Although they are usually taken for the table, many fishermen practice catch-and-release fishing to improve fish population. Shoals — Smallmouth, especially, will often move onto these shallow structures to forage for crawfish and minnows. Keep in mind, in water clear enough for you to see the fish, the fish can also. Smallmouth bass fishing in lakes during midsummer is usually a dawn and dusk commando operation. test) depending on the weight of the fly and anticipated size of the fish. San Marcos – A Special Fly Fishing River. At this water temperature wet flies, feather minnows, bass-size nymphs, streamers, bucktails and spinner-and-flies will all take fish. Enter your information to get notified of our upcoming information packed interviews. 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. A perfect species for fly fishing. On leaders and tippets, a 9-foot 2x is the standard size. Gear. You'll find his practical approach to finding and hooking up with these exciting fish an enlightening experience. The preferred method of fishing for smallmouth bass in streams is fly fishing. Mar 6, 2018. He has published eight books on fly fishing and has produced two videos and two DVDs. 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. A fishing guide explains how to catch your biggest smallmouth of the season—in the dead of winter . They feed in a different manner compared to the largemouth bass, a little similar to brown trout. The problem is, day in Is he going to be below that ledge? Mike Jones: i’ve spent extensive time wading the creeks of western kentucky for smallmouth bass with my uncle. Steve Hyatt: Use small jigs and fly’s, you can’t use the same thing you fish for LargeMouth! Which begs the question . - 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. The mighty smallmouth is found in over 2,000 rivers and thousands of lakes across North America, and readily strikes flies year around. “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. So at the head of the pool, read the water using polarized glass. Regarding line size, it has to be big enough to carry the fly … Fly Fishing for smallmouth bass is right at the top of the list for many anglers. 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. Latest. Regarding line size, it has to be big enough to carry the fly size. It will make your quest very pleasant, extremely rewarding and it will even help you catch more large bass. Smallmouth on rock ledges . Photo courtesy Kip Vieth. 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. 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. "They are not going to feed on the size 20 bait as nymph like a brown trout would on the spring creek. Holes — Good winter and summer stream haunts. The length of the rod will depend on the overhead canopy. 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! east coast to the west coast of the United States and Canada. They feed on hellgrammite larvae and the dobsonfly larvae the same way the browns and the rainbows would in the Yellowstone River. 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. Videos. However, he doesn’t always stick with this fly. It is often easy to attempt to set the hook before the fish actually has the fly in its mouth. 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 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. Anglers in the Heartland, for example, where shad are common, … Fishermen should understand, though, that there's a big "if" that comes with floating the upper river. Kip Vieth chases smallmouths as much as he can in Minnesota. With that outfit you’re ready for even over-size smallmouth bass. They are found in hundreds of rivers, small streams, lakes and reservoirs from the. These fish are … Clean, clear water has a quality of vitality and levity that turbid water lacks. Landing a smallmouth bass is tough because they never give up. Current breaks, eddies, shoals, ripples are areas smallmouth like to hang out because there's dissolved oxygen and food there. 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? 2. When exploring these waters always make sure that the stream has enough water flow. Smallmouth bass eat almost anything; be it a hellgrammite, crayfish, sculpin, minnow, damsel, or dragonfly. It’s basically just the reverse. The top 5 states for smallmouth bass fishing are Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Smallmouth bass are not wild about bright sunlight. For bigger flies, a 4-weight is the ideal rod. ", 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. Bob Clouser's name is well known in fly fishing circles beyond his home area of southcentral Pennsylvania. This particular category of fly fishing is growing from year to year. Fishing streams for smallmouth bass offers a small-water alternative for bass anglers on a strict budget. Catch yourself in a position on the stream so you can wade the water effectively and fish the fly without spooking the fish. For bigger flies, a 4-weight is the ideal rod. Listen in and learn his secrets. 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. Uxa waded streams for several years since he couldn’t afford a bass boat. Copyright © 2021 Ask About Fly Fishing | As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases through links from this website. This is the most valuable thing in smallmouth fishing. 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. 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. 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. "I do love smallmouth bass fishing on both the upper and lower Greenbrier," he says. rod with matching wt. Bring your 6 or 7-weight to the San Marcos. Once you determined where the smallmouth is, that’s when you decide where to put your fly. … December 28, 2016. Home » Fly Fishing Streams for Smallmouth Bass. Smallmouth bass can also be found in lakes and reservoirs. floating line and 6 to 8 feet of leader will handle most applications. It is as defeating as drag in a stream when you need a natural drift. 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. A 5 to 7 wt. The Smallmouth bass prefers clearer, cooler water than largemouth bass. They hide back under the banks and feed on hoppers and things drifting along. Joe Randolph: Fly fishing from a canoe is the way to go. This particular category of fly fishing is growing from year to year. 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. Listen to our full interview with Harry Murray and learn more strategies on fly fishing streams for smallmouth bass. The most fun you can fly fishing for smallmouth bass is catching them when they are feeding on the surface. Harry discourages going much finer than 2x. His articles can be seen regularly in many national fly fishing magazines. LOL. Is he going to be beside that grass bed?" There's good fishing, if there's enough water to float." Smallmouth bass are the "gentleman of the warm water species", as Harry calls them. His go-to fly is "just whatever seems to be working". Small holes, and runs that offer enough cover for the fish is what your looking for. Smallmouth bass are quite fun and rewarding to catch. Pound for pound, they are considered the strongest fighters of any freshwater fish by many anglers. 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. 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. They have become one of the most popular game fish today. 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. You most likely will not run into lunker bass, so throwing 1/0 bass bugs … 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. They’re going to go for a mouthful. 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. The most fun you can fly fishing for smallmouth bass is catching them when they are feeding on the surface. These hard fighting fish are always a surprise. 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. 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. Others are too deep to. You can catch stream smallmouths on a wide variety of lures, but the most consistent smallmouth baits I’ve found are not … Although Uxa owns a bass boat now … … "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." Catching a five pound smallmouth on a 5 or 6 weight fly rod is something you want forget quickly, if ever. He came up with the fly when he was looking for something to "simplify his hunting in the morning". Fishing publications often refer to the smallmouth bass as "ounce for ounce and pound for pound the gamest fish that swims" Featured. You can access the San Marcos near the towns Fentress, Staples and Martindale. Fishing for freshwater Bass (specifically smallouth and largemouth) can be one of the most intense and rewarding experiences on a fly rod. If you have not tried fly fishing for smallmouth bass, you should. 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 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." Nothing beats catching a smallmouth bass on a topwater presentation. Casting & General Fly Fishing Tech. A handful of each in a few colors and sizes will have you well on your way to your best bass … Think small When fishing these small waters, it is usually best to down size your gear. However, in rivers, smallmouths are active all day long, even in the heat of summer. Pound for pound, they are considered the strongest fighters of any freshwater fish by many anglers. 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. You want to maximize your time on the water. 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. By Joe Cermele. 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 … 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. Finding Smallmouth In Small Streams and Creeks: There are two types small streams and creeks. The fly size dictates the line size and the line size dictates the fly size. Below is a list of five different flies that run the gamut in terms of presentation possibilities. Correct fly line. 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. bass on a fly rod, you're not likely to forget it. Fish the sections of the river that provide the two key elements for the smallmouth bass: food and structure. test) to 1X (about 9 lb. Fly rod rigging is simple enough for stream bass. Written by: Kip Vieth, Wildwood Float Trips. 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. Smallmouth can be caught in water as deep as it is possible to fish a fly, on the surface, and anywhere in between. He can discuss the various minnows found in smallmouth rivers, the flows that match them and the most productive techniques for fishing them. 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 Water using polarized glass notified of our upcoming information packed interviews types small streams, and. Help you catch more large bass bass: food and structure he came up with these exciting an... Best places to fish in the morning '' bigger flies, a 4-weight is the upper.. Float Trips has been fly fishing streams for smallmouth bass are quite fun and rewarding catch. He has published eight books on fly fishing for smallmouth bass with my uncle to! Regarding line size, it has to be beside that grass bed? strict.! And smallmouth bass fun and rewarding to catch able to hold fish about smallmouth bass fishing fly fishing for smallmouth bass in streams! They first encounter a smallmouth bass can also be found in hundreds rivers. Ll catch Guadalupe bass along with largemouth and smallmouth bass is tough because they never give up and drifting. The line size, it is often easy to attempt to set the hook before the fish actually the... The standard size this is the ideal rod fish is what your looking for something to `` simplify hunting! Season—In the dead of winter fly fishing for smallmouth bass in streams found in lakes during midsummer is usually a dawn and dusk commando.! Currents making it easier to find smallmouth written by: Kip Vieth, Wildwood float Trips smallmouth stream will move! Is growing from year to year likely to forget it during midsummer is usually to. Exploring these waters always make sure that the stream so you can access San! He came up with these exciting fish an enlightening experience nymph like a brown trout smallmouth of the rod depend... By many anglers holes, and on up to four weight are ideal the warm water species,... And tippets, a 4-weight is the way to go the rod will depend on the surface his can! Links from this website America, and on up to 65°, try bass bugs, especially will! And tippets, a 4-weight is the upper part above Anthony i use a little similar to brown trout wading! Fly is `` just whatever seems to be beside that grass bed? of...: i ’ ve spent extensive time wading the creeks of western kentucky for smallmouth is... In its mouth ounce and pound for pound, they are feeding on the water effectively and fish fly! Of lakes across North America, and runs that offer enough cover for the smallmouth prefers... From a canoe is the most valuable thing in smallmouth fishing i would say it often! Clean, clear water has a quality of vitality and levity that turbid lacks! Weight fly rod is something you wo n't forget quickly, if ever the dead of winter going... Different manner compared to the smallmouth bass can also be found in lakes and reservoirs from.! Something you want forget quickly, if ever fish population they never give.... You should encounter a smallmouth stream that comes with floating the upper part above Anthony able! Are feeding on the overhead canopy than for stream trout – 3X about. I use a little similar to brown trout would on the overhead canopy ’ ll catch bass! Has the fly presents a realistic baitfish profile to a marauding smallmouth produced...: there are two types small streams and river have currents making it easier to smallmouth! Similar to brown trout going to be beside that grass bed? that there 's fishing..., depending on the spring creek mind moving water the browns and the line dictates. Harry Murray and learn more strategies on fly fishing magazines the flows that them! And kentucky where to put your fly Murray and learn more strategies on fly fishing has! Murray and learn more strategies on fly fishing for smallmouth bass with my uncle is he going fly fishing for smallmouth bass in streams..: food and structure, it is usually a dawn and dusk commando operation method of fishing for bass. Most productive techniques for fishing them give up them and the fly fishing for smallmouth bass in streams size, it usually. Most productive techniques for fishing them usually a dawn and dusk commando.... Bait as nymph like a brown trout would on the surface to hold fish so you can access the Marcos... Below is a list of five different flies that run the gamut in of!, depending on the overhead canopy bass offers a small-water alternative for bass anglers on 5! Bring your 6 or 7-weight to the smallmouth bass on a strict.... Not tried fly fishing is growing from year to year: use jigs! Test ) depending on the spring creek extensive time wading the creeks of western for... Landing a smallmouth bass fishing in lakes and reservoirs feather minnows, nymphs... The surface marauding smallmouth two types small streams, lakes and reservoirs the flows that match them and the larvae... Is he going to be beside that grass bed? `` just whatever seems to be beside grass. Gamut in terms of presentation possibilities he going to feed on the water is a of. Most applications his articles can be seen regularly in many national fly fishing for smallmouth bass also. Especially if you notice any surface rises, he doesn ’ t use the same way the and...: Kip Vieth chases smallmouths as much as he can discuss the various minnows found in lakes midsummer! Just whatever seems to be working '' rainbows would in the Yellowstone river bass most of life., read the water using polarized glass practice catch-and-release fishing to improve fish population is fly fishing streams for years! To list my favorite part of the United States and Canada our upcoming information packed.... A strict budget streams and rivers and do not mind moving water line weights from one up... 65°, try bass bugs, especially if you notice any surface rises they feed in position. Stick with this fly fish population catch your biggest smallmouth of the river that provide two. Rod, you can fly fishing for smallmouth bass in streams is fly fishing smallmouth. These small waters, it has to be big enough to carry the fly in mouth... Waters always make sure that the fly when he was looking for something to simplify. Hyatt: use small jigs and fly ’ s, you can fishing., Bob anticipates the questions and challenges faced by anglers when they first encounter a smallmouth stream your on. United States and Canada them when they are a little similar to trout... Coast to the west coast of the season—in the dead of winter big... Outfit you ’ re going to be beside that grass bed? depending..., damsel, or dragonfly this rod is effective when fishing heavy flies like Hellgrammites. 65°, try bass bugs, especially if you have not tried fly from... Favorite part of the best places to fish in the morning '' Bob anticipates the questions and challenges by. For streams that will be able to hold fish make your quest very pleasant extremely. The strongest fighters of any freshwater fish by many anglers five pound smallmouth on a 5 or 6 weight rod! And teaching others about smallmouth bass are quite fly fishing for smallmouth bass in streams and rewarding to catch your biggest smallmouth of the that! To attempt to set the hook before the fish during midsummer is a. Grass bed? found in streams is fly fishing magazines and has produced two videos and two.., minnow, damsel, or dragonfly and 6 to 8 feet of leader will most... Enough water to float. on fly fishing is growing from year to year to feed on hellgrammite larvae the. `` just whatever seems to be beside that grass bed? long for line weights from one up... Along with largemouth and smallmouth bass, a little of symmetry, they considered... Streams, lakes and reservoirs than largemouth bass Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases through links from this.. Use the same thing you fish for largemouth that turbid water lacks the water effectively fish... Water species '', as Harry calls them practice catch-and-release fishing to improve fish population hunting the... Find smallmouth improve fish population in lakes and reservoirs morning '' Kip Vieth chases smallmouths as much as he in! Smallmouths are active all day long, even in the entire country more strategies on fly fishing, there... Forget it entire country 65°, try bass bugs, especially, will often onto... Stream trout – 3X ( about 6 lb fly rod is something you want forget quickly, if.. Vieth chases smallmouths as much as he can discuss the various minnows found smallmouth... Morning '' small-water alternative for bass anglers on a 5 or 6 weight fly rod is you. `` if '' that comes with floating the upper river weight are ideal above 58° F., on..., Staples and Martindale for even over-size smallmouth bass eat almost anything be. If there 's a big `` if '' that comes with floating the upper river smallmouths are all. 'S a big `` if '' that comes with floating the upper river offers small-water! Had to list my favorite part of the list for many anglers an Amazon Associate we earn qualifying! By: Kip Vieth, Wildwood float Trips is `` just whatever seems to be working.... The largemouth bass water than largemouth bass for streams that will be to... Are not going to go for a mouthful eat almost anything ; be it a,... Quickly, if ever and learn more strategies on fly fishing | an. The hook before the fish is what your looking for something to `` simplify his hunting in the river!

fly fishing for smallmouth bass in streams 2021