Big Mouth Bass


During the winter months, I fish through memories of warmer weather flyfishing. Photos taken over the years helps recreate the fishing trips.

This is a scaled down version of a LMB program I once provided for fly clubs. 99 percent of the photos were taken not far from my home in the Mid-Willamette Valley... and they are old. We haven't used round "donut" tubes since the first SuperCat pontoon boats came on the market.

I was thinking about the current state of bass fishing in the Willamette Valley and how the numbers of bass and warm water species of fish has declined. We only fish in lakes and sloughs where trout can't survive so the non-native warm water fish provide us with some fishing action when there would normally be none.

The vast majority of the waters we fish are on farm ponds, lakes and sloughs where the warm water species were introduced. Something is happening and it isn't good for the fish. If the fishery can't sustain a tough fish such as bass and the like, this does not bode well for the trout fisheries in The Valley.

I have a theory and that's all it is. The lakes and ponds we fish are surrounded by farm and grazing lands. Those lands are continually subjected to chemicals for increasing crop yield or killing off bugs.
It seems to me that over the years, those chemicals must eventually end up in The Valley lakes and rivers. It's possible those chemicals are not good for the fish... warm water and otherwise.

Some of the fish shown in this clip are quite large but we no longer catch the number nor the size of bass we did a few decades ago. It's a shame, really. Bass fishing provided us with close and fun flyfishing action where none would exist if it wasn't for the bass. It appears we may be losing that option.

Anyway... some old shots (fishing from round tubes) and a few new shots (fishing from pontoon boats).


Eric B

Montana hillbilly
Nicely done. The soundtrack scared me at first, but it got better with the later songs:p. It does look like the earlier pics had bigger fish. You are probably onto something with the chemicals & pesticides affecting the fish. Pretty sad if it is true.

I'm impressed with the size of those bass on the fly rod. I have yet to get any large mouth that big on the fly. I especially liked the pic of the popper that was inhaled! Thanks for posting.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Ah, brought back great memories, Gene. It has tailed-off a bit here, too but primarily because milfoil has clogged many of the great shallow-water fisheries off the Columbia. The only pics missing were those of someone making their maiden entry into a round float tube, lol. I liked the musical score, too (tho I anticipated seeing Andy & Opie in a couple shots . . .).


Active Member
Thanks Gene, very nice! Brings back some memories. I left the PNW for about 10y for a job in Arkansas. Our choices there were fishing the tailwaters for trout, or fishing everywhere else for bass. Bass on a fly rod is a great experience that all fly fishers should experience at some point.


As long as the bass are not damaging a trout fishery, I see no reason not to fish for them.
As you said, Dave, they are a blast when using poppers... our primary technique of choice.