When the water is right you need to get all the fly fishing action you can…and the water continued to be perfect this past weekend. My buddy Frank joined me and we once again headed north about an hour to one of our favorite haunts. This was a good day for Frank as this was our first trip together since Frank had a serious heart surgery in June and if you have ever been down, been away from your passion, fly fishing…then you know how good it feels to be ‘back in the game’.
This may not be a surprise to anyone, but smallmouth are ambush predators; at least they start off in an ambush position. I actually like to think about them as the cheetahs of the water-in that they want to get as close as possible to any unsuspecting baitfish or crayfish, etc…and then if they have to, they pour on the gas, accelerate and overtake their prey. Smallmouth are amazing fish and on this trip, partially because of my new Smith Optics glasses, I was able to watch big smallmouth stage directly behind or under my fly…then in a burst of speed and power, engulf the fly!
The fly that I have been using for a few months is a combination of one that I purchased in the north woods of Wisconsin and my own creation; it has a very fluid tail made up of soft hackly feathers…the middle of the hook shank has chenille wrap in silver or silver/blue palmered forward to the front of the hook where I am tying in white bucktail backwards, folding it backwards then finishing the shape with a craft glue. This gives the fly a bullet shape that pushes water, yet a tail section that is fluid enough to move and vibrate while in the water…it is a lethal combination. Look for a tying demo at some point in the near future.
Pay attention to the fact that once again while fishing downstream, I am doing most of my casting back upstream into pockets where an ambush is a possibility. What I find is that little fish will follow and nip at the fly while the larger fish will as I said earlier, accelerate and quickly over take the fly. In a summer pattern you can’t ever pass by a smaller bowl or trough of water as I have found big smallmouth lurking in some very tiny spaces; in fact I am sure that this is indeed their MO and is how they surprise many of their meals.
I hope you enjoy the video below, if you have any questions please direct those to the question section of this very website where I will do my best to answer those questions completely.