Archive for the Smallmouth Bass flies Category

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!



Hammer Head Crayfish and Others

Having been tasked to produce a few patterns for the great lakes region I’ve stumbled upon some big patterns that I must admit I’m becoming quite fond of.  Meet the Hammer Head Craw.

big crayfish fly

Hammer Head Craw


Testing went well on these flies and they will produce on Bass, Catfish, and I hope…great lakes carp! Next thing you know I’m going to be building a 10weight just to cast these buggers.


Catfish on a big crayfish fly



Also of note this morning was a small pink estez bodied fly with a purple wing taking down two commons and a blind quirrel getting busy with a grass carp.



Great Lakes Hammer Head Gobies

great lake goby fly sculpin fly

Hammer Head Goby




So far in early testing the fly proves semi difficult to cast with an 8weight rod but all in all the fly looks good in the water has some minor stability issues but takes fish.  I hooked into my first catfish of 2012 this evening on one of these.  The catfish was the hardest fight I’ve had yet this season…this thing was a beast…no pic as the fly pulled out right when I beached it, but fish landed in my book.  Somewhere in the 24-28 inch range.  The bass also enjoyed this fly often taking it deep in the mouth.




The Carp Caddis

I’ve had this fly in my head for a few days now.  This was the perfect opportunity to put a buck tail dubbing blend to the test.  One of the easier ties around, the body/case extends beyond the hook bend via a 16# mono extension, custom blended dubbing mix,  ostrich hearl head, and of course Bone Fish hook with large bead chain eyes.   Sure to do as well in the trout stream as it will in the Carp pond.  This fly should take a weed guard nicely, for either drifting or dragging bottom


Carp fly Pattern flies