Fly Fishing for Big Smallmouth on the Upper St. Croix River

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.

If you have any questions or comments you can leave those at the bottom of this page or email me at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclosure: Some of the links on are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase we will earn a commission. For example: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Keep in mind that we link to these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission we receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you. Should you have any questions, comments or concerns or wish to ask a question prior to purchasing and product or service mentioned on this web site, you can contact us directly by e-mail at