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5-16-05 - A calm, cloudy day on the lake.

5-16-05 - Here comes the bass...

Waters Fished: Lake Como
Fish Caught: 2/8
Outing Date: 5-09-05
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, very slight breeze from the west
Air Temp: upper 70's for the highs
Water Temp: 58F
Water Level: normal
Water Color: less than 6" and GREEN
Fish Species: Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike
Pattern Fished: Flying Bunny
Pattern Color: Bunnies Chartreuse/Olive/Black and Red/White.
Fishing Quality: Pretty Darn Good

Back from Iowa, I was curious to see how the water out my back door was fishin'. The slow drop of 2 degrees in water temp sure seems to have slowed things down a bit. I spent roughly an hour casting from our dock without so much as a hit. Wind direction had changed somewhat, and we were back to more sunny conditions. I admit, I was a bit frustrated.

So what the heck...I asked my neighbors if I could fish from their dock - not a problem. Within a couple casts underneath the overhanging Weeping Willow Tree, I felt a sharp tug on my line and set the hook. My rod throbbed, the fish below moving relatively slowly.

Look at this chunky little slab of a largemouth!!

Well imagine my delight when I realized I had landed a largemouth bass - I had been wondering where they were! This one took the Red & White Bunny, as have most all of the fish in the last 8-9 days. Probably somewhere around 3lb., this Largemouth Bass was a respectable fish, but not what I was looking for.

I turned to cast back towards our dock and on the 2nd cast received a violent hit...which disconnected immediately. I cast to the spot and let my flies sink...another hit and I reared back on the rod to set the hook. The fish came swimming towards me FAST - I struggled to strip in enough line. Perhaps I need to go two-handed on my pickups?

Well, the fish blew by me and headed out to sea - the change in line pull simply popped my flies out. RATS! I had work to do...couldn't spend more time fishing until later.

This is what I was really after...more Northern Pike!

I returned in the afternoon to again try my luck...again nothing from our dock. I moved over to our neighbor's pier and cast to where I had connected earlier today...WHAM! Again, a lightning fast fish bolted towards me - this time I gave the rod an extra sharp jerk to drive the hook home. The battle ended without incident...another Northern to shore, yet again on the Red & White flying bunny. I seem to detect a definite color preference in the bunnies!

In my last description of the Northern Pike Battle I may not have mentioned how simply FAST these fish can swim...easily twice as fast as the bass was moving today. Keep that in mind should you target these beasts!

Since the last couple weeks of reports, I've recieved a couple emails asking how all of this has been done. I've included below a large excerpt from my email to TBender describing the fly patterns and setup.

So here's the pattern for the Flying Bunny as I tie it...it varies slightly from Dave's original.

Hook - Gamakatsu Stinger Hook, Size 1 I believe
Bead - Gold brass bead, large (I do not remember the size). The bead is integral to this fly functioning properly.
Propeller - Fly Propeller, Large (I use silver, again I don't have a "specific" size).
Tail - Rabbit Strip, Mag Cut (cut with the "grain").
Body - Rabbit Strip, Cross Cut (cut diagonally to the grain for better "palmering", aka. "wrapping" of the strip).
Thread - heavy, black or whatever you want to use.

In a nutshell, put the propeller on the hook, followed by the bead. Tie on and wrap to the bend. Cut a 1-2" strip of the rabbit fur and tie in as a tail. Apply Cement. Tie in a 2nd strip (don't cut it off the whole strip yet). Again, apply cement. Wrap thread forward. Palmer Rabbit Strip forward and stop a fair amount below the bead (you need room to tie this
bulky material off). Tie off and then away the rabbit strip. Create a head. Whip finish at least 3-4 times. Apply cement liberally and push bead back over the head you've created.

I'd make a couple with LONGER tails..i.e. in the 6-8" range. When fishing with Spin last summer in the UP he fished a lot of extra long bunny leaches and had really good success with them. Up there he used orange and chartreuse the most. So far my BEST luck here at home in the dirty water has been red and white...up there white and chartreuse worked well. I generally tie the mixed-color patterns with one strip in one color for the tail and the body in the 2nd color (my red white that's simply been slayin' them is a red body white tail).

I've been having my best success fishing these in TANDEM. I've been using a 15' fast sinking head (I think Cortland). 30 lb. mono for my leader riggings, and WIRE for the flies. Here's how it is. Nail knot 30lb. mono to the fly line. Make a loop (this is the "loop connector" on the tip of the fly line). Nail knot and make loops on both ends of the sinking tip, again with the 30lb. Now you can remove or add back the sink tip as needed.

For the leader, I'm using roughly 6' of 30lb. mono with loops at both ends. For the fly attachment, I have roughly 18" of wire, loop connected to the 30lb mono leader and an improved clinch knot to the fly, but using only 2-3 turns instead of the typical 4-6. For the 2nd fly, I'm using roughly 24" of wire, tied to the bend of the first fly and the eye of the 2nd again with the "less turns" improved clinch. I don't know the name of the company that makes the wire I'm using off hand...I do know it ran me like $15 for a spool of 16 feet....it's coated and sold as a knotable leader wire.

So let me know how this all works out for you...trust me it's been an ABSOLUTE BLAST on my 7wt. right out the back door!

  MP 

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