August – The Drinking Water Crease Bug
This is a variation on the classic Crease Fly used by striper and blue fish anglers in the north east. What I’ve done is scaled it down and simplified it. Since large mouth and small mouth bass don’t have the teeth that blue fish do, I’ve forgone the epoxy coating.
Hook: Mustad 33903 Kink Shank Hook sizes 2-6
Thread: 6/0 Uni-Thread
Tail: White Fish Hair, Flashabou and Ostrich Herl
Body: Foil Coated Sheet Foam
Eyes: 3-D stick-on doll eyes
Step One: You need a Pattern.
A. Take just your run of the mill 3″x5″ note card and size it up against the shank of the hook. B. You want your foam body to be about as long as the true shank of the hook (just behind the eye, to where the bend of the hook begins). Fold back the card and cut the card all the way down. C. Next, fold the hook shank width card in half. Mark two little dot on the card, you want their to be a taper from back to front, with the front of the body to be angled slightly back. D. Cut through the doubled up card from dot to dot. You now have your pattern for the body.
Take some double sided tape and put a little piece on one side of the pattern. This will help to keep the pattern in place when you cut the foam.
Step 2: Cut out the body.
Step 3: The tail.
I like to use several different textures of materials for the tail that will give motion no matter how the bug is fished. The ostrich gives that subtle movement even when letting the fly rest between pops. The fish hair gives the tight kick during a fast retrieve. The Flashabou, well, it’s shiny.
Step 4: The body.
Put a bead of super glue down each side of the hook shank. Then, fold your foam body in half and carefully place on the hook shank, making sure the body is as even as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect. This bug imitates wounded baitfish, frogs, etc. Imperfection is perfection on this bug.
Step 5: A bug has got to see.
Take your stick-on eyes and place a small do of super glue on the back, then place on the bug where you think a set of eyes would look good.
This is just one way to tie up this bug. The foam comes in all kinds of colors and patterns. The only real tying is in the tail and the sky is the limit for what you can do there. Use your imagination to come up with a bug that matches shad, frogs, blue back herring, shiners, alewives even mice from your area.
One of the things about this fly since it doesn’t have the weight of epoxy, and the body is narrow, it casts very easily. You can scale your bass rig down at least one weight size and still cast this bug with ease.
In streams I tend to cast up stream and let the fly dead drift a few feet. I then give it a few quick pops. When you pop this bug, it goes from laying with its eye down, to up right, making a nice splash along the way. When you let the line go slack, that big eye faces down again. That eye seems to really agitate the fish into striking.
In lakes and rivers, I look for the typical early morning or late evening area with plenty of cover. I’ll cast toward the cover and let the bug sit a while, then give a varying retrieve until I get a fish to move on the fly. This is really no different than fishing any other popper, but make sure you start and STOP this fly to allow it to go through that transition from eye down, to up-right, then stopping with the eye down again. That motion really imitates a wounded bait fish in the water. Remember, bass focus in on the weak.
Tie a bunch up and get out for some good summer bassin!