By Bradford Wade
Spring is officially here, and with it comes warmer water and hungry fish. For some, spending all day throwing soft hackles and catching the eager small guys is all they can ask for. For others, we forgo the little flies and throw something with some meat on it. We might not catch every bluegill that’s in the pond, but that doesn’t matter when the big one sends the drag screaming.
Flies – Make it Meaty
For the last few months, fish have been in the cold depths barely eating. However, as the water heats up, so too does the fish’s appetite. Flies like the SMP, Blacknosed Dace and Woolly Buggers work great for bluegill and sunfish. Throw some bigger flies like a Muddler Minnow or Clouser Minnow for Smallmouth. If you are going for Largemouth Bass try, a Sculpzilla or a Slumpbuster. The small guys won’t fool with these bigger flies. Once you throw these near some cover and have the fly crushed, the little guys will take a back seat until summer.
Flies – Make it Bright
Spring rains can make the waters cloudy, so save yourself some time and throw some colors. I prefer bright colors like chartreuse, bright orange, and hot pink. After you have some eye-catching colors, you want to make sure that your flies have some flash to seal the deal. My spring flies always have some Krystal Flash or Flashabou tied in. Now is not the time to be subtle with your flies. The bright colors and flash are sure to get the attention in even the murkiest of water. These springtime strikes are mostly opportunistic. You want to fish these flies fast, don’t give them time to think. Hit a piece of cover and move on, the fish will either crush your fly or run for the hills. You’ll have to cover more water with this run-and-gun technique, but catching slabs instead of bait is worth the tired feet.