Thursday, March 10, 2011

That Time I Bought a Fly Rod for Largemouth

Over the last few years, I've done more and more ultralight and light tackle fishing.  I love it.  I don't even blink at the prospect of working a 4lb largemouth on 2lb test mounted on a 5'0" spinning rod.  No worries, mon.  But there comes a time of year, I think they call it "July and August" when a lot of waters near me are just plain overfished, and the fish are well fed with all kinds of bugs.  Even 1/16 oz lures and in-line spinners start to spook bass.  But the bass will still bum rush a tiny yellow beetle on the surface.  Or wait for ants to fall out of the trees.  I done seen it with ma own eyes!

So last summer, I started throwing terrestrial flies from the spinning rod - a well known gateway drug to unhealthy habits like fly fishing - and while I didn't catch any big fish, I most certainly caught more fish than I would have.   After each catch, I would think, "I should pick up that fly rod again."  And then I would immediately think, "Only a dumbass would hike into this nasty spot, with these mountain laurels, and 7' tall reeds, and stumps in the water, and try to cast that 9 foot 2-weight."  End thought process.  And I should mention that I have caught fish - even trout - on my big fly rod, when I lived in the mountains of NC and VA for six and a half years.   Big difference - plenty of room to cast. 
So I started thinking over the fall and winter, "surely, there must be a way to fly fish in confined spaces."  And I did what only fools do: I started reading.   It occurred to me that within my miniscule budget for such things, only a few serious options were available.  One was the aptly named Cabela's "Tight Quarters Rod."  It was on sale, and I begged Cabela's to ship it (a 6' 5wt) to me for free, and now it's here.  It's probably not the most amazing rod for the job (and oh-my-God is it stiff!), but I don't care.  Hopefully it will allow me to extend my fishing season far into the hottest weather, and to land fish that have seen everything thrown at them.

Oh yeah.  It's gonna be ugly.  And that's what I do best.


Unknown said...

I'm going to check that out. I love fishing with light stuff! You get a better feeling of the fish on the end of your line. Also more fun as you have to work the fish a bit longer! Good luck!

Owl said...

I was almost...ALMOST literally LOL'ing. A link to your blog on - you haz one.

Nice blog!

Kirk Mantay said...

Ha ha. Glad you like it. If you ever see cheap flies hanging in the rhodos along the Pisgah (20' up in the rocks), you know I have been there.

I just want to catch more fish. This will help!

Jester said...

Not sure if I should show this to my fishaholic son.....we're trying to get him to get his grades up that when seriously down hill since last trout season. The only thing I can do to him is "suspend" fishing rights, but on the other hand I can appreciate how much his brain works when it comes to figuring out how to get more fish. He fishes year round in every kind of weather, I can't help but admire his dedication.

Kirk Mantay said...

Jester - I am looking forward to the same kind of "problems." Our little guy is not quite 18 months old and is too busy "running everywhere, all the time, full speed" to stand still and fish yet.

nate.mckenzie.aouc said...

You will like that little Fly Rod more and more as you use it. I use one here on the Tippecanoe and it's tributaries and it's PERFECT for going up some of these creeks. Sponge body waterspiders (Bream-getters) from Betts Bait Co are the ticket!

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