For smallmouth, I typically got with a lighter wire swimbait. The cold winter temperatures slow a smallmouth's metabolism and leave it lethargic. 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. 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. Coldwater smallmouth bass tend to bunch up and can be difficult to locate. I even start to see them get into feeding groups in an effort to trap baitfish easier. A Bonnier Corporation Company. They become somewhat reckless as they chase baitfish near the banks and in the shallow flats of river systems. The 10 Best Fall Smallmouth Hotspots . 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. Be sure to check out our ReelFlyRod Ultimate Fly Selections for a great value in premium, durable flies. Therefore, it is the best time to target them with flies. Best Fly Fishing Gear For Smallmouth Bass. Particularly if the lake impoundment has good populations of shad, blueback herring, or other native baitfish. As recent major tournaments by BASS and FLW demonstrated, it’d be foolish to leave Lake Ontario off any list of top smallmouth locations. Massive lakes and impoundments aren’t the only places that giant smallmouth call home. Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay isn’t known to many smallmouth anglers; mostly because the ones that are in the know keep their mouths shut. Other locales like Sister Bay, Ephraim, Egg Harbor, Chambers Island, and the Strawberry Islands also have tremendous populations of giant bronzebacks. The object is to present the fly so any willing fish doesn't have to move in order to eat. Flies from tyers such as Bob Clouser, Dave Whitlock, Harry Murray, and Ed Shenk are all excellent choices. 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. The fly rod I like for most of my smallmouth bass fly fishing is 9 feet long that balances with a seven weight line. The best time for smallmouth fishing is late June through October. 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. Smaller flies are usually better. Although it’s much less famous than its larger Tennessee River cousins, Wilson Lake is without question the Tennessee River smallmouth king. Field & Stream may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. It’s big water, so prepare accordingly. Along the way it carves out some of the most picturesque gorges, cliffs, and rapids east of the Rockies. This is the first of a series of fly tying tutorials I will be posting. Copyright © 2021 Field & Stream. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Clouser Minnow, sizes 2 and 4. More Fishing. Smallmouth abound in the New, and its mix of rapids and deep pools allows them to commonly grow to 4 and 5 pounds. Lake Erie, Sandusky OhioAlthough it’s the smallest Great Lake, Erie probably holds the largest … Elk Hair Caddis: for when the waters aren’t so calm. The Berkley PowerBait Minnow is another good one along with the Zoom Tiny Fluke. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Bring a selection of tubes, drop-shots, and a drift sock – when it blows on Erie, you’ll need it. However, once found, you may catch more than one. It’s not uncommon on the rivers that I guide on to see multiple bass chasing my flies during the retrieve. Fall is one of the best times of the year for fly anglers wanting to target big smallmouth bass on reservoirs. Interesting choice of words for sure, but also not a surprise to most northern anglers – they live and breathe smallmouth. When throwing baitfish streamers I focus on areas with shallo… It’s got abundant offshore structure, massive schools of shad, and plenty of rocky habitat that big smallmouth love. These are the highest quality, proven patterns that are hand-picked by our ReelFlyRod Pro Staff as the most productive patterns we have fished. Hair Jig. Fly fisherman fishing surface poppers and subsurface baitfish patterns to these schools of bass can be rewarded with big bronzebacks. Tail: Rabbit strip. Meat Whistle. White Woolly Bugger, sizes 4 and 6. The size limit is in place to protect the bass though, which grow extremely slowly in Lake Superior’s cold waters – its working too, as catching a 5 pound smallmouth is a daily occurrence for Chequamegon Bay regulars. The simple mention of fly-fishing can be a conversation stopper in some serious bass fishing circles. “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. Gear. The finest bronzeback fishing of the entire season has arrived. This can all add up to those “died and gone to heaven” days that smallie fans fondly recall years later. 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. Find all the Best Smallmouth Bass Flies from top brands Umpqua, Rainy’s, Fulling Mill, and Catch Flies. 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. 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. Here’s the 10 best brown bass factories right now, in no particular order. Campgrounds populate the river and surrounding areas and Baxter State Park is nearby and worth exploring in the summer. 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.”. 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. 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. 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. 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. Therefore, the best time to go fly fishing would be around spring or summer. Best Flies for Smallmouth Bass. For fly fishing, make sure to keep your flybox stocked with your favorite poppers. 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 first fall is generally the period that writers mean when they hype “fast fall fishing.” Water temperatures are still relatively warm (above 57 degrees) but food sources are declining, and the smallmouth bass’s energy requirements are high because of developing gonad production. The main reason I love chasing bass on the fly during the fall, is because a lot of the forage food (ex. Mille Lacs is a structure fisherman’s dream, and there are countless humps, rock piles, and shallow bars teeming with willing smallmouth. The lofty regard serious river anglers express for the deer or rabbit hair jig is amazing to … Historically known more for its walleye fishery, Mille Lacs has become a smallmouth factory in recent years due to improvements in water quality. https://www.theflyfishers.com/C/370/BestFliesForSmallmouthBass Latest. In actuality, the main reason for the obscurity is due to a 21 inch size limit, 1 fish bag that prevents tournaments from visiting. As the water temps start to drop into the 60s and 50s, smallmouth bass, as well as all warm water species shift into overdrive for the upcoming winter. 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. 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. Many famous fly tyers have come up with excellent smallmouth patterns--all of which have a proven track record. 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. 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. Stable water levels and improvements in habitat have paid off, and the 4-plus pound bronzebacks that made Dale Hollow famous are becoming more common the last couple seasons. At 132,000 acres, Minnesota’s Mille Lacs is big water that in many ways resembles one of the Great Lakes. The Murray's Heavy Hellgrammite, Black size 6 was a fly the late Charlie Brooks helped me develop. This tan, gray, or black fly is an excellent pick for … Fly Fishing for bass in the fall is one of my favorite times of the year to hit the lake. I always carry Boogle Bugs, Double Barrel poppers, and Walt’s Bass Popper in a variety of sizes and colors in early fall. Smallmouths like warm water. By Pete Robbins. It also puts out smallmouth like one of the Great Lakes. threadfin shad, gizzard shad and blueback herring) that the bass fatten up on in preparation for the cold winter ahead, start migrating into shallower water in search of cooler waters. I’ve always found trout sexier. Swimbait. It’s best to experiment with your retrieve to figure out if the fish are looking for fast or slow action. No votes so far! CK Baitfish, size 4. Zudbubbler. A lot of anglers are going to … The upper James River in Virginia offers some of the best smallmouth fishing in the country. 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. Scottys McFly, sizes 4 and 6. 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. Late October through November is an excellent time to fish large streamers for big smallmouth bass. … Be the first to rate this post. Most people never bothered with sunken flies for bass. If you’re hitting the water for bronzebacks this summer, you’ll want to fill your tacklebox with these go-to baits. 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. Even though the bronzeback is a formidable foe, it’s a fish I’ve consistently neglected throughout my 30 years of fly fishing. 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. The Zudbubbler is a revamped version of Tom Loving’s Gerbubble Bug, and it absolutely … Smallies love to take a fly and fight hard, from the hookset to the release. It has a strong tip to help pick up the large heavy nymphs and streamers and a medium butt section to blend with the wind resistant nature of our bulky surface poppers and deer hair bugs. Body: Diamond braid. Fish-Skull Sculpin Helmets drop your fly into the feeding zone fast. It’s got unbelievable quantities of rocky shoreline, bluff banks, and pea gravel points that smallmouth thrive on. This streamer is deadly for smallmouth bass in moving water. 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. Plus, lower light intensity makes fish less wary. This snowstorm-like hatch brings smallmouth, trout, carp, and even catfish to the surface in a feeding frenzy. 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. May 18, 2016 - GOOD VARIETY OF SMALLMOUTH FLIES. Late May through July is peak time for numbers, but giants can be caught all year. … Here is a list of my Top 4 Best Smallmouth Bass Flies: Clouser Minnow Not so now. When fly fishing in mid to late fall, consider fishing with a sinktip or a 250 grain full sinking line in the deeper riffles and pools on our larger rivers. No list of smallmouth fisheries would be complete without mentioning the greatest of the Great Lakes. https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/best-smallmouth-bass-flies/151841 See more ideas about smallmouth bass, fly tying, flying. I’ve had plenty of days with exceptionally high number of fish, and … Local anglers routinely catch 4 and 5 pound fish, and getting 20-50 bites a day is the norm. Hook: 90-degree jig hook. Besides, Spring is the spawning season; thus, they will be feeding more. The eastern portion of Lake Ontario has everything necessary to produce heavy stringers of smallmouth, and there aren’t many anglers chasing them. Best Time to Go Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. Winter fly-fishermen need to break the pool down into two-foot wide grids and make a cast into each grid. All rights reserved. The smallmouth bass is a viable fly-rodding option as summer yields to autumn. The best time to fish Dale Hollow is from October through April, a time when you can expect both numbers and a chance at a giant. They are also fond of river systems, and the best of them is the New. The New river flows from North Carolina through Virginia and West Virginia before dumping into the Ohio. Cone: Tungsten. We are sorry that this post was not useful for you! Smallmouth Bass can be found throughout the river in the warmer summer months and trout and salmon fishing is best in the spring and fall. While most fly anglers love to carry with them many fly boxes full of different types of flies in different sizes and colors, you could very easily get away with carrying only 4 types of flies in few different sizes and colors. If you took all the things necessary for major smallmouth productivity and threw them into a hat, shook it up, and dumped it on the ground – the pieces would probably land in the shape of Lake St. Clair and its 430 square miles of dynamite smallmouth habitat. There’s not much more exciting than having 4 pounds of bronze engulf a buzzbait as it ricochets off a rock. Exciting than having 4 pounds of bronze engulf a buzzbait as it ricochets off rock! Tyers have come up with excellent smallmouth patterns -- all of which have proven. A lot of anglers are going to … May 18, 2016 - GOOD VARIETY of flies!, or other native baitfish selection of tubes, drop-shots, and getting 20-50 bites a day the. Brings smallmouth, trout, carp, and pea gravel points that smallmouth thrive on or native... 18, 2016 - GOOD VARIETY of smallmouth flies have come up with excellent smallmouth patterns -- all which! 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