Register now on PaFlyFish.com! Login
HOME FORUM BLOG PHOTOS LINKS


Sponsors

Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users





Back to basics

Joined:
2007/4/25 10:02
Posts: 5796
Offline
I have been almost strictly a trout dude but have fished for smallmouths a couple times.

What are the best tactics? I know about Clouser type flies.

What do you employ? Stripping like streamers? Or jiggin them?

Of course I can youtube and google with the best of them but thought I would solicit your expertise and years of experience.

Plus it's Friday and the weekend is almost upon us. Not that I really know what day it is.

Posted on: 2008/8/1 11:28
_________________
I flyfish because I enjoy it.


Re: Back to basics

Joined:
2008/2/18 10:20
Posts: 1266
Offline
Get Bob clousers book on smallmouth bass. It is worth the money. He covers everything.

http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Fishing-Sma ... Bob-Clouser/dp/0811701735

Posted on: 2008/8/1 11:59
_________________
Those who have no vices usually have some really annoying virtues!


Re: Back to basics

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13623
Offline
All of the above...even dead drifting works when stripping or swinging doesn't. On the sinnemahoming I actually like to strip them upstream or let them ride the current and I catch a lot when the fish attacks from behind...be willing to forget some of what you know about how trout feed when fishing for anything else...

Posted on: 2008/8/1 12:05


Re: Back to basics

Joined:
2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 850
Offline
If you're fishing in relatively clear water, I think day and day out that dead drifting dark leeches, big buggers and name flies like the Murray Strymph, Murray Hellgrammite and Holschlag Hackle Fly catches more flowing water smallmouth than any other single tactic.

Posted on: 2008/8/1 14:46


Re: Back to basics

Joined:
2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 850
Offline
>>I have been almost strictly a trout dude but have fished for smallmouths a couple times. >>

You're part way there then...

Many years ago, before Nixon was president and before any dentists claimed to be "pain free", one of the outdoor magazines had an article on fishing in moving water for smallmouth. It might have been F&S and the author may have been AJ McLane. But then again, I may have dreamed that part of it...

Anyway, in the article, they took 4 guys who had never fished for stream bass, 2 trout guys and 2 largemouth guys and cut them loose on a bass river some place. The trout guys outfished the largemouth guys like 4 to 1.

And this makes sense because for the most part, with a few exceptions, stream bass will use the same lies and same feeding stations that trout use in a smaller stream. They'll often be in faster water than you might think, so long as there is a current break available to them and so long as there is sufficient depth to hide them. This is especially true when water temps hit and exceed 80F, as they often do in most of our better bass streams. I've caught a lot of decent bass high stick nymphing in heavy pocket water with all black fur leeches and such.

A lot of our best bass creeks, at least in western PA, have long fairly slow flats that are seldom more than 3 feet deep anywhere. These places are usually interspersed with long sections of useless, very shallow riffle water.
Oil Creek, French Creek, Brokenstraw, Tionesta Creek, Driftwood (if there are any bass there any more..), First Fork, Lower Kettle, Pine Creek, lower Loyalsock, Mahoning and Red Bank Creeks and even the Clarion River all have a lot of water like this. These places, so long as there is some rubble along the bottom for crawdads to hang out, are smallmouth magnets. They load up with fish in late Summer.

You can sight fish for these bass by using a pair of polaroids and watching for the black tails. They often travel in pairs or even groups of up to 5 or so. You cast up or cross stream to the pod and hold your rod high and let the fly sort of walk towards you slowly. Most of the takes will come on the drop, so you need to be ready. Use a little lead or a slightly weighted fly or you'll end up hung on the bottom every other cast. I use all black fur leeches in size 6-8 or a Murray strymph in black or dark brown or a Murray hellgrammite. Another fly I started using last year and which may be the best of them all is the Holschlag Hackle Fly (http://www.flyfishersrepublic.com/patterns/holschlag-hackle-fly/).

Even when the water is very clear, I never use finer than 2X. I just have never seen a leader shy smallmouth. But I use a fairly long leader, say 9-10 feet to keep the fly line back and out of the picture.

Some of these long slow runs are long enough that you can spend a whole morning or afternoon in just one of them. Once the water gets pretty low, they're just lousy with bass usually.

I know this is different than the way the guys who fish the big rivers go about it, but it is the moving water smallmouth fishing I know and enjoy best.

Posted on: 2008/8/1 15:56


Re: Back to basics

Joined:
2008/2/18 10:20
Posts: 1266
Offline
RLeeP,

Good post!!! I learned a couple things.

Posted on: 2008/8/1 16:21
_________________
Those who have no vices usually have some really annoying virtues!


Re: Back to basics
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8869
Offline
RleeP, good Post on SM fishing.

Paul,

First of all, my favorite way to fish SMs is with a popper on top. Sometimes I’ll try that first to see what happens, but it’s not usually the best way to catch them, it is the most fun, at least for me. Poppers, sliders, or any top-water fly is usually best early and late in the day without direct sunlight on the water, in shaded areas, or with cloud cover. With that being said, I’ve fished many bright sunny days where the fish hammered poppers throughout the day.

Probably the best approach for fishing SMs is to tie on a medium weighted bugger, Clouser or similar type fly. I usually start by casting quartering downstream and swing it across the current and strip it back upstream after the drift. Sometimes the fish can’t resist your fly when you let it hang in the current at the end of the drift, so try that too. Try both swinging without stripping, and active stripping throughout the drift to get an idea of what the fish want that day.

If this active approach doesn’t work, I will start to quarter my casts upstream, and dead drift my fly by high-sticking it like RleeP described. After the line passes my position, I let it swing downstream and employ the active tactics as described above. Take note of when in the drift you get a hit, and how you were manipulating your fly.

You can cover the water like a blanket, if after each cast you take a small step downstream and repeat the process. When dead drifting, to cover the water completely, I usually make three casts before stepping downstream to cover all the water - a short, medium, and long cast and then move down and repeat. Take a few extra casts in fishy looking areas and vary your fly manipulation. If you do begin catching fish, stay put or move more slowly since SMs have a tendency to cluster in a certain area.

My staple fly is an olive and black wooly bugger, but sometimes fly types and colors does matter. Try black or dark colored flies, especially on early and late and if the water is stained. Also try chartreuse, white, yellow and brown.

Some of rigs I use, I tie on a large BHHE or big weighted stonefly with rubber legs for dead drifting, and fish it behind a weighted bugger, leech, or similar fly. Also I have a lot of success using a good-sized popper with a lightly weighted bugger or nymph on a 2 ,3 or 4’ dropper. The popper works well as a striker indicator as well as being the target fly, and the rig covers the water from top to bottom.

FF for SM is a blast and a great alternative to trout fishing the summer.

Posted on: 2008/8/2 9:01


Re: Back to basics
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9033
Offline
acris,
I love smallies and fish 'em more than trout in the summer. The previous posts are all very good info. Personally, I rarely fish ponds or lakes for these fish as I prefer wading creeks and rivers. Smallies are found in just about every warm water creek in central PA and many designated trout streams and their downstream areas provide great fishing during the summer, esp if you don't mind smaller fish under a foot long (a foot long SM will fight like a 14" trout). My experience is that bass in creeks are often locally concentrated and you may have to hunt to find them. During the summer, the better fishing tends to be early and late in the day, esp after the sun sets. For creeks I like a very short 3WT trout rod, for bigger rivers a 9' for 7WT. For dead drift I like a fly similar to a Holshag HF about an inch long in black or olive. Drop a small PT type nymph about a foot down from the bigger fly and fish 'em under a large indicator. The nymph will get a lot of sunnies too.

Posted on: 2008/8/2 13:29


Re: Back to basics

Joined:
2007/4/25 10:02
Posts: 5796
Offline
Good stuff- thanks. Enjoying my fly fishing evolution and my raging hangover is slowly getting better as the day moves on.

Posted on: 2008/8/2 14:40
_________________
I flyfish because I enjoy it.






You can view topic.
You cannot start a new topic.
You cannot reply to posts.
You cannot edit your posts.
You cannot delete your posts.
You cannot add new polls.
You cannot vote in polls.
You cannot attach files to posts.
You cannot post without approval.

[Advanced Search]





Site Content
Login
Username:

Password:

Remember me



Lost Password?

Register now!
Stay Connected

twitterfeed.com facebook instagram RSS Feed

Sponsors
Polls





Copyright 2014 by PaFlyFish.com | Privacy Policy| Provided by Kile Media Group | Design by 7dana.com