Ultimate Mormon Cricket for Fly Fishing Smallmouth Bass!
Smallmouth Bass FlyFishing with the Ultimate Mormon Cricket
The phenomenal Ultimate Mormon Cricket for smallmouth bass fly fishing.
My brother and I floated a small tributary to the Mississippi the other day. It’s late July and we’re finally getting going. The big river should be ready in a week or so – but everything was way late this season.
This small river is known for numbers and size – the best of all worlds. The average size smallmouth is probably 15 -16 inches with a clear shot at 19 – 20 inchers on every trip – pretty incredible. Best of all, the river is better known for tubing than fishing. I think all of us know rivers like that!
This day we started as we always do throwing blockhead poppers. When these don’t produce we quickly switch to foam hopper patterns. The fish preferred the Mega Hopper Poppers, but we were still getting some refusals while managing to hook, land, or miss a lot of fish.
I decided to try a new pattern from Rainy’s Flies and Supplies (Logan, Utah), the Ultimate Mormon Cricket. I’d received some samples the week before and marveled at the size of these flies, hardly resembling any cricket I’ve ever seen!
My brother muscled out the fly first and on the initial landing it was savaged by a waking smallmouth. And so it went for the rest of the trip.
The smallmouth could not seem to resist these big bugs. We used the “smaller” #4 Mormon Cricket Tan and only had two of that color and size.
Each fly probably accounted for at least 12 fish a piece and at the end of the day, the flies looked nearly pristine!
This speaks to the quality fly tying techniques employed by the team at Rainy’s. I have never used flies that are so solidly built and can withstand so much abuse.
I don’t know if it is rubber legs or simply the overall bulk of the fly, but fish really like them and so do I!
The Mormon Cricket is a real live bug largely known for pesky infestations in Colorado. They are truly large insects in the “katydid” family of insects for you entomologists out there. Here’s a video on them from National Geographic: http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/animals/bugs-animals/grasshoppers/crickets_mormon/.
Although they don’t exist in the north (thankfully, we have enough issues with invasive species), the bass and trout don’t seem to care and take them as an opportunity for a big juicy meal as they float down the river.
A note to you fly fisherman. Since these are quite bulky, I recommend using at least an #8 rod when throwing them. Also, shorten your tapered leader to around 6 -7 feet and add a tippet of #8 – 12 lb test of about 30″.
Tie them on with a loop knot to add some life to them and hang on!