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 Post subject: bass spitting out my fly
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 6:36 pm • # 1 
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i was fishing today with a grub fly. size 10. i was fishing a local park pond that gets alot of pressure. the bass (largemouth) were under 12” from my viewpoint. i was able to sight cast to them and watch them bite the fly then immediately spit it out. i sprayed some crappie juice on it hoping they would hold on to it a bit longer. didnt work.

is that just a sign of smart fish? any pointers?


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 9:55 pm • # 2 
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In my experience, it happens all the time with most species of fish and most flies. You just happened to have been able to watch it this time. Most times, you don't have any idea it happened.
brent


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 5:07 pm • # 3 
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wheezeburnt wrote:
In my experience, it happens all the time with most species of fish and most flies. You just happened to have been able to watch it this time. Most times, you don't have any idea it happened.
brent


:applause


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 7:53 am • # 4 
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Wildcat wrote:
any pointers?

Yeah, set the hook! :lol

Beyond that, you might try going with a fly switch as the fish are obviously curious and opportunistic on the feeding idea. Sometimes switching to a Clouser/similar and rip-stripping it can provoke those bass to commit to a more aggressive kill shot. Smaller topwater presentations can sometimes get the same effect, both slow finesse as well as obnoxiously noticeable retrieves of smaller poppers and divers. One can get a lot of noise out of tiny poppers and when they pause and the tiny morsel is revealed, bass will often move in to annihilate it. Doesn’t work as well with larger bugs, but that commotion followed by the reveal of small helpless prey just sitting there is powerful. I think this works by creating the commotional context of other fish feeding and excites the bass into a more predatory state and thus better takes. A fake feeding frenzy, IOW.

You really gotta go b@lls out with the tiny popper thing, we’re talkin’ fast saltwater type stripping and water disturbance over a 10’-15' section and then a dead pause. Tiny “locater twitch” after that and see if it explodes. Small 1/4” faced popper and really churn the f’ing heck out of the water for the aforementioned length of travel. Long 1'-2' yanks in fast succession to get the gurgle and splash to cover the span of water. Looks and feels idiotic to perform, works remarkably well on stillwater fish in calm water at times. Good windy day trick as well.

And then there’s always the downsizing trick which can have a magic all it’s own. If your #10 grub is getting the hit & spit, drop it down to a 14 or 16 and see what happens. I find the smaller offering on low energy takes tends to get a longer hold on stillwater bass and panfish. In my experience, bigger flys can be deemed fakes and rejected much faster than smaller flys by most fish. Not a huge difference relative bait or compressible soft plastic lures, but usually long enough to buy you the window of opportunity for a hook-up.

Explore the options, if they're at least willing to eat, you can often change how.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 11:34 am • # 5 
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thanks for the pointers. i will try them next time out. i did notice last time that when i stripped fast they would really chase it. the panfish would chase after it more than the bass would though.

i tied up some size 12 minimalist streamers. we’ll see how that goes.


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 5:37 pm • # 6 
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Wildcat wrote:
i did notice last time that when i stripped fast they would really chase it.


Sounds like you’re dealing with the typical “casualists” of warmwater fishing. It’s tricky, sometimes frustrating, but you can work with it and way better than lockjaw. Rip-stripping is the most fun if they react to it and most engaging (by far). However, I implore you to get some small stuff in the box next time at the vise. Here’s a shot of some flies I use when downsizing on fish exhibiting the same behavior in Indiana…
Image
Real basic stuff…head, tight body, and a tail. Those are #16 and on a Daiichi 1530 hook, a 1X short shank/2X heavy wire hook which will hold fish far larger than the typical nymph hooks that size. A 2X shorty will resist tourque when pulled from the side and doesn’t spring out of shape on account of it. Good chassis for small jig flies and larger fish. I don’t like to go leggy and give the casual takers anything to pull at or ponder on, a simple full take without question is the goal. “Too small to tail nip” is the strategy here.

At some point in the season these will prove there worth everytime on gills, often suspended motionless under a tiny indy from 1’-8’ deep.


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 12:41 pm • # 7 
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Lots of great info there knotjoe.

What's the synthetic tail material on those nymphs?


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 5:27 pm • # 8 
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lka wrote:
What's the synthetic tail material on those nymphs?


Following two pics will mostly explain it best, they’re pretty ubiquitous materials in hardware and hobby stores.
Image
Image

RIT dyed nylon rope, nylon from webbing products like belts, as well as any of the “flytying” supplies from the local Hobby Lobby. On the last case, sometimes I palmer the whole product for large bass flies/jigs, other times I clip a few of the strands, tie them in as a tail, and brush them out as in the previous pics. You’ve probably seen plenty of variations and may even own some, the yarn/sewing products have all kinds of strange names.

One of those is obviously pheasant tail-type tie, but to be honest, I don't care for the (lack of) durability in pheasant products when put against creek Longears and summer Bluegill fiascos. It doesn't suffer the numbers well and better suited to catching the "occasional" trout or something like that. Yeah, it's blasphemy on a flyfishing forum to say such about the PT, but it's the truth.

Full disclaimer here, I think the best fishiest material for tiny jig flies like these is actually marabou tips (last 1/2”) or aftershaft/fluffy material from feather shafts. Best action by far, but the durability totally sucks on tiny ties and I seem to pinch off the tails when tying the fly on early season with cold hands. Synthetics eliminate this problem and are much more durable for typical catch rates on my species. Also safer to pinch-clean moss and algae off the fly, too. Try that with a sparse marabou tail and you pinch-clean the entire tail right off the fly. Craft hair is somewhere in between the two options, I like it starting about size 10 in fly size so I can use a good sized clump and proper length for action.

The finer nylons are a nice balance between effectiveness and practicality on small flies, a few clippings and a sink test will tell which one's have the movement for small ties. Hot water/hot dye bath takes care of rope memory and gives a pretty straight piece of material once cool and dry.


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2021 8:07 am • # 9 
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glad im not the only one that buys fly tying material and hobby and hardware stores.


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2021 8:21 am • # 10 
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:applause :applause :applause good advice. Go smaller and faster.
knotjoe wrote:
Wildcat wrote:
i did notice last time that when i stripped fast they would really chase it.


Sounds like you’re dealing with the typical “casualists” of warmwater fishing. It’s tricky, sometimes frustrating, but you can work with it and way better than lockjaw. Rip-stripping is the most fun if they react to it and most engaging (by far). However, I implore you to get some small stuff in the box next time at the vise. Here’s a shot of some flies I use when downsizing on fish exhibiting the same behavior in Indiana…
Image
Real basic stuff…head, tight body, and a tail. Those are #16 and on a Daiichi 1530 hook, a 1X short shank/2X heavy wire hook which will hold fish far larger than the typical nymph hooks that size. A 2X shorty will resist tourque when pulled from the side and doesn’t spring out of shape on account of it. Good chassis for small jig flies and larger fish. I don’t like to go leggy and give the casual takers anything to pull at or ponder on, a simple full take without question is the goal. “Too small to tail nip” is the strategy here.

At some point in the season these will prove there worth everytime on gills, often suspended motionless under a tiny indy from 1’-8’ deep.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2021 9:53 am • # 11 
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went back to the pond yesterday on my lunch break. i tied on a smaller fly this time. they didn't care for the micro streamer but they did like the smaller wet fly. caught two largemouth and two sunfish.


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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 9:39 am • # 12 
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move up to a larger hook. same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago,
could not keep them on with a number 8. changed to a 6 and that did the trick.


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 8:06 am • # 13 
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Some times with predatory fish it's about triggering a reaction strike. They aren't actively feeding, but they will pounce on an easy prey that gives them a very small, fleeting window of opportunity; a piscatorial version of a "no time to think about it" moment. I imagine it's a programmed survival response; I doubt it could legitimately be called "instinct". Anyway, sometimes it works. Some times it doesn't.


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