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Part One hundred fifty-nine

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Fly Fishing for Strawberry Bass, Part 2

By Kevin Wright

Terrestrials and nymphs work great at this time. You might want to add a little weight to help get them to the fish a little faster. Imitations of grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, inchworms, bees, and ants are all terrestrials that will work. Nymph patterns that will get you some fish are wooly buggers, hare's ear, midge, and the San Juan worm.

One of the redear's favorite foods is the larvae of the midge fly. The larvae are more commonly known as blood worms. Blood worms are called such because they have hemoglobin in the blood which produces the red color.

During low-light periods, blood worms will be at the surface. But, once the stronger light hits, blood worms will work their way back to the bottom. Late morning through early evening will find the larvae en route from top to bottom, thus giving you perfect feeding and fishing conditions. When the strong light begins to fade, the larvae will again start their trip, but this time from bottom to top.

Trout fishermen have known what a great fly the San Juan worm is for trout. Now, I have found that out with redear.

If you would like to steal a page from the trout fishermen's book on fishing blood worms, here's how it goes:

Rig a float on a long leader. The float will allow your line to flow through. Cast your fly to a likely spot and let your fly sink as the line passes through the float. The float is now allowing you to basically "jig" your blood worm imitation. You, however, need to make your fly rise slowly off the bottom, and the let it sink slowly back to the bottom. If you are fishing deep water, then you must allow for this with a long leader so that it is able to pass through the float. You can also put a stopper to only allow the leader to go so deep. You can also use this method with other flies; it works great, especially if you are fishing over heavy cover.

Redear are a thick-bodied, hard-fighting fish. They are also one of the fastest-growing sunfish and, therefore, deserve a chance to be caught on a fly rod. Now is the time! ~ Kevin Wright

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