Flyfishing and Tying Jon's Generic


3 wt. + generic = sporty bass

Jon's Generic

  • Jon's Generic Introduction
  • What to Expect from this Fly.

  • Materials - Getting Started
  • Dubbing the Generic
  • Finishing the Fly
  • Research & Development
  • Fishing Jon's Generic - Techniques

  • Jon's Fly Vest - Main Directory

  • Technique.

    Here are some tips for fishing the Generic.

    Assuming you're fishing still water in a float tube, position yourself so your casts are into the shoreline. Longer casts at angles are good if you can put it close to cover or the shore. Pick your way along, casting to every clump of grass, rock, stick, cut and pocket of the shore. Cover the water. Cast short, then longer to fish the water in front of you first. I like to drop the fly as softly as possible...plink...and start my retrieve based on how deep the water is where the fly lands. If it's a foot or less in depth, I start my retrieve immediately. Large fish will lie in shallow water, especially early and late in the day. They will readily accept a softly presented Generic because it is natural, unobtrusive, and easy to inhale.

    I nearly always use a handtwist retrieve when fishing the Generic on still water. This technique is easier shown than explained in text. For those who may not be familiar with it, ask around...your friends, local flyshop, club members...if you need a little coaching. The handtwist retrieve is simple, a little awkward at first maybe, but with a little practice, it makes the fly dance and swim seductively. And it offers great 'touch' for strike detection. Try using 40-60 repetitions per minute; slower in cooler water and vice-versa.

    Putting movement on the fly will make it easier to feel the take...a tightening of the flyline. When fished very slow and deep in cold water, the pickup from warmwater fish can be so subtle you need to be "in the zone" to know when it's happening. 90% of the time though, it's a definite tug. When you feel a fish, *lift* your flyrod gently. Don't yank or jerk unless you're determined to break a tippet. Larger bass will take the Generic by inhaling and you won't know their size until you tighten-up and it feels like a cinder block is on the end of your line. Go easy, don't spook the fish, wear him down slowly.

    Another technique I've found effective is a series of rapid 1" strips. This is easy to do, but for me, detecting the soft takes can be more difficult. I prefer the handtwist, but once in a while I'll mix this one in to see what happens. Another idea...and this one can produce gangbuster results when nothing else seems to be working, is to give three quick handtwists, then pause a beat before repeating the three handtwists. The hookup is almost always on the first handtwist after the pause.

    Another hint: when you have your fly just about back to you and you're getting ready to pick up the line to cast again, instead, lift your rod slowly and allow the fly to climb enticingly to the surface. This teasing can trigger slashing takes, often from larger fish that have been tracking the fly for some distance. Another useful retrieve for the Generic is a long (arm's length), smooth strip of medium-plus speed. I've had especially good results with crappie liking this retrieve.

    When you've caught some fish on the Generic, you'll notice that nearly all of the hooksets are in the upper lip. In bass, especially the larger bass, the hook will be buried in the rib of cartilage inside their upper lip. When you've got them hooked there, breaking off is the only option. This upper lip hookup is typical because the weighted fly swims upside-down. This is a decided advantage.

    Also, I always cast to working fish with the Generic. Warmwater...coldwater...always. Cover the rise, let the fly sink for a second or two, start your handtwist slowly, and be prepared to make a smooth, even hook set.

    For those of you who really like to chase warmwater fish...this fly is a 'must have' for your arsenal. I usually have two rods with me in my float tube. One is a six weight rigged with bass taper line and a small to medium yellow popping bug. The other is a three or four weight rigged with a nine foot leader tapering to 4X and a Generic. Have fun and if you get a chance, drop me a note. I'd like know how it's working for you.

    Over the years I've heard from folks worldwide. US, Canada, Brazil, Alaska, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa. It works.

    Have fun,

    Jon Hazen
    Salem, Oregon

    Salem Oregon Community Guide

    1994-2002 - serving the community first