February 1, 2018

Testament of Float-n-Fly

I have been experimenting with float and fly techniques for about 10 years. I keep coming back to it because it continues to shock me how successful it can be. But why is it so successful? In this page I will share what I have learned in a decade of experimentation. 

What is Float and Fly
As the name inplies it is a bobber and a fly but that description is quite vague. The way I understand the birth of this technique is crappie anglers in the Tennessee area used this technique in cool water and often complained about smallmouth bass getting in the way of their crappie fishing. Somebody overheard this problem and decided it was time to investigate. The evolved smallmouth technique involves a long (often 8' or longer) spinning rod with light line, a float and a jig with hand tied materials that may include but not limited to craft fur and marabou.

When and where it is used
not just for smallmouth
Most eastern float and fly anglers use this technique in the winter time when smallmouth are pretty inactive. Even while their metabolism is slowed way down they do in fact still eat. Aside from finding them, the bigger trick is presenting a realistic pattern in a suspended state and remaining patient enough to let this feeding instinct take over.

I use Float-n-Fly year around. Spring summer and fall is prime time for suspended presentations. Unlike winter, you can speed up this three season presentation quite a bit. It's not just bobber watching. It's much more like fishing a popper except the meal is out of your site.

Columbia River Smallie
I craft my own flies.
Shortly after learning this technique and finding good success, I started to try to craft my own flies. Those early patterns were quite the eye sore however they still brought success and just furthered my interest and perfecting the fly

I use a fly rod.
While you can do this with a spin rod I find a fly rod to be more successful. I can cast more accurately, fish lighter, mend line, and the long length gives leverage for the hook set

My favorite floats are.
I like the Thill Ice 'n Fly indicator in the 1 1/8" size.

I find most success when....

Also caught on float and fly

Always hooked in top lip

Carp like pink/white

Fall Time Smallie
This Ohio Largemouth refused three different streamers but he didn't hesitate to inhale Float-n-Fly. Don't believe me? Just ask Greg Senyo, he was there and saw it all.
Fall time smallies luv black/purple. Top lip everytime
The Sage first generation Bass Series Largemouth Rod has caught more fish then any other rod I own. This is another Columbia River Smallie  in the hands of John Garrett.
10lb Cat! Float-n-Fly is a multi-species technique. F-n-F has racked up 12 species and the count is growing.
This Smallmouth ate a shad pattern F-n-F on my local Conchas Lake
It's unbelievable how catfish give in to this presentation. My local lake has a strong catfish population and Float-n-Fly has caught too many to count. I have also caught them in other watersheds as well.
This Columbia River Smallie ate Float-n-Fly on a late fall, cold day in the Government Cove area fishing from Outcast Stealth Pro. It was one of ten I caught that chilly, windy day.
99% time they are hooked in the top lip and rarely ever get away
Shad Pattern

Mr. Bucketmouth

Copper coneheads can be very productive
This Columbia River Smallie fell for a shad pattern float-n-fly
Crappie on Float-n-Fly
Always hooked in top lip
White Bass on Float-n-Fly