We’ve got White Bass on our minds, folks. The Missouri River fishing season is heating up for a variety of warmwater species, and will continue to fish well with a fly rod throughout May and most of June. We’ve all been talking about it a lot, but it’s a ton of fun and every fly angler should try and make it over to experience it. If you like catching lots of fish, this time of year at Pierre will do it for you!
White Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Walleyes in the Oahe tailrace and adjacent areas of the Missouri primarily feed on baitfish and minnows, so most of our flies are imitations of various baitfish. The Foxy Minnow isn’t anything revolutionary by any means, but it’s proven itself to be an effective fly. I came up with this fly before a trip to Pierre last year, and I ended up fishing it almost exclusively for the remainder of the year. I’ve caught lots of fish on a traditional Clouser Minnow in the past, and it’s a fantastic fly that was the inspiration for this pattern. I wanted something that had a bit more movement than the stiff bucktail, and a little more translucency to the overall fly. If you look at smelt and shad, which are huge food sources for fish in the Missouri, the 1-3 inch range ones are almost see-through. The Steve Farrar Blend around the tail gives the fly a bit of flash and a translucent sheen, as well as being very durable.
I usually tie the Foxy Minnow in sizes 2 and 4, and I vary the size of the eyes depending on how deep I want the fly to fish. White has been the best color for me so far, but chartreuse, pink, and rusty colors have been good choices as well. Watch the video below and tie a few up before you head over this year. Don’t forget about our Missouri River Warmwater Class on May 21st here at the shop!