Topwater Bass


IMG_2798There’s many local watering holes that I want to fish.  We are blessed with so many easy, fly fishing opportunities in Upstate New York.  Yet, season after season passes without my making the commitment to fish some of these nearby places.  Just recently, I made good on one such location.  It’s a several acre pond within thirty minutes of Rochester.  On a warm, muggy night I met my brother-in-law for a long overdue fishing excursion.  He cleaned out the old Coleman canoe.  It needed some TLC, as there were three mice using the canoe and it possessed a particular stench.  Do you think canoes/kayaks/boats fish better if they stink and have character?  Personally, I prefer vessels with character.  Anyway, we loaded the canoe and drove to a nearby pond.  My goal was to fish topwater and hopefully entice Mr. Bucketmouth.

IMG_2796The pond was glassy calm and we easily paddled to a far shore with a series of downed trees.   For the first ten minutes, diminutive bluegill kissed our poppers.  We weren’t exactly fishing for 4″ or 5″ sunnies!  Moving down the shoreline, we noticed a series of submerged logs.  Curiously, there weren’t any sunnies bumping my popper.  My brother-in-law commented “no sunnies could be a sign that there are bass around.”  I continued to let my popper sit and not move it.  After a thirty second or longer wait, a boil engulfed my fly and I was tight to a decent largemouth.  I enjoyed several head shaking jumps and it was fun to bring in a decent largemouth.  Over the next two hours, we landed several sunnies and six bass.  The bass ignored my larger dahlberg diver flies or deer hair poppers.  They wanted a small and black, rubber legged popper.  Larger, brighter poppers struck out.  The best bass all came on a still fished, diminutive poppers.  Despite the presence of frogs all around, we struck out on frog flies.  Even more ironic, we struck out around dusk at the most promising water.  Regardless, this was simple, fun summertime fishing.  Our expectations were low, casting was simple and the living was easy.  Now that it’s summertime, go find your local watering hole and enjoy the new experience.IMG_2791


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Craig Dennison

This is Craig and I host Fly Fisher's Workshop. My fly fishing experiences include plenty of travel (Montana/Florida/North Carolina/Maine) and a few years part time guiding for trout. While I primarily target trout and steelhead, I still manage to chase warm water species and enjoy chasing stripers and bluefish. I'm a 3rd generation fly fisher trying to share the passion with my two sons!

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