Nothing beats catching a smallmouth bass on a topwater presentation. Matching the natural food in the smallmouth drainages is not tough since they are always in the stream – they live in the cobblestone bottom, usually under the riffles. "They are not going to feed on the size 20 bait as nymph like a brown trout would on the spring creek. Less common than their larger cousin the largemouth, smallmouth bass are special not only because they fight harder than other freshwater fish, but because the rock strewn environments they inhabit have something of mountain purity about them. Shorter rods from 6 feet to 7 ½ feet long for line weights from one weight up to four weight are ideal. You think you’ve got a 7 pound bass, only to find out the fish weighs half that when you finally get it in the net. Between their geographical abundance, hyper-aggressive nature, and the power they can impose against a taught line, bass are a great opportunity for anglers to diversify their regularly targeted species, as well as have a great fight. Steve Hyatt: Use small jigs and fly’s, you can’t use the same thing you fish for LargeMouth! They are found in hundreds of rivers, small streams, lakes and reservoirs from the. Fly Fishing for smallmouth bass is right at the top of the list for many anglers. Is he going to be beside that grass bed?" Pound for pound, they are considered the strongest fighters of any freshwater fish by many anglers. Fishing streams for smallmouth bass offers a small-water alternative for bass anglers on a strict budget. The San Marcos river is a special fishery. I use a little heavier tippet for stream bass than for stream trout – 3X (about 6 lb. If they are a little of symmetry, they can twist your leader causing you to break off the big fish. When fishing smallmouth, Harry’s standard rod is a 9-foot-7 weight, specifically Harry Wilson’s 907B, a 9-foot-7 weight with a bass action and a very strong tip. Current breaks, eddies, shoals, ripples are areas smallmouth like to hang out because there's dissolved oxygen and food there. "They are down in the water and you want to get those things up in the air, and you don’t want a wishy-washy tip on it." ", On the other hand, "if you’ve got a cobblestone bottom water waist-deep, shaded bank, you should be able to take those bass all day long.". Holes — Good winter and summer stream haunts. Finding Smallmouth In Lakes and Large Rivers: In clear lakes and large, clear rivers, smallmouth will travel great distances to take a fly during the middle of a sunny afternoon. “Anybody can afford an old pair of torn-up tennis shoes (for wading),” said Jack Uxa, a Missouri guide who has been fishing streams throughout his home state since he was about 9 years old. This particular category of fly fishing is growing from year to year. … "I do love smallmouth bass fishing on both the upper and lower Greenbrier," he says. This is the most valuable thing in smallmouth fishing. Which begs the question . December 28, 2016. They hide back under the banks and feed on hoppers and things drifting along. The top 5 states for smallmouth bass fishing are Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Kentucky. … So at the head of the pool, read the water using polarized glass. rebel crawdad and a small walk the dog lure or popper and hold on. It will make your quest very pleasant, extremely rewarding and it will even help you catch more large bass. Your looking for streams that will be able to hold fish. A handful of each in a few colors and sizes will have you well on your way to your best bass … Breaking down a stream to find smallmouth involves a simple strategy: Starting at the head of the stream, think about the food that’s there – primarily Hellgrammites and Sculpins. A 5 to 7 wt. The fly is very effective all across the US and you can use it to fish upstream, dead drift or fish it down and across the stream. The most fun you can fly fishing for smallmouth bass is catching them when they are feeding on the surface. Landing a smallmouth bass is tough because they never give up. These techniques and tactics, while successful for fly fishing for smallmouth bass very closely mimic trout fly fishing in larger streams and rivers around the world. Selecting the proper tackle for your smallmouth bass fly fishing will enable you to get the most out of your pursuit of this fine fish. Smallmouth bass are quite fun and rewarding to catch. 2. They feed on hellgrammite larvae and the dobsonfly larvae the same way the browns and the rainbows would in the Yellowstone River. His articles can be seen regularly in many national fly fishing magazines. Correct fly line. Finding Smallmouth In Small Streams and Creeks: There are two types small streams and creeks. During decades of float fishing for smallmouths in streams and a few years of guiding fishermen on the upper sections of the North Fork of the White River and on the Black and Current rivers in Missouri, I’ve had more opportunities than most to experiment with baits. Bob Clouser's name is well known in fly fishing circles beyond his home area of southcentral Pennsylvania. An experienced teacher, Bob anticipates the questions and challenges faced by anglers when they first encounter a smallmouth stream. Fish the sections of the river that provide the two key elements for the smallmouth bass: food and structure. The most fun you can fly fishing for smallmouth bass is catching them when they are feeding on the surface. Your craft should not drift with the wind or move under paddle or motor power: If it's moving, your fly will drag and you'll lose the precise fly control you need. More Fishing. They’re going to go for a mouthful. Nothing beats the fun and excitement of seeing a five, pound smallmouth come up from the bottom of a clear water stream and crash an imitation of a frog on the surface. His go-to fly is "just whatever seems to be working". The mighty smallmouth is found in over 2,000 rivers and thousands of lakes across North America, and readily strikes flies year around. Most lakes in Northwestern Ontario have similar conditions and habitat and can grow big Smallmouth Bass but our lakes are remote fly-in outpost lakes and due to low fishing pressure, they produce unusually large Smallmouth Bass and great numbers. Latest. The Smallmouth bass prefers clearer, cooler water than largemouth bass. Home » Fly Fishing Streams for Smallmouth Bass. Fishing publications often refer to the smallmouth bass as "ounce for ounce and pound for pound the gamest fish that swims" Featured. In Fly-Fishing for Smallmouth, Bob Clouser shares the extensive knowledge he has developed over a quarter-century of guiding for smallmouth bass on the Susquehanna River. This rod is effective when fishing heavy flies like the Hellgrammites. Kip Vieth chases smallmouths as much as he can in Minnesota. That’s why Harry does most of his fishing from 5 p.m until 8.30 p.m. "Try to fish the middle of the river in the middle of the day in the bright sun, why, if you get them, you’re going to earn them. The problem is, day in You will learn, or brush up on, casting, fly fishing equipment selection (fly rod, fly reel, fly line, flies, wading gear), knot tying, reading the water, entomology, nymphing, streamer fishing and topwater fishing. For bigger flies, a 4-weight is the ideal rod. Videos. Catching a five pound smallmouth on a 5 or 6 weight fly rod is something you won't forget quickly, if ever. Is he going to be below that ledge? If you have not tried fly fishing for smallmouth bass, you should. Above 58° F., and on up to 65°, try bass bugs, especially if you notice any surface rises. Shoreline wood, rock and weed cover — Submerged logs, laydowns extending off the bank into the water, rocks and aquatic vegetation will all hold stream bass. He came up with the fly when he was looking for something to "simplify his hunting in the morning". Harry Murray has been fly fishing, guiding and teaching others about smallmouth bass most of his life. "But if I had to list my favorite part of the Greenbrier, I would say it is the upper part above Anthony. Drawing from a lifetime of smallmouth bass fishing, guiding and teaching at his angling schools, Harry Murray has developed his own approach to evaluating rivers and streams in order to find the best places to fish. This well-illustrated book provides an in-depth look at smallmouth bass fishing with the fly rod drawn largely from Clouser's own experiences on the Susquehanna River. While you’re getting down in the middle or tail of the pool and looking out for the fish, ask yourself where the bass is going to be: "Is he going beyond that riffle? You most likely will not run into lunker bass, so throwing 1/0 bass bugs … This book is well suited for any fly fisherman from novice to expert who is looking for specific tips on tackle and techniques for smallmouth bass … These fish are … Fishing Small Creek and Streams From A Boat: Most small streams can be waded, but many don't have the proper access points to wade from the banks. Smallmouth bass are the "gentleman of the warm water species", as Harry calls them. Clean, clear water has a quality of vitality and levity that turbid water lacks. During the day, they stay in water 10 to 30 feet deep, and although you can catch them on a sinking line it’s a lot of work. To become a better smallmouth angler, start thinking about your flies not as general foodstuffs, but as presentation technologies: Each design allows you to cover water at different depths and speeds, and with different actions and profiles. Keep in mind, in water clear enough for you to see the fish, the fish can also. A fishing guide explains how to catch your biggest smallmouth of the season—in the dead of winter . Nothing beats the fun. Fishing The 7 Best Lures for Smallmouth Bass in Rivers If you’re hitting the water for bronzebacks this summer, you’ll want to fill your tacklebox with these go-to baits These hard fighting fish are always a surprise. Originally designed to catch subsurface striped bass, smallmouth anglers fish Blados' Crease Fly under the same logic as a traditional popper — create a disturbance and the fish will come. This particular category of fly fishing is growing from year to year. You'll find his practical approach to finding and hooking up with these exciting fish an enlightening experience. Anglers in the Heartland, for example, where shad are common, … "They are down in the water and you want to get those things up in the air, and you don’t want a wishy-washy tip on it." Beyond his native waters, the lessons Bob offers in this book can be directly applied to smallmouth fisheries across the country, from creeks to large rivers. In Harry’s area in the Shenandoah River in Edinburg, Virginia, smallmouth bass often come into the tributaries to spawn at around 50 degrees which is normally around the middle of April until the middle of May. Smallmouth can be caught in water as deep as it is possible to fish a fly, on the surface, and anywhere in between. floating line and 6 to 8 feet of leader will handle most applications. You can access the San Marcos near the towns Fentress, Staples and Martindale. LOL. Bring your 6 or 7-weight to the San Marcos. Smallmouth Bass Fishing: Big Water vs. Small Rivers Streams and river have currents making it easier to find smallmouth. Small holes, and runs that offer enough cover for the fish is what your looking for. Catching a five pound smallmouth on a 5 or 6 weight fly rod is something you want forget quickly, if ever. San Marcos – A Special Fly Fishing River. Below is a list of five different flies that run the gamut in terms of presentation possibilities. Around 20 years ago, Harry concocted the Strymph, a fly that can be fished as a streamer to imitate minnows and fished as a nymph to imitate aquatic insects. Smallmouth bass are not wild about bright sunlight. east coast to the west coast of the United States and Canada. It is often easy to attempt to set the hook before the fish actually has the fly in its mouth. Smallmouth on rock ledges . The preferred method of fishing for smallmouth bass in streams is fly fishing. Fishermen should understand, though, that there's a big "if" that comes with floating the upper river. Casting & General Fly Fishing Tech. Written by: Kip Vieth, Wildwood Float Trips. Regarding line size, it has to be big enough to carry the fly … There are those large enough to float and those that are too small to float or, When wading, you have to be use stealthy approach. For bigger flies, a 4-weight is the ideal rod. When fishing smallmouth, Harry’s standard rod is a 9-foot-7 weight, specifically Harry Wilson’s 907B, a 9-foot-7 weight with a bass action and a very strong tip. At this water temperature wet flies, feather minnows, bass-size nymphs, streamers, bucktails and spinner-and-flies will all take fish. Once you determined where the smallmouth is, that’s when you decide where to put your fly. Think small When fishing these small waters, it is usually best to down size your gear. Regarding line size, it has to be big enough to carry the fly size. Listen to our full interview with Harry Murray and learn more strategies on fly fishing streams for smallmouth bass. Others are too deep to. Although they are usually taken for the table, many fishermen practice catch-and-release fishing to improve fish population. Author Orvis Staff Posted on June 12, 2015 May 21, 2019 Categories Fly Fishing Tags fly recipes, fly-fishing for smallmouth bass, fly-fishing tips, top 10 flies. Fishing for freshwater Bass (specifically smallouth and largemouth) can be one of the most intense and rewarding experiences on a fly rod. They have become one of the most popular game fish today. The length of the rod will depend on the overhead canopy. Recipes and fishing techniques for 32 of Bob Clouser's favorite smallmouth patternsTen tips to catch a trophy bassLocal expertise for fishing the nation's best bass rivers, including the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania, the Umpqua and John Day in Oregon, Maryland's Potomac, Maine's Penobscot, and the Little TennesseeIn Fly-Fishing for Smallmouth, Bob Clouser shares the extensi However, in rivers, smallmouths are active all day long, even in the heat of summer. Catching Smallmouth Bass in Streams and Small Rivers. He has published eight books on fly fishing and has produced two videos and two DVDs. Harry discourages going much finer than 2x. If. Mar 6, 2018. Fly Fishing for smallmouth bass is right at the top of the list for many anglers. Smallmouth bass eat almost anything; be it a hellgrammite, crayfish, sculpin, minnow, damsel, or dragonfly. Smallmouth bass fishing in lakes during midsummer is usually a dawn and dusk commando operation. Fly rod rigging is simple enough for stream bass. It’s basically just the reverse. Gear. rod with matching wt. Smallmouth Bass Strategies - Dave Karczynski, Top Ten Smallmouth Bass Flies and How to Fish Them - Brad Miller, Drifting for Smallmouth Bass in Wisconsin Tributaries - AJ Dudek, Housantonic River - Trout and Smallies - Torrey Collins, Smallmouth Bass with a Big Bite! Along with Harry Murry and Lefty Kreh, Bob Clouser is one of the Dean's of fly fishing for bass, especially in rivers, so I'm sure this book has been eagerly anticipated by a great many fly … He can discuss the various minnows found in smallmouth rivers, the flows that match them and the most productive techniques for fishing them. - Randy Ratliff, Fly-Fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass, Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams: A Fly Fishing Guide (Blue-Ribbon Fly Fishing Guides), Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park. This rod is effective when fishing heavy flies like the Hellgrammites. With that outfit you’re ready for even over-size smallmouth bass. If you've been fishing a section of river or stream without success, or if you haven’t seen any activity on the water, it’s time to move on. Mike Jones: i’ve spent extensive time wading the creeks of western kentucky for smallmouth bass with my uncle. Harry, who owns and has operated Murray’s Fly Shop in Virginia for 40 years, has designed over 50 fly patterns for both trout and bass. Listen in and learn his secrets. Catch yourself in a position on the stream so you can wade the water effectively and fish the fly without spooking the fish. You’ll catch Guadalupe Bass along with largemouth and smallmouth bass. bass on a fly rod, you're not likely to forget it. test) depending on the weight of the fly and anticipated size of the fish. Enter your information to get notified of our upcoming information packed interviews. ", Harry’s favorite attractor fly is a Carolina Blue Popper, also called “The Eye”, which was developed by Bill Gallosh in Richmond, Virgina around 40 or 50 years ago. You want to maximize your time on the water. Although Uxa owns a bass boat now … When exploring these waters always make sure that the stream has enough water flow. Joe Randolph: Fly fishing from a canoe is the way to go. Smallmouth bass can also be found in lakes and reservoirs. There's good fishing, if there's enough water to float." The appeal, depending on the size and color combination, is that the fly presents a realistic baitfish profile to a marauding smallmouth. You can catch stream smallmouths on a wide variety of lures, but the most consistent smallmouth baits I’ve found are not … The fly size dictates the line size and the line size dictates the fly size. Shoals — Smallmouth, especially, will often move onto these shallow structures to forage for crawfish and minnows. Uxa waded streams for several years since he couldn’t afford a bass boat. Most stillwater smallmouth fishing is done from a float-tube, kick-boat, canoe, or bass boat. On leaders and tippets, a 9-foot 2x is the standard size. We are going to help you plan one of your next big fishing trips by giving you a few good locations in each state, along with some bait that can be used … A perfect species for fly fishing. With "Fly-Fishing for Smallmouth", Bob Clouser offers a follow-up to his excellent book Clouser's Flies, this time taking us on the stream and letting the reader pick the mind of an experienced and highly knowledgeable angler. test) to 1X (about 9 lb. Copyright © 2021 Ask About Fly Fishing | As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases through links from this website. The amount of diversity within the waters make it one of the best places to fish in the entire country. Habitat. Smallmouth bass are the best fish to catch, and fly fishing is a superb way to catch them … This is the place for accurate and helpful information on fly fishing for smallmouth, without the jargon or hype. Mar 6, 2018. Photo courtesy Kip Vieth. By Joe Cermele. It is as defeating as drag in a stream when you need a natural drift. But he explained, "The blue popper is the way we go on the top, but when we go underwater, then we’re trying to match the natural foods.". Pound for pound, they are considered the strongest fighters of any freshwater fish by many anglers. They feed in a different manner compared to the largemouth bass, a little similar to brown trout. However, he doesn’t always stick with this fly. They are commonly found in streams and rivers and do not mind moving water.

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