Fly Fishing For Bass

What makes a woman’s hand beautiful? Polished nails in Cha-Ching Cherry? Manicured cuticles and precisely filed tips? Maybe. But a really beautiful hand has all that and the added adornment of… “Bass Thumb”! Bass thumb is a condition obtained... no, make that EARNED, by fly fishing for bass and catching over 20 in one sitting!

This was a first for me as I hadn’t fished for a bass since I was a kid in the Panhandle of Texas waking at dawn-thirty to hit Lake Meredith before the sun boiled the water and the wind fried you like a blow-dryer. Since then I’ve taken on the art of fly fishing and my efforts to date have netted me many a fine Trout. But today, I had an opportunity to fish for Bass with my Winston 5 Weight, 4-piece fly rod and the first thing I learned was the proper way to hoist a Bass into the boat. No net – you simply insert your thumb into the beast’s mouth and raise them on your thumb! By the end of the day, you should have a sand-paper finish on your pollex or you’re not doing it right.

My Guide and Captain for the day was Kim Evans of Echohawk Taxidermy of Longmont, Colorado. Not only has Kim mastered the art of creating beautiful trophies of hunted wildlife, but he knows his way around a fishing pole and has guided in the western states. Through a mutual friend we found ourselves on a picturesque pond north-east of Denver Colorado – and we had it all to ourselves.

I pulled up to Kim’s big truck in my tiny convertible sports-car packed with a short rod tube and a compact gear pack while he sported two long, sturdy rods and assorted tackle. The difference in our strategy for the afternoon was immediately evident! We approached the tree-lined water and Kim loaded me into a boat resembling a Coleman-cooler with a trolling-motor attached, and I felt like Katharine Hepburn in the African Queen.

The pond was quintessential warm-water fishing with Bluegill, Crappie, and Bass making their homes in every pocket and shelf. We skirted around for a few minutes while I figured out the learning curve of going from a feather-weight Caddis to a hefty popper. Kim rigged up with a big, fat, ring-worm on a hook the size of a candy cane. We were both ready to rumble.

A little slow at first, and then Kim added the magic-touch; a mouthful of sunflower seeds and the resulting hulls chumming the water. Suddenly I saw a silver flash rising up from the depth and a cavernous, white vice clamping down on my bug. My fly rod bent into the letter “n” and a bass exploded out of the water to hear me giggle! Major advantage of being a chick fly fishing for bass; you can get overly-excited about such things and no one will judge you harshly.

Bass on a fly rod

From that point on it was on like Rae Dawn Chong. I not only caught bass but brought in shimmering crappie and colorful blue-gill; the Trifecta. Kim got a hit and set that hook harder than asking for directions, which sat me firmly and abruptly back down on my thrown to watch the show. What a fish! Easily the largest of the day. We took turns telling stories and bringing in buckets, (that’s the cool-kids moniker for big bass), until the sun began to slide behind the Rockies and light up the horizon to match my hat and nail-polish.

My first experience fly fishing for bass is going to be hard to beat. I rate the whole experience - two Bass-Thumbs way up!

bass fishing

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