My wife and I made out way over into Central Oregon for a few days, to fish for late Summer trout. We fished several lakes and had good success, but one story emerged that generates that seed that will carry one through the Winter until next year. A vision that will sustain and nurture a plan of action. A plan to return and kick some bucket mouth ass!
A beautiful trout by anyone’s standard, this trout was caught in along the reeds to the right. Something else lurked along those reeds that made for an awe-inspiring event and that kindled a spark for fly tying research.
My wife was working a Minnow Bugger in along the reeds and above the weeds. She felt the tap, tap, tap of a smaller fish. She stripped it in and saw that it was a baby Bass of about 8″. As we sat and speculated about Bass in the lake and how they get there, an apparition swirled into view right below us. Behemoths, giant fish, long fish, wide fish rose toward the surface, toward the hooked bass holding in the surface.
A giant large mouth Bass engulfed the smaller Bass and powerfully dove downward and away, stripping line off the apron and up through the guides. The line quickly came tight to the reel. The drag gave and the line stripped out and the 5 wt. was bent double. My wife struggled to fight this big fish.
The Bass was not hooked on the size 10 Minnow Bugger, but rather was clamped down on the engulfed smaller Bass. The battle commenced and the Large Bass was brought to the surface and almost to the net….almost….as the fish was pulled head first toward the opening of the net the big mouth opened and the small Bass was propelled into the air some six feet. Gone.
This similar encounter happened two times more and, of course, brings to mind what fly pattern could I tie to represent a distressed, smaller Bass that would be presented on an 8 wt. rod? To the fly tying drawing board I will go and plan some patterns on stout hooks. I estimate the Bass to be in excess of 24″ and well in excess of 10#. I caught Trout that were 24-26″ and were sleek, little Steelhead in size, maybe 5-7 pounds. The Bass were much larger in the shoulders, as is normal, than any of the Trout I saw.
Yes, a vision that will sustain a tying campaign this Winter.