Fly Fishing Small Creeks for Summer Smallmouth


This, the summer of 2017, has taken me from here in southern Indiana, west to the Pacific Ocean and then back to the Midwest in northern Wisconsin…all in an effort to see our great country and to fly fish for various species along the way. Ultimately my fish of choice is always going to be the smallmouth bass and my time in Wisconsin was well spent as for three days I drifted the black waters in search of big, river smallies.

Just this past week I switched gears and fished, for me, the closest creek/stream available that holds a good population of smallmouth. This tiny creek…or as I like to call it…a micro-creek, has every bit of the same character that the big waters possess. These smallmouth don’t know that they have cousins that grow to be several times their size…what they do know is that in their little pool, they are King!
Small Stream in Southern IndianaTiming is everything when fishing one of these micro-creeks. The water needs to be clear, but not too clear. There needs to be a bit of a flow…yet not so much flow that a lone baitfish pattern thrown into a pool doesn’t raise an eyebrow or two from the ‘big fish’ of the pool. Lastly, I prefer to fish the small waters on days that are a bit overcast and the sun isn’t beaming straight down into the pools. On this day, the day this video was shot, all of the prerequisites came together and presented for me a golden opportunity to land several of these ‘king-of-the-pool’ smallies.

As you might guess, stealth is also a big part of being successful. I try to stick to the outside of the pools and walk as gently and quietly as possible; in fact, fly fishing a small creek is much like hunting for a native Indiana gobbler…every step needs to be correctly placed. Part of being stealthy is also being able to casts accurately from distance…all while dodging the many overhanging limbs just happy to snag a fly. When it all comes together, it is a treat…and one of my most favorite fishing experiences. Let’s just liken this experience to landing a true eastern brook trout. If you have ever fooled and then held for just a moment one of these natural beauties…then you can relate.

For you newbies I have thrown in a quick tip on how to get yourself ‘un-hung’ from a rock or limb…I am sure that you never have this going on? I hope you can enjoy the stunning scenery and the sounds of nature as you come along with me on another video. If you like what you have seen…please give me a like.


    • Frank J J Harvey
    • August 4, 2017

    Thanks for the hooked on the rock tip Jeff. I’ll have to try that. Nice smallies.

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