Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bass on a Fly Tourney

The 4th annual “Bass on the Fly” tournament took place today at Ririe Reservoir in Ririe, Idaho. There were 14 teams and we left the docks promptly at 8 AM. My team consisted of my usual teammates, Weldon Jones and my wife Granny. Weldon and I did most of the fishing while Granny rowed us around the rocks.

It’s been raining for a week and the lake was slightly off color. While some anglers were concerned I wasn’t. I’ve done plenty of smallmouth bass fishing in both clear and off colored water and must say sometimes I do better when its off.
Weldon and I simply put on our usual, chartreuse Clouser Minnows and started chucking and ducking. The way we like to fish is to cast the heavy flies tight to the bank, make a couple strips then just let the flies sink down into the rocks. You really must pay close attention because the smallies will grab your fly so soft that you hardly feel them. Any suspicious feel on my fly and I strip set hard. When it’s a fish great but if not I simply did another strip and let the fly sink some more.

The way the tourney scores is that you can weigh in five bass 12” or bigger. All fish are required to be kept in a live well and must be healthy for release after the tourney in order to count. I use my cooler and insert a battery operated aerator. We got off to a roaring start with two bass of 13” in the first hour. Although these aren’t big smallmouth bass compared to what you often catch in the Midwest or Canada, these are good ones for Ririe. Our day remained steady and by noon we had five respectable smallies. Then, all in about a 15 minute period, I landed two 14” smallies and
Weldon got a 15”. We replaced our smaller fish with these nice ones. We were styling!

At 4 PM we had the weigh in. Weldon’s bass was 1.74lbs and was the third largest caught. Our five fish weight was 6.4lbs which captured us 2nd place. We ended up with a nice little check that covered all our expenses today from entry fee, gas and even food.

If you ever want to learn more about fly fishing for bass or other warmwater species for that matter, don’t forget
I have a book on the topic. You can order your book from my site and I’d be glad to autograph it and remarque it with a fly.

Off to the Henrys Fork party to catch opening day at the Harriman Ranch tomorrow! Living the dream!


  1. I hope it all goes well, I have always been interested in taking part in competitions... You can learn a lot from them.