Peninsula Fly Fishers

Bass Fishing at Kelsey Ranch

by Rocky Ferraro

April 2006

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from one of my fly fishing buddies one day.  He was sadly leaving the bay area and heading to the East Coast. With all the hoopla associated with moving and of course normal adult responsibilities he had forgotten about his bass fishing trip. Well, once he remembered it was too late so in order to help him with his move I volunteered to take this heavy burden of a bass fishing trip off his hands. Rodney I just want you to know it was my pleasure to help you out and any time you have this kind of moving task I will be the first person to lend you a helping hand.

I had a bit of a challenge finding this place as the sign in front is only 3”x3” and moving along at 50mph finding this sign is like finding a needle in a proverbial haystack. I have it marked in my gps now so it should only take me a couple of hours to find the place in stead of 3. I arrived at the lake to find happy helpful Tom Kilfoil suiting up and everyone else fishing. Tom gave me some of his hand crafted poppers, instructions on how to fish them but as I float tubed off there was little action on the top. After an hour or so of searching I decided to use one of the flies I tied from Skip Morris's bass fly-tying book. It is an easy tie and I was hopeful that it would work. The fly is called “The Clouser Deep Minnow” and is one of Lefty Krey’s favorite bass flies. Now I know why Lefty’s smiling. I put this fly on and eventually added split shots size BB. I decided that the fish were deep and I need to get the fly a little deeper to find the fish. I kept searching and just before lunch, by the dam I caught my first ever bass on a fly. I have caught small bass before but they were so small that I couldn’t tell if they were bass. These were real bass! The first one I caught was 18” and gave me a good fight. A little different than the way trout fight in that bass just pull hard and don’t make the runs that similar sized trout do.
Bass caught with a Clouser
Clouser Caught Bass

I came in after that catch and decided to have some of Tom’s delicious BBQ Elk burgers with all the trimmings. This was a great lunch in the outdoors chatting with friends about our after lunch fishing strategies.

Tom, Bob, John etc

After lunch I decided to go back to where I caught the last fish and see if any of his buddies were still lurking. I tubed a little further on my way to an island that Bob and John were fish at with, get this Bob’s Boston Whaler!
Bob's Whaler

On my way there I caught a monster Crappie. As I continued I caught 2 more bass in the 19”+ range. In the late afternoon the bite was off for me. Bob caught some more fish on spinners and Tom caught quite a few on plastic worms. I stuck to my flies and did well.
As I reminisce next time I will try and fish deep and use something with a longer tail if I find that the bass are keying in on worms. I think fishing a zonker with a long tail deep would have produced quite well.
Monster Crappie
Peninsula Fly Fishers 1976-2016
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