Archive for the Drum Category

April 21st, 2015: Dragging Bottom for Freshwater Drum

Its that time of year again… time to sample the Freshwater Drum population in your local creek or river.  Get yourself an appropriate sink tip or long leader and a couple weedless lead eyed Hammerhead Missouri Buggers/ roughdubs/ or HH sculpins and its on like donkey kong… I’m using a 16 ft fast sink tip, 6ft leader and lead eyed, weedless fly. Tap bottom till something taps back. Likely spots are around boulders, rock piles, gravel bottoms, heads and tails of pools, water outlets, and tail-waters.




2013 Grass Carp and Freshwater Drum Footage From the Master :)

I thought the Gopro would make shooting easier and it does, but getting edited product to youtube has been a night mare.  So while I work out the bugs, here’s a little footage to help you understand lower Missouri, and middle Mississippi river drainage prospects, and how to make the most of what you got.  The two flies in these videos are the “Black Ops” for the grass carp and weedless “Hammerhead Sculpins”, mostly in dark olive, for the drum.  Hopefully these videos give a little more insight into whats in your Midwestern back yard, and what It takes to catch these fish… I will be back soon with a follow up on my favorite fly of 2013….the weedless Hammerhead Sculpin.  A great choice for any big fish…from great lakes carp, to large and small mouth bass, to freshwater drum, trout, and even catfish.


and one more blast from the past…. Big shout out to my friend Geoff for reminding me the berries had been dropping for 3 weeks, and that I might want to go check the spot…I only got 1 day of a couple berries falling while I fished….the very last day of the drop! and that’s after no berries the year before due to low water.  Thanks buddy, I owe you one!

Missouri Goes Big : New Additions and Old Favorites…Part 1

Here’s a quick teaser for all you Great Lakes guys and general warm-water guys,  no particular order…more coming soon. Oh yeah, check out the
Great Lakes and all around freshwater Page too if your interested.



freshwater crayfish fly with wide body and extra eyes for rattle and size

Hammerhead Rough Dub Crayfish


Carp fly

Great Lakes Blind Squirrel


carp fly for the great lakes

Depth Charge


Hammerhead Depth Charge Carp fly freshwater fly fishing

Hammerhead Depth Charge


big backstabber fly for big game and big carp

Hammerhead Backstabber


awesome great lakes carp fly

Rabbit Charger Deep


big fat freshwater saltwater fly good for great lakes carp

HH Fatboy 2 Tone


freshwater saltwater fly carp in the great lakes

HH Rock Dartrer


Killer fly

Pink Mallard Meat


Carp fly for great lakes tied with mallard on stainless with rattle hammer head

Mallard Meat


Crayfish fly for carp and other freshwater species

Painted Puglisi Craw


Carp fly for Great lakes carp

HH Barred Reactor Bug


barred carp fly

Barred Bugger

October 25, 2012 : Drum on the Rocks

Rock n’ Roll

fly fishing caught drum glow in the dark fly in mouth



My 1992 edition of “The Fishes of Missouri” states that freshwater drum are the 2nd most abundant species in the lower Missouri River.  When considering species to target in the Missouri, Freshwater Drum and grass carp must considered two of  the best opportunities for a fly fishermen for several reasons.   Visibility is one.   Grass Carp are the obvious target when water is cloudy/muddy, as it usually is, because of their tendency to cruise just beneath the surface.  If you can’t find or see Grass Carp, your next best bet is to tie on something weedless and get to the bottom in 5-30ft of water in search of Drum…mainly around rocks or gravely area’s where the fish root around on the bottom and overturn rocks looking for insects, invertebrates, and bait fish.   The reason this works (in my opinion) is #1 this is where these fish feed, #2 fish are very sensitive to sound and a fly with eyes will tap tap tap as you drag bottom sending out a calling card to any fish in the area even if the fish have no chance in hell of “seeing” the fly visually.  As you drag bottom you will see and feel every rock as a “tap” both through your line and in the rod tip.  Watch your tip as you slow strip…. feel the tap tap tap and watch the twitch twitch twitch of the tip as you slowly strip you fly, pause, tap tap tap.  Drum will almost always hit in the pause between strips and it looks and feels exactly like when you tap a rock, only your not moving your fly so…. FISH ON! Set the hook and find out what sort of little, or big, monster you got!   What makes this exciting to me is the possibility of something bigger than big, ie. a Flathead or a Blue cat.  Be prepared to lose flies…an average day will see anywhere from 2-6 flies lost to the bottom.  Search out areas where your cast is down current in a moderate flow.  Eddies can swirl and cause all sorts of trouble for you but these are prime areas providing a feeding ground for many species, find a way to cast that you can get the depth you need but your line won’t be getting swung or dragged over or into the rocks or you will be frustrated quickly.  A “straight” line with minimal swing is always best…casting upstream in slow current can sometimes work but you will lose 2x the # of flies, as your line and fly will be pushed into the rocks and you will lose at least your fly if not the end of your line.