It’s not uncommon on the rivers that I guide on to see multiple bass chasing my flies during the retrieve. 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. Particularly if the lake impoundment has good populations of shad, blueback herring, or other native baitfish. Here is a list of my Top 4 Best Smallmouth Bass Flies: Clouser Minnow Find all the Best Smallmouth Bass Flies from top brands Umpqua, Rainy’s, Fulling Mill, and Catch Flies. I’ve always found trout sexier. Body: Diamond braid. The cold winter temperatures slow a smallmouth's metabolism and leave it lethargic. 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. It’s best to experiment with your retrieve to figure out if the fish are looking for fast or slow action. Copyright © 2021 Field & Stream. Lake Erie, Sandusky OhioAlthough it’s the smallest Great Lake, Erie probably holds the largest … Latest. 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. CK Baitfish, size 4. 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. Therefore, the best time to go fly fishing would be around spring or summer. 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. 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. 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. 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. Here’s the 10 best brown bass factories right now, in no particular order. 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. Bring a selection of tubes, drop-shots, and a drift sock – when it blows on Erie, you’ll need it. Zudbubbler. Many famous fly tyers have come up with excellent smallmouth patterns--all of which have a proven track record. Cone: Tungsten. 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. Hook: 90-degree jig hook. Local anglers routinely catch 4 and 5 pound fish, and getting 20-50 bites a day is the norm. Mille Lacs is a structure fisherman’s dream, and there are countless humps, rock piles, and shallow bars teeming with willing smallmouth. 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. 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. https://www.theflyfishers.com/C/370/BestFliesForSmallmouthBass May 18, 2016 - GOOD VARIETY OF SMALLMOUTH FLIES. It’s big water, so prepare accordingly. The upper James River in Virginia offers some of the best smallmouth fishing in the country. For smallmouth, I typically got with a lighter wire swimbait. 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. 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. There’s not much more exciting than having 4 pounds of bronze engulf a buzzbait as it ricochets off a rock. Best Smallmouth Bass Flies – My Top 4. Hair Jig. Coldwater smallmouth bass tend to bunch up and can be difficult to locate. The simple mention of fly-fishing can be a conversation stopper in some serious bass fishing circles. Scottys McFly, sizes 4 and 6. I always carry Boogle Bugs, Double Barrel poppers, and Walt’s Bass Popper in a variety of sizes and colors in early fall. Meat Whistle. Most people never bothered with sunken flies for bass. This is the first of a series of fly tying tutorials I will be posting. For fly fishing, make sure to keep your flybox stocked with your favorite poppers. The New river flows from North Carolina through Virginia and West Virginia before dumping into the Ohio. A lot of anglers are going to … Massive lakes and impoundments aren’t the only places that giant smallmouth call home. “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. Tail: Rabbit strip. The finest bronzeback fishing of the entire season has arrived. When throwing baitfish streamers I focus on areas with shallo… Gear. Best Flies for Smallmouth Bass. The Murray's Heavy Hellgrammite, Black size 6 was a fly the late Charlie Brooks helped me develop. The lofty regard serious river anglers express for the deer or rabbit hair jig is amazing to … The best time for smallmouth fishing is late June through October. If you’re hitting the water for bronzebacks this summer, you’ll want to fill your tacklebox with these go-to baits. 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. Like largemouth bass, they love structure, so target sunken boulders, logs, and other debris, along with riffles, undercut banks, and back eddies. Late October through November is an excellent time to fish large streamers for big smallmouth bass. https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/best-smallmouth-bass-flies/151841 More Fishing. It’s got unbelievable quantities of rocky shoreline, bluff banks, and pea gravel points that smallmouth thrive on. All rights reserved. Along the way it carves out some of the most picturesque gorges, cliffs, and rapids east of the Rockies. 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. The Zudbubbler is a revamped version of Tom Loving’s Gerbubble Bug, and it absolutely … Field & Stream may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. Swimbait. 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. No votes so far! Fly fisherman fishing surface poppers and subsurface baitfish patterns to these schools of bass can be rewarded with big bronzebacks. Campgrounds populate the river and surrounding areas and Baxter State Park is nearby and worth exploring in the summer. Even though the bronzeback is a formidable foe, it’s a fish I’ve consistently neglected throughout my 30 years of fly fishing. A Bonnier Corporation Company. 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. 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. 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. Be sure to check out our ReelFlyRod Ultimate Fly Selections for a great value in premium, durable flies. We are sorry that this post was not useful for you! As recent major tournaments by BASS and FLW demonstrated, it’d be foolish to leave Lake Ontario off any list of top smallmouth locations. … Flies from tyers such as Bob Clouser, Dave Whitlock, Harry Murray, and Ed Shenk are all excellent choices. Smallies love to take a fly and fight hard, from the hookset to the release. 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