Despite the weird weather of late (it snowed this morning, the first time it has ever snowed in Arkansas in May), the White Bass fishing has been really good this year.
In between Cub Scouts, camping, and now baseball, we’ve gotten out a few times to chase whities. Daniel caught his first white bass which was also his first fish on the fly. He’s caught a few now, and he seems hooked on flyfishing. He definitely needs to work on his casting (I’m going to get him some casting lessons from someone other than me), but he’s coming along.
He caught that one on a chartrueuse over yellow clouser. He was using his Ross 7’11” 6 weight FlyStik that he got for his birthday this year. It has a Ross FlyStart reel, and the line is a Rio Smallmouth Bass taper WF6F. That line is similar to Rio’s Clouser taper line (which is the floating line I fish on my Scott A3 906), with maybe a slightly less agressive taper. It’s definitely a WARMwater line, though, because it stays coiled pretty hard in the cold spring water. Should perform better as the water warms. I’m looking forward to trying it on my Scott A3 906.
Usually by the end of March we have White Bass starting their spawning run up out of Beaver Lake into the tributaries. However, this year we’ve had unseasonably cold weather (including some non-accumulating snow twice in the last week!), and the water temps have stayed below the 56F magical point that sends them upstream. But, that delay gives me time to work on stocking the white bass box, something that’s been delayed by illness this year.
The White Bass box is a pretty simple affair. It contains some Whitlock’s NearNuff Crayfish for early in the run, then mostly Clousers after that. I usually tie in them in chartreuse/white, olive/white, olive/yellow, and all white. I tie them on Size 4 Mustad 3366 hooks, which really gives me more like a size 6 fly. I use the small or xtra small lead eyes, mostly in red and yellow.
This year, I’ve added a sort of turquoise/white recommended by Brock at McLellan’s Fly Shop. I’m also using some whitish eyes with them. Can’t remembe what brand/style the eyes are. We’ll see how those work this year. I’ve got at least a week before things warm up even close to enough. Will be tying every evening, I imagine.
This year will be the first time The Boy has been flyfishing, and he’s been working on his Chuck ‘n’ Duck casting with Clousers. I really hope I can get him into some White Bass this Spring.