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Posts Tagged ‘Carp’

Spring Time Bassin

Spring is just around the corner for all of us here in the South and I can hardly wait. Just thinking about getting out to do some bass fishing gets me super pumped up. I was cruising through some photos today and ran across a trip that a buddy and I took last Spring. We had been planning a Devil’s River trip for the past 6 months and when it unfortunately fell through, we decided to go test the waters of a beautiful river right in our backyard. The Brazos River happens to be that piece of water. Having heard so many good things about it from our customers we planned a three day float from the Hwy 16 bridge all the way down to Rochelle’s Canoe Rental.

via Spring Time Bassin – theflyphoto.com.

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Shop regular (and our favorite curmudgeon) Bill Seals had a fantastic day out on the Brazos river yesterday, catching a multitude bass, culminating in a monster Smallmouth Buffalo. These guys are basically freshwater Permit, and hooking one is enough of a challenge, let alone landing one of this caliber. Great job Bill!

Bill Seals holds a huge Brazos Buffalo.

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One of my best friends and fishing buddies Jeff (el Jefe) White has developed (amongst all his other crazy, softtex-high-induced patterns) a crawfish streamer that is like no other. Dubbed the “Messy Craw,” it looks like a whole lot of nothing until it hits the water, and then it becomes a bass/trout/carp/anything slaying machine. Featured in Flick Ford‘s Book Fish, this bass assassin is totally alive, and definitely a killer pattern.  Jeff currently resides in the hills (i.e. sticks) of East Tennessee, fishing every tailwater within 100 miles, and begrudgingly raising chickens. If you wish to thank him for this contribution, gifts of live Warren Zevon show recordings and decent (or cheap, he doesn’t discriminate) beer are always appreciated. Here’s a step-by-step guide to tying this bad boy.

The Messy Craw. Photo by: Jeff White

Messycraw (Orange Phase)

Materials:

Hook: Daiichi  2461 #2 Black Aberdeen or Equivalent

Thread: Uni Orange 3/0

Eyes: Medium Lead Dumbell

Rubber legs: Orange and Pumpkinseed

Marabou:  Orange and Olive/Brown

Body: Brown Chenille or Brown Aunt Lydia’s rug yarn

Flash: Flat Thin Gold Flashabou

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Step 1: tie in medium lead eyes one eye length behind hook eye

Step 1. Photo by: Jeff White

Step 1. Photo by Jeff White

Step 2.  Tie in 1 orange rubber leg and one pumpkin seed rubber leg at the bend of the hook. Fold over and cover with thread.

Step 2. Photo by: Jeff White

Step 3. Tie in one orange and one olive/brown marabou plume and palmer together at the bend of the hook.

Step 3. Photo by: Jeff White

Step 3.1. Photo by: Jeff White

Step 4. Cross Wrap orange and pumpkin seed rubber legs one-third back from the hook eye and ½ back from the hook eye.

Step 4. Photo by: Jeff White

Step 5. Tie in brown Aunt Lydias rug yarn at the hook bend and wrap forward to hook eye.

Step 5. Photo by: Jeff White

Step 6. Tie in 1 orange and one olive/brown marabou plume in front of the lead eyes and palmer around the hook.

Step 6. Photo by: Jeff White

Step 7. Tie in 5 strands of gold flashabou at the hook eye extending to the marabou tail.  Tie off and secure with cement.

Step 7. Photo by: Jeff White

Tying this pattern in a “blue phase” has also been pretty damn effective. Here is the recipe, the steps are identical:

Materials:

Hook: Daiichi  2461 #2 Black Aberdeen

Thread: Uni Olive 3/0

Eyes: Medium Lead Dumbell

Rubber legs: Blue/Silver Flake and Pumpkinseed

Marabou: Blue/dun and olive/brown

Body: Olive Chenille

Flash: Flat Blue Flashabou

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Friend of the shop and carp-guru Joel Hays had a nice review of the new TFO Clouser rod series on his blog this week – click HERE to check it out!

The New TFO Clouser Series on Display at Tailwaters. Photo by: Shannon Drawe

The New TFO Clouser Series on Display at Tailwaters. Photo by: Shannon Drawe

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Had a bit too much going on yesterday between dogsitting and the CCA meeting at the shop, so I had to stay local to get my carp fix. Did a bit of searching / recon in and around the Park Cities, and found a spot that is probably recognizable to anyone who grew up in that area and wet a line as a kid:

A not-so-secret location in Highland Park. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

A not-so-secret location in Highland Park. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Apologies on the cell phone picture – Brent has the good camera in Alaska. Honey Girl did make the journey with me, and was amazing – didn’t jump in that stinky water even once. Maybe even SHE was scared of it. Instead she decided to sit and laugh at my frustrations:

"Ha-ha dad. You can't catch a cold." Photo by: Bart Larmouth

"Ha-ha dad. You can't catch a cold." Photo by: Bart Larmouth

And she would be correct. The carp were there (in droves), but I couldn’t buy one. I tried every ‘go to’ fly in the box, and they ran away from every one. Well, sauntered is probably a better description. They didn’t really spook and explode as you’d expect, just kinda moved off.  David’s suggestion of a bread fly might be a good idea…. I did however catch two bass over 1lb each (“stupid trash fish” according to Joel Hays), and the biggest frustration were the little bluegill (bream) that kept stealing my fly as it fluttered down to my real quarry. Ah well – it was a good time, and hopefully I’ll get it figured out before Evan goes down there an pulls them all out.

Stupid little bastards...... Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Silly little bastards...... Photo by: Bart Larmouth

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Here’s  a little photo essay from this past Sunday when Joel Hays took yours truly and our new ‘shop guy’ Evan carp fishing up on Ray Roberts (in the 100+ degree heat!). I made a point to get some macro shots of fish scale – with some results I hope y’all will like! Evan landed his first carp on a fly, and together we landed well over 30 fish. It was a great day on a section of the lake that only fishes when the weather is juuuuuuust right. If Joel hadn’t blindfolded us, I might be able to get there again……..

Evan Russell with his first carp on the fly! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Evan Russell with his first carp on the fly! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

A view through the 'mangroves' on Ray Roberts. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Evan and Joel through the 'mangroves' on Ray Roberts. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Oh No! EVAN! Look out!!!! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Oh No! EVAN! Look out!!!! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Evan hooked up. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Evan hooked up. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Dark Scales. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Dark Scales. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Several of the fish had a handful of coppery-pink scales mixed in. Very cool. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Several of the fish had a handful of coppery-pink scales mixed in. Very cool. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

A 'gimpy' fish I caught that had most likely tangled with an Osprey in his youth. His tail formed an 'S' when he swam. Strange but true! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

A 'gimpy' fish I caught that had most likely tangled with an Osprey in his youth. His tail formed an 'S' when he swam. Strange but true! Photo by: Bart Larmouth

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On my last few days off, I’ve spent some time prowling the flats on Lake Ray Roberts, chasing carp around. The Hexes are out (hexagenia limbata, most likely, possibly with some rigida thrown in here), and I’ve seen some CRAZY behavior from everything on the flats. My inner bug geek couldn’t be happier!

These are not little guys. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

These are not little guys. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Guide extrordinaire Joel Hays (check out his recent article in Southwest Fly Fishing) has made some comments about it on his blog. Most noteably how Largemouth Bass are now prowling the flats like a bunch of jacks looking for the nymphs. I witnessed about 8 BIG bass coralling hex nymphs and shooting into them like you’d see a sailfish do on a bait ball. I stuck one of them, and she promptly broke off my pitiful 4X leader, but what a hoot!

This picture is a handful of nothing except nymphal shucks, left from the en masse hatching of these giant mayflies. The beach had a layer of them, just like you’d see seaweed laid out – about 10″ wide, and 4″ DEEP in parts. Crazy.

This isn't detritus - these are the nymphal shucks of hundreds of mayfiles. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

This isn't detritus - these are the nymphal shucks of dozens of mayflies. Photo by: Bart Larmouth

Now they all have seemed to have hatched out, and the trees are literally CRAWLING with the spinners (imago) waiting to fly over the water to mate. Here’s some video that hopefully will do it justice!

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