Fly Fishing for Smallmouth on New Water


One of my very favorite things to do is working and fishing new water. Frankly, here in southern Indiana…I don’t get that opportunity a lot due to the fact that I have been on many of our good smallmouth waters. When our trip to Sugar Creek fell through due to torrential rains in northern Indiana…my friend Frank invited me along to fish a creek in his childhood neighborhood. An hour east, we stopped in and talked to a childhood friend of Frank’s about parking the truck at a midway point; after looking at a few of his fishing mounts we headed out, Frank dropped me off at the top and parked his truck in the middle…the plan was simple as I would fish the top 4-5 miles then grab Frank 5 hours later at the bottom.

Fishing new water is interesting in many ways as each bend of the stream provides a new view and new cover to cast to…this fine piece of southern Indiana would be no different as along the way I picked off a combo of smallmouth and spotted bass, about 40 in total; the two largest (which are on this video) would be 17 and 19 inches. Along the way I was treated to a bald eagle and it’s nest, a couple of quail, several wood-ducks, a few geese (with one upset gander who bull rushed me a couple of times), squirrels by the gallon and so many song birds that it felt like I was being cheered on the entire way!

I decided to take along my 6 weight with sink-tip one line and the combo proved to be perfect as the front end weight allowed me to fish a light, non-weighted baitfish pattern. By casting parallel or back upstream and pulling the baitfish along-side of structure, I was in the hunt for smallies and spotted bass all day long. On several occasions I had initial strikes and while I missed that original take…a quick re-cast back into the pool resulted in a hook-up; you will be able to see this in the very first big smallmouth I catch as this fish hit my pattern 3 times in a row before I finally made the hook-up. So, come along with me on this trip down new water as I enjoy God’s bounty and land a few nice fish.

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