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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By Cuervo Jones
#2255056
Crazy timing, Karst. A buddy of mine in Montana just emailed with a report from a local lake that’s got portions open and ice-free. The rainbows are all over his homebrew jigs.
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Leeches and buggers tied in the same colors and bounced along the bottom should work with identical results.


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By karstopo
#2255061
I plan on doing an experiment. I sent my wife and daughter to hobbit lob it for some pins so I can make some balanced leeches, glorified woolly buggers, maybe even a new and improved tungsten shrimp. That podcast got me a little fired up.

But I’m considering the balanced leech thing could be a little or a lot hyped up. I’m not sure they would perform any different than a normal pattern on the strip, swing or fall. I can see the idea that under an indicator the balanced leech potentially being better.

I’ve caught rainbow and brown trout on silicone panfish jigs. Somehow, I once ended up with a sole box of mostly panfish jigs and spinners and one bugger on a trip to the Navajo a few years ago. No fly store for miles around and I soon lost the bugger. I had no rod other than my 4/5 CGR so I tossed white and black and pearl panfish jigs at the fish. It’s not like I cleaned up, but I still caught a decent amount on those jigs.

I’ve never really fished much in pressured trout water. The private water stretch of the Navajo we fished might get fished two or three times a year. Seems like any fish, trout, bass, whatever, in non pressured water are a lot less selective or picky about patterns and presentation. The lake I live on doesn’t get hammered by fishermen either. Almost everyone that does fish it are pluggers, plastic worm or jig flippers. My buggers, muddler minnows, deer hair divers or whatever have to present a different look to the fish than what everyone else is tossing.

Maybe fish getting poked and jerked around enough after biting such and such they eventually catch on. Maybe that accounts some for the fad fly or lure of the moment that tears them up until it no longer does. Like the old great patterns that Cuervo recently tied. They once accounted for massive fish and got great notoriety, then they sort of fly under the radar. What changed?
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By Ron Mc
#2255409
this fly has been a bugger to photograph, but I've talked about it and wanted to show it to you.
Walking on the beach it's hard to miss the little crabs running sideways and threatening you with their big claw.
I set out to duplicate that. Fished over bare sand - sight fishing way back in the lakes.
If this fly looks a little ratty, it's been in my salt fly box 20 years. The reason I haven't tied more is I don't like chunking this much weight - but it's no more weight than those of you who toss lead eyes.

It also sight-fished my biggest fly rod black drum - 25" 15+ lbs - if you've ever stood over a black drum this size in skinny water, and half his tall back out of the water, it's intimidating and he's considered the genius of the flats. Both this drum and several reds saw me, tried to ignore the fly, shuttered, came back, grabbed the fly and ran.
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Lighting also can't show the transparency of the epoxy, and the color is wrong.

It begins with burning a big mono U for the eyes - 40-lb leader butt.
The big claw in the rear is a pinch of wool (orange back then) with two small hen hackles (they were olive back then). Two smaller hen hackles go on the front.
Loosely spin olive bucktail, trim out, epoxy for basic shape. Trim again and epoxy for final.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Ron Mc
#2255411
since you guys are onto fishing meaty flies for trout, this is a black tungsten-head cats whisker
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the basic pattern, tied with a tungsten head to ride hook-down
krystal flash accent, tail is marabou, body chenille, wing arctic fox
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you fish this on the swing, but tie an 18" piece of tippet using a clinch knot to the hook bend
and drop a size 18 or 20 pattern that imitates a swimming BWO (or size 16/18 wet for swimming caddis)
this swimming BWO is a size 18 scud hook, XS copper bead, two pheasant tail fibers, twisted flashabou, and sparse fur collar
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the rod, btw, was built by my buddy Floyd Burkett of Universal City, 7'10" para 5-wt, and named the Guadalupe, just for this activity - it's my go-to rod for this kind of hardware.
and fwiw, rainbows are not native to Montana, either - they're only native to the Pacific coast.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
By Kayak Kid
#2255418
Darn, Ron, that's one beautiful photo of the rainbow in the landing net. But, why did you have to denigrate it by including that ugly old wooden fly rod?
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2255419
I gotta plug my buddy Floyd
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Kayak Kid wrote:Darn, Ron, that's one beautiful photo of the rainbow in the landing net. But, why did you have to denigrate it by including that ugly old wooden fly rod?

only way to get a photo like that is to take a lot of photos, which in this case means catching a lot of fish.
I swear, like all the others, I got the photo in 3 seconds - practice (rotate and crop later).
and thanks, he is a particularly handsome fellow that settled in a nice run.

ps - I sold the 1917 St. George to buy my Tarpon (new) - for the same price (and bought it unopposed on ebay for half that - and still got to fish it 4 years).
By Kayak Kid
#2255470
Those bamboo rods make my mouth water. There's just something about them. Hard to explain.

I got kidded a lot because I hunted for the last eight years of my hunting years with nothing but black powder muzzle loaders, mostly flints. Always dressed in coon skin hat, and moccasins. The camp never was without venison to eat when I was on sight brag, brag, brag.

Eccentric old man? Perhaps. But, I do feel sometime that I was definitely born about a hundred years too late. The bamboo rods...,no longer..., affordable, kinda fit into that whole scenario.
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By Ron Mc
#2255489
Kayak Kid wrote:Those bamboo rods make my mouth water. There's just something about them. Hard to explain.

I got kidded a lot because I hunted for the last eight years of my hunting years with nothing but black powder muzzle loaders, mostly flints...[/i][/u]

They're also wonderful to fish - in equivalent modulus, cane ends up being between glass and graphite - about equivalent to S-glass.
A couple of more Floyd rod photos. He makes everything 100% from butt to tip-top - has a die he tooled for making his own snake guides. In addition to a custom reel-seat from mesquite to fit antique reels, also makes a mesquite hex rod tube.
Image all this nickel-silver has a beautiful light gold patina after almost 9 years in the river.
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My firearms are all Italian replicas - 1871 baby rolling block, 1873, 1885 falling block, but better save those for another forum page...
here you go - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=246157

also, as I mentioned about glass rods when ii came up on the Reports page, you don't have to spend $1000 to get a good cane rod. Here's one I sold last year to Lance on this forum, though I searched my listing on Corpus forum, because it was easier to find. http://www.corpusfishing.com/messageboa ... highlight=
The place to watch for cane rods is here - http://classicflyrodforum.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=97
For your kind of mountain trout fishing, keep your eyes peeled for a Dennis Stone rod -a Cascade or Thomas Light Special - I've seen some crazy good buys on re-sale of his rods there (though, it wouldn't be mine - I'll never part with the TLS Dennis built for me).

This is the rod I sold to Lance, and keeping this fly related, that's a rust-colored bead-chain cats whisker in her mouth- Pedernales headwaters, big fish live there
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Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
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By Ron Mc
#2255495
back to the trout on meaty flies topic.
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You can use your white-bass bottom bouncing technique with a sinking fly line and a bead-chain cats whisker in the right water to catch trout all day.
Just like white bass (and specs), they will follow a bottom-bounced lure, pick at it several times, and finally eat it.
Like white bass ( and flounder), trout will pick up a slow-crawled retrieve off the bottom - most often they'll pick it up at rest.

All the deep-slow water in the Guadalupe I fish this way.
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ImageFloyd rod again
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By karstopo
#2255720
Went a little nuts at the vise today. Balanced leeches, woolly Buggers, Crappie Jigs, and lesser Scaup Streamers. All size 4 hooks, 90 degree jig or streamer. Image

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By NativeSon
#2255857
KK,
You don't have to spend an arm & a leg for a bamboo rod (of course, you can...).
I just rec'd my first bamboos, a 5/6 & a 8 wt Heddons.
No, they're not museum quality, but appear perfectly fishable, no cutdown sections, nice revarnish.
Spend ~$130 for one, ~$150 for the other, both off ebay.
Just took a little patience until I found what I liked, and could afford.
Can't wait to try them!

Karst,
Nice looking flies. Specially like the Scaups.
Did you harvest them yourself?
Although I tie mostly with synthetics, I keep telling myself I'm gonna tie more with naturals.
Why, don't know, maybe it's like the black powder/bamboo thing?

Made it to the Texas Flyfishers Fly-tying Festival this weekend, after missing it a couple of years.
Brought a work buddy who is just getting into tying, he also had a blast.
If you haven't gone, I would recommend doing so going forward.
User avatar
By karstopo
#2255858
NativeSon wrote:KK,
You don't have to spend an arm & a leg for a bamboo rod (of course, you can...).
I just rec'd my first bamboos, a 5/6 & a 8 wt Heddons.
No, they're not museum quality, but appear perfectly fishable, no cutdown sections, nice revarnish.
Spend ~$130 for one, ~$150 for the other, both off ebay.
Just took a little patience until I found what I liked, and could afford.
Can't wait to try them!

Karst,
Nice looking flies. Specially like the Scaups.
Did you harvest them yourself?
Although I tie mostly with synthetics, I keep telling myself I'm gonna tie more with naturals.
Why, don't know, maybe it's like the black powder/bamboo thing?

Made it to the Texas Flyfishers Fly-tying Festival this weekend, after missing it a couple of years.
Brought a work buddy who is just getting into tying, he also had a blast.
If you haven't gone, I would recommend doing so going forward.


The duck came from one of my daughter’s friends whose a big duck hunter. The Scaup was a young bird and I just pulled out a bunch of back feathers because I liked the look. I need to get more ducks from him. He brought me a wood duck skin the other day that was already frozen. It’s still in the freezer.

I tested the scaup fly. I need to better secure the scaup feathers towards the hook eye, but I have an idea about that. The scaup feathers are a little prone to fouling, but otherwise I liked the pattern. I tested a balanced leech and fished it on the strip and pause like a bugger, one of the white ones. That got me three LMB off the dock in short order so I’ll say it’s a keeper.
User avatar
By NativeSon
#2255925
I hunted waterfowl as a young man.
Afterward, I took care of a large waterfowl collection for two decades.
Man, they produce some incredible feathers.
You should get some great ones, and flies, from that Woody.
One of my favorite ducks, hard to believe any one animal can be that handsome, they don't seem real!
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By NativeSon
#2255926
BTW, at the festival, someone relayed to me that his friend recently came across and bought a beautiful Leonard bamboo fly rod at a gun show, for $75. Lucky dog!
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By karstopo
#2256067
I really like the bronze back turkey feathers. Looks like I might be getting to a place soon that wild turkeys roost. Usually, there’s enough on the ground to satisfy me.

Those feathers have great marabou and one feather makes a good crawfish with different parts making the claws, tail, back, mouth and head. I’ve used the marabou on woolly buggers, too. That color would probably be a good crab.

I like the natural feathers more in freshwater. Some of the salty fish are hard on natural fibers and feathers. I tried a couple of woolly buggers out on the redfish late last year and got 2 fish on one and one fish on the other before the hackle wrap came unwound. I guess I could reinforce the hackle wrap with some thread over it, but it’s never been an issue in freshwater. Woolly buggers aren’t very enticing to redfish anyway. I got way more refusals that takes. Once I switched over to a redfish crack and later a Shrimp Fly, there was way better action.
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By NativeSon
#2256091
Those turkey feathers sound great. Post some pics when you tie with them.
I agree totally on naturals in the salt. Even bucktail seems to get shredded pretty easily.
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By Ron Mc
#2256113
it's probably time to start up a separate cane rod thread, but I fish cane-only for trout, some cane, but mostly glass for hill country warmwater.
I worked out rod MOC length/line-weight and taper priorities a long time ago. I also figured why get suckered into the latest-and-greatest marketing gimmick when you can spend a lot less, fish and invest in vintage tackle.
My vintage cane rods include Heddons, Leonard, FE Thomas, and have owned, fished and sold some very fine South Bends and H-I Tonkas. The two oldest cane rods I fish are c. 1915 and 1918.
My date-marked Thomas Special just turned officially antique this year.
I sold a wonderful 7-1/2' 2/2 5-wt. Farlow Armourcane, made from the same impregnated blank as Leonard Duracane, on this board a few years ago for $300 and change. If it had different ferrules and was marked Leonard, it would have been a $1250 rod. If I didn't have the niche so full of excellent venerable glass rods, wouldn't have sold that one.
Both my prewar Heddon 2f and Thomas Special fished on tv - the episode of Trout Unlimited On the Rise filmed in the Guadalupe tailwater.
Image(and my Floyd rod fished on KT Diaries while KT was fishing my glass SA System 5 for endemic bass)
If you search the topic, you'll find I've contributed pages to the forum on how to find a good, affordable and worthwhile cane fly rod. The point? If I offer advice on a rod, the advice is worth more than it cost.
Kayak Kid has seen my fish/rod photos for a dozen years now. The curious part is over a dozen years he hasn't broken down and bought himself one.

Heddon #14 8' 1-3/4f - the grip style dates the rod to 1949 (in all seriousness, this was a peckerhead grip in the '49 catalog)
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but Floyd's work is still worth hawking. A Floyd rod is a Texas jewel, designed for fishing Texas. Building cane rods is a labor of love, and at $1000/ he's working beneath minimum wage. Didn't cost me that, though, he offered to build the rod for me in trade for a $500 reel he wanted.
Good rod builders don't just build new rods, they restore old ones. In addition to Floyd in Universal City, my other good rod building buddies include Rob Sherill in Dallas, Dennis Stone and Dwight Lyons in Grants Pass, OR, and Michael Sinclair.
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By karstopo
#2256156
I’m going to have to try a Boo rod. Since I like Glass I probably would like Grass. Seems like there are some bamboo models that aren’t too hard on the wallet.

That Floyd rod looks nice.

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I’m really liking the balanced Leech. It’s somewhat like a long Woolly Bugger in looks, but doesn’t swim like one at all. By having the weight, in mine I’m using 1/8” or 5/32” tungsten, well forward of the hook eye, the pattern doesn’t rise up so much on the strip like a bead head bugger does. It wants to stay pretty close to horizontal with a tendency to ride slightly nose down.

It definitely presents a different look to the fish. I’ve tried the white one, that one the bass liked. The rusty brown one also the bass liked. I tried the black marabou tail, olive dubbing and that produced bass, a redear and a couple of Crappie to hand, I missed a few more Crappie. I lost the rusty brown one and a white one. Going to try and tie up some more today. We are doing a Jon boat LMB trip tomorrow and I need some more ammo.

I tried a sea green dubbing with the grizzly hackle tail and so far it’s been a dud. I haven’t tried any under an indicator which is how I’ve read they are often fished out on western Stillwaters for bigger trout.

No catfish on these leeches and only two sunfish. The woolly bugger seems more attractive to catfish and sunfish. But I’d say the balanced leech has the edge over buggers with bass and Crappie. I think I need a bigger sample size to confirm.


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By Ron Mc
#2256158
Nice crappie there - good eats.
I've caught plenty on my little whistler fished with a teeny line.
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Also tie this in other colors, tan/mustard. yelow/white
Blue on blue, blue/white - blue is the best color for night fishing, and is actually the only color fish see - all the other colors they see are shades of monochrome, but blue is a distinct color for them.
Used to camp on a sailboat in coves on Lake Travis and catch crappie like crazy at night. It also didn't matter where - the boat would always bring up crappie at night - easy fishing, too - just let it sink and slowly walk the length of the hull - it's like cheating.
So if you're ever planning night fishing for crappie or white bass, add blues to your arsenal.
By Kayak Kid
#2256166
I have enjoyed, vicariously, for many years, the photos of Ron Mc's fly rods. I've never purchased a bamboo rod because early on I began to build my own rods, and the enjoyment of using them is much too difficult to give up. No way I could ever build a bamboo rod, so, owning one has not really been one of my priorities.

Yet, I do appreciate so much about them. I suppose it's analogous to appreciating beautiful women, but not willing to give up your present magnificent wife to marry any of them.
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By Ron Mc
#2256227
Dennis (DR) Stone sells real nice cane blanks for you to finish out.
You can always hint birthday Christmas around your wife and leave DR Stone Rods website up on your computer
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By karstopo
#2256239
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These Crappie are really digging the balanced leech. I fished off the dock at lunch and tossed a 1/8” tungsten bead black marabou tail, olive dub body at one spot in 2-4 feet of water and got 5 nice fat Crappie. I’m not fishing an indicator, but letting the jig fall with slow strips to keep it just above the bottom.


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By kickingback
#2256270
karstopo wrote:ImageImage

These Crappie are really digging the balanced leech. I fished off the dock at lunch and tossed a 1/8” tungsten bead black marabou tail, olive dub body at one spot in 2-4 feet of water and got 5 nice fat Crappie. I’m not fishing an indicator, but letting the jig fall with slow strips to keep it just above the bottom.


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Awesome catching!!
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