The Big Walnut- Late September – Low Water


Fly fishing in low water conditions can sometimes be a tough gig; truth is I have found that usually it is all or none. The water while being low…can create a ‘fish in the aquarium’ situation, making for potentially easy fishing; it also adds a definite level of difficulty as the water is usually clear and the fish can detect your presence. The solution is to make long, accurate casts into viable water. Such was the case on this, the last day of September, 2017. I would be traversing a familiar piece of water…but one that I hadn’t been on for over a month. My buddy Frank, would do the top portion while I took the lower; we would rendezvous three hours later and compare notes.

The first half hour and the first two pools of the day…they were of the ‘none’ category. I was beginning to worry if we might have just caught the fish on a sour note? The first fish of the day was a small-smallie…but a smallie. I knew that if this little 10 inch fish had taken a swipe at my reverse-tied bucktail…then other would as well. Forge ahead and besides-it was one of those gorgeous early fall days when everything just looks a bit better.

My next fish was indeed a bit larger and a pattern had emerged as it was evident that the fish were lying back within the shade, in deeper water…waiting for an unsuspecting baitfish to float into the pool. As you will see in the video, the fish of the day then charges out and eats my fly, presenting one of the most beautiful smallmouth I have seen in a while.

Stealth is all important and one must not only watch their physical shadow but make sure that the dirt track doesn’t spook the fish; therefore, most of my casts were done from the gravel bars adjacent to the stream. The reverse tied bucktail proved to be an effective fly…allowing it to simple fall and twitch its way through a pool was the ticket to bring a few fish charging out after a meal.

If the water is low in your area…don’t be too hesitant. Grab your gear, keep your profile low and watch where and how you walk…you can still find a trophy or two interested in gobbling up a meal prior to the winter slow down.

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