Guided Trips

FISHING REPORT AND SYNOPSIS: 12/3/2019

Winter fishing is nearly upon us. Snow yesterday has given way to falling water temperatures in the Smokies. In general, fish will be hunkered down, although by tomorrow they should start to get more active again as temperatures warm. For the next three months, expect many more fish in the slower places in the Park. Think nymphs and maybe streamers but don't be surprised to find fish rising to blue-winged olives or midges on some days.

On tailwaters like the Clinch, brown trout and some fall spawn rainbows are doing their thing. This is a good time to review good ethics when it comes to spawning trout. Remember that these are the next generation of trout and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone. Avoid wading through spawning areas and don't fish for obvious spawners. For the foreseeable future, we should have high water thanks to big rains this last weekend. Fishing out of the drift boat will be very good through the winter with both nymphing and streamer fishing a distinct possibility. Want to swing for the fences and go for just one monster? Streamers will just get better and better going into January and February.

The Caney is slowly coming around. A few shad are coming through the dam, but lingering water quality problems are limiting the fishing. Winter streamer floats will produce shots at larger brown trout for anglers willing to work hard. Next spring should bring good fishing again.

Winter is our favorite time to get on the musky streams. In between bouts of high water, those will be fishing well for the next few months.

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Photo of the Month: Big Fish Chuck Strikes Again

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Leeches

One of my all time favorite flies for a variety of situations is the Simi Seal Leech.  This simply fly can be modified to look more like a nymph or left buggy to serve as a great leech pattern.  And did I mention that it catches fish?

For years, this has been a late winter/early spring staple on the trout streams.  Tied sparsely and without brushing the long fibers out, it is a good generic stonefly nymph.  I fish it in double nymph rigs and have had days where it out-fishes more precise patterns like a bead head Pheasant Tail nymph.  Then there are the bluegill....

Ah, the bluegill.  I still have not found a good bluegill lake or pond here in Colorado, but trust me I'm starting to look.  Back home, early season bluegill were a great way to pass the time in between trips to trout waters.  Last year, I caught some big ones, including this one.


Yes, you guessed it, this brute and many others were all caught on the Simi Seal Leech.  It is my secret bluegill fly.  Of course, bluegill will often eat just about anything, but this pattern seems to be particularly successful.  Recently, I sent an order for a half dozen of my Ultra Wire Soft Hackles to Bill over at Fishing Through Life.  I tossed in an extra bead head Simi Seal Leech to aid him in his quest to catch 100 big bull bluegill this spring.  It worked great, so good in fact that I just sent him another dozen with some new color schemes.



The best thing about this pattern is that it is super fast to tie.  I find myself caring less and less about a fly looking good and more and more about effectiveness and ease of tying.  These flies just look buggy.  If you are interested in trying this fly for yourself, you can purchase the material straight from the originator, John Rohmer.  He has lots of other good materials that are also worth checking out.  Personally, I use Black Simi Seal dubbing the most followed closely by Crystal although there are a LOT of other colors to check out.  Try the dubbing on stonefly and other nymph patterns as well as for bodies on streamers.

I'm hoping to add some big stillwater trout to the list of fish I've caught on this pattern now that I live in Colorado.  The float tube is ready for spring and it will be time to hit the mountain lakes before we know it!!!

4 comments:

  1. I'll have to tie some of these. Like you I'm looking for simplicity and how easy it is to tie. Have you tried the dubbing form singlebarbed.biz? It's awesome. What size hook do you normally use? I can never tell from pics but I'm guessing a 10?

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    Replies
    1. Kevin, these are mostly #12 hooks with 3 (one of each color) #10. Those are my go-to sizes for bluegill. For trout, I'll fish these down to a #16 and simply avoid plucking a bunch of fibers out so it is more like a nymph but still with a great buggy look.

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  2. Nice looking flies David. Boulder County is loaded with some decent waters for bluegill and a bass or two.

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  3. David
    The Seal Leech is one of the best nymph flies I have used for bluegill –bar none---I can’t wait to try it on the tailrace for rainbow, because I know I will connect there with it as well. Thanks David for getting me that first little fly some weeks ago, it help me start my quest. That bluegill is awesome, and I hope you find some areas out there to land more that size. Thanks for sharing

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