Phoenix Fly Fishing Tips

A lake carp just outside of Phoenix was eager to eat a dragon fly nymph

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Matt, performed a perfectly executed “bow” and was able to get the biggest bass of the year so far to the boat.

Bow to the bass

As I wrap up my largemouth bass season. I wanted to give a big Pointer that helped my “new to bass on the fly” clients, land more fish.

If you have fished for largemouth before, than you know that their head shakes are no joke. More times than not, if a bass get hey head out of the water and shakes, she’s spitting the hook, guaranteed. It’s nothing short of a very impressive maneuver that works phenomenally. I’ve seen it 10’ away dozens of times.

So, looking at Tarpon, there’s a thing to “bow that rod downward to keep the tarpon from throwing the hooks, now I know bass aren’t tarpon. But this principle can be adjusted to work on bass. Simply having angler keep the rod tip down to the water and letting the bass fight the side pressure of the rod will keep that fish from getting air borne. This same principal works from the shore as well. The only difference being, you have to watch and read the fishes moves more carefully. Unless you have height advantage and can see the fish. Don’t ever try and just trout trip a big bass in, shell throw that hook like nothing. Having a dedicated bass rod is great. I use a St. Croix mojo bass 8wt, I’m not trying to plug this product but honestly, it’s a bass fly rod. Enough said haha. It’s length is 7’ 11” making it much more manageable to keep that tip down vs a 9’ rod. I personally fish a Kelly Gallup old airflo sink tip 400 grain and I can double haul a 70’ cast no problem. It’s a great rod and affordable enough to have dedicated to bass.

Phoenix has great bass. Wether it’s at a lake, pond or canal. 10lbs bass are all over this state and many of them have never seen a fly. Use this to your advantage and get out there. Like they say, if you can catch fish in AZ, you can catch fish anywhere. Good luck

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FEED EM! Hi water canal Grass carp

Here a grassies shows how fast they can eat and spit your fly and how feeding em can help

During the summer it can be very common for our canals to be “blown out”. Downstream needs dictate the irrigation water rules. Unfortunately, for us anglers, this means sight fishing is over. Right?

Grass carp eat their weight everyday. They eat regardless of the water level. When water is high, the grassies tend to lay low in seams or pocket water and only come out when a meal shows itself. Ya, we’re using river talk. Canals are basically a 350 mile river system in town. Full of pretty much all warm water species you can think of in the SW. Carp will hide behind shopping carts for the pocket water and the seams. Also, the curves of the canals have outside and inside bends. These provide carp a place to not have to fight the current. Fishing these areas almost always hold fish too.

So, you’ve found fish and now you have them interested in your fly. As the video shows, grassies can have a hard time swimming in the current. This is where a method I developed comes into play. I’ve noticed 9/10 times a carp will struggle to catch a stripped fly in high water. The other times, the carp come out of nowhere and smashes the fly without hesitation (we like those). As you can see in the video, the grassies are struggling in the current to get the fly. This is where most of my clients will hear me yell “feed em!”, this tactic is simply pointing and extending the rod with your arm at the fish a few inches. What this does is gives that fly slack and the fly will rush right backwards towards the carp swiping at it. Those few inches are usually enough to give the fish time to eat the fly. Now you’ll see how fast a grassy eats and spits a fly.. they have ridiculous speed, so many times me and clients are hooting and hollering about the missed hook sets. It’s good fun! There’s no real way to alleviate this besides keeping that tip pointed at the fly and no slack in the line for a fast solid connection. Good luck out there!

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