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Finally…A River That’s Not Flooded!

Bass and Flies of the Wrong Kind

With the Mississippi still out of the banks, it’s small river time in many places in the Midwest. We finally got out on a small tributary of the Ole Miss. The fishing was pretty hot, but they started slow on top.

Once again, they didn’t like poppers early and we had to coax them up with our foam Hopper Patterns. Here’s a dandy 19″r with Dennis Erickson of St. Cloud, MN.

Later in the day they were pretty much blasting everything and the action heated up to the point where we finally simply quite fishing after six hours and paddled out.

Note the stylish headnet.

There was one issue that made for varying levels of discomfort: Deer Flies.

Yes, on small rivers you will periodically get accosted by them depending on recent hatches. We hit this hatch right on the nuts. Normally you’ll pick up some flies when passing through the riffle water. It seems areas of increased oxygenation must attract them or perhaps provide a hatching area.

At times there were as many as 100 deerflies buzzing one’s head. The best thing to do in this case is paddle like hell to get out of that specific area, which must be a major breeding spot.

Never go on a river trip during fly season without the following:

  • Head Nets – get the kind that spread out on top with a hat-like rim that keeps the netting away from your face.
  • Long pants and long sleeve shirt. 
  • Bug spray 40% DEET – It doesn’t stop them from buzzing you, but they probably won’t bite you.
  • Consider shoes or sandals with thick socks.

Fortunately with the proper protection, we only got bit a few times during the six hour float even though the flies were quite prolific.

In the end, it was the fishing and not the flies that ruled the day.

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