Sunday, February 26, 2017


Rocks and fly fishing, especially warm water fly fishing, go together like... well, you know the analogies. If there's something more fun than casting poppers and divers to a rocky shoreline populated with healthy bass, I don't know what it is. Sometimes, however, we gotta work the weeds. Particularly in late summer when the milfoil and coontail and the rest of that underwater vegetation reaches up to the surface. The same bay that was such springtime fun now clogs the trolling motor and the only way to really get to it is by paddle power. The fish are there but when each cast brings in a wad of weeds it starts to lose a lot of the fun. Then there's that pond full of lily pads. Plenty of bass and bluegills for excitement, but you only cast to the bigger openings of which are too few. A lot of water gets missed. And how about those log jams and wood filled shallows that grab even the most buoyant top-water fly?

I don't tie many weedless flies. Nobody seems to like them and there's probably a reason. Weed-guards get in the way of the hook, and thus, the hook-up. And a guard over the hook doesn't mean it will never grab some cabbage. That thing has to be stiff enough to cause the fly to ride up over some green stuff and logs but flex enough to collapse when struck by a fish and it won't be right every time. Until now I think I've had two weedless deer hair bass bugs in my box. I may have cut the guard off one I'd have to look but I know there are times when I miss the target and wish I was casting a weedless fly.

It's good to have a few so I'm tying a few. Nothing fancy and I'll likely be satisfied with a couple of foam blockheads with added mono weed-guards. Start with a green flip-flop and utility scissors and go from there. They're easy to tie and as much as I enjoy tying and fishing deer hair, those blockheads are as productive as anything. So this summer I'll be testing a weedless frog in the thick stuff. For the guard I used two strands of 20# mono lashed to each side of the hook and curved around and pulled right through the head with a needle. When the length seemed about right I pulled them up a little more, snipped 'em off and added a drop of glue before easing them back down so the ends disappear into the head. Easy to do and should work, right? It's so easy someone else is probably doing it already. I hope they're doing well.





  1. I saw your comment on Ralph's Flybox and thought any blog that has whiskey in it's name must be okay. I see you're also friends with Fading Angler...well, we all have our faults. Nice post and nice blog Al.

  2. Ha! thanks Howard. I visit WK&TL's regularly too. Also, I've been told my faults are many and virtues few, so there you go. Good hearing from you.