Posts Tagged ‘largemouth bass


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.


Photography: Some Fish Make Better Mailboxes

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


Crane Prairie Reservoir: Passing Day & The Snag

Crane Prairie in the Morning

Crane Prairie at Noon

Crane Prairie at Dusk

Found these old photographs from the early 80’s. Apparently I had time to take plenty of photos, so the fishing must not have been working out for me. I remember lots of small bass and few of the large trout that the lake was noted for. Central Oregon residents felt compelled to ‘ruin’ trophy trout lakes by introducing bass or by using live bait that proliferated at alarming rates. Not sure who was more lame, the ODFW or the live bait slinging locals. Either way the lake, Crane Prairie Reservoir, took a hit as did Davis and Diamond lakes. It may be making a come back thirty years later.


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.

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

July 2020

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