Up north and out west the steelheads
and salmon run each season.
In the northeast the shad run is an annual
activity that draws anglers to the rivers
in droves. Down Florida way, the tarpon
migrate up and down the coast, bringing
Then there is the sand bass migration. Here
in Texas, and across the nation, as the water
temperatures reach the mid-sixties (or when the
red buds bloom according to popular lore) the
sand bass begin the migration from reservoirs
up rivers and creeks to spawn.
There are many signs that the spawn is underway.
Increased activity on fishing bulletin boards,
numerous cars and trucks parked near creek
access points, sudden and unexplained departures
or "illnesses" of employees.
Once the spawn is underway the waters will be
filled with sandies trying to get up the creek
to lay and fertilize eggs.
Some research has laid out these sand bass spawn
general rules of thumb. The males start the run
first. They arrive a few weeks to a month prior to
the females. They spawn in open water and the eggs
sink to the bottom where they gestate and hatch.
The fry grow to a few inches in size and
then return to the lakes and reservoirs.
A key part of the spawning run's initiating is
water flow. Rainfall levels can have an effect
on how soon and how heavy the spawning run. We've
had no lack of rain this 2004-2005 season so there
ought to be no problem with lack of water adversely
affecting the spawn.
Fly Fishing for sand bass
This is a thumbnail of general hints. I strongly
recommend going to area bait shops, websites,
and fly shops to get more detailed data.
Streamer patterns are hot. Sand bass will
eat bugs and crustaceans but their
first love is minnows and baitfish.
Here in Texas white and chartreuse are good
colors. As Lefty Kreh put it, "if it ain't
chartreuse it ain't no use."
Clousers, Blondes, any fly pattern that
looks like a small fish and is the right
Fish the flies deeper. Sand bass do not
necessarily roam the surface during
these spawns. Fish a sinking line or a
sink tip with a short section of tippet.
In the shallower creeks a floating line
with weighted flies will suffice.
Poor mans sink tip
A furled leader treated with some sinkant
such as Gehrke's Xink and a fluorocarbon
tippet will "get 'er done" as far as getting
the fly deeper faster. On shallower creeks
and side waters or larger rivers this set up
will do the job of a sink tip without the need
to change lines. Of course I recommend a standard
furled leader of thread as it will hold the sinkant
better and longer than mono would. Just be sure
to remember which one it is so you don't try dry
fly fishing with it later on!
Tight Lines. ~ Robin