Monday, July 13, 2015

Flyfished for Smallmouth Bass on 7-11-2015

I wanted to fish on Saturday.  Rainstorms in the morning kept me home, agonizing on where I should go.  There was a big festival going on in town which is a lot of fun, but for fishing I prefer solitude if I can find it.  So, I didn't want to fish in town.  By 11:30, the radar showed the rain and clouds were clearing out.  After checking some river levels online, I made my choice to go flyfishing for Smallmouth Bass at a small river about a 45 minute drive from home.

42 Smallmouth Bass, 2 Largemouth Bass, 3 Creek Chubs and 1 Green Sunfish proved it was a great choice!

This was my first visit to this river this year, and I was pleased to find it perfectly wadable, and water clarity good.  And whats even better is I didn't see another person the whole day.  Not even any kayaks or canoers, which I do sometimes see there.

At this particular spot, I walk upstream along a dirt trail through the woods, get in the river, and back back downstream towards my car.  The understory was fairly lush, and that's my excuse for missing my usual point-of-entry into the water.  I walked down one trail to the water, and caught a couple small Smallmouth Bass right away on a beadhead gold Woolly Bugger.

I retraced the trail back to the main path and continued upstream.  I ended up at a feeder creek.  I got in the water there, and waded it back down to the stream.  Along the way, I picked up a couple Creek Chubs on the Woolly Bugger.  I'd been wanting to catch some Creek Chubs on my fly rod, but hadn't actually seen any in years.  I later caught another one in the main river, so I ended up with 3 for the day.

I made my way to the main river channel and soon had a decent Smallmouth Bass on next to a log in the water.  I watched another nice Smallmouth and a smaller one chase the hooked fish around the area...I suppose trying to steal whatever it had eaten?

I tried a blockhead popper, as that has worked well for me on this river in the past.  But I think the topwater bite gets better later on in the Summer.  The fish weren't interested.  I switched to an FC Pearl Shiner and caught a number of Smallmouth bass off that log, as well as a small Largemouth Bass.  Most were small, but this one might have been the other good one I had seen:

I waded on downstream, picking up a fish or two here an there, mostly smaller fish.  I did see a few carp, which doesn't always happen.  I didn't fish for them, but they would have been a lot of fun.

I saw a wild Turkey spook from its roost near the top of a tall Oak Tree next the the high-banked river.  Its flight was quite loud as it flew across the stream and disappeared somewhere downstream.
I also caught this damselfly that repeatedly landed on my fly rod as I was fishing.

Anyway, I fished for about 5.5 hours, and waded 0.75 miles of river.  I noticed in the afternoon, the Smallies preferred shaded areas.  Here's some more fish from the trip:

I'm pretty sure I've never caught that many smallmouth bass in one trip to this river before.  It was a VERY enjoyable day!


  1. Dave, that is a day in "Fishing Heaven" right there. I love Smallmouth Bass fishing and know the fun they are on any rod, let alone, a fly rod. Thanks for sharing such a good experience with us readers.

    1. I sure enjoyed it, Mel! The nature, the solitude, the fish....what could be better, right? :)

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  2. Great trip Dave!! I'm jealous for sure, our rivers were flooded again this weekend from the recent round of rains so no smallies for me. That's a fantastic outing for smallies no matter where you're fishing.

    1. Jealous? HA! These weren't nearly as big as the ones you catch! :) I'll be re-checking out your post from last year when you talked about these big streamers you tie for them.