Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Fly Fishing the Hopper

 Guys, I guess you've noticed it's been a while since I posted anything on my blog. Cathey and I have been busy helping our daughter's family with their new arrival. Last Thursday Jenny gave birth to a beautiful eight-pound baby girl.  

We have kept a busy pace traveling from Jasper to Springhill Tennessee these past weeks. It was worth every mile we made to get to whole this precious little girl. Hallie Mae is 10 days old in this picture. Her brothers and sister are CRAZY about this little girl!!!

We are back home for now but will be headed back to Springhill next Sunday.  We will be staying 8 days with our daughter and children while B.T. is in California on a business trip. We're glad to be of service, especially when there is a newborn to whole and spoil. 

I have been able to make a few fishing trips last week on Smith that I wanted to share with you guys. 
This past Thursday Jeff and I fished Ryan Creek on Smith at daylight and landed some quality bass and bluegill. The bluegills were not hitting the poppers, so I tied on the hopper a fly that I haven't fished this season. The reaction to this fly was some of the most aggressive hits I have seen this year. All the big bulls taken on this trip had the hopper lodged in their throat. In other words, they were hungry for an insect in the form of a brown grasshopper. They were hitting the hopper 20 to 30 feet away from the rock walls. Moving the hopper slowly on the surface film got their attention. When you land this size bluegill using a 4 wt. you think it's a bass, the fight is that aggressive. Jeff and I agreed we could be in for one great fall fishing season!
What makes landing these big bulls so much fun to catch using the fly rod is the surge after surge they make trying to break off. There is a big difference when landing these fish spawning in shallow water as opposed to fishing for them in water depths of 20 to 30 ft. Simply put, the water depth is their friend when trying to break free. 
This was my first coppernose bluegill to ever land on Smith. Sorry I don't have a video showing the fight this fish put forth, but Jeff and I thought it was a spotted bass in the 12 to 14-inch range; to our surprise, it was this beauty!
Jeff started the morning off fishing under the lights near the many piers on the lake. We stopped at our first light at 5:30. As I moved in slow to the light we saw three quality bass feeding just under the submerged light next to the pier. It only took a couple of casts to get the attention of one of the larger bass. The fish moved slowly to the Boogle Bug popper and sucked in. After the take, the fish started heading for deep water and really didn't realize it was hooked until Jeff made contact with the fish. At that point the fish had its way with the 4 wt. Jeff was using and broke off. 
The fish you are viewing in this video is Jeff's redemption bass not as large as the one he lost but a quality largemouth. We will definitely be back fishing this light in the coming weeks hopefully with a heavier-weight fly rod. Stay tuned!

Forgot---one last note, I'm saving the trout fishing below the dam for cooler weather and the winter months---the season ends on the lake in November


  1. Hi Bill. Congrats on the new Grand baby. Keep after those gills.

  2. Great that amongst all the other important stuff you're still finding the time for a few days of fishing. Is a Coppernose a different species of bluegill? It's a chunky little thing!