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 Post subject: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 9:23 pm • # 1 
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Hi guys, new to the board, just sharing a few pics. My name is Blake and I'm from the great state of Alabama! Really I'm a novice fly fisherman, but I've been playing with it a little the past couple of years, currently I'm fishing a 4 wt St Croix Imperial with a Piscifun reel, but I do plan to go lighter once I save up some money(will most likely invest in a kayak first!).

These pics are from this morning, I got out at about 6:30 and fished for an hour at a pond that is very close to the apartment we are renting here in Montgomery, was fishing a popper dropper setup. Caught about 5 bass and about 12 bluegill, took a few pics, but I just recently got a smart phone so my skills are pretty terrible(sorry).

Anyway I've really enjoyed reading the fishing stories and things here, and just wanted to say thanks for the awesome forums! Look forward to getting to know some of you guys! Also if there is anyone here from the Alabama area that would be interested in fishing together let me know.

Woops just realized the last pic was taken the other afternoon, just uploaded all the files I had saved, sorry about that!


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 11:07 pm • # 2 
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Joined: 08/31/15
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Location: Coppell, TX
Welcome Blake; those are some nice fish you posted pictures of, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 12:30 pm • # 3 
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Welcome. Love the pics


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:16 pm • # 4 
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Joined: 11/23/14
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I don't post stuff, but sometimes I post a reply. Lots of good information on this site. Welcome aboard. -Philip


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:42 am • # 5 
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Joined: 02/14/17
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Location: Georgetown, Texas and Corpus Christi, Texas
Great fish. Welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 7:22 am • # 6 
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Hi!

Nice pics!


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:04 pm • # 7 
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Joined: 05/19/14
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Location: Delaware
Blake,

Very nice report, enjoyed reading it and beautiful photos too! Welcome and Thanks for sharing!

Enjoy and Be Safe!


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 6:32 am • # 8 
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Hey there again fellas! So a co-worker overheard me and a buddy I work with talking about fishing, and she ended up inviting us to her house to fish her 4-5 acre pond. So we went down yesterday after work to check it out. He was fishing spin gear, I was once again fishing the 4 wt 9 ft rod. Pretty early on he hooked into 2 crappie on a small spinner bait, and I literally flailed away for over 2 hours without a bite.... I tried poppers, and poppers with droppers, and small streamers, no luck what-so-ever.

Finally as the sun was getting ready to go down, I put on a size 8 chartreuse wooly bugger with rubber legs and a good bit of flash. Hooked into a small bass on the first cast, and then 3 crappie shortly after. Only took pics of the crappie because my phone was dieing, but I surely thought I was going to get skunked.... Also he never caught anything else on the spin gear, and he switched several more times, not sure if they weren't biting or what...

So since I'm still learning my question to you guys is this. When top-water poppers are doing nothing. What is your go-to? What do you choose when nothing else seems to be working? At some point I just get to the point and I decide that I'm putting something on and sticking with it for a while. What should be the go to at that point?


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 9:22 am • # 9 
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Joined: 02/14/17
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Location: Georgetown, Texas and Corpus Christi, Texas
Blake, nice fish and way to go for the fly fishing win!

When I fished 90 percent conventional, I used to say that the Norton Sand Eel in Salty Chicken (green and pink) was The. Best. Lure. Ever ... because that's what I caught 90 percent of my fish on. I caught 90 percent of my fish on it because that's what was on the end of my line 90 percent of the time.

I think the main advantage of fishing a lure or fly that you have confidence in is that you'll keep fishing it 'til you catch fish (or don't). You'll vary you retrieve, try different depths, etc.

All that said and to answer your question, my favorite go-to fly at the moment is a ruffed damselfly nymph. Small enough for the sunnies, big enough for the bass, and it can be fished a myriad of ways and depths.

The guy who created this particular pattern (Justin) also has a good sense of humor. And he's given me permission to post-up his video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YRaxlC_ow8


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 6:59 pm • # 10 
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Blake, my go to when I am not catching is a soft plastic. I buy 1.5 and 2 inch crappie tubes, generally cut them in half and attach them to a micro jig. I don't do anything fancy, after several years
of experimenting I've found that just attaching the sliced tube to the hook is all that is needed. Crappie, bass and blue gill all take them. Crappie in particular like them under a strike indicator
(float type) fished very very slow. I cut as much lead as I can off of the micro jig which makes this rig very castable with a fly rod; another key thing to make this castable is to cut the crappie tube in
half and sometimes I cut them in quarters for blue gill. Some times I will fish the sliced crappie tube with a bare hook...works too but of course doesn't get very deep.
My only disappointment is that carp don't take them readily.

Even with all that I do to make them light for casting, they are not as much fun to cast as a light fly.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:54 pm • # 11 
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Joined: 04/02/17
Posts: 219
Location: Colorado
I don't do any warm water fishing, so I really can't give any advice. Unless you use some light nymphs like a pheasant tail or prince nymph with just a small bit of lead tied in to get them below the surface over a weed bed or something.

But I will say, welcome to the forum, and I hope you get a lighter weight rod soon now that spring is here.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 8:09 pm • # 12 
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Joined: 02/14/17
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Location: Georgetown, Texas and Corpus Christi, Texas
A second thought: a size 8-12 beadhead wooly bugger in OLIVE will almost always catch something. If I could fish just one fly in freshwater that would be it. Kinda like the Clouser ... er ... Dupree spoon fly ... bendback minnow ... okay, still trying to find my *one* fly for salt.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 9:17 pm • # 13 
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Yeah, I find myself going to size 8-12 wooly buggers often if top water isn't hot... I find that I catch fish slower than when they are active on top. I love fishing small size 10 poppers though, love seeing fish hit those top water baits. However I have to find some alternatives as it seems I'm currently a 3 tricky pony.

Generally it goes like this.

1.) Small popper on top fished at various speeds
2.) Medium Popper with a dropper assuming smaller popper fails (This seems to work 50/50 as I use small sinking water spiders and sunfish love them unless they are inactive in 1-3 ft of water then this just is no good)
3.) When all else fails I switch over to 8-10 bead headed wooly bugger and retrieve at different rates and different depths (I have been skunked several times by this, but as others have said, the more the fly is in the water the better your chances) And here I tend to stay until I quit

Also as to going lighter I am torn on the 1 hand I want a 2 wt fly rod/reel combo, but on the other hand I am torn on getting a 6 wt. Here in the South I feel being able to throw bigger baits = bigger fish... 90% of the time it seems like bigger disturbances attract more attention from big bass. What are your thoughts guys? I'm a newbie and always looking to learn from vets.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 10:52 pm • # 14 
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Location: Georgetown, Texas and Corpus Christi, Texas
Blake, I'm a relative newbie (to ultralight and on this forum) myself, and I can tell you that you'll be surprised at how much fish a good 2 wt. or 3 wt. will handle (and if I were you, since you have a 4, I'd definitely go with a 2. More on that in a minute ...)

True enough big flies sometimes equal bigger fish, but you can throw "big enough" flies with an ultralight -- think a very lightly lead-wrapped bendback in size 4 or 6, or a beadchain clouser in the same size.

On that note -- and this is definitely the place to get good advice (maybe in a new thread) -- I've been throwing my CGR 2 wt (fiberglass) exclusively the last few weeks, but I'm about to switch back to my TFO Signature Series II 2 wt for a change of pace, and because I just love that rod paired with an Orvis Battenkill I reel. It's not a super fast rod, but definitely faster than the CGR and seems to handle larger flies better. Plus it's just a pleasure to fish.

My point with all of this is that you can pick up a TFO Signature Series 2 (6.5') for $124.95 on Amazon, and that Battenkill reel will set you back a C-note, or you can check eBay for an old Pflueger Progress or Martin MG-3 or something similar and spend $30 if you're lucky and timely.

Or you can wait 'til September and I'll have some dandy Blue Collar Flyworks 6-ft 2 weights and 7-ft 3 weights for about $95 each. ;-)

I've come to believe that about 95 percent of all fishing scenarios (and catchable fish) can be handled with one of three rods: a 2 or 3 wt, a 4 or 5, and a 7 or 8. Variations that matter after that are long (nymphing) or short (brushy creeks), slow (relaxing and better short casting) or fast (got wind?), etc.

I'm not even sure what a 6 wt is for, but that could be my own ignorance. Probably IS my own ignorance, I should say. ;-)


Last edited by TXH2Oman on Sat May 13, 2017 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 7:38 am • # 15 
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TXH2Oman, thanks for the reply! I'm most likely leaning more towards a 2 wt, for my next rod. I just enjoy the fight on lighter gear more. Thanks for the input! Unfortunately I'm not really sure what the difference feels like between slow/fast/medium action, as I've only ever casted my St. Croix 4 wt. I ended up picking it up off a friend several years ago, and have used it exclusively since. Like I mentioned earlier I'm planning on getting a watercraft next, as there is very limited bank fishing where I'm from and I'm having a difficult time locating streams here in Montgomery, that are wadeable(They have alligators :(

Where I was from I would do all day wade trips,(although I will admit I was bad to take my light weight spinning rod so wrong I know), and there were several smaller rivers around the house where most of the water was just waist deep and certain areas that were over your head, but they were very wadeable under normal conditions. Here I can't find anything like that. Everyone I talk to just fishes lakes/ponds, and the rivers are bigger to the point where you need a watercraft of some sort which leaves me leaning towards this
https://www.amazon.com/Sun-Dolphin-Mack ... foot+canoe

What do you guys use to get out on the water in your areas?


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 7:59 am • # 16 
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I have a Heritage featherlite 9 1/2' sit in Kayack. Not bad on ponds and smaller lakes, but found to be wanting on rivers.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 9:14 am • # 17 
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Blake, you can cast larger flys on UL rods with shooting heads, if you want to go in that direction. With my 2 wt rod and my shooting head I can easily cast a #8, with a 3 wt and shooting head a #6 and so
on. There are posts on this forum concerning this topic. Looking at Linecasters post would lead you to some good discussions if your interested.

Many of us on this forum own UL rods and heavier rods as well; personally, I have every weight from a 2 to an 8 but I fish the lighter rods way more. Many of us on this forum
seem to gravitate towards UL in whatever form of fishing we practice.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 9:27 am • # 18 
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Joined: 02/14/17
Posts: 380
Location: Georgetown, Texas and Corpus Christi, Texas
I have a very similar Old Towne canoe that I use when fishing with a buddy or taking the kids out. It's fine, and tough, and 14.5 ft. seems to be a good length.

Seems most of us, like MBarker who just posted above, fish out of kayaks if we're not wading or bank fishing. Once upon a time I was the paddlesports editor for Teas Sporting Journal and had the opportunity to test dozens of different kayaks at length.

For my money, the very best all-around boat -- short and agile enough for rivers, and tracks well enough for the flats -- is the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 (the 160 is my favorite dedicated saltwater boat, paddles like a dream ... I've never liked the 140 at all, for some reason).

If you decide to go that route, take a look at the Perception Pescador 12. It's the same boat -- same molds and same parent company -- as the Wilderness Systems 120. And it's about $300 cheaper (and Academy puts them on sale for $400 at least once a year) and comes with two rod holders. http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/percept ... t-on-kayak

There are other good boats out there, for sure. I haven't paddled *all* of them. Some other popular boats here in Texas include Native Watercraft canoe/kayak hybrids, some of the newer Jackson models, etc. If you can find a deal on CL for anything in good shape that floats and tracks decently, that's okay too!

If you want to try out a bunch of different stuff, and see the difference between various rod actions etc., come to our meet-up in Sept! (see the post under "Announcements/Events"). Probably be some kayaks and canoes there too. But of course that's at the *end* of the summer ....


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 1:26 pm • # 19 
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Two weight is perfect I have the CGR and the TFO Professional 8 foot two totally different rods the shorter CGR is glass and very limber slow action wheras the TFO is more medium action, a faster action would be a stiffer rod.
For a kayak I would agree with the above statement concerning thePescador Perfection Sport 12 from Academy's I purchased mine on sale for $320.an ideal large and small water craft.


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 Post subject: Re: New guy from AL
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 2:49 pm • # 20 
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Joined: 05/07/17
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Thanks for all the awesome info, I definitely have room to improve on my casting, I've watched youtube videos etc.. of course, and currently I can get ~ 50-60 feet with so/so accuracy with my 4 wt, but I am nothing to write home about for sure. I tend to find myself getting wind knots etc.. as well as caught in trees, cattails and small scrub bushes around the banks of ponds I fish.

Two things I cannot seem to grasp is roll casting, and the double haul for the life of me I just don't get it no matter how many videos I watch. I currently use a 4 WF line, and I tell ya I cannot roll cast to save my life... I've tried it with multiple flies small poppers, small streamers, dries, and it just doesn't seem to matter. I really wish some of you fellas were local to show me what I'm doing wrong lol....

Here are a few more I caught yesterday afternoon around dusk.
ImageImageImage


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