Fly Fishing for Bass

Fly fishing for bass isn’t a new idea. But it is something of a niche pursuit. If you bass fish but haven’t tried them on a fly rod; do so. If you fly fish but haven’t targeted bass; they are worth your time. Here’s a link to my USA Today story on Fly Fishing for Bass. Thanks for taking a look.

And if you don’t fish . . . by all means get started.

Turkey Time . . . Almost

Turkey season opens Saturday. I was doing some windshield scouting this afternoon.

Road follows a small creek to a low head dam. I know this place. The water spilling over the dam funnels off a little rock ledge onto a gravel spit then flattens into a pool that fills a sharp bend. The spot is about the size of a two-car garage. Usually fluctuates from torrent to trickle. Not today. Just about right. Fishy. IMG_2976

Had a 7-foot 4 weight fly rod in the truck. Weather was sunny and breezy. Cool enough for a jacket. The water temp was barely touching 50 but . . .

Pulled on knee boots and waded onto the tongue of the gravel spit. Two casts. Two bass. Not large but feisty.

Pretty good afternoon of scouting.


Following a  week or so of subfreezing temperatures with single digits the norm and everything that could escape the salt trucks encased in ice the thermometer has climbed above 32F for the past couple of days.

The result, of course, is a welcome warmup.

The other result is that everything within sight of my house has converted from an ice rink to a mud pit. The rain that fell Friday didn’t help.

The 60 degrees forecast for next week should intersect with couple days of planned trout fishing. I welcome the warmup but loathe the mud. Maybe the fish won’t mind.

Year 2014: Frantic to Fish

The cusp of the New Year arrives on a sunny, cold winter’s day and my idea of a celebration is sorting my fishing gear. I’ve never denied being boring.20120731-084127.jpg

My wife walks through and surveys the angling carnage: frayed  tippets and ragged flies, cracked and dented fly boxes, zingers that only partly retract, creaky pliers, patched waders, a cracked stream thermometer, two vests; a belt pack, hook files, wading shoes,  a dry patch smeared with blood from some forgotten injury, a 7-piece rod that somehow survived a nasty fall, a clip-on magnifier, four dozen other odds and ends. Some I use each time I’m on the water; some will die of old age having never been wet.

Another pile is spinning gear: a couple of reels and a spool of eight pound monofilament, two boxes bulging with plugs, poppers, jigs, cranksbaits, hooks, and sinkers, a small backpack stuffed with more boxes, line, plugs and pliers. It’s a regular wintertime routine; this sorting gear and clearing of the mind.

Wife: “Do you still enjoy it as much as you used to?”

Me: “The fishing? Or this.”

Wife: “Well, both.”

I do enjoy messing with my gear; although when I’m finished it’s rarely anymore sorted out than when I began.

The fishing?

I can no longer deny that middle age has arrived; if for no other reason the chronic ache in my back serves as a persistent reminder. But they are of little concern to me; the age or the ache.

I have an increasing number of friends and colleagues whose fishing passion seems to have cooled; tempered by an increasingly hectic work and/or family schedule, health, age . . . a dozen other factors, some manageable, others not so much.

I watch this declining angling interest with a sort of detached yet disturbed amusement, vaguely acknowledging that it might someday affect me, although I can’t foresee it. I remain  frantic to fish, more so now than ever. I want to fish everywhere; catch everything, or try to.

For 2014? Work harder. Work smarter. Fish more. Pray more. The last two goals are directly connected to the first two but are themselves strangely intertwined. After all, when Jesus wanted men he could depend on he first went to the docks.

A happy and safe New Year to you.