Welcome back to another article/video and once again I am on the Upper St. Croix River, fly fishing for big smallmouth. If you watched my most recently posted video of me fly fishing with my buddy Frank … then in this video we take off where we left the stream (Schoen Park) and travel 4 miles downstream to the CCC Bridge.
This stretch of water, while only four miles, has probably 2.5 miles of what I would call slow or slack water. There is current but not boulder fields and rapids like most other places on the upper St. Croix. What worked out well this time was the fact that I packed my kick fins from my float tube and used those to slowly move me downstream and to help in positioning for the best possible cast into cover.
On this day we had low water and an upstream breeze; if you don’t know then that is a tough combination as often the wind will hold you up or blow against the boat enough to keep you from moving, or at times … it even starts to move you back upstream. Having kick fins on is the way to counteract this issue and allows you to move along at a slow and steady pace and really bang the cover along the way. I liken this to bass fishermen and their trolling motors; my kick fins gives me the opportunity to cast, make a few strips, then pick up the fly line and re-cast to the next likely spot.
In water with heavier current you can also turn around and point your boat downstream and use the kick fins to either slow you down or to keep you in place, stationary, while casting to a spot with good cover. One of the tricks I have used in a few waters around the country is to put on my fins and hold my boat over deeper holes while jigging with a 60 degree fly … in fact you are almost jigging vertically while doing this and probing the deep, cool holes for small mouth bass.
This was indeed one of the finest days I have ever had on any water. To have my buddy Frank along was again special. To have cool weather with mostly overcast was again a boon to the fishing. Mostly, the ability to control my boat and pinpoint my cast was an advantage that paid off in several large smallmouth, the largest being just a tad short of 20 inches.
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