Saturday, January 23, 2010

Float and Fly Smallmouth High Water Dinkfest 1/23/10

Hit a creek at about 1800 CFS. The hope was this incredibly slow thaw would hold back the silt from the streams so the fish could see my baits and the smallmouth would be packed in tight along the banks. When I got to the stream it was high and fast, maybe 2' over summer flow. Visibility seemed to my eye to be about 6-8" but the water did have a green tinge to it. Hard to tell with the 14 straight day without sun. We've had how many straight days of 35-45F temps and the ground is still mostly frozen! Today the lack of sun was a favor, as the rivers surely would be a torrent of chocolate milk with any kind of heat from the sun.

The first two spots produced nothing; in fact, there was just too much flow for smallies to hold there. Moved downstream and mostly lost lures. Tried dragging a tube, but they hung up on roots and were lost. Curse the 8lbs mono. My tube jigs were used up, I'd have to make do with FnF in 8" of visibility. Went downstream for a couple more holes, but again the flow was too much, this time bramble kept me from fishing parallel to the bank.

Discouraged, I was about to leave, it was nearly 2 o'clock. It had been 22 days since the last smallmouth, so figured I try some wider pools. The first is shallow bedrock flat below some shelves where the stream forms a couple of riffles. I found a couple of years ago smallies will congregate to one side below the riffle during high water, especially with some turbidity. After about 20 minutes, my float dunked and I landed a 12"er. Stuck with the spot for 3 more from dink to about 13.5". Ok, this was good. Patience I can have, if I know the fish can see.

Somehow, I was able to cross at 'shallow' areas to get to the other winter holes. The water was up 18-24" and class II-III. Thanks be to felted boots!

At the next spot, a sycamore and minor clump of log jam to one side create a nice current deflection leaving slow water to one side. With the river up, the slow area was 1/3 the size. I caught 4 more SMB dink to 13" and a Goog all close to root cover near the bank.

Really surprised at the lack of decent size bass. They must have eaten yesterday. Time to bring a tube rod with braid; I'll not be losing three tubes like that again.

Going tomorrow, need to get a big'un or two. I bet if the sun was shining, visibility might have been 1'+

8 SMB 1 Goggle eye

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Average rainfall by month for Indianapolis, IN

Here is the average rainfall by month for Indianapolis:

How does this affect the fishing around Indy? Do any of the totals surprise?

Seems a common complaint in June to complain about rain and not being able to fish.

Check your area and plan accordingly. Amount of water changes the fishing drastically.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010 Indiana on the Fly show- Internet

One thing I love to to do is talk to people as excited about the resource as I am. The 2010 Indiana on the Fly show had that in spades. Maybe its the group of guys that makes up the INSA board at this point in time, maybe it is the clear desire of a lot of Indiana flyfisherman to get after something that swims statewide. There definately was a lot of good will and enthusiasm flying around the booth all day.

I can remember a few short years ago, when I was on the other side of getting into the awesome hobby of chasing stream bass. I know what it is like to have a bit of a fever, but be confused on where to quench it. Guides perform a good service, but that comes at a price. So how is a novice flyfrother or gear chucker to churn the right waters? Social Networking.

The Indiana Smallmouth Alliance is for the new fisherman, intermediate, and the seasoned vet alike. Questions about stream smallmouth fishing? Looking for someone to share a float? Want to learn more about fishing streams in kayaks?

Don't be a wallflower, get started here: INSA Message boards

Got so caught up in that excitement, I hardly got to peek around the hall until the show was almost over. Apologize to those I didn't have time to chat with.

Note to self: Several pairs of socks and cushiony shoes are a MUST on concrete floors. That concrete was worse than any river bottom.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009, I hardly knew you.

2009 has gone. In many ways, a great year for me. In many ways bitter sweet. Here are the final results. Black is a all time low. Blue is my personal best. Started counting in 2007.

Click to enlarge:

59 smallmouth 18"'s or bigger is my best. As is the percent of 18-20+"% bass caught.

Down are total bass, bass per hour, numbers of 16-17.99" smallies, and % of 16"+.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Indiana on the Fly 1/09/2010!

This coming Saturday, the Indiana Smallmouth Alliance will be running their display booth at the Indiana on the Fly show at the State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. I will be there from 9am until 2pm manning the booth.

Feel free to stop by and chat the state of smallmouth bass in our streams. You can also join renew INSA membership. We are offering a free tackle pack/fly pack for renewals new members alike at this show only. Details below. Don't miss it, Patty Beasley and the gang do an outstanding job promoting and entertaining at the event! See you all there. Whether you flyfish or not, good time during a gray winter.

Indiana on the Fly

View Larger Map

We will also be selling tickets for our yearly dinner/auction/fundraiser in Zionsville on March 6th. Tickets will be 20$, don't miss it! More soon!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Nut Freeze

2010 is here, so what better to do than relax, watch TV, eat all day in the warmth of home with in laws and such? :o

Psprowler and I had the same idea to see if any of the frozen smallies would be recovered from their libations enough to eat on hairy fly jig.

Gearing up along the highway in 15 mph winds, it was cold. No wait...COLD. Armed with children's bobbers, crappie flies, smokes, breathable waders, warm head and hand gear, and the best Spiderman unders, we hit water around 11:15. The river looked perfect, visibility about 2' with a nice green tint, nice warm sun; enough flow to push fish into eddies. The temp was 16 F.

Quick walk to the first hole where two river channels criss crossed, we got 4 fish hopping the Float and Fly on the bottom, moving it a few inches at a time. The sun warmed us good in that spot but we would be moving on. Another fish on the walk to the next large pool, where the wind greeted us with hatred. We got 4-5 fish out of the big pool. Matt got the largest, this 16"+ SMB.

We hopschotched 4-5 winter holes, catching a few fish in each, then moving up to the next to let it recover, on return it would be "fish on" almost immediately. Perhaps indicating fish swimming circuit.

We had very few actual 'float dunks' all day. Instead, the float would do something 'different' indicating you had a fish on. Your fly had to be on the bottom, an extra foot of line on bottom worked well.

We had 17 Smallies and a Goog in 4.5 hours, most between 12-14", but a handful of nicer 15-16". As long as the wind wasn't on you, it was pretty toasty in all those layers. Disappointed there weren't the usual larger bass, but solid action for the mid 30's water temps.

2010 is here. Happy New Year!