Bass + Beer = Friday Nite Fillets


Active Member
I went to the river just before sunset yesterday and packed my tube upstream for the usual float back to my rig. The river has dropped and places I had been hooking bass before were not producing. The river is still high for this time of year so it didn't take long to find some productive water. When I left I grabbed the only rod that was strung up-an old Powell Ultra 4wt. That was certainly a mistake as it lacked enough backbone on the hook set to engage the fish. Those river smallmouths are incredible powerful for their size and demand a little more respect than I was showing them with my 4wt. Next time out I will take a G Loomis IMX 6 wt and if that isn't enough I'll blow the dust off of my old Sage RPL III 8wt and show 'em who is really the boss. I am always amazed at how tough these things are on a fly rod. A near 20'' fish in the heavy current can give you a sound thrashing on a light rod.

I could have used my net too as the old grab the bass by the lip technique wasn't exactly bulletproof. The best fish of the evening-an18"+ slab-escaped just as I was reaching for it's lip. It was just so powerful and on the little rod it felt like I was pulling a pizza pan through the water sideways.

Fishing was steady but not spectacular until about 1/2 hour before take-out time. Then the all-you-can-eat crowd came out and things got crazy. Fish were moving into very shallow water and slashing at the fly almost up to boat. I caught some on a cone head Muddler and a rubber legged wooly bugger but far and away their favorite fare was anything that looked like a crawdad in a rusty orange color. I only kept 8 as that is plenty for a big meal and returned all of the dinks and the big ones to the water.

Now that I know the water a little better I will be able to go out without my tube and just walk and wade along the bank. Using studded boots I will be able to reach the fish with a moderate cast and never have to get in water above my knees. Imagine, running water and big fish just 10 minutes away and I have spent the last 10 years driving all over hell's half acre chasing trout!

This evening I'll dip the fillets in beer batter and fry in Crisco, fry up some hash browns, grill some corn on the cob and pop open some Moose Drool.

The weekend will be off to a great start.

I agree Ive smallmouth bass are awesome on a fly rod, I spent many a day growning up in North Cal catching them and they remain one of my favorite targets.
Damnit Ive, reading your posts always leaves me starving and drooling all over my keyboard!

I really need to learn where I can chase some bass and panfish.