Pushing the Redington 3 Weight to the Limit!!

As most of you know this time of the year is when I concentrate on my yearly bluegill quest. Tuesday I continued that tradition on beautiful Smith Lake. My fishing companion for the early morning outing was Ivan who I consider a great fly fisherman. He started fly fishing in his teens and has never fish any other way. Now in the early eighties he is still very proficient with the combo. The daylight launch found us leaving the boat dock with no humidity, some cloud cover, and the most important factor a full moon. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a post how important it is to fish 3 to 4 days before the full moon and 3 to 4 days after the full moon. As stated in that post this is when the fish are most active. I wanted to use today’s trip as a test concerning the full moon theory. The plan was to fish the mouth of nooks and the rock ledges on each side of the nooks. Both of these areas yielded numbers of quality bluegills. Bluegills on Smith usually spawn in water 8 to 10 feet deep in the super clear water. After the sun came up we could see the bluegill swimming up from the depths to take the Bar Nunn poppers; talk about excitement. Today was the best trip Ivan and I have had fishing during a full moon cycle.

This rock wall point which is submerged here was very productive the bluegills were nailing the poppers near the wall and around cover extending out from the wall.

The white and yellow Bar Nunn was the magic that attracted numerous gills during the morning.

The best of the best for me today, all of these nice gills will be prepared for future table fare. These five will go towards my count for the quest. I am now 30 away from reaching my goal for this year. This moving thing my wife and I have going on may put a damper on the quest for this year, we shall see.
This beautiful Mimosa tree was in full bloom located at the waters edge, but what was found under it really got my attention!!!
My yellow popper found this 3lb. 8oz. spot resting under the Mimosa. Little did I know that this fish was this big, until it did a tail ballet a few feet from the base of the tree? The 3 weight got quite a workout landing this brut; lucky I had Ivan to net him. I hope I get my 4 weight back tomorrow so I can replace the 3 weight on my next outing. After today’s trip it needs a rest!
 

As most of you know this time of the year is when I concentrate on my yearly bluegill quest. Tuesday I continued that tradition on beautiful Smith Lake. My fishing companion for the early morning outing was Ivan who I consider a great fly fisherman. He started fly fishing in his teens and has never fish any other way. Now in the early eighties he is still very proficient with the combo. The daylight launch found us leaving the boat dock with no humidity, some cloud cover, and the most important factor a full moon. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a post how important it is to fish 3 to 4 days before the full moon and 3 to 4 days after the full moon. As stated in that post this is when the fish are most active. I wanted to use today’s trip as a test concerning the full moon theory. The plan was to fish the mouth of nooks and the rock ledges on each side of the nooks. Both of these areas yielded numbers of quality bluegills. Bluegills on Smith usually spawn in water 8 to 10 feet deep in the super clear water. After the sun came up we could see the bluegill swimming up from the depths to take the Bar Nunn poppers; talk about excitement. Today was the best trip Ivan and I have had fishing during a full moon cycle.

This rock wall point which is submerged here was very productive the bluegills were nailing the poppers near the wall and around cover extending out from the wall.

The white and yellow Bar Nunn was the magic that attracted numerous gills during the morning.
The best of the best for me today, all of these nice gills will be prepared for future table fare. These five will go towards my count for the quest. I am now 30 away from reaching my goal for this year. This moving thing my wife and I have going on may put a damper on the quest for this year, we shall see.
This beautiful Mimosa tree was in full bloom located at the waters edge, but what was found under it really got my attention!!!
My yellow popper found this 3lb. 8oz. spot resting under the Mimosa. Little did I know that this fish was this big, until it did a tail ballet a few feet from the base of the tree? The 3 weight got quite a workout landing this brut; lucky I had Ivan to net him. I hope I get my 4 weight back tomorrow so I can replace the 3 weight on my next outing. After today’s trip it needs a rest!

 

Grandkids + Mom Fishing with Pops

Bryson and Laelyn spent most of Wednesday morning with Pops fishing a local pond about a mile from our house. This was the first time we had fish this pond, although I’ve passed it many times leaving and entering our subdivision. The grandkids had a blast landing some nice size gills in their new fishing hole. This was Laelyn’s first time to get to go with Pops and Bryson and she proved to be quite a little fisher girl. She could land the fish, but wasn’t having anything to do with handling them or the crickets which we used for bait. Some of the best years of my life since I retired, has been spending time with our grandchildren; I love these little guys. Pops, Bryson and Laelyn will add another little guy to the group when their little brother “Cash” joins us in a couple of years. I think I may need some help when that happens.

Big brother consoling little sister as she puts distance between her and the bluegill she just landed
These outings can’t be all about landing fish; a little exploring has to added to make it even more interesting.
Bryson and his Mom, made a trip to Smith yesterday, to fish for the bluegill and anything else that would bite the crickets. Bryson is becoming quite a fisher boy, his landing technique is much better than last year. Next year his sister Laelyn will start making the boat trips with us.
 The prize of the morning went to Jenny landing this brut using a 7/1/2 ft. micro light rod with matching light action spinning reel spooled with 4lb. test line. Jenny played this catfish to perfection. She has landed catfish with me before using the micro lights, but nothing like this one. Bryson did a great job taking the photo. I can’t think of a better way to spend a couple of hours early in the morning!
 


Bryson and Laelyn spent most of Wednesday morning with Pops fishing a local pond about a mile from our house. This was the first time we had fish this pond, although I've passed it many times leaving and entering our subdivision. The grandkids had a blast landing some nice size gills in their new fishing hole. This was Laelyn's first time to get to go with Pops and Bryson and she proved to be quite a little fisher girl. She could land the fish, but wasn't having anything to do with handling them or the crickets which we used for bait. Some of the best years of my life since I retired, has been spending time with our grandchildren; I love these little guys. Pops, Bryson and Laelyn will add another little guy to the group when their little brother "Cash" joins us in a couple of years. I think I may need some help when that happens.
Big brother consoling little sister as she puts distance between her and the bluegill she just landed
These outings can't be all about landing fish; a little exploring has to added to make it even more interesting.
Bryson and his Mom, made a trip to Smith yesterday, to fish for the bluegill and anything else that would bite the crickets. Bryson is becoming quite a fisher boy, his landing technique is much better than last year. Next year his sister Laelyn will start making the boat trips with us.
 The prize of the morning went to Jenny landing this brut using a 7/1/2 ft. micro light rod with matching light action spinning reel spooled with 4lb. test line. Jenny played this catfish to perfection. She has landed catfish with me before using the micro lights, but nothing like this one. Bryson did a great job taking the photo. I can't think of a better way to spend a couple of hours early in the morning!
 


Adding a Little Variety to The Fly Fishing Mix

I have always been a fly fisherman who changes flies often if the bite is slow. On Wednesday I had a chance to put the fly flipping process into practice after the sun appeared. I was fishing Smith trying to improve on my bluegill quest for this season. Daylight is the best time to land all species of fish on Smith; after the sun comes up I start experimenting with different poppers sizes and colors. I guess the appearance of the sun on Smith is a signal to the better fish to go deep and wait for an unusual fly pattern to light on the surface to get their attention.

This bull is the first of the morning headed for the baking pan. Four fillets coming from this fish with the fixings is an awesome meal. He fell prey to the Bar Nunn popper which worked really well before the sun appeared. I landed this fish on my 5 weight which was the backup to my broken 4 weight. I hope to have the 4 back next week.

This early morning gill nailed the white Bar Nunn popper right before the sun appeared over the tree tops.  

Where do the bluegills go after they spawn? Deep water and the ones on Smith hang out around the rock walls such as those in the image above. They spend more time on the rock walls than they do on the spawning beds throughout the year. I have caught big bluegill that regurgitated small shrimp while landing them. Those shrimp are located in the cracks of the big rocks and boulders located on the rock walls. The fresh water shrimp is the magnet that draws the bluegill to the rocks.

 

In the Deep South the bluegill spawn occurs at least 5 times from April through August. The full moon is the indicator for the spawn for each month during a given year. The bluegills are most active four days before the full moon and four days after the full moon. They will eat anything that is placed near their spawning beds during those 8 to 10 days. Cold fronts will drive the fish off the beds during the early spring months, but they reappear after a few days of warm weather. Knowing the full moon phases is critical during the bluegill spawning time. The rock wall above is one of my favorite walls to fish when the spawn is inactive.

When the white popper faded, the yellow landed a few; patience is the key when fishing the walls, sometimes the popper would sit motionless for 15 to 20 seconds before a light hit occurred.

After the sun appears expect smaller gills, such as this colorful sunfish, that took the Muddler Moth; an obvious throw back to land next year.

Alan’s dry was also in use, with the 3 weight as the casting tool.

A few bass were hitting the dries as well as the bluegill. This spot put up quite a fight pulling against the 3 weight. Numerous dries and poppers were used this morning, some produced and others didn’t work on this outing. Those that didn’t work today may prove to be winners next time out. I didn’t count any bluegill today for the quest. Some were close but I think I can land some a little better on my next trip.
 A Side Note: My wife and I put our house on the market last week with a local real-estate agency here in Jasper. We will be moving to Springhill Tennessee as soon as it sells. Hopefully it will sell before school starts August 1st.
We want to be closer to our grandchildren and watch them grow up. They are at that fun age now of 7, 5 and 2. Our daughter and son-in-law have been wanting us to move closer to them for the past 3 years, so we have decided it is time; neither of us are getting any younger. I have already checked out the fishing spots in the area and there are many. The Caney Forkis near, which I intend to fish often over the coming years.
   

 

I have always been a fly fisherman who changes flies often if the bite is slow. On Wednesday I had a chance to put the fly flipping process into practice after the sun appeared. I was fishing Smith trying to improve on my bluegill quest for this season. Daylight is the best time to land all species of fish on Smith; after the sun comes up I start experimenting with different poppers sizes and colors. I guess the appearance of the sun on Smith is a signal to the better fish to go deep and wait for an unusual fly pattern to light on the surface to get their attention.
This bull is the first of the morning headed for the baking pan. Four fillets coming from this fish with the fixings is an awesome meal. He fell prey to the Bar Nunn popper which worked really well before the sun appeared. I landed this fish on my 5 weight which was the backup to my broken 4 weight. I hope to have the 4 back next week.
This early morning gill nailed the white Bar Nunn popper right before the sun appeared over the tree tops.  

Where do the bluegills go after they spawn? Deep water and the ones on Smith hang out around the rock walls such as those in the image above. They spend more time on the rock walls than they do on the spawning beds throughout the year. I have caught big bluegill that regurgitated small shrimp while landing them. Those shrimp are located in the cracks of the big rocks and boulders located on the rock walls. The fresh water shrimp is the magnet that draws the bluegill to the rocks.
 In the Deep South the bluegill spawn occurs at least 5 times from April through August. The full moon is the indicator for the spawn for each month during a given year. The bluegills are most active four days before the full moon and four days after the full moon. They will eat anything that is placed near their spawning beds during those 8 to 10 days. Cold fronts will drive the fish off the beds during the early spring months, but they reappear after a few days of warm weather. Knowing the full moon phases is critical during the bluegill spawning time. The rock wall above is one of my favorite walls to fish when the spawn is inactive.

When the white popper faded, the yellow landed a few; patience is the key when fishing the walls, sometimes the popper would sit motionless for 15 to 20 seconds before a light hit occurred.


After the sun appears expect smaller gills, such as this colorful sunfish, that took the Muddler Moth; an obvious throw back to land next year.


Alan’s dry was also in use, with the 3 weight as the casting tool.
A few bass were hitting the dries as well as the bluegill. This spot put up quite a fight pulling against the 3 weight. Numerous dries and poppers were used this morning, some produced and others didn't work on this outing. Those that didn't work today may prove to be winners next time out. I didn't count any bluegill today for the quest. Some were close but I think I can land some a little better on my next trip.
 A Side Note: My wife and I put our house on the market last week with a local real-estate agency here in Jasper. We will be moving to Springhill Tennessee as soon as it sells. Hopefully it will sell before school starts August 1st.
We want to be closer to our grandchildren and watch them grow up. They are at that fun age now of 7, 5 and 2. Our daughter and son-in-law have been wanting us to move closer to them for the past 3 years, so we have decided it is time; neither of us are getting any younger. I have already checked out the fishing spots in the area and there are many. The Caney Forkis near, which I intend to fish often over the coming years.