2:47 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
Good Stuff, Jonathon..

I only tied Nine/Threes because I got a chunk of green bucktail in my first tying kit and also, of course, because I had George Herter's big book andd he said he had invented the Nine-Three as an all around fish catcher and not just for trout. Of course, it turned out that George hadn't invented the damn thing at all, it was just #5,091 out of the 9,717 lies he told in that book alone.

I was well into my 20's before experience undid most of the informational damage George Herter did to my fishing knowledge.

He was a corker (and later of course, a felon. He got caught in a USFW sting selling/importing banned feathers from exotic birds). In the middle of a paragraph about the origin of the hackled wet fly, he would say stuff like (and these are quotes or near quotes):

1)Itís a little-known fact that the Virgin Mary was fond of creamed spinach.

2) Sauerbraten was invented by Charlemagne

3)The geneticist Gregor Mendel spent much of his time developing a recipe for fried eggs? Or that

4)People who use considerable red pepper in their foods are almost immune to atomic radiation.

He was a trip, but a big part of my boyhood.

Shawnny3April 16th, 2010, 4:34 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Of course, it turned out that George hadn't invented the damn thing at all, it was just #5,091 out of the 9,717 lies he told in that book alone.

I was well into my 20's before experience undid most of the informational damage George Herter did to my fishing knowledge.

Isn't that the truth! My first book was an old Herter's as well, and I still keep it around for nostalgic purposes. I think ol' George sincerely believed he was the first person to catch a fish, period.

My favorite example of his misinformation is his section on whip-finishing by hand. I tried and tried to follow all his directions only to find my finishes constantly falling apart. It was only after thinking about what the thread was doing that I realized that his instructions were exactly backwards, suitable only if one were wrapping the thread the wrong direction. I made the necessary adjustments and taught myself how to whip-finish (thank you, George). Of course, if I were George, I would claim to have been the first person ever to do it correctly.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Jmd123April 16th, 2010, 5:27 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2545
Thanks for the belly laughs, Lee! HEHEHEHE...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
DitchJuly 28th, 2010, 9:25 am
Fuquay-Varina NC

Posts: 36
well it has gotten a little warm here for trout here in va so time for the smallmouth season, 2 days ago i went to local stream where i usually fish for trout (stockies) and went down stream a little ways and saw some smallmouth threw a wooley bugger flash big one. then went further up the stream still thinking about the browns i had seen earlier this year and found a pool that held some LARGE smallies caught 2 over 13 inches and total for the day about 10 decent (not counting the gills. that hide in the same stretch.

There are no bad fishing days.
MotroutJuly 28th, 2010, 4:59 pm
Posts: 319
That is funny how smallmouth tend to show up in trout water. When I was in the Adirondacks this summer, I was fishing a small, fast brook trout stream pretty high up in the mountains, a tributary of the West Branch of the Ausable. But the water temps were in the high 60s and the trout weren't on. I was pretty surprised to finally hook up with a 12" smallmouth bass. And according to those who claim to know, neither this stream or the river it feeds into are supposed to have smallmouth. Wierd.

I guess maybe it washed down from one of the local warmwater ponds.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach

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