Sunday, October 25, 2009

Late Fall Action

I live in southeast Nebraska where daytime temperatures the last couple of weeks have been in the 40s and 50s and one morning light snow covered the ground. Many fly fishermen have put their rods, reels and other gear away for the year. Too bad, they are missing the chance to enjoy late season catches of largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie.

I’ve found farm ponds and reservoirs often provide fly-fishing for bass and panfish until they ice over. All the fly angler has to do is change tactics to be successful when cold-water fishing.

I’ve found the following to be useful for catching bass and crappie in the fall:
– lightly-weighted minnow-imitating flies in warmer shallow water areas
– more heavily-weighted minnow-imitating flies in deeper water areas
– dark-colored flies a size or two larger than used in spring or summer fishing
– flies with weed guards for fishing in or near areas of dead or dying vegetation
– floating, sink-tip or sinking fly lines to keep the flies at desired depths during the retrieve
– slower retrieves than I’d use in warmer water

I like to use weighted wet flies for late fall bluegill fishing and often choose a fly a size or two larger than I’d use in the spring or summer.

A few of the flies I’d recommend for late fall fishing are:
Largemouth bass – Woolly Bugger, Woolhead Minnow, Marabou Sculpin, Marabou Minnow
Crappie – Super Silver Minnow, Mickey Finn, Black Ghost, Marabou Minnow
Bluegill – Improved McGinty, Black Gnat, Lightning Bug, Leadwing Coachman

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