Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bass on the Fly (On the Golf Course)

It occurred to me that I had not broke out the fly gear since last fall. More importantly, it also occurred to me that I had never caught a respectable bass on the fly rod. Today was a day to amend that. Hot, muggy, windless Sunday evening. Perfect. I grabbed my box of poppers and paleolithic-looking flies. 

On the way there, I came across an interesting phenomenon: A line of dead plants advancing on fresh, green ones. Everything on the dead side was completely dead, while the other side had the very opposite. Odd... perhaps a disease?

 A couple casts in and I picked up a little bass. Funny story,actually. I had popped the fly all the way back, swung my rod back, and there was a little largemouth on the end, who just went along on the ride of his life!

After that, I saw a big bass (NJ standards), probably about 2-3 lbs looking at my fly. I twitched it and the bass crushed it. It's an epic experience, watching a fish come up and smash a topwater lure right at your feet. The fly couldn't have been more than 2 yards away from me. Unfortunately, after a lengthy fight, the fish dove into the weeds and I hauled up 5 lbs of weeds instead of 3 lbs of bass...

I caught a few more small bass (but still bigger than the first), all putting up great fights on the 5 wt.

After a flurry of little bass , I decided to try my luck at bluegills. Using a homemade cricket fly, I put a beating on some nice bull bluegills. The fly is actually quite rudimentary, but It leaves a nice silhouette in the water and the big gills crushed it with reckless abandon. 

After a smattering of nice bluegills, I decided to try my luck on a rocky flat On the other side of the pond. The sun was setting, and I figured the golfers would be long gone. I walked over, tied on a bass popper to my tippet, and set upon casting. Let me tell you, those poppers are far from aerodynamic and required some muscle in the casting. My arm was quite tired when I returned home. 

Almost immediately a big bluegill inhaled my fly. I have no idea how he ever fit that in his mouth.. :)

There were a lot of bass on this flat, and I was immediately getting big splashes and bites, but one of the hardest things for me to do in fly fishing is set the hook. I missed much more fish than I would like to admit, but I did land around 5 at the flat. 


A decent NJ golf course Largemouth

Right in the corner

A pretty nice bass

Another one

And a fat belly, too!

After a few more missed strikes, there was an enormous SPLOOSH and my fly disappeared. I set the hook and a battle was on. It was atcually quite a lengthy fight, these things do pull on a 5 wt!

It was getting dark, the crickets were chirping, and bullfrogs started their mating calls creating a chorus in the last rays of the sun. The mosquitoes were out in full force, and satisfied with the outing, decided to call it a day.

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