Posts Tagged ‘bass


Beauty & The Beast

beauty rainbow trout-photography-fish-fly fishing-SwittersB

Bass-game fish-photography-SwittersB-fishing-bass-outdoors

Oh the debate over worthiness, status and even looks. I will take the Trout over the lowly Bass any time. Yet even now I am plotting the seduction of some devilish, behemoth Bass this coming week…along with some beautiful, behemoth Trout. Just kidding Bass lovers…kind of 

Bass Fly Box

Bass Fly Box

fly box-trout-lake box-fly fishing-SwittersB-photography-Oregon

A fly box for Trout/Lakes


Big Fish Eat Little Fish: Chad Johnson’s SlugGo Pattern





Killing Fish: Compartments of Thought


I am far from being a vegan in my dietary habits. Put a medium rare steak in front of me, or chicken or…well almost any meat product short of organs or duck and lamb and I am quite satisfied. 

When it comes to fish, I can kill a salmon and enjoy it from the grill with ease and lemon please. But, somewhere along the line, I  drew the line killing trout. I know why. A camping trip long ago where I killed dozens of hatchery (‘put in take’) trout, put them in an ice chest and then ran out of ice. The trout ended up in the trash and that struck me as such a waste. I attached some sentimental process to that moment as the metal lid came down on the garbage can.

A large, beautiful trout is almost sacred to me…as much as a steelhead (same family). Yet, the equally beautiful, noble chinook that may have traveled as many miles as the steelhead gets wrapped on the noggin and gutted. Odd how these thought processes go.

Last year, I fished some waters in which large mouth bass had been introduced and were killing off the rainbow trout. I was encouraged to kill the bass. I couldn’t. I had no desire to eat the bass and to just kill it seemed improper. 

Like many of our dearly held ideas, I have no clear thought process…beginning to end…on how I arrive at all this. I just hold onto my conviction that for a trout to die at my hands (my banging it across the head or by poor handling prior to release) is a bad thing.

But right now, I could really enjoy a juicy filet mignon. Such contradictions hey? 


Large Mouth Bass, Winter Tying & A Revisit

My wife and I made out way over into Central Oregon for a few days, to fish for late Summer trout. We fished several lakes and had good success, but one story emerged that generates that seed that will carry one through the Winter until next year. A vision that will sustain and nurture a plan of action. A plan to return and kick some bucket mouth ass!

A beautiful trout by anyone’s standard, this trout was caught in along the reeds to the right. Something else lurked along those reeds that made for an awe-inspiring event and that kindled a spark for fly tying research.

My wife was working a Minnow Bugger in along the reeds and above the weeds. She felt the tap, tap, tap of a smaller fish. She stripped it in and saw that it was a baby Bass of about 8″. As we sat and speculated about Bass in the lake and how they get there, an apparition swirled into view right below us. Behemoths, giant fish, long fish, wide fish rose toward the surface, toward the hooked bass holding in the surface.

The smaller Bass is seen to the upper right. The large Bass came from the left. SwittersB

A giant large mouth Bass engulfed the smaller Bass and powerfully dove downward and away, stripping line off the apron and up through the guides. The line quickly came tight to the reel. The drag gave and the line stripped out and the 5 wt. was bent double. My wife struggled to fight this big fish.

The Bass was not hooked on the size 10 Minnow Bugger, but rather was clamped down on the engulfed smaller Bass. The battle commenced and the Large Bass was brought to the surface and almost to the net….almost….as the fish was pulled head first toward the opening of the net the big mouth opened and the small Bass was propelled into the air some six feet. Gone.

This similar encounter happened two times more and, of course, brings to mind what fly pattern could I tie to represent a distressed, smaller Bass that would be presented on an 8 wt. rod? To the fly tying drawing board I will go and plan some patterns on stout hooks. I estimate the Bass to be in excess of 24″ and well in excess of 10#. I caught Trout that were 24-26″ and were sleek, little Steelhead in size, maybe 5-7 pounds. The Bass were much larger in the shoulders, as is normal, than any of the Trout I saw.

Yes, a vision that will sustain a tying campaign this Winter.


Fly Fishing: Back Channels Hold Possibilities Too

Back channels, this time of year can be rather low with boulders and smaller rocks exposed. Quiet, almost stagnant pools remain where in the Spring and early Summer the water offered possibilities of life (insects and fish). But, if the flows are still there, give that back channel a look.

Often, in our haste to reach the main stem of the stream or river, we descend down the bank, wade through a back channel, move across an island and reach the main stem and stand and ponder the possibilities. Well, when the flows are there, you might stop sooner and study that back channel for possible insect activity, holding water and fish. 

Here is a back channel on the McKenzie Rvier, below the Leaburg Spillway. Trout and Steelhead can be found holding in this water as they circumvent the island to the right. Easy to just wade across this water while moving out to the main stem. At least worth a look see.

Steelhead, Salmon, Trout and Bass can be found in those back channels, which are  really only small segments of the greater whole. My only caution is during certain times of the year those back channels are spawning areas too so rods off during those times. 


Photography: Some Fish Make Better Mailboxes

Tony Muncy near the Minn./S.Dakota Border (SwittersB)


Toward the Light: Fish to Surface

Toward the Light by TMuncy


Cabela’s Step Up & Refine Your ‘Official Rules’

I received an email notification from ODFW (Oregon Dept. Fish Wildlife) re a special event where some lucky angler has a chance at $1m dollars.

Oregon may have a million dollar fish
If we do, one lucky angler could catch it in Crane Prairie, Dexter or Blue River Reservoir. All three are included in the nationwide “Wanna Go Fishing for Millions” contest sponsored by Cabelas, Outdoor Channel and several fish and wildlife agencies (including ODFW). 
See more details and register to participate.

I was intrigued that a State agency had joined forces with Cabela’s. I also noticed one of the Oregon fisheries was Crane Prairie Res., which use to be a premier fishing destination until the bass were introduced. But then given this is a nation wide contest that really doesn’t matter:

“Eligible Species of Freshwater Fish:

Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, White Bass, Walleye, Perch, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Striped Bass (Striper), Wiper, Crappie, Blue Gill, Channel Cat.”

So there is some place in the participating states that has one fish that is tagged for the million bucks, if you are the first to photo, de-tag and send proof of catch. There are other prizes as well for others that catch tagged fish but too late to qualify for the first fish caught status. Judging by the rules, it appears all manner of typical fishing methods are allowed. The rules state the handling of the fish as such…


“Registered participants may only catch and log eligible fish during the Fishing Period, and must photograph their fish with an eligible tag showing and still attached, prior to removing the tag and releasing the fish.” 

Well I imagined there must be more precise explanations on how to remove the tag and release the fish given all the methods that must be allowed. I mean Cabela’s does care if the fish survives don’t they? Yet really no where in any of the literature is there anything past the sponsors and the prizes that promotes respect for the fish or instructions on how to handle them. 

This is so typical. Cabela’s you are making assumptions or clueless or as I suspect, irresponsible on the handling of these species of fish. It is part and parcel with the put ‘n take fisheries and, and of course, typical of ODFW too. Here’s Cabela’s Conservation Platform. Yes they are dedicated to preserving this and that for the sportsmen. But, the emphasis is on the taking not the preserving.  I know many of those species are pretty hardy, probably prehistorically hardy, but several aren’t. Cabela’s let’s see something more, in writing, about more than money, sponsors and vague one liner release remarks. 


Big Bass From A Barely Twitched Something

There are some places, on public waters, where a patient angler can catch some nice bass in the Pacific NW. Patience is key. Presentation so slow, you might doze off before a strike, but when they do hit, you just might pee your pants with excitement once you raise them to the surface. The dynamic duo caught quite a few of these, but I understand Darly ruled.


Davis Lake, Ore. (Bass eats duckling; traumatizes children)

OK, if you flyfish Central Oregon, you know that Davis Lake is a shadow of its former self. The trout are scarce because illegally introduced largemouth bass feed upon the young trout. If you fish Davis Lake in mid June, I am told you can sling sizeable bunny Leech patterns to redds and hook into fairly substantial bass (5-10#). I cannot personally vouch for that, but I have seen 5-10# bass cruising amongst the reeds and at the base of the lava dam. 

Recently, a friend of mine was chasing the elusive rainbow trout on Davis L. working the inlet channel. His family was taking a nearby nature walk at the edges of the lake when they encountered a duckling that appeared to be in need of assistance back to the water. The family, in a moment of setting nature back into balance, placed the little duckling back into the water. All was right with the duckling as it kicked away…a pleasant moment, I am sure. 

The significance of this, to the flyfisher, is the consideration of a duckling pattern. A giant, largemouth bass came from the depths and rose up to engulf the duckling. The family helplessly watched as the duckling disappeared into the large bucket mouth. So dust off those rubber duckies or something similar.  Just kidding; well at least about the rubber duckie part. Ok, ok, forget the duckling pattern…but it is, to me, fascinating how predatory fish can be. (After much consideration, I made a feeble attempt at a duckling ‘fly’)

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