Fly Fishing For Bass

 I do find it a bit ironic that my fantastic camping/fishing trip started out last weekend doing something I normally would shun off for something a bit more, I don’t know—Me.

~Little Bassilicious~

But I went to another lake with Slayer (not his real name), some good friends, the kiddoes and spent a couple of days fishing for Bass (gasp, your fault Terri) crap-ezz and the elusive lakey type trout.

The trout dissed me, but hoo-boy the Bass were on full topwater action. I pulled out my one and only popper the first night and I couldn’t NOT catch fish. Maybe it’s the stars, maybe it was fairy fishing dust or maybe Bass are just suckers for dry flies. Either way, dare I say, it was a Bassilicious bonanza…..

~Kaitlyn's Little Bass~

I caught Bass while Slayer filled his crap-ezz bucket to the brim so he could later slave away cutting fillets. Catch and release really does carry additional benefits beyond conservation. If you don’t keep anything, you can’t be guilt-ed into cleaning fish. Miss Kaitlyn also caught a lot of fish both Bass and crappie, enjoying whatever hit her line which seemed to happen A LOT.

Somehow I managed to make that one little frog popper live until the last night I was on the lake. That’s the problem with coming under prepared in the fly department. If you know you only have one magic fly there’s an edge to every single cast. I couldn’t help but think (over and over) Will this be the time I snap off or will I just catch another little Bass?

~Bass on a Popper~

My fun came to an abrupt stop when I set the hook a bit to hard and a lucky Bass swam off with my little piece of fishing magic. I quickly dug through the fly boxes I had brought on the boat, but me, the trout loving disciple, was lacking in sparkles, rubber legs and the unmistakable form of a floating foam frog head.

Good God, does this mean I need to buy yet another fly box and stuff it full of Bass paraphernalia? I think I’ll blame this blog. My open mind and expanding fishing list is a direct side effect of writing publicly. That infectious after effect should be put into a disclaimer section.

Anyway, back to the lost fly. I wasn’t about to sit in the boat all night with my fly-less line sitting on my lap quietly wiping tears off my check. So I pulled out a—-don’t laugh—- big old fat dry salmon fly. I tied that sucker on and ignored the laughter swirling around the boat. Desperation calls for desperate measures. I tossed it out and proceeded to scoot it across the water in the same sort of top water action as the popper.

Crap-ezz on the Salmon Fly

The Bass ignored it…….but……Cha-ching! I quickly became the Crappie Queen. That little result dropped a few jaws on the boat, but I claimed I knew exactly what I was doing the whole time. (fake it till you make it) So there you go fellow warm water fisherman. Want to catch Crappie on the top water? Tie on a fat salmon fly, scoot it across the water like a popper and you’ll impress anyone around with your mad skills.

See, for once I’m a helpful blogger. I performed a true field test gone good.

Now that I think about it, maybe the Salmon Fly usage was an omen. A good one…..I have to admit, although the fishing was considered “awesome” I was excited to ditch the lake stuff and get up the road to the Salmon stomping grounds. I think all those little fish were just a warm up. A time to get the arm loosened up for the big time that was coming my direction.

The Salmon experience gets it’s own blog entry =)
Rebecca

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BassMaster-ess, Sort Of…..

by Rebecca on May 13, 2010

in Fly Fishing For Bass

~River Smallie on my Fly Rod (victory!) -- Photo By Bryan Forsmann~

As another weekend of fishing went down in my history, I sit here and wonder what exactly I should write about. The choices seem endless……the bad weather, the fleeting moments of decent weather, the deep fried bacon wrapped hot dogs, the G-force experienced on a Bass Boat, the laughter of good friends, the gas can that went up in glorious flames or the BASS I actually caught…..

I think today I’ll focus on my much anticipated Bass Fishing experience. I have to admit, I was skeptical! I know my loyalty to trout could potentially label me as a fishist, but that’s the risk I take when I write the truth. I know trout.  Bass on the other hand…we are about as familiar with each other as I am with Nascar. Both have sponsors? Let’s just blame my Idaho Mountain upbringing.

For the record: I brought my Fly Rod on the Bass Boat.

Speaking of boats. Ummm…hello? Why didn’t anyone warn me about BASS BOATS? My lifetime boating experiences have been limited to aluminum boats that chugged along at 5 mph, a couple ocean excursions on fat lazy boats and 1 drift boat ride. That’s it. So imagine my surprise when Captain and Bassmaster Terry Battisti let the Bass boat out of the starting gate and after an impressive gravity defying move we were soaring across the water. Fast. Like instant face lift fast. The good news is the air pressure cleaned out my sinuses, the bad news is I discovered later that evening my inner ear didn’t take to boating very well. It’s a sad day when you feel drunk without ever taking a sip of alcohol.

~ Cheesy Bass Grin --Photo by Bryan Forsmann~

As for Bassin’ like the Pro’s do it. I think I held my own. Once Terry was done mapping an area with his high tech electrical equipment, it was time to fish.  I longingly looked at my Fly Rod, safe and cozy in it’s tube strapped flat on the front of the boat, but quickly accepted the swanky G.Loomis rod complete with bait-caster he offered up. I knew I was out of my element when I saw the large rubber lizard attached to the end of the line. I asked the important questions, like, ‘what am I supposed to do?’ and Terry gave me a quick crash course.

First cast, nothing. Second cast….Bass on! I’m pretty sure I hollared, yelled, made a big deal out of my fish. Rockstar status after two casts!  At that point I figured, ‘oh, this is easy, send me over the jacket with my name on it and some sponsor patches.’  I glanced back to make sure my Bass Guru was fully aware I was in Fish On mode and noticed Terry also had a fish on. Every fisherman needs a humble moment like that, so I let go of my visions of a sponsor jacket and got back to work.

I caught more Bass, I went for long periods without a single bite. I’m fairly certain no one will be knocking on my door to hand me a jet rocket Bass Boat and a bright pink sponsor jacket anytime soon. Despite the cold and nasty wind, I had a blast. Terry was an excellent teacher and showed great patience to the newbies on his boat. And surprise, surprise, Bass are pretty fun to catch. They have such a different demeanor than trout. It’s like they are pissed off when you hook them and they let you know it under no uncertain terms. I like that sort of attitude.

Lastly, after the day of bass boat fishing was done and we went back to camp ( below the dam on the Snake river) I snuck down to the rocky bank to try my hand at Fly Fishing for river Bass. The first time I actually caught one I thought, there, I did it. I’ve completed my mission. Fish like the Bass Pro’s do it AND catch one on my fly rod.  And…I caught more than just one Bass on my Fly Rod, as in, it wasn’t an accident!
Sponsorship offers can be emailed to Outdooress@gmail.com =)

Thank you Terry for a great fishing experience.
You are my Bassin’ Guru ~
Thank you Bryan for taking proof pictures of me and my fish.  
You are a rare treat for me.

Bassin’ Rebecca

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Lets see, it’s Wednesday morning and in just over 24 hours I’ll be abandoning my wader boots at home and heading off for a weekend of buffet fishing. Buffet fishing = a whole lotta finned friends that aren’t on my normal fishing catch list. From Thursday through Sunday,  I’ll be in pursuit of strange and mystical fishies with names like: Bass, Crappie, Carp, Perch and the mighty will power testers– Sturgeon.

Umm..........

The main focus of this trip for me (the trout loving enthusiast) will be Bass fishing. Some of you may remember an entry I wrote back in December called, Once you Go Bass, You never Go Back? Well the time has come to test out my true Bassin’ abilities. On a bass boat. With a legit Bass Pro. Technically with the proper bass gear. In other words, WITHOUT MY FLY ROD.

My eye just twitched.

Because I’m pretty sure there would be a severe case of separation anxiety, I did elude to Terri aka Bass Man, that I would be sneaking my fly rod onto the bass boat. The good news: He seemed fine with bringing my security blanket along for the ride and even said if I wanted to cast around,  churn some water, I could. However (the bad news) if I wanted to actually catch fish, I’ll have to embrace an open mind and a Bass rod (or something like that).

So today I figured if I was going to the trouble of sneaking a Fly Rod onto a racy Bass Boat, it might be considered good planning if I went ahead and smuggled some Bass flies in my pocket as well. You know, just in case all that smuggling turned into legit Fly Fishing and I could add a Bassin’  notch on my Fly Rod.

Consequently and the result of previous trout focus, I don’t think I own a single fly that would appeal to a bass. I know some of you out there have already embraced your bass fly fishing soul, so today I implore. Tell me your secrets, the right flies to go buy. Is it all about the popper? I need credible Fly Fishing Intel on the Bass gig, or jig, or whatever it is that provokes one of those vicious Bass attacks I’ve seen on TV.

While I wait for your wisdom (I’ll hit the fly shop on the way out of town tomorrow), I’m off to do a few rounds of push ups. That would be my version of a last minute attempt to prepare my unconditioned arms for the upcoming torture session of Sturgeon fishing.
Also known as:
1 minute of wooo hooo MONSTER ON excitement followed by,
44 minutes of pure pain and suffering….

Rebecca  

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Dennis Miller aka Darth Bass

Dennis Miller aka Darth Bass

There is a dark and powerful influence out there trying to sway me to the big lure side of fishing. I’ve nicknamed this influence ”Darth Bass” because I’m certain he’s trying to convert me to the dark and warm water side of fishing. Now, in case anyone is worried, as I write this, I’m still holding strong to the fresh water world of fly fishing…I pledge allegiance to the trout………  

Darth Bass is actually Dennis Miller and he goes by the handle DTMSPINNER on twitter where the recuitment started. I would twitter something about trout and he would twitter back to me BASS, BASS, BASS. Evidence of such persuasive maneuvers can be found in his twitter stream, not to be mistaken for a trout stream………

For example: basstweet

Darth Bass didn’t stop at subliminal or blatant tweets either. I think he knew I would be a tough sell, a Luke Skywalker ambassador of the trout and fly fishing world. So he sent, via the snail mail, a package packed full of temptations and ‘whoa, what the hell do I do with these?’ that would motivate me to investigate the mysterious side of bass fishing.

Huddleston Deluxe Package of Enticement

Huddleston Deluxe Package of Enticement

Because I catch trout that are 8 inches long and one of the lures Darth Bass sent was an 8 inch long trout that looks amazingly real, I did what any trout purist would do…..I got on the phone with the only Bass Fishing Guru I know.

Terry Battisti is a bass fisherman and writer for several publications in the Bass arena. He’s also the only person I know with a bass boat, lives in Idaho and likes to talk fishing and writing at the same time with me.

When I explained my bewilderment over the lures and the attempt at bass fishing conversion by Dennis (Darth Bass) he assured me all would remain balanced in my world.

 Terry filled me in about  Huddleston Swimbaits (he likes them and has caught bass with them) and promised they were not likely, by touch alone, to possess my trout soul or corrupt my fly fishing heart, but instead might show me a new side of fishing in general. One that I might actually find fun and enjoyable…….(double gasp)

So plans are now made. Rebecca, the fly fishing, trout loving disciple will be going bass fishing with my new Huddleston Swimbaits (<~~link to their website) come April or May with Terry as my bass guide. I’ll go ahead and admit this now ~ Damnit Darth Bass, I think you got me, I’m excited to go Bass fishing now! Someone help me….

In the meantime, I did ask Terry one final and important question.

Me: “Umm, Terry, Dennis also sent me a Huddleston Shirt. I’m sure the symbol on the front is like the dark mark for bass fishing or something, but I really like the shirt. Do you think it would be blasphemy if I wore a Bass shirt while fly fishing for trout?”
Terry (laughing): “I have no doubt you could get away with it.”
Me: “Ok, good. I don’t want a pack of fly fisherman or bass fisherman after me for fuzzin up the lines.”

Rebecca

 

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