Another Slow Day on the Forebay (Pole Dancers)


The weather pattern this week was strange with showers in Jun. The last couple weekends that I have been back from Europe have been busy with a Bathroom Remodel as well as the Wedding of our neighbors son Eric and the graduation of our niece Megan from Leland. Ive kept my eye on the fishing reports from San Luis and it been pretty consistently blown out with 20 mph winds every chance Ive had to go. Add the fact that Wayne has been reporting some great Striper and Shad Fishing up north, I haven’t pulled on a decent fish in over a month and a half. Thank god next week Im heading to Bolivia to fish for some Dorado.

Some of the best fishing I have ever had at the forebay and lake have been from April to June when the Stripers spawn. This year I didnt have a single good day on the lake in the last three months. Friday was no exception. I ended the day with 2 dinks less than 10 inches long. It rained on the way to the lake and despite the calm water when I arrived at 7:00, the yellow lights were on by 8:00 and the water was surprisingly muddy. Must be the runoff from the the Delta. I tried all the high probability spots and hardly marked fish anywhere. Its been a strange season this year, hopefully its and long term investment in better seasons to come.

For this years trips to Bolivia and Brazil to fish for Dorado and Peacock bass, I am trying to build up an arsenal of topwater flies. In particular, I am trying to build my own Pole Dancers. Charlie Bisharat’s pole dancer is the most engineered fly I have ever taken apart. You almost need a degree in physics and hydrodynamics to really understand how it walks the dog like a Zara Spook. The easiest way to get the right action on the fly is to copy everything about it–shape of head, hook size and weight, and wing. The fly is essentially only three parts, each fairly simple to make, however its the way they work together positioning the fly in the water column that makes it functional. After I took apart a pole dancer, the first thing I did was to weigh all the part so that I could try to balance my parts as closely as possible. Subtle things about the fly such as the position of the hook in the foam head, the amount of turns of lead on the rear weighted hook and the length, diameter and weight of the wing all contribute to this flies action and make them difficult to duplicate.

In my search for “walking the dog” flies, I discovered that many fly tiers have effectively duplicated the walk the dog action in topwater flies. Some flies are variations on the pole dancer theme, and some are spun deer hair replicas of the shape and balance of the Zara Spook plug. With many published articles about the Pole Dancers effectiveness for Dorado, and Peacock Bass, I decided to explore the possibility of building them. They are expensive flies that cost 25-35 dollars each and the way Dorado and Peacock bass destroy flies, I explored the idea of building a cheaper “disposable” clone of Charlie’s killer flies for a couple dollars a piece and a little work.

One of the most popular and effective topwater flies for Dorado is the Titanic Slider developed by Jaul Paulson.  The popular size is a 1/0 .   After a week at Tismani Pluma last year,  I felt like 3/0 to 6/-0 flies hooked more fish than 1/0 flies.  My goal for next weeks trip was to build a 3/0 pole dancer in Dorado colors.   After constructing some prototypes to test on the forebay,  I think I have a fly that will work well and hold up.  At the very worst,  they wont walk and they will function at least as good as a slider and they wont be a  $33 dollar sacrifice to every Dorado that want a piece of it.


One thought on “Another Slow Day on the Forebay (Pole Dancers)

  1. You didn’t miss a thing this year Meng. The late spring grab never materialized for me. I had been fishing it fairly regularly from APR through late MAY (when I ruined both tires on the trailer!!!), and my best day was about 30 fish. Most days about 10 was average. And most were dinks. Good thing shad season started going in late May!!!! I marked very few fish and what few fish we found were widely scattered in no big pods. Hopefully, this is not an indication of the upcoming fall season.

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