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Discussion Starter #1
I'll start by saying that I've only fished for bass probably 5 or 6 times in my life...there was a pond by my house in NC a few years ago and I would go out on summer evenings and throw poppers with my trout fly rod and catch small LM's. I decided to look closer at warm water options here in colorado, especially for something to do when the trout streams are in run off. Been reading a lot about rocky mountain arsenal so i went to give it a shot today for the first time. I had all my surface poppers, some larger streamers and crayfish patterns from my trout stuff and i picked up a couple clousers too. Started out on the bass lake in the morning (no one there) and fished so much fishy looking water stubbornly with the poppers. I knew it was cold, but I insisted the bass wouldn't be able to resist the big froggy, meaty popper. Got nothing and tried some streamers too. Then decided to try the big lake as I've been hearing it's not too hard to get at least a small pike in there. To my surprise, on about my 3rd cast, i felt the weight and pulled in my first pike (basic 20 incer or so). got him on just a big, brown streamer that I keep on hand for big brown trout. Couldn't get another bite though for an hour and i tried several streamers, so i went back to lake mary for bass. fished that thing over and over with clousers, crayfish, etc and eventually put on the poppers again and only got two small bass all day. I had probably spent almost 4 hours at that point on lake mary. saw two big bass taken near me by guys with fly rods but i don't know what they were using.

Anyway, i was walking the boardwalk to leave and a guy fishing one of those piers sees my fly rod and says 'there's a bunch of small bass over here and they are taking something off the surface'. He was leaving so i went over to look and sure enough they were rising. i had seen some brown mayflies flying around earlier so i dedided t to try some dry fly fishing for bass. put on a little adams mayfly from my trout box and incredibly caught 6 bass and a handful of bluegill over the next half hour. bass were small but after 5 hours of mostly crap it was fun. i just never thought i would save the day by catching those bass feeding on a mayfly hatch! So, my question is, was that abnormal or is it common to catch bass sipping surface flies during a hatch? I had never seen it on a tv show or read about it so i wasn't expecting it.

Also, can anyone suggest just a couple bass flies and a couple pike flies i should pick up for that place? seems like whatever the other guys were fishing, they were small and not being retrieved fast or much at all. thanks!
 

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I've seen bass feeding off the surface many times. I can remember seeing them all over during a tiny mayfly hatch once, and couldn't catch any. They can be very selective sometimes.

As far as flies go for RMA, since it gets pressured so much, I'm sure the smaller flies help. Also, you want something that sinks very slow or is neutrally buoyant because its more realistic looking in still water. I've heard leech patterns work well there. Sorry, I've only been once so not too familiar with it.
 

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I have good luck with bass, crappie and other panfish using small bh olive wooley buggers. Black and brown bugers in sizes from 8 to 12 work well also. I have caught bass and crappie on size 10 and 12 Micky Finns, but the buggers are what I throw the most. Big bh or cone head buggers should work for the pike too. I was at the arsenal yesterday also and was trying to catch my first pike ever on the fly rod. I had a couple on on a red and white pike fly, but both got off before I could land them.
I have seen bass hitting bugs on the surface, but I have not tried to catch them on dry flies. I'm sure it would be fun though.


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I started fishing at the RMA over the past 1 1/2 year. Ditto on the wooly buggers though I never get anything large with it. I also use a smaller version of an Amy's Ant (sz. 14-16 instead of the usual 6-12)on the surface. The sunfish and smaller bass can't keep away from it. Anything with rubber legs seems to do a little better for me on the surface there. A deer hair popper and bass color EP style minnow (green/white - i.e. tied to look like a small bass) have worked for larger bass and pike. I would also try a large 5+" deceiver type pattern in place of a clouser because you don't need the weight since the lakes are pretty shallow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks guys. i did get some hits on a woolly bugger that i used out of deparation. an older guy fishing there with a fly rod showed me what he tied himself for the bass and it didn't look that far off from a bugger either. i ordered some streamers and pike minnows so we'll see. that lake mary looks so good for habitat and i'm really hoping to get some bigger attacks on poppers but i guess we have to wait for it to warm up a bit?
 
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