Posts Tagged smallmouth bass

50, Fish Day: Part II

50, Fish Day: Part II . . .

Bridge at 50
(USA 08 2017)

 

Fifty (50!) found me along a freestone stream. Water flowed, shared with kingfisher and heron, the frog, and a few scattered sulphers in the air.

The forage I chose to imitate through the day was the crayfish. A generic pale mayfly caddis passed the evening.

Before me, evening dawned, at the bridge, covered, once the grand entrance to a mill good for grit. This day, for me, the line of start and finish, explore and fish, the “Where?” spot in my own story met another’s, the baton this time released to a great blue heron, which spread wings, turned, flapped upstream with the carriage of a citzen.

Turned, bridge behind, current carried me from the back. Water clear and cool enough for trout. Scattered rain, drops vertical, under dynamic gray sky, some blue in passing patches.

What here encountered the tenkara scuttle of Green Guarantee and Deer and Herl kebari produced a double digit count of smallmouth bass, sandy or barred, and fallfish, bright as a tarpon, sipping both emerging and emerged.

Smallmouth: Barred
(08 2017)

Smallmouth: Sandy
(08 2017)

Sunset plus one, the hike in hardy wading pants under sky of brick red and blue, my pocket light lit the green marsh path, towing net, vested, kebari art, and tenkara baton down through a dark chapel of trees. The incandescent blue lane above my head lured my eyes up, out, there I glimped a meteor of The Perseids, and smiled.

Bright as a Tarpon:
Fallfish
(08 2017)

— rPs 08 23 2017

 

 

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Bass Trio

Bass Trio . . .

 

Rock Bass

Rock Bass (09 2016)

Rock Bass
(09 2016)

 

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass (09 2016)

Smallmouth Bass
(09 2016)

 

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass (09 2016)

Largemouth Bass
(09 2016)

 

September is a fishing month for bass.

This may be the best bass time of all.

What a (foot)ball!

Fishes keep biting, again and again,

When you continue to release them.

 

— rPs 09 23 2016

 

Postscript: The fly pattern used in all three examples was my Green Guarantee, size 8; my one fly for freshwater tenkara.

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Olympian Gymnasts

Olympian Gymnasts . . .

Tenkara fishing a smallmouth stream in summer. (07 2016)

Smallmouth Stream in Summer
(07 2016)

 

The jumps of the smallmouth bass are spectacular feats of athleticism. You could jump from the lawn to the tip of the gable in one hop if your legs were so strengthened to scale.

Smallmouth Season.  Small Creeks. The smaller waters where smallmouth reside, if only for the warmer months, offer slow runs over submerged logs rooted in silt, or stretches of swifter, shallower water where the shoulders of boulders break the clean current.

The small stream smallmouth is a seasonal fish. Bass swim upstream into these tributaries of larger flows in search of secluded spawning areas, cooler water, more relaxed currents. One may find only a half dozen such stretches of several hundred feet along one or two miles as the map reads.

Here plenty of creatures forage and become forage for the bass. Summer is also a time when large caddis dry fly patterns can coax fish rising to such naturals.

I have used the Deer and White, size 12, on streams where a smallmouth one foot in length was the average. The standard of measure I use is The Jump. Most bass of this size are Olympian Gymnasts above the water. Vertical jumps of several feet numbering as many as six, the smallmouth has both height and number!

Winded in The Net (07 2016)

Winded in The Net
(07 2016)

 

The rare use of the exclamation point is earned. Smallmouth bass are that exciting to seek out with rod, line, and fly. In between, the encounter with the redbreast sunfish gives added weight to the pull I feel for small bass streams in summer. And redbreasts do pull; they fill the role of permit here.

Fooled by a Soft Hackle: Redbreast Sunfish (07 2016)

Fooled by a Soft Hackle: Redbreast Sunfish
(07 2016)

 

The occasional stream bluegill may pop up, too.

Stream Bluegill (07 2016)

Stream Bluegill
(07 2016)

 

As may the fallfish take the place of tarpon. Large adults of twenty inches, silvered and strong, match the profile and can porpoise in defiance of any standard or tenkara fly tackle.

Fallfish and TUSA Ebisu (07 2016)

Fallfish and TUSA Ebisu
(07 2016)

 

Grand Slam! Yes, there is even more, that much more, to love about Smallmouth Season. Go find out! (hint-hint: that exclamation point again and again)

 

–  rPs 08 03 2016

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Better Late

Better Late . . .

Low Water: September

Low Water: September

The clay bank, high and vertical, gives way at intervals over time. Trees do follow. The other side, temporarily bridged by timber, emerges as a shallow grade of washed gravel and cobblestone. Low water, dry stones, holding sprouts of green in the shallows and cracks. Crayfish abound in the back puddles as do nymphs of caddis, mayflies, and dragonflies.

Riffles call for some kebari pale and fluffy to the casual eye. Many tenkara anglers tie and fish one fly only. September finds me most often opening the wallet or bottle for one best knotted onto 6x or 7x tippet: a primitive September Trico Spinner of black thread and rabbit on a curved hook in some size between 18 and 22. Another choice would be a size 16 or 18 dry fly hook dressed in Olive and Rabbit with or without a thorax of Peacock Herl: the September White Wing X Caddis. A streamer for slower water and meatier game goes to my standard Green Guarantee, size 6, 8, or 10. The body of Leech Yarn gives the Bucktail added motion, as this fly begs to be twitched and animated in authentic tenkara fashion.

September Trico Spinner

September Trico

September White Wing X Caddis

September White Wing X Caddis

Green Guarantee

Green Guarantee

My target, the quarry, this time became the fallfish, Semotilus corporalis, the grayling of the Mid-Atlantic states. Ones of size, like a fish I just encountered along a freestone creek over Labor Day Weekend, gives dry fly fishing an ultimate experience. The fish, strong, attractive, over a foot in length, sipped in a size 18 September Trico, one tied in a Manhattan flat.

“The grayling of the Mid-Atlantic states.”

The other fish of late summer, the Smallmouth Bass, Micropterus dolomieu, made its presence known to me on the very next cast. This one fell for a Green Guarantee tied on after sighting a smallmouth bass twice the size of the one in net.

Smallmouth Bass: September

Smallmouth Bass: September

More fallfish and smallmouth followed into a still evening that grew at a quicker pace than in July. A few deer showed off white tail and flushed. The green canopy held a dark gray where rays of sun once streamed. By the bank, the spot where I chose to cross for home, came first a pause for a large snapping turtle. Slow, dark and cragged, a small dinosaur, basically, cruised down the steam’s middle lane until the turn for a tree fallen and half submerged.

Turtle, home.

For me, above the opposite bank, began the walk down a gravel road toward town.

Angler, prepared to say: “Better late . . .”

– rPs 09 15 2015

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