Smallmouth bass can also be found in lakes and reservoirs. Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim. Fly Fishing for smallmouth bass is right at the top of the list for many anglers. If you're fishing with an elevated rod tip, there is a lot of slack line between you and the fly. Dry fly fishing is easily… Read More »Best Floating Fly Fishing Line For Better Nymph Fishing, You wouldn’t wear the same… Read More »Best Wading Boots For Fly Fishing – For Every Temperature You’ll Encounter, When it comes to a… Read More »Best Wading Jacket Review To Stay Dry In Every Situation, Your email address will not be published. See Photos; Techniques to target smallmouth through the seasons. An outstanding line to fish surface divers, Woolly Buggers, crayfish, and streamer patterns along shorelines in 1- to 10-foot water. The important features for a good “bass” fly rod are adequate weight and responsiveness to throw heavy flies a good distance. Staging smallmouth bass will congregate near spawning areas in places where lakes bottleneck and shallow. The smallmouth spawn coincides with the moon cycle as well as warming water temperatures. The Johnstons' favorite smallmouth lures. These areas need not be large either. Pick it up and cast again to the same or different area, and repeat the retrieve. Alewife, shad, smelt, and ciscoes form large schools, and flies imitating the local species are successful when smallmouth are intercepting the spawning and feeding migrations of these small fish. In other states bass have been introduced and are seen as an invasive species. This short film highlights fly fishing opportunities for Smallmouth Bass in Washington, with particular emphasis on gear and fly selection. But don’t neglect the appeal of underwater structures like undercut banks, boulders, and drop-offs. Current breaks like boulders and sandbars will hold feeding bass. This particular category of fly fishing is growing from year to year. Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here. When you fish any stillwater for smallmouth I recommend using a straight-line technique to animate and retrieve the fly, detect strikes, and hook fsh. Want more fish? In calm weather pre-spawn smallmouth bass usually stay near the bottom around big structures like boulders and stumps. Featured on ESPN outdoors, the lake has 2 pro bass circuits each year. Smallmouth prefer clear, cool water with adjacent, hard-structure materials. Best Time to Go Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. If pike, musky, or chain pickerel cohabit with smallmouth, it's a good idea to use 6 or 8 inches of heavy, 30- to 60- pound nylon or Tyger Wire bite tippet. This saves you from re-rigging on the water. Many stillwaters can have extensive barren areas, so using locators saves you time and keeps you focused where bass or schools of bait are concentrated. The mighty smallmouth is found in over 2,000 rivers and thousands of lakes across North America, and readily strikes flies year around. There are only two states, Florida and Louisiana, where populations have not become established. Bedding smallmouth can really put a damper on the fishing. This is probably the most consistent technique for producing smallmouth strikes. It is often easy to attempt to set the hook before the fish actually has the fly in its mouth. Keep your eye out for circling, diving gulls or sudden surface splashing, as both are tip-offs of this open-water feeding bonanza. Fly fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass is a wonderful way to spend a quiet afternoon and most people have them close to home so it's a way to get out and try your newfound skills right away. Subscriber Services. Find cold, oxygenated water, and you’ll find lots of smallmouth bass. I don't have to travel far because they inhabit a wide range of ponds, lakes, and reservoirs across North America. On big and small rivers and lakes where there are mayflies, caddis, and other aquatic insects, bass seek out drifting adult insects and sip them from the surface. Fishing will be noticeably slow for close to 10 days until the males also leave the nest. November 20, 2020. Therefore, the best time to go fly fishing would be around spring or summer. When in doubt which fly pattern might appeal to the smallmouth patrolling these underwater structures, we suggest the beadhead olive Wooly Bugger. But hitting the water early before the temperatures rise, or later around sunset is going to provide the best fishing opportunities. They’re downright mean fish. A group that when we get together have been known to get a little wild after a good day of fishing. Short and jerky retrieves will accurately imitate a retreating crawfish and will coerce hard whacks from bronzebacks. Small streams and tributaries that join with larger rivers typically will be significantly colder than the rivers they pour into. The best time to fish topwater for smallmouth bass is in the early morning and late afternoon. They are sometimes attracted to deeper aquatic vegetation beds if minnows are present as well as some form of current caused by inflows, wind, or dam turbine releases. Most of your fly rod brands that are designed for salt water fly fishing work great for smallmouth bass. Its important to realize that you are taking advantage of the breeding cycle of smallmouth bass. This short film highlights fly fishing opportunities for Smallmouth Bass in Washington, with particular emphasis on gear and fly selection. Read on for the best tips to improve your smallmouth game on the fly rod. If possible, make the fly change directions every 8 to 10 feet with hard line mends to the right and left. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets. But during the hottest hours of the day smallmouth usually retreat to cooler water, 20 to 30 feet deep or wherever the thermocline occurs. If you prefer largemouths, you can also find them present in good numbers in many northern Wisconsin lakes. They’ll move from deep winter holding water to structures close to a potential spawning area. Pound for pound, they are considered the strongest fighters of any freshwater fish by many anglers. For example, undercut banks provide shade, protection, and act as a conveyor belt that delivers food with very limited expense in energy. Once they get settled onto their nest they are almost impossible to coax into striking. Imitations of nymphs, emergers, duns, and spinners all work well during hatches. Learn More. That means fewer people, less pressure and the best fishing. Some states ban fishing over bass beds to protect their reproduction cycles. Bronze backs will sometimes move to shallower water when the weather brings in a good strong wind. Cast the fly toward structure, pause five or six seconds, and then move it with a few one-inch to one-foot strips, and pause again. This particular category of fly fishing is growing from year to year. This is the place for accurate and helpful information on fly fishing for smallmouth, without the jargon or hype. Fly Fishing for bass in the fall is one of my favorite times of the year to hit the lake. Smallmouth bass are a great gamefish due to their hard fight, large size, year-round availability, and aggressive topwater takes. Before they spawn in the spring, smallmouth move near sun-warmed northern shorelines as water temperatures rise to around 55 degrees. This is especially true in the heavily pressure trout fishing waters that many anglers are faced with. One is rocks and the other is crayfish. The Lake is heating up and is a great place for an adventure or get away. But smallmouth don’t all spawn at once, and if you are fishing a large body of water you can usually find both pre-spawn and post-spawn bass. Smallmouth bass are the best fish to catch, and fly fishing is a superb way to catch them …. It’s great for throwing bass sized flies all day, its very light on the arm, and it is loads of fun to fight a smallmouth with. By this time, air temperatures reach into the 80-90’s and the bass have finished their spawn. Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass in North Carolina. Some other tidbits of information from a Lake Powell fishing guide: Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass. Merkels Camp is located on Wabigoon Lake which is famous for huge bass, pike and musky. To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine. Smallmouth are frequently near the shores and islands. Heavier leaders or tippet material comes highly recommended, and be careful how you set the hook. Lastly, keep an eye out for offshore surface activity. Try baitfish patterns like Thunder Creek streamers with flashy mylar tube bodies. Present the fly so it makes a loud, splashy impact on the surface, followed by an immediate fast-line strip to give the impression that the fly is panicking. The pre-spawn is followed by the explosive top water smallmouth fishing during the spawn by May 20. Many of the lakes smallmouth and largemouth bass exceed 5 pounds and 30-50 fish days are common. One of my great fly-fishing pleasures is bugging for smallmouth along the shores of a beautiful lake. In the winter, the lakes usually freeze over. But don’t neglect the areas immediately downstream of these locations as well. The largest smallmouth make their move first. The best smallmouth action is from mid to late April all the way through to late Oct. or early Nov. Smallmouth are extremely fun to catch and they are considered by many to the the hardest fighting freshwater fish, pound for pound. Hard hitting smallmouth can break off a fly if you raise the rod too aggressively. The best topwater action is around late spring, after fish recuperate from spawning. Locating fish is the first step to a successful outing. Lake levels frequently fluctuate, so shoreline structure and food sources vary. Each time you move it, increase the number of strips by one or two. How to Remove Wind Knots and Snarls from Leaders and Tippet, Temps for Trout: How to Catch Fish that Behave Hot n Cold, Hobie 360 Drive Kayak Propulsion Technology: Power and Control in Any Direction, 7 Tips for Rigging Your Nymphs like a Pro, Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power. Bronze backs make spawning beds in a good number of places. Best of all, there is no problem finding a place to fish without crowds. smallmouth bass in reservoirs and lakes, fishing streams and rivers can be productive and challenging. Early Smallmouth fishing starts when water temperatures rise to the low to mid 50’s. After smallmouth leave their beds is when the top water fishing explodes. Present poppers and sliders over underwater structure to simulate the surface feeding activity that entices smallmouth to rise from the depths. Fish from a stable, nonmoving position. If you love catching big bass, then Ontario is the place you want to go. Smallmouth in stillwaters are the same species as those in flowing waters, but they tend to grow larger and require different (but just as exciting) methods to find and catch consistently. Come fly fish some of the best smallmouth waters in the Southeast. There's plenty of incredible fishing elsewhere on the lake or pond and the rest of the year to enjoy, and I hope this four-part series will help you do just that! Smallmouths like warm water. For best results, be sure your boat stays in a fixed position, and use slow, subtle, deep retrieves. Lake Powell Fly Fishing Smallmouth Bass. 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. Tube jigs and small inline spinners often work well when bass fishing in New Jersey for smallmouth. It’s tough to beat watching the water explode around surface flies like poppers and foam bodied bugs. If white bass, stripers, or hybrids are present, smallmouth frequently join them in herding and chasing bait schools. All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. Traverse City Michigan based Fly fishing only guide service specializing in trout, steelhead, smallmouth bass, carp, pike and panfish. Learn More. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere. Fly fishing outfit for smallmouth bass. That would be my preview of heaven. Weighted crawfish patterns work well through the rocks and shorelines. Temperate bass are a family of five gamefish that are strong. Your email address will not be published. Reservoirs in the southern states offer some potential winter fly fishing, but even in those areas, fast-sinking lines and subsurface flies are usually required. Southern and West Coast reservoirs often fish better in the early spring, late fall, and winter than in the summer. Lauzon Resort & Marina. Description:The smallmouth bass is a member of the centrarchid, or sunfish family. Fly Fishing for smallmouth bass is right at the top of the list for many anglers. Our home waters are Central Florida. In very clear water they’ll spawn in deeper ranges down to 15-20 feet for safety. They’ll bed on points, flats, humps and in small gravel, hard clay, and chipped shale. In rivers, large slack water areas behind islands and curves will attract staging bass. At these depths I have my best results with bass located next to bottom structure or bluffs and sunken islands. It is also why finesse lures are very popular in smallmouth fishing. Without this, you lose flies as well as the thrill from these fine game fish. Unless it is cloudy with a light chop on the water, then mid day can be very productive too. Smallmouth bass can be caught on a fly rod using topwater poppers or baitfish patterns, but will also readily strike many different types of lures on spinning gear. Silty-bottom areas with lots of surface aquatic vegetation such as lilies, cattails, and milfoil attract largemouth bass, pike, pickerel, and sunfish, but seldom hold smallmouth. A heavy bucktail Clouser Minnow bounced off the bottom drives them wild and will result in hard-hitting strikes if presented correctly. The mouth of the tributaries is an obvious hot spot. Some Key Points: There are two things to keep in mind anytime you are fishing for smallmouth bass. When I wrote my first book on Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass (fourteen books ago) one of the magazine editors who reviewed it said “Murray is fly fishing for smallmouths with trout tactics.” Although we do not use trout tackle for smallmouths, the serious angler does select his smallmouth tackle with the same care he uses when selecting his finest trout tackle. I use 81/2- to 9-foot, medium to medium-fast rods. Largemouth and smallmouth bass prosper in lakes, and watching a bass annihilate a popper in stillwater is an experience that is hard to beat in the fly fishing world. Water temperatures during the spawning period can be anywhere from the mid 50’s up to 70 degrees. A large smallmouth will take a fly and skyrocket into the air on occasions. Like stream-inhabiting smallmouth, stillwater bass are structure-oriented fish. Smallmouth will rise from even 8-10 feet down to take flies with authority, and often a pause in the retrieve will entice those aggressive strikes. That's a lot of water covered in nearly 30 years. If there is a lot of algae in the water, fish an olive Mohair Leech. Typically when you want to shift your aim from specie to specie you target different lakes, or different areas of a lake. All the mature bass that participated in the spawn are now skinny, and looking for outlets to gain weight quickly. Try jigging these flies and fishing them slow through the suspected holding structures. Many experienced smallmouth fly anglers will recommend keeping the rod tip low, or even in the water while retrieving. As the water temperatures drop below the fish's comfort zone, they move to deep water again to find the warmest temperatures for wintering, usually offshore in 20 to 100 feet of water. Both species tend to lurk around structure or cruise right along the bottom. Smallmouth are environmentally and stress sensitive, and even temporarily removing them traumatizes the adults and any eggs or sac fry in the nest are immediately consumed by sunfish or other nest robbers. Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. Remember, a retrieve that works well at one time may not suit the fish's mood later, so it's important to experiment. Smallmouth bass are an excellent species to chase with a fly rod. we have had a giant hatch here in central Canada I'm located just north of the minn - North Dakota state line. And while trout are no doubt fun to catch on flies, that presents a bit of a problem, because a lot of people think they have to find a cool river or lake (trout do best in water temperatures lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit) to enjoy fly fishing. Scientific Angler's Stillwater intermediate Type I. With that being said, I recommend a 6 to 8 weight rod of 8.5′ or longer. The effect that the tributary has on water temperature and oxygen content will depending on the size of the tributary. As water temperatures warm in the summer, surface fly fishing can be excellent in the mornings, late afternoons, and at night along shallow shorelines. Fish from a stable, nonmoving position. Most stillwater smallmouth fishing is done from a float-tube, kick-boat, canoe, or bass boat. as 35 feet. Thankfully bronze backs don’t stay on their nest very long. Stillwater smallmouth areas are far more abundant and produce larger bass than flowing waters. This is best for fishing surface flies, divers, nymphs, and streamers along shorelines, down to 5 or 6 feet deep. Popular with anglers looking for Bass (Smallmouth) fishing charters in North Georgia You will go out aboard a brand-new 25’ Wellcraft tournament center console, which comes powered by a … Weighted sub-surface flies like bead head Wooly Buggers and Clousers are going to be essential. If you're using a popper, try a combination of heavy pops and subtle twitches and vary the tempo of your strips to find a combination that interests fish. Bivens said he's been catching brown fish on Tellico since they dammed it up back in the mid-1970s. The cold water tributaries attract more than just smallmouth bass. Ontario Bass Fishing. Some warmer, southern reservoirs provide the exception, where smallmouth remain active through the winter. I’d love to hear from you! Anglers refer to this period as the pre-spawn or will refer to the bass as “staging bass” immediately before the spawning season. And If you are looking for a great bass rod take a look at our review of the TFO Lefty Kreh Pro Series II. Hit the water hard for the few days immediately before the first full moon and hold on to your fly rod! The past five Oregon state fishing records for smallmouth bass have come out of this reservoir near Forest Grove, including the 8-plus-pound current record landed in 2005. However, minnows, small sunfish, and perch normally parallel smallmouth activity all year, so they are consistent food forms that are important to imitate during all the seasons. But even in shallow water these fish aren’t often going to be interested in any surface flies this early in the season. Fly fishing Indiana’s Lake Michigan coast for smallmouth bass is an adventure every serious bronzeback angler should experience. Keep the rod in this position throughout the retrieve to prevent line drag, and to be in position for a solid hookset when a fish strikes. Stephanie Vatalaro . A three pound smallmouth on the end of your leader will make you think you’ve accidentally wandered onto a marlin fishing charter. There are two types of smallmouth stillwaters—natural lakes and man-made reservoirs. If you want to find the biggest hogs of the bunch you’ll need good timing and a stream thermometer. Keep in mind, there are hundreds of small streams and lakes that have a population of smallmouth bass that are not included in this list. Sinking lines must be used and they are not very easy to fish. After spawning, the females move to deeper water and the males remain to guard the nest and young fry for a week or two before also moving to deeper water. Chip's Monster Magic. After the spawn, reservoir smallmouth move into the 8- to 10-foot range along pea gravel points where they can be takin on the Mojo rig or small crankbaits. threadfin shad, gizzard shad and blueback herring) that the bass fatten up on in preparation for the cold winter ahead, start migrating into shallower water in search of cooler waters. Pause, go, and stop. Largemouth will aggressively attack a fly that bounces into their territory. I'm firmly entrenched in the middle-class and don't mind at all. I’m an avid outdoor enthusiast who has gone on several excursions along the coasts and has visited 31 of the 50 United States. A few days before the full moon they move up from the deeper holding structures and take up aggressive postures toward intruders. Keep an eye on the moon cycle and the water temperature. Spend less time driving and more time fishing… Even a few solitary rocks that introduce oxygen into the water could be providing refuge for a hog on a hot day. Beside a stickup just beyond the weed line is a yellow bass bug, placed there with a short cast of my fly rod. Thanks great information, I'm fishing lakes for the most part 90--10 lakes to rivers. State Rank: Exotic Distribution: Smallmouth bass are native to the Great Lakes and Mississippi drainages of the central United States.They were introduced into New Hampshire in the mid 1800’s and are now widespread. These areas add oxygen into the water by agitation and churning of the water. First, the fly has innate action, so when it is at rest or sinking, it still has lifelike movements. Floating bass taper. But its the males who are particularly voracious due to the period of fasting they’ve endured while guarding the nest. These fish put up a great fight and are a hoot to catch using floating flies. 8-weight. Not just some smallmouths, but plenty of trophy smallies, and in good densities. Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass in North Carolina. Dwayne 'Chip' Cromarty - January 15, 2016. Smallmouth can't resist feeding on stillwater hatches of Hexagenia and Brown Drakes. Largemouth and smallmouth bass prosper in lakes, and watching a bass annihilate a popper in stillwater is an experience that is hard to beat in the fly fishing world. This is not the case with smallmouth bass. Get a closer look at the Johnston brothers' favorite lures for a day of smallmouth fishing. I like this retrieve coupled with a popper or slider over deep, bass-holding structures like flooded cedar trees or reefs. The many moods and feeding activities of stillwater bass require both actions for best results. Smallmouth bass are an excellent fish to target on fly.

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