Esox Fans... Are You Ready?

Ready to be aroused!  Prepare for 2 minutes and 49 seconds of pure teeth-mashing predator love!


Fiberglass Manifesto Gear Review. Fish Fighter Fly Clip.

Cameron Mortenson at The Fiberglass Manifesto did a great review about the Fish Fighter Mini-Fly Patch Clip. You can see the review below.  Go check out his site.  Great info about new gear and happenings in the fly fishing world. 


The Fish Fighter Mini Fly Patch Clip

One of the things that I get really excited about is finding new and well thought out fly fishing products that I can highlight on T.F.M.  I get especially interested when I happen across a piece of gear being produced on a small scale in a basement or garage since they don't always have the media machines and chances for exposure like the larger companies do.  

 Last week while eating lunch in front of the computer at the office I noticed that Jeff Ryan at The Freshwater Fly had a new product called the Fish Fighter Mini Fly Patch Clip up on his website.  I immediately sent an order in for one since it looked like it could come in handy on the brim of a hat while fishing.

The Fish Fighter arrived this week and I am impressed.  Jeff has a great and useful product and the clip is quite strong with little worry that it will slide off unexpected.

The Fish Fighter can be clipped to a hat, strap on a gear bag or vest, lanyard, pocket, or any where else you might need to stash a few flies.

Check out The Freshwater Fly General Store to order your Fish Fighter and make sure you follow on the Facebook page as well.  Jeff will be giving away a few Fish Fighters when the page reaches 100 Fans and running other promotions on the page as well. 


Fly Fishing for Bass... Part 2 "How you doing Mr. Bass!"

"How you doing Mr. Bass!"

Mr. Bass is doing just fine.  He's actually doing great!  Part 2 of Fly Fishing for Bass will give us a chance to find out why and how he's doing so fine.

Bass are very unique and highly adaptable fish.  The largemouth bass is the most adaptable... this dude is everywhere!  Pits, ponds, rivers, lakes, swamps, impoundments, and more.  Like that stupid theme song from some famous fisherman's show "Anywhere there's water... Lord knows he'll be there."  Can you name that tune?  Well that's the LM, home in all waters, clear, muddy, stained, warm, hot, and cold.  The smallmouth is a bit more particular though.  He or she prefers clearer, cooler, waters.  The SM love deeper water and faster moving rivers where their speed and endurance can shine.  If bass drank soda pop, the SM would be the guy hopped up on a couple Red Bulls bouncing off the walls.  While LM probably would prefer a cold cola and sitting in the shade.  Both are very adaptable and in simple terms would be considered "Generalists." Very flexible in their surroundings, can handle most environmental changes, and when it's dinner time they're not real picky about what they eat.  In most cases... if it looks edible, it's good to go.  Basically, both are street smart thugs,outlaws... banditos!

Both LM and SM are hunters.  Their approach to locating and attacking prey are very similar most of the time.  LM are more of an ambush predator.  He would prefer to pick a real nice location along some weedline, dropoff, log, etc. and like some punk... hit you when your not ready.  His body is built for this type of hunting, shorter, compact body profile, and large powerful fins for quick bursts of speed and maneuvering in tight areas.  Not to mention some of the best camo available for dark and weedy alleyways.  SM are similiar, they to will ambush prey.  But, SM are far more adaptable for seek and destroy missions in faster water and rocky reefs.  Their body structure is built for longer pursuits and greater speed.  SM are more likely to be found cruising open water, or sandy and rocky gravel flats actively searching for prey (note: SM body camo is perfect for these conditions).  I see SM a lot of times hunting in groups, not so solitary like LM.  Both species are very stealthy and cunning.  For example, I've seen them just hanging out on the corner dock amongst many of their prey species baitfish, bluegills, etc..  Just kinda mingling... maybe even socializing a bit with them.  Making the prey feel right at home, giving off no signs of aggression or ill intentions.  Then suddenly, (Head's up! Kid Rock Lyric) "I'll put my arm around your neck like we're cool... then I'll break it.!"  That's bass... very sneaky.

How can we get to know Mr. Bass without mentioning his mouth... ohhh that mouth!  The one that gave them their names.  Both are large!  LM more so than SM. for good reason.  Like stated before LM are more of a generalist than SM.  LM can eat a wider range of food and sizes.  The larger under-slung mouth allows them to engulf their prey, they have very small teeth so a large bucket mouth is a must.  The design allows them to feed on the bottom, mid-depth, and as we know it is great for surface feeding!  Their list of food choices is like a buffet bar, fish, insects, crustaceans, turtles, frogs, birds, and who knows what all else.  If they can get that mouth around it... well?, it's gone!  SM as stated before are not quite as flexible.  Their mouth is smaller and a bit narrower like tweezers.  This allows them to catch their favorite meal much easier... the ones that hide down amongst rocks and gravel... crayfish!  And here in the Great Lakes...Gobies too!  SM, like LM are able to feed at all levels of the water too.  Crawfish down low, insects on top, and baitfish in the middle, .. too slow! 

Bass have excellent senses as well, sight, sound, smell, taste, and feel.  But! there is one that makes them special.   "The Sixth Sense."  The lateral line is that sixth sense device.  The line along each side of the bass' body is loaded with sensory cells that pick up vibrations in the water.  When bass are in darker and muddy water their vision is limited.  The lateral line helps them sense or feel prey in the water around them.  Bass would prefer to hunt on sight alone and in clear water they can.  But, when sight diminishes the lateral line becomes more important.  Can you see the lateral line below?

This is just a quick overview of some of the very basic survival skills that LM and SM have developed over thousands of years of trying to stay alive.  Hopefully we've learned few things here that make them so adaptable.

See the rest of Fly Fishing for BASS SERIES parts 1-6

Also check out Freshwater Fish Biology 101. Smallmouth   and  Freshwater Fish Biology 101. Largemouth

If want to see some great fly patterns for hooking into a monster. Check out Dave Lindsay's new site, Tying Predator Flies! and for some killer Murdich Minnows go to Great Lakes Fly !

"Okay... here comes another Outlaw! CDB baby! Old school."  Parts of this song kinda remind me of a big ol' fat largemouth.


Fly Fishing for Bass... Part 1. Introduction and Why I Fish for Bass.


This winter I will be writing a continuing series about my favorite fish to catch with a fly rod... The Bass! Here in Michigan I passionately pursue two species, Largemouth and Smallmouth.  Which one due I prefer? you ask.  "Yeah right!... trying to decide which one I love the most is like asking me which one of my two daughters do I love the most?.. can't be done."  I love both species and have had many inner struggles trying to decide which is my favorite.  I think it all depends on the season and conditions.  Even though they are both bass, they are both very different, and certain times of the season I like one over the other.  Anyways, most of the information will evolve around general biology, characteristics,  history, and some of my best tips and techniques that I have found to work best for me.  So I present to you Fly Fishing for Bass Part 1...

 Why I Fish for Bass

First of all, they are fun to catch! They jump. They pull.  They dive. They are scrappy fighters.  They are also very accessible and will attack a wide range of flies.  They are found in shallow water in nearly every pond, lake, river, and reservoir in the country.  No matter where I may go the bass, like an old friend is always there.  Even when I'm not catching them they are fun to fish for.  The challenge of dropping my fly along side a log, underneath a dock, or threading it through a frisbee sized opening in the lily pads is great fun! No matter if a bass is home or not.  I cannot think of a better why to practice fly casting than fishing for bass.  For me bass fishing tends to be more of a hunting experience.  Here in Michigan most of our lakes are very clear and many of my local lakes are gin clear.  This is great for stalking and sight casting to them.  A bass in shallow clear water can be as shy and spooky as any trout or saltwater flats fish around.  Many times your presentations have to be perfect.  They can also be caught anytime of the day or night.
 I love where they live!

I also admire the way they look!  Their shape. Their outline and colors.  Their staunch and stocky bodies are built for short bursts of speed.  The prominent lateral line, the mossy green shiny back, and white belly of a largemouth are hard not to like.  I even love how a largemouths fins are laid out across it's body.  Especially when a bass' spiny dorsal fin is all jacked up and spiky as it gracefully follows the top ridge of the fishes back.  Smallmouths though in my opinion have some of the most brilliant markings of all fish.  There is no rival to a smallmouth that comes out of cold clear shallow water.  The bronzie-yellow body with those strong brown vertical lines is some of nature's prettiest and most perfect camouflage.  Once you've held a 4 pound plus smallie, only then can you see why many fishers call them footballs and toads.  When holding a large smallmouth in your hands you can feel it's strength.  Their lean, strong, tight, and fibrous muscles are great indicators of their nasty ways.  Both are beautiful creatures.

These fish have made a lasting impression on me.  They are the fish that I remember of my youth when I was a dock rat at the local lakes.  I can still vividly remember my first bass.  I caught it on Middle Lake in Clarkston, MI when I was 8/9 years old.  I saw the 12" fish turn and engulf my purple and white K and E Bass Stopper worm.  I saw it! I saw the whole thing take place in front of me.  The fish turned, flared it's gills and took the bait.  Life changing.  Ever since that moment I have been stricken with the sickness.  I get excited with the take, there is nothing like a bass blowing up on a fly.  It can be highly visual if done right.  Sometimes I don't care about the fight... For me it can be all visual.

So when it comes to fly fishing... I'm a bass bugger!  Bass are one of the greatest things on earth.   Anyway, there's nothing I've experienced to date in the world of fishing that compares to a bass taking a topwater bug. Nothing...yet!  That's why when I need to remind myself of who I am... I go bass fishing!

 See more about Fly Fishing for BASS!  Fly Fishing for BASS Series parts 1-6

Bass fishing, outlaw country music, and beer. Now bring It!  Come on spring.


Fly Tying Virtuoso!

I've been following Pat Cohen's Blog, Warm Water Journal now for quite awhile.  He is a very talented fly tier.  Today he posted some pics of pure art!, that just have to be shared.  I don't know Pat on a personal basis.  I only know him via his blog posts.  I hope you don't mind Pat?... I had to pass these beauties along...

visit his blog at Warm Water Journal



I D I O T !

Uh oh! In case any of you are wondering what may have happened to all the nice comments some you have been leaving... well?  Like an idiot I erased them all today.  Yup... I thought for some reason they would only be removed from the comment listing page.  Nope! they obviously were removed from the blog entries on the main page as well.  Damn, lesson learned.  So sorry! please keep leaving those comments.

Thanks, Jeff at The Freshwater Fly Headquarters.


Check out... The Freshwater Fly General Store


Seychelle Dreams...

If you could look inside my dreams you would find me right here in these videos.  Don't get me wrong... I still dream of lovely ladies,  puppy dogs, and winning lottery tickets.  But, most of them are me alone chasing and stalking fish on foot in endless shallow water and sun soaked skies. I really do love my freshwater fish species, but damn dude... I'd give up a season of bass and bluegill fishing just to spend a week chasing some of these beautiful salty creations in the following videos.  Just the scenery alone would be enough to jump and run.  The idea of fishing remote islands where the nearest civilization around could be a days boat ride away is my dream of ultimate solitude that only these types of fishing locations can bring.  If there was a heaven on earth for me... this would be it!  Someday one of these dreams may come true... first I need that winning ticket to be able to afford it.

"My dreams of solitude have no loneliness.  How could you be lonely surrounded in so much natural beauty and wildlife.  My kind of solitude equals freedom... the kind freedom I can only find in fishing."  It's the Truth.