Posts Tagged ‘Smallmouth Bass’

And thanks for the reminders that no matter how good of an angler I feel like I have become… my phone will constantly buzz all through my workday, with pictures like above, to remind me that I am still the apprentice in the family!

Happy 60th Dad!

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Flies Over Nebraska is proud to announce the completion of a successful “hit”…

The hitlist has been appropriately updated.

I’ve been wanting to blog about why fly fishing is special and comforting to me… but the fishing the last few days has been way too good!

In an attempt to keep the awesome momentum from Friday’s catfish bonanza going, I decided to target a fish on the my hitlist. Along the interstate in central Nebraska lays one of the state’s best kept secrets; a series small lakes that are at almost every single exit on I-80 as it winds along the Platte River. They were created as part of the construction of road… fill dirt was needed to create the overpasses, so large holes where dug next to the overpasses. Due to the high water table in the Platte River Valley, the holes eventually filled in with water. The state stocked them with a variety of different fish and now we have a smorgasbord of awesome little fishing lakes every 10-15 miles through the central part of the state. Crystal clear water, incrediblely low fishing pressure, and you can literally put a line in the water within seconds of getting off the interstate. Talk about hiding in plain sight.

And all of you out-of-state travelers think there is nothing to do or see in Nebraska…

The water was so clear, that when I put my float tube in, I attracted the attention of a school of panfish who came right up to feet trying to figure just what had plopped into their home…

I have fished a few of these lakes over the last two years of fly fishing. But today I went to one I had driven by my whole life, but never took the time to stop at: War Axe State Recreation Area, near Shelton, Nebraska. I knew there were smallmouth bass in the lake, but I had always gone to the other lakes in search of their larger cousin, the largemouth bass.

I discovered what a mistake that has always been…

I tried a few different flies and presentations out, but it didn’t take me long to officially cross smallmouth bass off my list.

Okay… so admittedly not a record breaker. But the “hit” was complete. It’s a smallmouth bass legally hooked on the fly… even though “smallmouth” might be the under statement of the year…

The “hit” may have been completed, but I was just warming up…

Number 2:

Number 2 was a fighter. He hit strong, pulled line right out of my hand despite his small size, and leaped 12 inches out of the water to throw the fly.

Number 3:

No one told me these were flying fish. Number 3 went airborne multiple times.

Number 4:

Back to the awesome!

Then, the best of the day hit last. Number 5:

These fish might be a little smaller then their more famous cousins, but they sure put up a hell of a fight. Number 5 here went airborne twice, spent a lot of time at the bottom of the lake, and became officially the second fish that I have ever “put on the reel”. At 14 inches, he still pulled line off my reel and got the drag clicking, just like my catfish two nights ago.

These guys are fighters. They might not be the prettiest fish in the lake. But they are fighters.

I would still say my favorite fish is the rainbow trout. Nothing matches their beauty in my mind…

But to thanks today, I have a new favorite species to actually fish for. Smallmouths are the best fish-for-fish fighters I have caught yet.

If you are traveling down I-80 in central Nebraska, look to the north. If you see a yellow “dingy” looking boat in the lake, it will probably be me chasing the smallmouths…

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