Bass and Bluegill // Teaching Young Anglers - Powerhour Fishing Report
May 28, 2019
Teaching a young angler to fly cast, manage slack line, delicately present a dry fly, and SET THE HOOOOOOOK is a challenge. There are a lot of moving parts! Combine that with mending, line feeding, and a boat moving downriver and that's a lot to absorb for a brand new angler. In addtion, much of the time on rivers we have to fish nymphs to generate an opportunity to hook up a fish. It can become messy in a hurry.
What if you could go and catch a dozen fish on dry flies your first time out? On Saturday we took a young angler out and he learned to cast, strip line, fool fish, set the hook, and experienced sight casting! We prowled the shorelines for Blueguill and Largemouth Bass at a public warmwater lake in Eastern Washington. It was about an hour from Red's.
Anglers: John, Jake, and Joe R. (guiding)
Location: Small Public Bass Lake in Grant County (use this tool to locate public fishing options) As a courtesy to the other folks that fish here I need to be discrete. There are lots of other lakes like it however.
Results: +/- 24 Bluegills landed on a dry fly, and about 7 Largemouth Bass on other flies.
Tackle: 9' 6 weight Sage Fly Rod (fast action), RIO Perception Fly Line (the caster is a pro, so this line turned it over fine, but I would reccomend the SA Amplitude Smooth Titan Long for big streamer flies). Sage Bluegill Fly Rod for the Bluegill. A 3 weight rod is perfect for Bluegill, I just love Panfish so much I bought a rod specifically for it.
Most Memorable Moment: There were so many, but I loved it when Jake finally got to 20 Bluegill landed. Since I told him he could switch to Bass when he got to 20, I assumed he was chomping at the bit to switch to targeting some big Largemouth. We had been catching a bunch of big bass to me it was easy choice! Well he got to 20 landed and said that he was having so much fun catching Bluegills on dry flies that wasn't going to target Bass. A few minutes later he landed a pretty nice Bass on a dry fly!
It didn't take long for Jake to lay out a nice cast along the shore and bag his first fish on a fly rod. A fantastic "Bull" Bluegill!
Learning to make the cast, control your slack, read the fish and the strike, and finally set the hook and manage the line is much easier when you get lots of shots!
Jake learned how to properly handle fish (notice it is upside down, spines out) and unhook them unharmed. He's allergic to fish so we didn't keep any for a fish fry but Bluegill fillets deep fried are awesome.
John started hooking some awesome Largemouth, they are so fun to catch and require very fine nuances to a slow and meticulous presentation. Most fly anglers will never fully appreciate the touch that is required to catch these bass.
Chunky Bass on the fly. Good stuff right there!
Decent bass on a dry fly!
Jake rounded out the day smoothing out his casting, hook set, and presentation with these Bluegills.