Bass Poppers

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Bass Poppers
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Bass Poppers, Does Size Matter?
(Written 2003 & still valid).
Large Mouth Bass like this are fairly abundent in Oregon. In the Pacific Northwest, trout, steelhead and salmon receive the most attention from fly fishers.  Warm water species are considered to by many anglers to be inferior to cold water species.  While large mouth bass don't fight as hard as salmoids, they offer exciting top water fly fishing.  Each summer, Patty and I take a couple of days and fish for bass with surface poppers.  Each trip is a learning experience.  We try to plan our trip to coincide with with water temperatures that are most comfortable with the highest population of bass in shallow water around the edge of the body of water we are going to fish.  This is usually the pre-spawn period around mid-May.  This year work got in the way and we weren't able
to get away until June 2-3.  In the lake we fished, mid-day water temperatures were 71-72 degrees and many of the bass had spawned and headed back into deeper water.  The fish that were left weren't real aggressive.  To make matters worse, there was a pretty stiff breeze.  That made positioning our pontoon boats difficult.  Pinpoint casting accuracy also suffered.  Interestingly, we found most of  Sometimes small bass will attack large poppers.
This nice bass fell for a tiny #10 bee popper. the  fish along banks that ran parallel with the prevailing wind.  Very few fish were found along shore lines that ran perpendicular to the wind.  After some trial and error, the best tactic seemed to be to row to the upwind end of a shore line and then drift down the  shore casting toward the shore as you went.  This didn't give us a lot of time to work any one particular area and didn't allow for many second chances for shots that were missed.  I started off with with my good
good old favorite size-6 Black Chewy Pop.  That brought several good hook-ups, but also many refusals.  Past experience told me that bass that refuse a certain size popper will often take a popper that is smaller in size.  A size-10 Bee Colored Panfish Popper was knotted to the end of my leader.  Several very nice fish including my best 

It takes a lot of bass to wear through the tough epoxy coating on one of these poppers.  This one saw a lot of action.

bass of the trip, a 3 1/2 pounder, were landed with this fly.  It was certainly easier to cast in the wind than the larger fly.  Patty had also started out with a Black #6 Chewy Pop.  She commented to me about getting lots of refusals and I told her about my experience with the panfish popper.  She went to a size-8 Black Mega Whammy Popper and it proved to be the best producer.  I soon changed to that one also.  Trimming off the long flowing silicone legs to give the fly an even smaller appearance seemed to increase its effectiveness even more.  This popper proved to be so effective that after a day and a half of fishing, I had caught so many bass that they had literally chewed through the epoxy coating on the plastic head.  The second morning I decided to perform an experiment.  I fished one long stretch of bank with a size-6 Fluorescent Orange Mega Whammy.  About a dozen bass from 10" to 15" were caught.  I then tied on the chewed up smaller black Mega Whammy and fished the same area again.  About three dozen bass from 12" to 18" were caught.  Many takes were splashy as one would expect when popper fishing, but many others were very quiet as the fish would lightly suck the fly from the surface.  Patty hooked a very large fish we estimated at better than six pounds on her size-8 black Mega Whammy.  Unfortunately after a long battle, this bass buried itself in the weeds and broke the leader.  That was the best fish we saw on that trip.

"Guided by Vision"
She wore her polarized galsses and was able to see better. Polarized glasses enhance your vision by reducing glare.  Being able to see into the water that you are fishing is a tremendous advantage.  Wading becomes safer.  Fish become easier to locate.  Their habits become more apparent.  You become a more successful angler.   Colors are richer. Edges are sharper.  Distances and depths are more discernable. Your enjoyment of fly fishing is enhanced by your ability to more fully perceive the beauty of your surroundings.

How polarized glasses work - by Fisherman Eyewear.

Barely visible bonefish without polarized glasses. Glare Happens  Outdoor enthusiasts have long suffered with the blinding hassle of glare. The problem is, anytime you combine light with a reflective surface you're going to get glare. But not anymore, not with polarized glasses. On the river, on the trail or on the road, whatever you choose to do, if you do it outside our polarized sunglasses will have you seeing the world in a whole new light.
How Does Polarization Work?  Polarized lenses utilize polarized filtering technology to diffuse the concentrated light waves. This filtering process eliminates 99% of the reflected glare. Polarized lenses effectively eliminate horizontally reflected glare and the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. The end result is greater clarity, definition, brilliant color transmission and reduced eyestrain.  You need...........  Plainly visible bonefish with polarized fishing glasses.
  Polarized Glasses
...for seeing fish and other beautiful things...
seeing is believing...
Glass Lens Only $18.99! Polarized Glass Lens Magnifier - Only $32.99 Childrens Polarized Glasses - Only $10.99 Clip-on Magnifiers - Only $10.99!
Fisherman Eyewear
$14 - $32
$4 -$33

New TFO 7’ 6” TiCr X Fun “Guns”
By: Dick Sagara

This live salmonfly approved of TFO's new seven and a half footer.

Sometimes longer is not better.  In fact, at times rods over eight feet can be a real disadvantage. Lefty Kreh, TFO rod designer, reminisces about fishing in Florida with Homer Rhodes and Joe Brooks.  “We used to use short little rods to cast flies up against the mangroves or bridge piling, what great fun!”  The new 7’ 6” six and eight weight TiCr X rods were created with these

experiences in mind. When anglers first test cast the rods, instant smiles came across their faces. They were convinced they would find many uses for a rod capable of casting low, tiny loops in situations where obstacles prevented elevated casting planes. So what specific situations are these rods best suited for?  How about casting under the streamside vegetation at Salmon Fly time where many of the largest fish wait for a tasty morsel to fall on to their dining room table?  Or, when fishing from a fast moving drift-boat, firing quick, tight casts to the bank with an assortment of flies ranging from streamers to

Dick down under the trees puttin' the sneak on a Redside.

small dries & terrestrials?  It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it, so my son and I are off to the Deschutes to field test.  I found that the 7’ 6” length was very effective in keeping both back casts and forward casts of the large salmon fly dries in play and out of the trees and vegetation.

A short rod has advantages in tight places.

 In these situations being able to vary the casting plane from three quarter to sidearm allowed presentations to fish that rarely see anything other than the natural insects.  Be mindful of the length of line needed to be cast and the larger sized flies that will be used to imitate these large bugs.  Much of the salmon fly dry fly fishing is a game of short, precise casts of less than 35 feet.  As the TiCr X rods are fast action rods, I found

it most effective to “up line” the 6 weight rod to a 7 weight line to maximize turning over the larger salmon fly imitations at short distances.  Don’t worry about the weight of line used – only anglers seem to fuss about line designations.  Fish won’t eat what you don’t put in front of them.   Ditto for leader length – no need to handicap yourself with long leaders. Seven and a half foot leaders for this type of fishing work fine. 

Line selection is also critical in maximizing rod performance.  Lines with aggressive front tapers work best to turn over the larger imitations.  The Teeny Long Shot and the new Teeny Pat Ehlers weight forward floating warm water Professional series lines were the go to performers.   Pat Ehlers, one of the highly respected fly shop owners in the Upper Midwest, designed his lines with a longer rear taper to ensure pinpoint accuracy with larger flies.  He also added slightly thicker running line to avoid tangles.  Don’t be deceived by the warm water designation of the line; the line Pat designed have cold water cores. The white Teeny weight forward floating Longshot line has been a favorite of many and also works well in these types of applications.

These new  7 ‘ 6” TiCr X rods are fun, powerful fishing specialty tools. 
Call 1-800-266-3971 if you want one!

Patagonia Watermaster Waders For Women

Billy Jean Bachmann in Watermasters.

Test report.     Guy's Watermasters

Patagonia Watermaster Breathable Stocking Foot Chest High Wader are the hippest fashion statement this year.  A huge percentage of the best professional fly fishing guides are gearing for the season with this wader.  This has happened with little sales pitch from the parent company.  It is a grass roots movement.  These waders for whatever reason just appeal to professional guides.  Here are some of the reasons why: 
Patagonia's innovative waders now have a reinforced leg and seat, 21% more puncture-resistant fabric reinforcements and right- and left-specific neoprene feet. They have the most advanced suspension system available. Waist-mounted suspenders allow you to fold down the bib for comfort in warmer weather (and to quickly release water after a spill). 
The anatomically contoured crotch and knees let you move freely even when fully layered up. A gravel-guard cuff (with boot hooks and gripper elastic) seals out grit. Built-in adjustable wading belt and field repair kit included. Guides are also very value conscious. All waders eventually wear out.  It's how many dollars per day for use that is the

issue. All indications are that these waders can take it.  And Patagonia takes care of their customers with great warrantee service.

Item Description Size Price Back to Waders
82480-XS Patagonia Watermaster Waders, Womens XS $335

82480-S Patagonia Watermaster Waders, Womens S $335

82480-M Patagonia Watermaster Waders, Womens M $335

82480-MF Patagonia Watermaster Waders, Womens M Full $335

82480-L Patagonia Watermaster Waders, Womens L $335

82480-LF Patagonia Watermaster Waders, Womens L Full $335

82480-XL Patagonia Watermaster Waders, Womens XL $335


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Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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