I’ve got a friend from California who fishes for trophy Largemouth Bass. I’m talking pigs. On one particular lake he fishes, one of the most productive ways to catch Bass is by using live Rainbow Trout as bait. He likes to fly fish whenever possible, but said he hadn’t found a Rainbow Trout fly pattern that he was happy with yet.
The first thing that popped into my head was to tie a big, articulated Butt Monkey. I tied it up for him, it was about 6″-7″ long.”That’s not big enough”
He needed something in the 10″-14″ range. I’ve tied and fished the juvenile Brown Trout pattern below for 2 years now, with varied success for trout. However, it has been a great streamer in lakes for warmwater species.
When I realized how big he needed these to be, a bigger version of this style of fly seemed like the way to go. The past couple weeks I’ve been experimenting at the vise on this pattern in my spare time. I’ve made two prototypes, and two test trips to the river down the street, and I think I’ve got it. This weekend, I’ll be creating “Rainbow Trout v3.0″ and taking it through some more quality control. If v3.0 works out as planned, and I’m pretty sure it will, I’ll have pics and a video on how to tie it for you on Monday.
One of the hardest flies I’ve tried creating was an 8″ adult Bluegill imitation. Their colors and length are easy to imitate. But it’s that “paperplate” profile so common in the sunfish family, that made it so tough. I came up with some funky looking patterns that week, and never did get a fly with the look I wanted. I’ve been thinking of that little experience a lot the past couple weeks. The reason why is I need to come up with a 10″-12″ Smallmouth Bass imitation for the Tiger Musky and Pike in the local rivers.
When I caught that Tiger Musky a few weeks ago while Smallie fishing, there were small minnows jumping all over the place, kinda like a mini saltwater blitz. I don’t think it was Tiger Musky scaring those baitfish. I’m pretty sure they were being hunted by Smallmouth Bass. And I think that Tiger Musky I caught, was in the area for the same reason I was, to catch a few Smallmouth.
Once again, I’m challenged by that sunfish family body profile, and even more so on this one than the bluegill imitation. This fly has to be big, I’d like it to be at least 10″ long, 12″ would be better. I’m sure I could get away with a trout-like, torpedo shaped profile, in a Smallmouth color scheme. But I think it would be more successful if I could get more of a paperplate look.
It’s gonna be a great winter!