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by Alan Luecke
(Kansas City, MO)
Cardinal Shiner, Spawning Male
I've mounted several expeditions around Missouri and Kansas in recent weeks. The goals were trout and bass. The real trophies turned out to be some very cool and unexpected micros.
The Cardinal shiner in full spawning regalia is from southwest Missouri. I've caught many Cardinals but never with their cat clothes on.
The others are from creeks in the Flint Hills in Kansas. The Orange Spotted Sunfish is a new species for me and the last of the local sunfish on my list. The little Topeka Shiner (I think?) is the smallest fish I've ever caught. It will fit in a quarter.
The rig for most of these fish is the Kiyotaki 18 with about 12-14 inches of heavy level line with a BB shot attached at the bottom. Below that is two feet of 7X tippet with a size 30 killer bugger and a #10 split shot. The reason for the short piece of heavy line and weight at the top is to attempt to stabilize the rig and reduce to the tendency for the whole mess to end up tangled around the tip when a hook set is missed. This is for hardcore micro fishing, no casting is involved. The fly is put in front of the fish and the strike is anticipated. There is no time to feel and react.
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653
"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662
As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.
Beware of the Dogma