Friday, April 6, 2018

That Time of Year Again

This spring has been particularly cold. The fish have been confused and so have the humans. We've finally had normal weather recently and I knew the white bass had to be in the river. Since I've had kids it has been harder to motivate myself to get out of bed at 5am to go fishing. I sit there awake running through all the things I could be doing besides fishing in my mind. Things needed done around the house, kids activities and just the idea of sitting around doing nothing is attractive. Once I'm on the water though the decision I've made is never regretted. I feel at home on the water and there's a sense of belonging. I've fished the white bass run long enough to figure the fish out.

On this day the fishing was tough. I only managed one but knew there were plenty more in the river. I ran into a guy I remembered seeing last year. The reason I remembered him is not many people fly fish this river and when you see another fly fisherman you usually end up chatting. I talk to bait fisherman to but sometimes you want to discuss things that only another fly fisherman can relate to. This guy had caught a ton of fish and said the trick was dragging the fly on the bottom. It's hard to do on this river without losing flies. The nice thing about white bass is if you get the fly in the strike zone they really aren't that picky. Anything that even remotely resembles a minnow they will hit. The fly I was using on this day was a bead headed clouser.
I use this fly when I want to fish the eddies near fast runs. I want something that will sink slowly and stay in the strike zone for a long time. When I want to get down deep I use the same fly pattern with dumbbell eyes. 

I say this every year and I'll say it again. White bass have a pull in the first 30 seconds of hooking that is hard to match. You never really know what size fish you have until after those 30 seconds. What you do know is that you have a battle on your hands and this fish is not going to come easy. It's what makes these fish irresistible to me and keeps me coming back every year. 


  1. Kevin
    Nothing like a good fight on the fly, what weight/length fly rod are you using? Thanks for sharing

    1. Bill I use a 5wt, 8.6 rod setup. It's perfect. Strong enough to keep the fish under control but not so strong that the fish has no chance to fight back.

  2. I've only fished for white bass once but it was unbelievably fun. Just remembering would get me out of bed.