Weekend Angler: Dallas/Fort Worth

Tackle
By Paul A. Caqada
  |  Gorp.com
Page 4 of 5   |  

Have you ever expectantly worked a popper in Texas and had a 3-pound smallmouth or 6-pound largemouth knock the bug out of the water? If you don't give popping bugs on Squaw Creek a try, you're missing out on arguably some of the best surface fly fishing in Texas.

Squaw Creek's bass, especially the smallmouth, go crazy over a surface fly, rapidly moving across the surface. When the water surface has a bit of a chop on it, try one of the many large slider patterns available.

I'm especially fond of a surface pattern with a prop. If the water surface is relatively smooth, try a surface pattern with a longer, more subtle profile such as a pencil popper or a Sneaky Pete. While it's true that smallmouth often prefer a consistent cadence, anglers should constantly change up retrieves until they have established what cadence or action the fish prefer.

Unfortunately, the surface action eventually diminishes and fly anglers are better served by switching to a sparsely tied, shad-imitating streamer. Try fishing the streamer the way a conventional angler works a spinnerbait — as a search tool.

Four excellent choices for Squaw Creek are the Shallow Water Clouser, Kirk's Rattle Rouser, Burk's Bass Flash, and Whitlock's Sheep Shad pattern. Again, the water is relatively clear and so anglers must give life to their fly. When stripping line and moving the fly, imagine your fly is a wounded, frightened, and fleeing baitfish.

Keep Fishing When Others Leave

Eventually, the sun does climb, sending bass a bit deeper or into the closest, relatively shallow cover. Often, the bright sky of an untimely cold front causes the bass to suspend off the first abrupt break or to move deeper into cover.

In either case, this is when most fly fishers pack it up and head for home. However, those fly anglers — fishing from a float tube or boat — still have an excellent chance at catching cover-huggin' fish.

Depending on the depth they're targeting, this is the time conventional anglers go to a Carolina-rigged centipede, a jig-n-pig, or a Western style worm. Using a sinking tip or a uniform sinking fly line, fly anglers can place a fly close enough to the bass to draw them out of the cover and into striking the fly.

Allowing a weighted pattern to slowly fall alongside flooded brush or down an abrupt break, the fly angler can successfully tempt a reluctant bass to strike. Leave your wimpy fly outfits at home, Squaw Creek's timber-filled water and stout bass require some backbone.

Grab the Big Rig

Smallmouth reaching 4 pounds and largemouth tipping the scales at 8 pounds are not uncommon on Squaw Creek Reservoir, so an 8-weight outfit is a wise choice.

The heavier outfit will help anglers cast the bulkier bass bugs when the wind eventually picks up.

Admittedly, light line applications and an 8-weight rod don't seem to be equally yoked. Because of this, many fly anglers carry both a 6-weight and an 8-weight outfit to cover most angling situations.

Additionally, the experienced fly angler takes tapered leaders ranging between 8-pound test for shallow, open-water applications, and 17-pound test for fishing around cover and in relatively deeper water.

So, dig out your poppers and bass outfit and head over to Squaw Creek Reservoir for some of the hottest bass fishing anywhere.


Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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