Spring is a wonderful time of year and is the season I look forward to the most. I have anxiously awaited warmer temperatures and an upcoming fishing season. Countless hours, this winter, have been spent designing and tying flies and researching new places to fish them. However, as I write this it is snowing again and it might be a little longer before I see some warmer water temperatures. Hopefully you are, or will soon be seeing, warmer temperatures in your area this spring.
The warming water temperatures of spring bring what limnologist call “spring turnover” in lakes around the world. This natural phenomenon mixes nutrients and oxygen and unifies water temperatures. As lakes experience spring turnover, fish become active again. They are no longer confined to deep waters, but start inhabiting the shallows where new plant and algae growth provide shelter, oxygen and forage.
Spring turnover is vital to the life of largemouth bass, who spawn in the spring. Largemouth bass eggs and “young of year” depend on the increase in temperature, oxygen and nutrients that the spring provides. Bass prepare for their spawning season when the water temperatures approach 45 °F and spawn in water temperatures that range from 55 – 65 °F.
There are many techniques that work for catching bass. However, my favorites are throwing poppers or other surface patterns. There is nothing more exhilarating that seeing a fish explode and eating a fly lying on the water surface. Coincidently the ideal time to start fish surface poppers for bass is in the spring when water temperatures approach 55 °F.
One of my newest fly patterns that I have been working on is the SKEETER POPPER. Designed with one of Rainy's new products, the Fish-Head Slider/Popper. The shape of the popper head is very unique and creates a big effortless pop. The deep, socketed, face is there for two reasons. First, it reduces the weight of the fly and second, it dives, pops, sprays, and spurts water more than standard poppers. The wake, bubble trail, and sound that this unique shape creates is incredible. The action of the Skeeter Popper is unlike any popper that I have fished and would be an excellent addition to your arsenal of bass flies.
As temperatures warm this spring I hope that you will be on the lookout for your water’s spring turnover and take advantage of the great popper fishing opportunities in can provide for fly fisherman. This will give you a great start to the fishing season .
(PJ’s Skeeter Poppers)
For these or many other surface and subsurface bass flies or full selection of popper bodies visit www.rainysflies.com for their full selection.
Paul Mason grew up fishing the rivers and lakes of Utah, Idaho, & Wyoming. He began tying flies at the age of ten and has pursued his passion of fly fishing for over 20 years. Paul spent his academic career studying fisheries and aquatic science and obtained his Master's degree in fisheries from Utah State University.