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“The Best Bass Flies – How to Tie and Fish Them” Jay Zimmerman – Book Review

| December 14, 2017

How to Tie Bass Flies That Work

Best Bass Flies by Shannon Drawe Photography

The new fly tying book, “The Best Bass Flies – How to Tie and Fish Them,” by Jay Zimmerman, is a great introduction to tying flies, and learning techniques for catching our dominant southern species – the largemouth bass.

One of the first questions Texas fly fishers typically get is, “You can fly fish for bass?”

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The answer is always “yes,” and many conventional tackle fishers probably have little idea how much time Texas fly fishers actually spend pursuing bass on the fly. To pursue a bass on a fly rod may seem like bringing a knife to a gunfight, but from the fly line, to the rod to the fly, the US fly fishing industry has heard the cash registers ring, and developed fast action 7’11” bass fly rods, fly lines, leaders and flies to more easily target our abundant warm water bass.

Once a fly tier and fly fisher gives in to the truth that a conventional fisher will out-fish them on a consistent basis, it’s up to the fly tier to adapt his fly tying materials and patterns to flies that often look and act like hard baits, frogs, soft plastics and whatever else he sees working in the conventional fishing world of his own waters.

Along with the conventional categories comes the conventional use for flies, including topwater, suspending and deep flies. These patterns are created using what most fly tiers call “recipes” that include all the materials used in creating the fly. The flies illustrated in “The Best Bass Flies” does a great job of representing each category without burying the fly tier in the dozens of variations and different flies in each category.

This book does a great service to beginning bass fly tiers by emphasizing the need for tough flies that will take abuse, and the photography of the different fly tying steps are very easy to follow. The range of difficulty in tying moves pretty quickly from simple to complex.

Just as important as the fly, a fly fisher has to adopt the hard driving techniques employed by conventional bass fishermen. The how to “Fish Them” part of this book is what gives a new bass fly fisher a good start at recognizing and fishing the rough-and-tumble habitat notorious for holding big Texas bass.

In a day-and-age where most of the fundamentals of fly tying and fly fishing are found on YouTube internet videos, it is always reassuring to have a hard copy, once called books, of fly tying recipes that sit on a page without having to be paused or rewound again and again. Zimmerman also does a good job of weaving in some storytelling that keeps the reader interested.

“The Best Bass Flies” is a great beginning book that covers the bases. If you have never tied a fly before, there’s plenty of information about the tools and materials needed for fly tying. In addition, you will learn fly patterns and techniques fishing your fresh flies. This book is certain to get a lot of use by someone wanting to tie the flies and learn the techniques needed to catch bass on a fly rod.

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Monday Morning Sidewalk – Bass O Matic

| November 13, 2017

Bass on Fly Rod

Good Monday Morning, or what’s left of it! This could be a week for the memoir after another weekend to forget! A book review pressing down on me – guess I should be different and actually read the book. This one’s right up our alley, “The Best Bass Flies,” subtitled, “How to Tie and Fish Them.”

It’s funny, I threw my box at them last week on Lewisville Lake, and what worked in the end, and worked quite well? The last fly I tied on was a Black / Black Clouser on a circle jig hook. I found some very good structure around a high pressure cove, and picked off four there, before heading back over to the old dam riprap I had just covered with a different fly – and put the hit on fish there as well. IT WAS the fly. And, if YOU are fly fishing for bass right now, and everything’s right, but everything’s wrong; try a super-slow retrieve to go with an impressionistic fly.

One nice thing about Lewisville Lake is that you can find cover from our prevailing winds this time of year – those would be the NORTH or SOUTH winds. This lake may provide cover, but it feels  like the bigger bass have departed. I can’t wait to challenge them this spring.

I have some feelers out for new stories to work this off-season, but am not hearing back from my primary contacts at the moment. Seems like everyone is busy these days, these weekdays anyway. What’s up with that? I am looking for anyone who would be interested (not magazine story related) in a day trip to the Blue River this week, or maybe a meetup in BendBow. Just let me know.

Well, it’s on to a pending welding project, a pending website build and post production on images for a band and that website build. Throw in a new product I am creating for the skiff crowd – doing a “Go Fund Me” for that one – and this week was over when it began.

Enough said, let me know what YOU are doing and where you are catching these days. If you say, “PK below the dam,” I would say, “You must live closer than I do!” I may make it out that terribly long way once the TPWD starts feeding the striper some fresh trout, but until then … have at it.

 

Friday Fly Fishing Report Texas Oklahoma

| November 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

Texas Fly Fishing Report GRTU Oklahoma TPWD Stocked Rainbow Trout

Good Friday, a First Friday in fact, to all of you. It’s a strange day. I was at a nearby boat ramp waiting for the sun to come up, but it never did … well, it did, but the talking weather heads had it all wrong once again – overcast, north wind at ten and fog. The prop never got wet. I was prepared for the predicted sunny 90-degree day, south wind at zero – what was supposed to be another record heat day for North Texas November. It didn’t help to get a text while sitting there waiting for the sun, telling me of the passing of a new and near friend overnight – from cancer. It just seemed to get colder and darker sitting there at the boat ramp. The weather reflects the mood today. READ MORE FREE — Continue Reading

Coal Burns Out in Texas Water Wednesday

| October 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Dominoes Begin To Fall In Texas

It may be a brand new day for the Texas environment, and we actually lived to see it happen. Taking three of Texas’ coal powered electricity generating plants offline means cleaner skies for Texas, less fallout in our water and healthier fish.

I have quietly railed against coal for several years now, and do believe that one of the great (maybe history will say the only great) things we will be left with from Obama’s years is – HIS positive impact on the environment, on our environment.

The closing of these plants will cost jobs, just as the horse stables and buggy whip makers lost their jobs with the coming of the horseless carriage. Families will be effected by this, and we cannot underestimate their insecurity and instability in this era of endemic underemployment, insanely low wages and people’s seeming inability to relocate to where jobs really are these days.

However, we rejoice at the idea of cleaner land, water and air – brought about by the huge growth in Texas wind power and natural gas. Texas is number one in the Nation when it comes to wind power, and we got there pretty darn quickly. Now, wind moves up in the percentage of power it supplies, and natural gas is the king of all power supplied in Texas (Yes, T. Boone, there is a Santa Claus).

The plants that are closing are:

  • Monticello
  • Big Brown
  • Sandow

Luminant still has a couple more plants open, and they are:

  • Oak Grove
  • Martin Lake

Closing the above three plants will cut 10-percent of Texas power plant’s carbon dioxide emissions, which amounts to 26-million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Coal has been on a downward trend since 2010 – more than half of the US’s coal powered plants have announced their “retirements” in this decade. In case you’re wondering. That’s a GOOD THING. Let us all just hope that President Trump doesn’t do anything else stupid – to prop up coal power, and just leaves coal as another of his empty promises, this one best left empty. Continue Reading

Texas Fly Fishing Report

| September 8, 2017 | 0 Comments