Got this exceptional 19" Small Mouth Bass today at a lake less than 20 minutes from home. I've rarely had a fish that moved so quickly, zigging and zagging, jumping and generally not interested in coming in. Without 0x leader, I would not have been able to eventually hall it in. This matches the 5# Browns I caught at the Parklands and even the Algoma Brookies. 10ft 5wt rod, dry line, Mississippi Maiden fly.
I've been out fishing the warm water for a few weeks now. The water is too warm for safe C&R for trout. The cutoff for me is 70F. The thing about fishing for Bass and even Walleye in the early part of the season is that you can do the traditional kind of flyfishing by casting to shore and around structure with a dry line. They are also not so fussy about what fly you send to them as long as it is flashy. I often put 'failed' trout flies into my Bass Box but they have hooks that are too small. But they are good for smaller fry like Sunfish and Rock Bass, which, btw are delicious to eat.
By harvesting these 'scrap' fish, you give the more desirable fish the food that they would have taken out.
The Walleye and LM Bass above were caught on my favorite fly, the Mississippi Maiden shown below.
The red flash represents blood flowing from an injured minnow. Golden Olive Maribou tail with palmered green chenille body.