Friday, March 5, 2010
This is the second post dealing with light tackle fishing the deep clear waters. One of the best clear deep lakes in the South is Smith Lake in Jasper Alabama. We are talking about depths of 300 ft. plus at full pool. This lake is about 20 minutes from my house and is a perfect example of how to fish these types of waters with light tackle. Today I will be discussing the techniques I use fishing the fly rod with different flies. The first fly is the popper in a variety of colors and patterns work well early in the morning and late in the afternoon. I seldom use a dropper on the popper. I found I can maneuver the popper much better without the dropper. I have landed some of my best bream and bass just letting the popper set still for at least 15 to 20 seconds. Usually the strike will occur right before you move it. It takes a while for the fish to see the fly in these depths so patience is a plus in your favor. The majority of my casting is off the high rock walls where a lot of the quality fish hang out in the holes and ledges. If the bite is a little slow at times I will usually twitch it a little and bam it’s a hit. The fish’s first reaction is to go deep and keep going, and at this point it’s good to get the fish on the reel as soon as possible. I have found the best all around rig these waters is a 4X leader with a 5 weight forward line, 8 1/2ft. 5 weight rod. I have had some awesome play with this setup. True you are going to lose some fish especially if you hang into a spot in the 3 to 5 lb. class, but sometimes the challenge out weights the loss. As the day progresses I switch to a black gnat with a tiny red head. I fish this fly using the tight line technique with a small shot about 16” up from the size 12 gnat. I also used different weighted nymphs at times as a dropper to get the fly down. The dropper helps me increases my fish catch ratio. I have used both yellow and black gnat but the black has proven the most productive. I usually split the hits between the gnat and the different nymph droppers. I use a nine foot leader and at times I will increase it to 10 feet. Most of the time the hit comes before the leader has had a chance to sink to its given lenght. The tiny shad with the buck tail and the tiny bream with the buck tail are excellent sub surface lures. I like to fish both without a weight using a slight jerk and pause method. These little lures will produce anytime of the year, but has been at its best in the early spring just after the spawn. This is the time of the year when the bass fry is evident. These lures will duplicate some of the small bream and bass fry. The leaders used here are 9 feet. The last lure I like to fish with the fly rod is the keystone minnow. A lot of people like to fish this lure with a ultra light rig using a cork for crappie and bream, but I have found that this is one of the best lures I have ever tied on a leader to fish still waters with the fly rod. I only started fishing this lure this past fall on Smith and was amazed at the fish it will catch usually on the fall. I have caught bass, bream and crappie with this little lure. I use a 9 foot leader with these little lures. NOTE: You will need to use a tiny drop of super glue at the head of the jig to attach the body of the minnow to the head. I tried it without the glue and found that the body slides down on the jig head when you are casting or false casting. The glue works great. I haven’t tried it on moving waters such as the Caney but you can bet it will be in my fly box when I hit the Caney Fork in the spring. I fish it using the tight line method slowly working the lure back to me. The best minnow in this series is the one with the white eye pictured below. It is only an inch long weighing in at 1/64 oz. Really a deadly lure with one draw back---be prepared to have your leader broken a number of times because the hit is fast and hard and a lot of times you don’t have the luxury of getting the fish on the reel, but it surely is fun trying. I have had numbers of break offs fishing this little jewel. As you can see I am really into the light tackle, mainly because I love the challenge of landing fish that is sometimes superior to the tackle and line I am using. Nothing like it!!!!