Llano river nymph tips

Non-Trout pursuits

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Willy
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:53 pm

Llano river nymph tips

Post by Willy » Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:53 pm

So I fished the Llano last weekend (where the rooster does tricks with a toy bass - if you've been there you know where I'm talking about) with pretty good results for a newbie. I caught the usual (for me) several small Guadalupe bass and small sunfish however I am stuck on dry flies. I found this pattern I could both tie and catch fish on but it seems to attract mainly smaller fish or maybe my casts are only good enough to fool the young fish???
I am stumped on nymph fishing. I have tried different patterns, different weights, and different strike indicator depths. I usually get frustrated and go back to the standby that works. I would appreciate any advice for selecting patterns that may attract larger fish (bass, catfish, or whatever).
Every time I try nymphs I get hung up on something... is that normal? Any advice on depth of strike indicator or if I should even be using one would be great too. I love this sport whether the fish are biting or not, I just want to gain confidence in other methods than my comfortable dry fly.
I appreciate any advice that anyone can offer a newbie like me. I see those bigger fish swimming around down there but I just can't get their attention with my spider.

Thanks,
Will

Oh yeah, are Gar ever aggressive towards people? Between watching out for the multiple snakes I had seen that day and then seeing this amazing, yet startling, three-foot Gar I was just a bit on edge but it all added to another wonderful day flyfishing in this great state.

brandonf14
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:00 pm

Post by brandonf14 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:00 pm

Gar wont hurt you... you should cast at it and see if it hits, alot of fun on flyrod. I dont use a strike indicator, but thats just me.

Brandon

Jimbo Roberts
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Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:26 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:43 pm

I don't know what you are using in particular, but it could have been just a "Off Day". For me the best flies for the Llano have always been Poppers, Hoppers, Cat's Whiskers and Buggers. I really don't fish many nymphs as I want a bigger fly for bigger fish, specifically targeting the Bass. I usually use a 6wt., floating line, and at least 3X hoping to land some bass above 2lbs. I have fished around Llano and south of Mason myself. Several members here have written reports about floating the river with good results. Maybe you just need to up the size of the flys you're using to attract the larger Bass your looking to catch. Another very important tip when fishing the Llano is to put your fly literally no more than a few inches from the structure your fishing to greatly improve to catch. Most of what you'll be fishing will be: the bank edge, current breaks, the few bridges, and woody debris. Don't be afraid to put it in tight! Jimbo

Willy
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:53 pm

Post by Willy » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:07 pm

I've had tons of luck with this little black, foam-bodied spider. I saw the "recipe" for how to tie a cat's whisker but I'm totally unfamiliar. What is that classified as? Is it a streamer? If so, how do I work it... or do I just dead drift it? Thank you all for the advice. By the way, I did toss my spider at the Gar but he didn't even seem to notice. Amazing creature. I saw a large catfish too but didn't suspect he would rise to the surface for a terrestrial dry. Are the bass bugs and poppers of the deer hair variety or solid bodies? Any colors better than other colors?

Thank you all for the advice and input.

-Will

Danny S
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:09 am
Location: Helotes, TX

Post by Danny S » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:39 am

There are at least a couple of ways to works a Cat's Whisker or other streamer (I work Clouser style patterns the same as Cat's Whiskers)

You can dead drift through currents (runs, riffles etc, then as it get to the end of the draft, pull or strip (usually more effective) back toward you.

Cast towad the bank directly across or slightly downstream and, if there is a current, let it drift and when it reaches the end of the drift, start stripping it back to you.

Cast directly at the bank or downstream, or anywhere in between the two points, let it settle a few seconds and start stripping back.

Your stripping speed can make a huge difference. I have had days when they like a slower drift, other days, the bigger dogs want a very quick strip, each about 6-8 inches. Experiment with the stripping length and speed.

Yes, hangups with nymphs, can be pretty common. Especially when there is a lot of structure or things like shopping carts on the bottom. The cypress roots along he banks can eat a few flies too.

Willy
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:53 pm

Post by Willy » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:58 pm

Thanks for the ideas and advice. I spent about four hours on the Guadalupe by Welfare today with no luck. The water was muddy looking compared to a couple of months ago when I went there (my first day with a fly rod). I only left when the sun went down and it got cold. I missed a couple of tiny bream but that was the extent of it.... and that was with my old spider. I had better luck on my first day flyfishing. Nothing was rising to any dry fly I tried. I tried this big-eyed streamer type thing, wooly buggers, san juan worms, a green leech, a grasshopper, and just about every other odd fly I have.

I don't have any Clouser minnows or Cat's Whiskers. Does any place in San Antonio sell the Whiskers or will I need to tie them?

Trying to decide where to go tomorrow. Any more advice or insight from you more experienced flyfishers is appreciated.

Thanks,
Will

Alex Argyros
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:52 pm
Location: Austin

Post by Alex Argyros » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:29 pm

One piece of advice that might be helpful: don't worry so much about pattern and concentrate instead on presentation. It's very rare indeed that a hungry fish will refuse a well-presented fly, even if the fly doesn't imitate the fish's usual grub; it's even rarer that a fish will accept a perfect imitation of its natural diet if it is presented unnaturally. Choose a nice minnow imitation (a bugger is fine) or a size 6 green popper and forget about the fly. Worry instead on fishing it properly.

Jimbo Roberts
Posts: 1326
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:26 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:49 pm

I hear that they are draining Ingram lake. I don't know if they have started yet, but when they do the river will probably get turbid. If so move upstream till you see clear water and fish there. Nobody sells Cat's Whiskers locally. There is a sticky somewhere where Ron McAlpin explains how to tie this fly. It's so simple to tie even I can do it and it's very effective on Hill Country Bass. Jimbo

Willy
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:53 pm

Post by Willy » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:55 pm

Thank you all for the advice. I paddled a borrowed kayak above Medina lake and fished several hours this afternoon. The water was low and flow was slow but I had a great time. I tried the poppers with very good results. Several panfish and several bass. Thanks for all the tips!

Any opinions on what colors to start with for the Cat's Whiskers? Trying to decide what color materials to buy. Also, what size?

Thanks again,
Will

d ayer
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2003 9:56 pm
Location: San Antonio

Post by d ayer » Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:25 am


bassackwards
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:17 am
Location: Austin, TX

Post by bassackwards » Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:07 am

Try a Briminator: http://www.texasflyreport.com/patterns/ ... aspx?id=26

You can dead drift it like a nymph, swing it like a soft hackle, or strip it. They rio grande perch will devour it.

Willy
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:53 pm

Post by Willy » Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:06 pm

Thanks,

I will try a Briminator when I get the supplies. Looks fishy! I made several deer hair bugs and some Cat's Whiskers that need to get wet. Playing hookie on Thursday and looking for a place to fish. Will give a report when I get back.

I made my Cat's Whiskers out of Marabou. Does anyone know where to find the Arctic Fox Zonker strips that are recommended for the Cat's Whiskers? I have looked in some of the big stores in San Antonio but have had no luck. Haven't made it to the Tackle Box yet. Maybe online?

-Will

Danny S
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:09 am
Location: Helotes, TX

Post by Danny S » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:45 pm

The Tackle Box carried a few colors of Artic Fox patches last year. Might try giving them a call to see if they have it. Only other regional place I've seen it was Cabela's.

You can try Sculpin Wool as a substitute. I've had some sucess using it, but I still prefer the subsurface movement/action of Arctic Fox.

Jimbo Roberts
Posts: 1326
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 8:26 am
Location: San Antonio, TX

Post by Jimbo Roberts » Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:30 pm

I bought my Artic Fox from tackle Box in SA and Austin's Finest up in Austin of course. Using the Artic Fox for the wing helps it stand up and maintain a fishy profile once it is being pulled through the water. Hey that briminator looks pretty good also! Jimbo

stiles
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 10:17 am
Location: Austin

Post by stiles » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:51 pm

Jimbo Roberts wrote:I bought my Artic Fox from tackle Box in SA and Austin's Finest up in Austin of course. Using the Artic Fox for the wing helps it stand up and maintain a fishy profile once it is being pulled through the water. Hey that briminator looks pretty good also! Jimbo
That would be Sportsman's Finest :wink:



~~~ ><Ǽ>

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