Archive for the Drum Category

The End of 2012….



Time really got away from me this year.   Time is a funny thing.   I wake early and fish till dark,  the time rushing bye almost in the blink of an eye. More time is what I need and yet there is never enough.  All the things I wanted to do and learn, and somehow, its too much.  Beyond my reach.  2012?  The fishing year is almost at an end for me.  In 9 days I take to the roof tops once again to hang Christmas lights in the west St. Louis area.  Fishing will not resume until mid December.  If I can stand the weather I will have a couple prime opportunities, maybe.  There are a couple power plant discharges around…for the hybrids on both the Missouri and the Mississippi.   And of course blue cats are supposed to be just as active in the winter as they are in warm water….I’ve gone all year  and not caught a blue catfish!  Today was lucky for me…

blue catfish caught on a fly rod



I tied up over sized black leeches with silver crystal flash in the tail last night, lots of legs, extra bead eyes for rattle and weed guards.  This pattern produces well(!) Get rid of the legs tie it on a size 4 and you’ve got a killer pattern for any species…go enven smaller and use turkey for the tail and you ‘ve my best grass carp fly! Here she is…. Silver seems to be a hot flash color on the Missouri.


I had on full sink.  I made a 30 ft cast straight out.  I slowly stripped until I had about 15 ft left out.  The line was tight going almost straight down but was not on bottom.  I let the line just sit and slowly drift between stripping.  With about 12 ft out  I saw the tell tail “tap” hit my line. I set the hook, nothing much to note about the fight…typical sorta catch for me I guess, but not typical at all!

One thing to note…I may be overdoing the size of my flies….Check out this blue cat I caught a few years back… and the fly I caught him on



This fly was fished about 8 ft under an indicator…thrown up tight to submerged brush in “my” creek, no current!  I can’t stand to fish like that but I was…I was actually looking off over my shoulder when I turned back to see my indicator just under the surface…I did the mental calculus real quick and decided I should set the hook.  I set and nothing really happened but I knew it was a late set so I hit it about three more times and then held. It slowly started to move then took off! I think I only had 10 lb test on, but the Konic took care of him no problem.  Awesome fish!


Maybe I should be drifting one of these more often out in the main river???tappin bottom and all might be good with something like this… I think so. …Take note the tail of this bead head cadis is fly line, and it has rubber legs too.  Blue cats may like the smell or feel of rubber and or plastic.  Check out how long that fishes whiskers are in the first photo…those things must come into play no?   I have no idea how a fish 8 ft deep in chocolate milk can “see” a fly.

Well, I also got a nice unseen grass carp yesterday! I was throwing a little headstand backstabber/creek stabber to some fish I had disturbed while slowly walking…  I figured there might be more fish around and carp often circle back….to see what scared them (at least when is a fly they will).  There was some comotion, I think I scared a grassie then another came outa nowhere and took me for a ride.  Sweet!



















Heres the fly I got the blue cat on...



























and….one more drum.  Peace out 2012!








big drum caught on a fly rod missouri river St. louis, MO

The other day I put all my gear in a backpack, loaded up my bike and headed out to the Research Park Katy Trail access.  I had a great time exploring and fishing and finally found the best spot around dark, I made one cast that seemed to hang up a little too quick….I felt the fly snag up thinking I was on a rock  so I gently lifted the tip to free the fly, it released but I also saw big big ripples like I actually had a bite from a 100 lb cat.  Despite it raining all night, I had a feeling about today producing something big.  The weather was atrocious  with 20mph sustained-35mph gusts at least, water rising and off color.  Mostly the fishing sucked, hucking lead on sinking line in a gale, I even took a Crayfish to the face, and had my nose “pierced”. There is nothing like having a giant crayfish stuck in your face!  The damage was only minor, as fly embed  just shy of the jagged broken off barb…yikes!    I was imagining the looks I was going to get riding my bike back to my car with a big fly stuck in my nose…blood dripping as I try to act casual.  Well, I did get a couple of fish.

big hybrid bass on a fly rod missouri river

Drum have been the staple species for me lately. They seem to be quite plentiful, and the only fish I can seem to locate with any regularity.  Crayfish type flies on the bottom in 25-12 ft of water seems to be the ticket.  This hybrid bass was a nice surprise!.   Grass and Common Carp are still available for a little bit longer. Get out while you can!

Alton Lock and Dam Fall 2012


Freshwater drum caught on a crayfish bottom bounced St. louis, MO

Wow… I hit up Alton Lock and Dam again.  Water temps are starting to cool and at least some fish are feeding.  As has been the case all year, water levels are low and clear!  I ran into all sorts of fish this time, but the action was hit and miss requiring lots of treacherous hiking over worn rip rap walls.   Day 1 I started with a drum followed by a smallmouth, both on the big crayfish pictured later.


That is my first ever St. Louis smallmouth!


I hiked back a side channel branch and landed a bunch of grass carp, some drum, a few gar, and even a bowfin! That doesn’t happen every day.  In the evening I ran into a bunch of Hybrid Bass landing about 6 of them, and then they were gone.


Bowfin on a tiny carp fly (same as below)


Grass Carp on a size 8 Scorpion Gaper Headstand Backstabber


Carp flies

Headstand Backstabbers on Scorpion Gaper hooks size 8


Hybrid Bass on Size 6 Scorpion Gaper Squirrel Tail Clouser


Gold Eye


Carp fly

Squirrel Tail Clouser on size 6 Scorpion Gaper hook


On day two, I fished and hiked my way downstream about as far as anyone should ever care to walk.  At the point where I stopped heading downstream I also got into a good sized group of Freshwater Drum.  These fish tend to be caught along rocky drop offs and points with good depth and boulders.


drum on the fly

This Rip Rap wall drops off to depths of 10-15 ft quickly and also pushes out into the current (which there isn't much of these days). Look for fish in the upstream pocket of such " small outcroppings" or anywhere along rip rap walls or wing dikes. In low current conditions try to find the most current!





Fish will seldom bite unless your fly is ON the bottom!  In this case I was using a size 2 weedless hammerhead Roughdub.


The Most Bad Ass Crayfish I Have Ever Fished


Weedless Hammerhead RoughDub Crayfish in the Water


The whole trick is to get the fly on the rocks about 8-20 ft down and creep it up the bank wall with some dunt dunt dunt burst to get that crayfish vibe going, followed by slow creeping.  You will see or feel the hit…usually right around the time your about to pull your leader through your rod tip….right in close.   Sometimes long casts and leaders are required to get the fly in the right depth and possition…and of course your full array of whatever sinking line/head you like to use.  I have a full float or a full sink (which isn’t real friendly) so this time I used up to a 15 ft leader and the heaviest big rattle crayfish I had(forgot the split shot).  All in all I had a great time landing in the neighborhood of 30 fish, not bad!

Big shout out to Dan Frasier for the Scorpion Hooks, so far so good!  Dan is involved with and is doing a Carp on the Fly podcast everyone should check out!….I know I learned a lot of stuff from the first airing, I wasn’t expecting that!



Video Footage for Late August Early September

Lately I’ve been documenting my fishing with video instead of photo’s.  Here’s the Latest action out of the STL.  Isaac brought us some of the first real rains of the year and the fishing has been interesting.






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