Just what the doctor ordered….you bet, a couple of early hours on a late May morning, casting to hungry largemouth bass and bluegill was all it took to forget the stress of another ending of yet another school year. Kind of crazy how fast a fly rod and a few hungry fish can make you forget the woes of the past few months. It seems like a blur all the way back to early March when I lost my father and then the last 9 weeks of a busy school year; kids who don’t respect anything and school shootings…not a good combination for a high school teacher who just finished his 33rd year of teaching. The fish, they were very cooperative on the morning and in about two hours I was able to land a total of about 60 chunky bass and bluegill. Truly, there isn’t much more of an exciting adventure than to be sitting atop a float tube, casting a popper to the edge of cover….and waiting for an explosion, or maybe even a slurp or two. Either way, if you haven’t yet been out for a ‘spring-fling’, then what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite fly rod, a couple of poppers and get going.
As for me, sore shoulder at hand, I was using a 10 foot/7weight with floating line…thus allowing me to make long cast, very easily and saving wear and tear on the right shoulder (which I am hoping to ease along until next winter to have yet another bout of shoulder surgery). Personally I like a boogle-popper as these flies are large enough to warrant a hit from a big bass and yet small enough to allow the larger bluegill to also eat the fly. As I have said many times before…most people do too much with a popper. Try allowing all the rings to dissipate before moving the fly at all…watch for a bulge in the water below and then…get ready to set the hook. One note, I like to strip set as often as possible and if I miss the take, the fly hasn’t move too far and allows for a follow up strike. Also, if you do lift and miss, place the fly back down as fast as possible in the same spot as most times you will get a follow up take from the fish.
So, best of luck to you this spring…I hope you can grab your gear and get going. Try early and late and think about casting into the shade…then just be patient. If you have any questions…email or contact me through the contact portion at the bottom of this page.