Thursday, February 3, 2011


A lot of the fishing I used to do as a kid was creek fishing. Ponds and small lakes were a close second, but we knew there were always going to be fish in the creeks because, well, the water was moving and these were year round flowing creeks that flowed into big rivers that ran in to big lakes. All of which can result in the movement of fish up the creek.

BB and pellet guns were our constant companions on our creek fishing trips in our younger elementary school days. By junior high, we carried .22's and .410 gauges with us. Snakes, back in the 70's, were everywhere it seemed and lots of the places we fished were well off the beaten path and not often visited. Likewise, most of the creeks had gar in them and some of my friends had the Fred Bear/Zebco combination bowfishing rig.

There wasn't much point to me in messing with gar. I've seen one opened up, and it was nothing I'd want to eat. It's an interesting creature with prehistoric features, but one I just tend to ignore for the most part.

I wrote in my last post about often using shorter fishing rods to fish certain creeks. In Texas, and in some other places like Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Florida (somewhat similar to East Texas and Louisiana terrain and fishing) and California, I've fished creeks that were too brushy for any rod longer than 5'.

Two of my standby rods are old crappie rods bought at Kmart in the seventies. Made for jigging, they are casting rods about 3' long. They are fairly stiff, which works out well since you often get your lure caught in brush or floating weeds and the like when fishing a brushy creek. I often pair this rod with either a Daiwa or a red Abu-Matic 170 spincasting reel, sporting from 10 to 12 pound test line. Again, strong enough line to horse a fish through the floating brush or weeds or whatever in the water but still somewhat sporting in test strength.

One of my favorite lures for this rod are the soft plastic weedless frogs in green that they've been making for the past 40 years or so. Now when I say "soft plastics", I'm not one of those bass fisherman who refers to lures as "soft plastics" or "hard plastics" or the like. I don't even understand what this "soft plastics bass fisherman niche" is all about.

No, I mean this frog is made of very soft and pliable rubbery plastic with a double hook rig that points up into the body of the frog, making it quasi-weedless when dragging it over and through water obstacles.

I sometimes use the not well thought of Pocket Fisherman on creeks. Using various spinners, particularly the old school spinners that were once called "Abu spinners", which are a solid color body with black or white dots, and the body colors I've had good luck with are yellow, red and white. It comes with a silver spinner. The yellow body with black dots has caught a lot of panfish and more than a few bass with the Pocket Fisherman on creeks. It's the perfect rod for a spot with absolutely no casting room but where you know you want to fish.

I have another creek rod that is made by H&H rods that I bought at Academy about 15 years ago, and I wish I'd bought two of them because I need to repair two of the guides on this rod. It's an ultralight spinning rod about 4' long and breaks into two pieces. Although thin and willowy, I've caught numerous 3 lb bass on it and it has the backbone to bring them in. I use a tiny Shimano UL spinning reel I got for about $10 loaded up with 4 lb test on this rod, and I'm amazed at the excellent drag on this tiny cheap gold reel.

I've mentioned previously wanting to make my own "custom" creek fly fishing rod out of the tip of a very long rod and a surplus fly fishing handle I have. I do have a travel fly fishing rod, a cheap one made by Garcia/Mitchell back in the 90's and sold for something like $14 new. But it's five foot long and will cast 4 wt line somewhat decently. The grip is too short for my hands and the rod is just too thick to have the flex necessary for such a short length, hence it's lackluster casting ability.

So I'm thinking that a far more flexible and thinner rod tip, converted to a short fly rod by adding a handle to it, would handle a lighter line and cast a bit further than what I've got now for my brushy creek fly rig.

I bought a 2 wt. line off of ebay sometime back made for shorter bamboo fly rods, a WF casting line that has a shorter section of WF supposedly designed to make the most of short rods. Short roll casts and sideways casts are what I commonly end up doing when fishing brushy creeks, and I'm not so much after distance as I am some degree of accuracy with a lighter line. The lighter line makes catching smaller fish more fun.

There is a use for long rods in brushy creek fishing, I have found. There is always that deep hole or downed tree filled hole that looks perfect for a big bass or catfish to be hidden in. Sometimes, the only way to reach a great fishing spot is by using a real long rod like a jig pole. I've used multi-piece cane poles to accomplish this, but also have a 3 piece 10 foot crappie jig pole I got at a garage sale 20 years ago that is ultralight and it's great for doing that "reach" fishing to that spot you just cant seem to reach by casting.

And all this makes me want to go fishing.

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