Belews Creek: Float-n-Fly Time!
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Thread: Belews Creek: Float-n-Fly Time!

  1. #1
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    Default Belews Creek: Float-n-Fly Time!

    When the other local lakes get so cold as to make fishing extra difficult I start heading to Belews Creek. I enjoy winter fishing there because I usually catch something and it allows me to indulge my obsession for catching fish on the float-n-fly. I contracted FnF madness several years ago in Tennessee fishing for Smallmouth. You need to have deep clear water for it to work and Belews is the most suitable lake close to me. I got out to the lake 3 times around Christmas and had pretty good success.

    Trip-1: Caught 10 fish, 9 on FnF. Got bites in multiple areas but docks and wood were the most effective. Some small fish but several quality sized fish. Mostly spots with a couple LM. Highlight was an almost 3 lb spot on the FnF (pic below). My 2nd biggest spotted bass. Water temps 55-57
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    Trip-2: Caught 10 all on FnF. Couldnt find a bite on wood but the docks still produced. Size not as good but most all were big enough to put up a good fight. Water temps 55-57

    Trip-3: Caught 3 all on FnF and hooked 2 that got off. Water temp dropped quite a bit from the previous trips (53-55) and the bite was much slower. Bites on wood and docks. A strong West wind kicked up and ruined the areas where I was having success and I didnt get another bite the rest of the day. All 3 fish were 12 or better anchored by an 18 LM.

    It isnt the only technique that works and I have thrown swimbaits, jerkbaits, tailspinners, and spoons but FnF is my wintertime equivalent to a spinnerbait. If theyll bite it I wont put it down.

    If you are interested you can look up rigging details online. Im fishing a 7-8 foot leader and I use 1/16 oz craft hair and feather jigs (pic below of one that I made). You could just as easily use a gulp minnow, or plastic trailer but Im partial to the hair jigs. As for rods, I have an 8.5 foot FnF rod but that is to throw longer leaders. I think with 7-8 ft leaders you could easily use a 7.5 or even a 7 ft spinning rod. Fly rods and crappie rods would also work fine.
    Click image for larger version.

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    General Lake Comments:

    The lake has been affected by the drought and is probably 2-3 feet low but being so deep I dont see how this could impact it much. I have observed some topwater action but not much, although I've not bee out there before 9AM so there could be an early morning topwater bite. There is bait to be found but I have not found any areas with a massive concentration like some previous years.

    Tight lines,
    Andrew

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  3. #2
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    I have always wanted to catch fish on the float and fly.
    That's a good looking jig!!!!
    Bleedingblue likes this.


  4. #3
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    Nice report and good job on the catches. Belews is awesome when it's cool!

    BTJ
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    BroncoTwisterJim
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    I might get desperate in the next week or two and go to Belews for that warm water.
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    That is a beautiful spot. The water must be super clear.

    Darrell
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    Andrew,
    I just recently saw a video on the float in fly in northern GA. These guys were killing the spots! I'm glad you are catching some. What are some depths you are targeting?
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    Excellent report. Congrats on the Blog Award!
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  10. #8
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    Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat1 View Post
    I have always wanted to catch fish on the float and fly.
    That's a good looking jig!!!!
    Thanks. Making the jigs is a nice hobby for the cold weather months. I tried adding the weed-guard cause I got hung up a lot on wood. It works much better with the weed-guard out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by dbeam View Post
    That is a beautiful spot. The water must be super clear.

    Darrell
    Thanks. He put up a really fun fight. I'd estimate the water clarity at 8-10 feet if not more. The backs of the creeks will muddy up but he main lake is always clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by toomuch View Post
    Andrew,
    I just recently saw a video on the float in fly in northern GA. These guys were killing the spots! I'm glad you are catching some. What are some depths you are targeting?
    My leaders are running between 7.5 and 8.5 feet. The lake is deep but I've found if I get much more than 8-9 feet I'm often further off the bank than I want for the jig to be off the bottom. At Dale Hollow where I started using this it is typical to run about 10-12 feet and up to 15 feet but the lake is deeper.

    Quote Originally Posted by wademaster View Post
    Excellent report. Congrats on the Blog Award!
    Thanks for the award, it was unexpected.
    wademaster likes this.

    Tight lines,
    Andrew

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    Interesting... had never heard of the method, had to look it up.
    Bleedingblue likes this.

    After all is said and done.... A heck of a lot more will be said than done
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    Quote Originally Posted by biglenr View Post
    Interesting... had never heard of the method, had to look it up.
    It's ridiculously fun works it water all the way down below 40 degrees so you can fish it all winter. You need depth so fish suspend and water clarity. Most of the Piedmont lakes get too murky when it starts to rain in the winter but Belews stays clear. Besides Belews, I'm positive this technique would work at Badin (canyon side), Norman, Kerr Scott, James, Philpott (VA), and Smith Mountain (VA). Going further into the mountains this could work at just about any lake. Finally, it isn't just good for lakes it can also be a great winter pattern for river smallies.
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    Tight lines,
    Andrew

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    Nice to see you are still finding them shallow. A few weeks ago best success was fishing vertical in 30+ FOW where bait was being concentrated
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    Awesome post. Keep on whacking them in the cold!

    Not sure if @OGFShakeDown still makes wintertime visits to Holly Springs from Ohio, but he posted this Float-n-Fly report from Harris 8 years ago. (It would be nice if we could get an FnF post more often than every 8 years!)

    Quote Originally Posted by OGFShakeDown on 02-26-2010 View Post
    Harris lake is TERRIBLE...

    for catchin small bass

    Hooked into this 7lb toad today in the howling wind and blue bird skies. Didn't get a bite on the jig or vibee and was going fishless until I broke out the trusty float-n-fly. She hit a 1/16th ounce duck on a 13 foot leader in 18 FOW on a point halfway back in one of the creeks.

    First time I've ever tried the FNF outside of TN, and couldn't be happier that it worked for me in NC. Missed another pulldown, but can't complain.

    HUGE shad kill going on in the creek by the dam. Skyrats everywhere.


    Click image for larger version.

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    The best I could ever do on Falls Lake was to tip the fly with a minnow and tempt a couple white perch/white bass. It was more trouble than it was worth from the seat of the kayak using traditional 6'6" & 7' rods.
    Bleedingblue, and JBassAssassin like this.


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    Thanks Jeff, that is good to know as well. I have a crappie pole (really a modern cane pole) that is 12' long, and some M to H surf rods, but other than that, my longest light or UL rod is a 7', and I won't be on anything other than a kayak. So I should probably pass on this experiment.
    After all is said and done.... A heck of a lot more will be said than done
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    Quote Originally Posted by biglenr View Post
    Thanks Jeff, that is good to know as well. I have a crappie pole (really a modern cane pole) that is 12' long, and some M to H surf rods, but other than that, my longest light or UL rod is a 7', and I won't be on anything other than a kayak. So I should probably pass on this experiment.
    I'm certain I could have caught those same perch & bass on a standard minnow rig dropped over the side, or with a slip-bobber. Trying to cast with a bobber and 12ft of leader off a 3-way swivel from the seat of the kayak was a little silly. Same with hand lining them in one you reel up to the swivel. Not to mention that Falls is pretty much the opposite of FnF-friendly water clarity, and has no spotted bass to speak of. And I cheated the technique by tipping the hair jigs with minnows. But I scratched the curiosity itch with that year's basspro Christmas gift card. This year it's going to be Ned rigs (I'm a little behind on that one) and big Storm 360 searchbaits.




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    I am a ned rig addict.... especially in moving water.
    After all is said and done.... A heck of a lot more will be said than done
    Red X Angler
    "Sublime" - 2013 NuCanoe Frontier in lime green

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