Josenhans FF ~ Pickerel on the Fly

10 03 2011

For the past several weeks Baltimore fly fishing guru Joe Bruce and I have been trying to get together for a trip to the Pocomoke River. It has been quite a while since Joe has wet a line on this river, and hearing I have been catching some bass and pickerel – Joe wanted to give it a shot. He especially wanted to try out his new fly pattern, the Bullethead Darter. This past Wednesday, we met at Byrd Park in Snow Hill for a late morning/afternoon trip along the Pocomoke. I have to be honest, it proved to be a long slow afternoon of fishing. We only managed to bring three pickerel to the boat, while fishing in rather breezy conditions. Just ten days ago I thought I had these toothy critters figured out, but just when you think that, fish have a way of humbling you.

Joe with pickerel fooled by Bullethead Darter

On the positive side, Joe’s new fly worked as advertised. While Bulletheads have been around for a while in one form or another, Joe’s Bullethead Darter is different. It’s simple in design yet highly effective. Tied with Icelandic wool, the fly has incredible action, even while stationary in the water. And that’s the neat thing about the Bullethead Darter is its neutral buoyancy when there is a pause in the retrieve. The fly simply sits there and ‘breathes,’ like a minnow trying to determine its next move. The combination of materials that Joe has put together, when cast on an intermediate line, really makes the fly come alive. Joe stresses to use a long (7-1/2 foot) tapered leader, so that as the slow sinking line seeks the bottom, the fly will remain suspended, thus more visible to the fish.  The fly is available at Tochterman’s Fishing Tackle in Baltimore by calling (410) 327-6942, or directly from Joe on his Web site at




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