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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 7:16 pm • # 1 
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Earlier this year, I sadly snapped my Echo Dry 9' 2wt and learned it was out of production and could not be replaced. Instead, I applied the warranty towards an Echo Shadow II 10' 2wt. Since then the new rod has gone largely unused, and I briefly debated putting it up for sale.

That changed the past week, however, as I decided to try my hand at high stick nymphing for local Sunfish. The results have been excellent as I've landed eight species of Lepomis as well as a possible ninth (though it is likely a hybrid). The sensitivity of the rod is amazing and has played a significant role in catching a number of the smaller species. While I look forward to using this rod on a trout stream in the near future, it's nice to know it can serve a purpose closer to home as well.

In any case, on to the photos!

Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
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Redear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus)
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Redspotted Sunfish (Lepomis miniatus)
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Warmouth (Lepomis gulosus)
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Longear Sunfish (Lepomis megalotis)
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Dollar Sunfish (Lepomis marginatus)
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Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)
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Orangespotted Sunfish (Lepomis humilis)
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Bantam Sunfish - hybrid? (Lepomis symmetricus x L.gulosus??)
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 7:28 pm • # 2 
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Truly Awesome pictures of the sunfish family…Thanks for sharing! :applause


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 7:28 pm • # 3 
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Amazing diversity! Looks like that rod, and your technique is a keeper.
brent


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2021 11:31 pm • # 4 
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Thanks for the post, beautiful pictures; what a variety.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 9:34 am • # 5 
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Man those are some beautiful little fish.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 4:07 pm • # 6 
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Looks like a fun day! The colors on those fish are amazing!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 5:23 pm • # 7 
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Dazzling array of sunnies!

That last one, the Bantam-esque specimen seems to be defying a lot of experts and aficionados on the web. I figured the guys at RF would have taken a shot at it being the dedicated ID and lifelisters that they are, but none so far. Try NANFA? They're pretty keen on ID, even on smaller fish.

Gotta agree with you on the highstickin' thing and finessing sunnies. Flyrods have the perfect balance and fulcrum options for such methods, just scooch the hand up or down the cork a bit and find the proper place and angle. Sensitivity follows nicely for tactile or visual detection.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 6:57 pm • # 8 
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Thanks guys!

knotjoe wrote:
Dazzling array of sunnies!

That last one, the Bantam-esque specimen seems to be defying a lot of experts and aficionados on the web. I figured the guys at RF would have taken a shot at it being the dedicated ID and lifelisters that they are, but none so far. Try NANFA? They're pretty keen on ID, even on smaller fish.

Gotta agree with you on the highstickin' thing and finessing sunnies. Flyrods have the perfect balance and fulcrum options for such methods, just scooch the hand up or down the cork a bit and find the proper place and angle. Sensitivity follows nicely for tactile or visual detection.


Haha. While I do blame my poor photo for most of the bafflement, I have to admit I've been fairly amazed by the array of proposed IDs that I've received. At last count, Bantam or Bantam-Warmouth hybrid were in the lead by a wide margin. However, aberrant juvenile redspotted, aberrant juvenile warmouth, female orangespotted and an additional half dozen different hybrid combinations have been pitched. At this point, I'm simply leaning Bantam-Warmouth as the guy who runs the Koaw.org sunfish identification page presented a sound argument for that combo.

As it stands, Bantam or Bantam-hybrid means I will have the requisite 9 of 16 eligible species necessary for completion of the FFI Gulf Coast Council's Suncatch Challenge. I've submitted the picture to those running the contest, and will let them make the final decision on an ID. Given I had only submitted 4 of the 9 prior to the start of August, it has been a productive week and a half.

As for the rod, I'm loving the sensitivity. It's actually so sensitive that I can feel the vibrations from a dragonfly landing on it. Really looking forward to testing it out on trout as well.

Chris


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2021 3:05 pm • # 9 
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Chris_in_Louisiana wrote:
At this point, I'm simply leaning Bantam-Warmouth as the guy who runs the Koaw.org sunfish identification page presented a sound argument for that combo.
Chris


Such irony. :)

I was just at that site a few days ago admiring the Sunfish ID resources. Cheat sheet is pretty cool as well as the individual specie pages. For anyone feeling compelled to ID sunnies, bookmark the link below and explore. You simply click on the pics in "Browse by Species" or click the step pictures in "Learn How to Identify Your Fish" and go from there.

https://www.koaw.org/sunfishes


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2021 5:40 pm • # 10 
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It's easy to identify. I could tell you what it is, but then I'd have to kill you.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2021 8:25 am • # 11 
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knotjoe wrote:

I was just at that site a few days ago admiring the Sunfish ID resources.

https://www.koaw.org/sunfishes


I stumbled across it while trying to ID the Bantom/Bantom-hybrid. Wish I had known about it prior. I would have known what I was looking for. And probably could have gotten more conclusive photos of those characteristics.

Cliff Hilbert wrote:
It's easy to identify. I could tell you what it is, but then I'd have to kill you.


I'd take you up on it, but then I wouldn't be able to brag about my small fish catching prowess anymore.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2021 8:38 am • # 12 
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Chris, without even getting into genetics and icthyology, it's hard for me to get my head around the concept of high-sticking for sunfish. It's a method usually associated with fishing nymphs or wet flies in trout streams. So to begin with, were you catching those sunfish in streams or still water? Please explain more.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2021 9:41 am • # 13 
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PampasPete wrote:
Chris, without even getting into genetics and icthyology, it's hard for me to get my head around the concept of high-sticking for sunfish. It's a method usually associated with fishing nymphs or wet flies in trout streams. So to begin with, were you catching those sunfish in streams or still water? Please explain more.


High sticking may be a slight misnomer, but was the best way to describe how I was fishing. I took a 10' euronymph rod, set it up with a mono rig (fly line never left my rod tip) and swung small nymphs (#16-24) through a variety of slow moving streams and stillwater locales. Usually this setup included an anchor fly with a smaller unweighted dropper nymph or soft hackle above.

The sensitivity of the rod combined with the mono rig allowed me to detect the light taps from the smaller Lepomis in a way I generally cannot when fishing other light fly rods.

Chris


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