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  • Writer's pictureBear River Tackle

Think Like a Minnow

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Fog drifted over the water’s surface. It was thirty six degrees with a bright sunny sky; certainly less than ideal conditions.

But….a few trees were trying to leaf out, so it was time to see if the fish were also waking up from their winter slumber.

Because the water temperature was still cold, I tried casting the streamer into deep areas, letting it sink and slowly retrieving it back. Zero hits.

Next up was to try fishing in warmer water along the sunny shore. Still nothing.

While standing on the bank looking across the water, it dawned on me that it was time to wake up from my winter slumber and start “thinking like a minnow”.

What does that mean…thinking like a minnow; “snort … how foolish” you might think.

Well, maybe not.

Minnows and crawfish hang out near places to hide, and swim away like maniacs when they sense danger, which is the only way to stay alive.

My casts now went parallel to the shore where there was flooded grass and brush and where aquatic plants were starting to grow. Perfect hiding places for a minnow or crawfish.

The most productive spots were also parallel to a deep drop off where ambushing bass could lurk.

The other big change was my retrieve which became fast and erratic, like a darting minnow or scooting crawfish trying to avoid becoming lunch.

This made a world of difference. In short order I caught several 14-15 inch bass and one very nice fish.

A slow day had become a great day!

This Largemouth was 21 inches and weighed about 5 pounds. It hit a Bear River Tackle Big Bad Bass Rattler fly, in orange chartreuse and silver.

Bear River tackle flies are designed to move with life-like swimming action similar to a minnow or crawfish. To take advantage of this, use a lightning fast retrieve.

Also, to help you “become one with the minnow” you might want to try humming the mantra shown below while you are fishing.

Dart like a minnow

Scoot like a crawfish

Dodge and dance

Like you're desperately trying

To avoid becoming lunch!

Just kidding about the mantra.

But if you will think like a minnow, and make the fly dart and dance, hungry fish will not be able to resist your fly.

Time to go fly fishing!

Glenn Personey


Bear River Tackle

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