Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fly Fishing For Bass: Entry #1 - Troubleshooting The Winter

Location: Yuba Goldfields
Time: 11am-2pm
Weather: Sunny with slight overcast, breezy but mostly calm
Water Temperature: 53-55 degrees


Nice Yuba Trout

After catching a nice trout on the river I wanted to give bassing a shot. I was using my 6wt with a new IV sinking line that I had purchased. At first it was a bit awkward to cast but eventually I was able to cast it a good 30-40ft.

The water was calm with an occasional breeze but for the most part it was very clear with visibility of at least 5-7ft. The water was pretty cold but I felt it the warming weather trend should have been warm enough to keep the bass active. I found a few bass in the shallows and drop offs schooling or cruising around. There were also bluegills and smaller bass schooling around the reeds on the bank.
I saw a few suckers near the bank that I mistook for bass as the black stripe that runs across their sides look alike. They did not spook as I cast and approached them and were probably the fish that were rising throughout the day. It is near their spawn time and it shows that even in the ponds they will spawn successfully.

I used a bluegill pattern, lizard pattern, clouser minnow and a bunny leech. Although I found bass they spooked as soon as I wanted to make a cast. The fish that did not spook ignored my fly. Several times throughout the day I was able to get the fly right in front of their face and have them follow it only to have them turn away and swim the opposite direction within a few seconds.
Throughout the day I switched through several flies in different colors but they were not responding. I changed my retrieve to a small fast strips on a black bunny leech that I had success with before and got one take. The take was reactionary and the 14'' fish threw the hook as it jumped into the air. I fished a few more hours without another take and ended the day.

Conclusion
-Bass are incredibly aware of their surroundings and will spook easily in the clear water. Next time I will bring my float tube to see if being able to approach them from the water will make the difference.
-I will also try fishing for them earlier or later during the day rather than mid day. I was thinking that as they day warms in the afternoon they would be more active but this day was not the case.
-The fish I lost has me thinking that the hook I used to tie the fly is not sufficient enough. Ideally the hook should have penetrated through the fish's mouth due to the size of the hook. I will be looking for new hooks to tie my bass patterns on.
-The bass are not in the prespawn stage yet. A higher temperature that is consistent all day may be necessary to start the move.
-Fly Movement vs. Impression is another factor that I will be looking into.

Yuba River Sunset

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