Sometimes the old adage "If it ain't broke don't fix it" doesn't apply, especially to fly fishing. I primarily fish warmwater for bass and bream in the lake I live on. For the past few years, I've relied almost exclusively on leech patterns simply because they have been so productive for me. I still tie other patterns, but when I'm out in my kayak, I always seem to go with my go-to pattern; a black leech. I went out for a couple of hours last evening, and the for some reason the leech patterns weren't doing the trick. I was using my 3wt outfit, targeting the big bream in the lake and picking up the odd fish here, but nothing like I should be getting. Finally, after an hour or so with only 5 or 6 fish, I switched over to a floating minnow pattern that I tie. I had almost forgotten how much fun it is to fish topwater for bass and bream. The action picked up the minute I tied on the minnow pattern, and the takes varied from a nice splash from bass to a quiet sip from the big bream; almost like a big trout taking in a mayfly. I actually beat my personal best record with a 14 1/2 inch long redear that barely made a ripple as she sucked in the fly. Now I'm psyched to get out there again this evening, maybe with my 5wt to make casting a bit easier.

Jim Smith