I’ve had plenty of days with exceptionally high number of fish, and … At a recent major tournament in smallmouth country, a top touring pro was quoted as saying “Catching big smallmouth is just about the most fun you can have with your pants on.”. More Fishing. Massive lakes and impoundments aren’t the only places that giant smallmouth call home. Interesting choice of words for sure, but also not a surprise to most northern anglers – they live and breathe smallmouth. Here is a list of my Top 4 Best Smallmouth Bass Flies: Clouser Minnow Coldwater smallmouth bass tend to bunch up and can be difficult to locate. Not so now. It’s not uncommon on the rivers that I guide on to see multiple bass chasing my flies during the retrieve. The Murray's Heavy Hellgrammite, Black size 6 was a fly the late Charlie Brooks helped me develop. For southern anglers, that comment should be taken only one way; if you haven’t gotten a chance to go somewhere where the smallmouth grow big and mean, make it happen. Although it’s much less famous than its larger Tennessee River cousins, Wilson Lake is without question the Tennessee River smallmouth king. Body: Diamond braid. Most people never bothered with sunken flies for bass. Many people have heard about the legendary smallmouth fishing in Wisconsin’s Sturgeon Bay, but in reality Sturgeon Bay is just one small bay on the Door County Peninsula. Latest. Cone: Tungsten. Although the fishing is great in many ports along Erie’s shore including Buffalo, Dunkirk, and Erie, the Sandusky Ohio area has a pedigree of giant smallmouth. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. All rights reserved. I’ve always found trout sexier. Smallmouth abound in the New, and its mix of rapids and deep pools allows them to commonly grow to 4 and 5 pounds. They are also fond of river systems, and the best of them is the New. This snowstorm-like hatch brings smallmouth, trout, carp, and even catfish to the surface in a feeding frenzy. Winter fly-fishermen need to break the pool down into two-foot wide grids and make a cast into each grid. Along the way it carves out some of the most picturesque gorges, cliffs, and rapids east of the Rockies. Scottys McFly, sizes 4 and 6. Known more for trophies in the 5-8 pound class than numbers, the peak time to land a giant bronzeback on Pickwick is November through April. Smallmouths like warm water. Although topwater fishing is more visually exciting, more really big bronzebacks are caught on streamers, and Colin shares his five favorites: Hud’s Bushwacker, size 2/0. “Smallmouth bass during the start of the fall season can be found in the same areas they were located all summer but as the water temperatures fall below 50 degrees they look for deeper water. Lake Erie, Sandusky OhioAlthough it’s the smallest Great Lake, Erie probably holds the largest … Habitat: Smallmouth bass behave very much like big river brown trout, staying deep during the colder months and coming to the surface once the water temperatures rise, so choose your flies seasonally. Be sure to check out our ReelFlyRod Ultimate Fly Selections for a great value in premium, durable flies. Historically known more for its walleye fishery, Mille Lacs has become a smallmouth factory in recent years due to improvements in water quality. Clouser Minnow, sizes 2 and 4. Bring a selection of tubes, drop-shots, and a drift sock – when it blows on Erie, you’ll need it. If you’re located in the south and want to catch smallmouth till you’re sore – head to Wilson in the fall or early spring. They become somewhat reckless as they chase baitfish near the banks and in the shallow flats of river systems. Known more for its dynamite summertime ledge fishing for Largemouth, Alabama’s Pickwick Lake is also a major smallmouth producer once the water temperatures drop in the fall. In actuality, the main reason for the obscurity is due to a 21 inch size limit, 1 fish bag that prevents tournaments from visiting. The simple mention of fly-fishing can be a conversation stopper in some serious bass fishing circles. Many famous fly tyers have come up with excellent smallmouth patterns--all of which have a proven track record. It’s got rocks, grass, ample spawning habitat, reefs, current, and a huge baitfish population – all in a package shallow enough that smallies can live anywhere they want. Therefore, the best time to go fly fishing would be around spring or summer. How To Find Winter Largemouth Bass In Open Water, Mystery Tackle Pro Box Unboxing (Multi-Species January 2021), Mystery Tackle Box Bass Elite Unboxing (January 2021), Mystery Tackle Box Bass Unboxing (January 2021), 7 Crappie Lures You Can Rely On All Winter Long. Fly fisherman fishing surface poppers and subsurface baitfish patterns to these schools of bass can be rewarded with big bronzebacks. Even though the bronzeback is a formidable foe, it’s a fish I’ve consistently neglected throughout my 30 years of fly fishing. Late May through July is peak time for numbers, but giants can be caught all year. Usually during the month of September cold fronts start moving into the area and can cause a change in movement and feeding activity of the bass. It’s best to experiment with your retrieve to figure out if the fish are looking for fast or slow action. Find all the Best Smallmouth Bass Flies from top brands Umpqua, Rainy’s, Fulling Mill, and Catch Flies. Field & Stream may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. After suffering through a stretch of lean years after 2000, the waters that produced David Hayes almost 12 pound world record in 1955 are back with a vengeance. The fly rod I like for most of my smallmouth bass fly fishing is 9 feet long that balances with a seven weight line. Local anglers routinely catch 4 and 5 pound fish, and getting 20-50 bites a day is the norm. Although there are some reaches of the New that are accessible by boat, the best fishing is centered in the Beckley, West Virginia area and is best accessed by raft or drift boat. Surface flies are such an important part of fishing for smallmouth that fly fishing for smallmouth bass used to be called popping bug fishing. The cold winter temperatures slow a smallmouth's metabolism and leave it lethargic. Meat Whistle. Gear. The Berkley PowerBait Minnow is another good one along with the Zoom Tiny Fluke. Although it’s the smallest Great Lake, Erie probably holds the largest population of smallmouth due to its relatively shallow depths, making much more of the lake ideal smallmouth habitat. If you’re hitting the water for bronzebacks this summer, you’ll want to fill your tacklebox with these go-to baits. … Besides, Spring is the spawning season; thus, they will be feeding more. The flies you select change with the season, but basically it’s a match the hatch game, with the hatch consisting of baitfish, hellgrammites, leeches, baby lampreys, crayfish and the like. Fall is one of the best times of the year for fly anglers wanting to target big smallmouth bass on reservoirs. Surface flies can be used to match the hatch when aquatic insects such as mayflies and caddis or terrestrials such as hoppers and ants are on the water. No votes so far! See more ideas about smallmouth bass, fly tying, flying. Hook: 90-degree jig hook. Swimbait. This streamer is deadly for smallmouth bass in moving water. Here you will find a great selection of the best premium Smallmouth Bass Fly Rods, Fly Reels, Fly Rod Outfits & Combos, Smallmouth Bass Fly Lines, and Accessories from all the top brands. Smallies love to take a fly and fight hard, from the hookset to the release. However, once found, you may catch more than one. Smaller flies are usually better. In short, Lake St. Clair is one of the crown jewels of smallmouth fishing, and any die-hard smallie chaser should immediately put it on his or her bucket list. Other locales like Sister Bay, Ephraim, Egg Harbor, Chambers Island, and the Strawberry Islands also have tremendous populations of giant bronzebacks. Be the first to rate this post. White Woolly Bugger, sizes 4 and 6. These are the highest quality, proven patterns that are hand-picked by our ReelFlyRod Pro Staff as the most productive patterns we have fished. For smallmouth, I typically got with a lighter wire swimbait. Campgrounds populate the river and surrounding areas and Baxter State Park is nearby and worth exploring in the summer. It’s big water, so prepare accordingly. The finest bronzeback fishing of the entire season has arrived. Plus, lower light intensity makes fish less wary. In 2013, it took over 80 pounds to win a major tournament out of the 1,000 islands area, and nearly that again this year. Best Flies for Smallmouth Bass. Fly Fishing for bass in the fall is one of my favorite times of the year to hit the lake. Best Smallmouth Bass Flies – My Top 4. Because they don't need to consume as much as they do in warmer temperatures, they will not spare the energy on a strike unless they know it's a for-sure deal. A lot of anglers are going to … A Bonnier Corporation Company. The New river flows from North Carolina through Virginia and West Virginia before dumping into the Ohio. I always carry Boogle Bugs, Double Barrel poppers, and Walt’s Bass Popper in a variety of sizes and colors in early fall. This can all add up to those “died and gone to heaven” days that smallie fans fondly recall years later. Best Time to Go Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. Mille Lacs is a structure fisherman’s dream, and there are countless humps, rock piles, and shallow bars teeming with willing smallmouth. The Best Rimfire Rifles To Improve Your Shooting, Seven Myth-Busting Facts About Alligator Gar, The History Of The Survival (Space) Blanket, The Best Survival Kit for Off-the-Grid Adventures, The Best New Bow Sights and Rests of 2021. https://www.theflyfishers.com/C/370/BestFliesForSmallmouthBass Elk Hair Caddis: for when the waters aren’t so calm. The 10 Best Fall Smallmouth Hotspots . The eastern portion of Lake Ontario has everything necessary to produce heavy stringers of smallmouth, and there aren’t many anglers chasing them. It’s got unbelievable quantities of rocky shoreline, bluff banks, and pea gravel points that smallmouth thrive on. October 2, 2019. Like largemouth bass, they love structure, so target sunken boulders, logs, and other debris, along with riffles, undercut banks, and back eddies. As recent major tournaments by BASS and FLW demonstrated, it’d be foolish to leave Lake Ontario off any list of top smallmouth locations. CK Baitfish, size 4. 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