Archive for the Largemouth Bass Category

Never Say Never: Winter Carp and More…


Grass carp caught on the fly december 2012

Back in early December I made three trips to warm water discharges on the lower Missouri River.  The first trip was to the Labadie, MO power plant discharge.  Access is from boat launch 1 mile down river on the opposite side.  I made the trip in search of Hybrid Bass, but landed a number of Skipjack Herring and even a little largemouth.



Above is the view down river to the boat launch. Getting up and across river in a kayak is one hell of an adventure…add freezing weather and…well you get the idea.  Best to have a boat.


This is a Skipjack Herring.  This fish really seems to love a two handed fast as you can go retrieve.  The fly is back to you in about 3-4 seconds when your going really fast.  The fish will slash the fly repeatedly until you can set the hook, sometime bursting out of the water on the take.  I’ve heard these fish are excellent light tackle sport.  I enjoyed catching them even with my 8wt…


Oh yeah! This is the bad ass I came for.  This fish had me hootin and hollarin, man these fish are a blast!  Just wish I could find more of em in one spot.


Another nice skipjack




The next two trips were to Portage Des Sioux warm water outlet via Dresser Island boat launch.   Its a mile plus to the next portage over the rock wall into the Mississippi and then into the power plant outlet.

on the road again…


View of the plant from the launch site.


There was a lot of Grass carp action going on in the shallow mud flats, I only managed one fish this day…


Closer to the discharge the water was thick with Goldeye…I’ve never seen so many goldeye in one place!  I got hits on virtually every cast, getting a hook set was another mater all together.  Somehow, someway they are tough to hook….but 1 in 3 or 4 usually came to hand.




Oh yeah!  I love you Hybrid Bass….Tickle tickle.


Till next time!

P.S.  if you haven’t already , Check out the latest “all fly” issue of Carppro Magazine for my piece on Carp flies, and lots of other great topics all relating to carp on the fly!

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.






Comments & Questions

Alton, IL Melvin Price Lock and Dam #26

Freshwater Drum fly fishing alton lock and dam #26 Mississippi River

There’s nothing that gets me more excited than the threat of big fish and Melvin Price Lock and Dam has that threat!  Were talking 100lb+ Blue Cats and Flatheads close behind.  Your chances of hooking into something like that are probably fairly slim but you never know.  I’ve fished this area only a handful of times, but the last few trips have been quite productive on medium sized Drum.  I also managed a few other species  including a grass Carp, two Largmouth Bass,  two White Bass, and a Catfish.  I primarily fished weedless  Hammer Head Rough Dub Crayfish on the bottom using both a sink tip with long leader and heavy flies and a full sinking line with medium heavy flies.   Even with the weedless flies, be prepared to loose 4 or 5 in any good outing.  For the time being  I don’t mind the Drum but in the future I will be looking to get into some more substantial action.  Legend has it that the fly fishing for blue cats beneath the dams can really heat up in the winter time if you have a boat to get you to the prime water.  Something I would really love to do.



Late May – Early June : Backstabbers are Key Warm Water Flies

Grass Carp on a Backstabber Carp Fly


big bass on a backstabber carp fly


Backstabber Carp fly variation

Time on the water has become much harder to come by these days, but I’ve been making it count by tying and testing a number of flies.  One of those flies is the  Backstabber Carp fly by Jay Zimmerman.   Believe it or not, this is a new fly for me but one I will surely be tying for years to come…Over the last week, I’ve taken numerous grass carp on the Backstabber, typically damsel green in color…heavily weighted with painted yellow lead eyes in size 4.  This pattern really stands out in that it takes all manner of fish from largemouth to drum and catfish, bluegill, hybrid bass etc and oh yeah, carp!  The fly often gets hammered by fish you didn’t even know where there!  If you’ve never had a subsurface hook up with a big grass carp, you don’t know what you’re missing.   Now, not every fish you throw to will be interested, but the ones that are hit like a ton of bricks.  I made it down to the Missouri main stream today after fishing the lake…the water was low as hell at 12ft on the St.Charles gauge, and the river was cruising by at about 10 mph .  There were carp and grass carp in the backwaters behind some of the wing walls but I made my way to the current side and started casting around.  Within a few minutes I briefly saw what looked like a grass carp sufrace feed just off the rip rap wall just in front of me in the strong current.  I still had the burnt orange backstabber on I’d just caught the above Bass with…I plunked it just to the side of where the fish had just fed.  Instantly the fish hit hard and was off into the current ripping line like nothing I have experienced.  All sorts of things ran though my mind; what the F was going on, was I going to be able to land this thing, was it even a grass carp or something much much larger, should i start running down the rip rap wall to keep up? ….At one point the fish was steady going like he had wrapped me around a submerged tree floating down stream, he actually may have briefly.  Just when the fish seemed to slow and I thought maybe I could make progress…fish off.  The fight of my life  only lasted maybe 15 seconds, turns out  something failed at the loop to loop leader to tippet connection.   My terminal seagar 20lb fluorocarbon  perfection loop appeared to be the culprit.  Its a new fluoro for me so I’m taking personal notes…The tippet took quite a bit of abuse over the last two days…probably explains it, or the submerged log I was afraid he had wrapped me on did it.  All in all it was a flippin awesome hook up while it lasted….truly incredible experience hooking up with a grass carp in deep strong current.  It was probably something akin to steelhead fishing.  Which is better, Big Bass or main stream Grass Carp? ….I’ll take another Grass Carp in the current thank you very much.   I’m already plotting my return!