One of my latest addictions in the world of fly fishing is the smallmouth bass. A few years ago, I finally took the time to check out the reports of smallmouth bass being caught in a river not too far from home. At that time I was still primarily a trout fisherman, at least when it came to using a fly rod. I did a fair amount of bass fishing, but I used conventional tackle and fished farm ponds the majority of the time. For some reason, when I decided to finally give the smallmouth a shot, I decided to take an old 6wt Mitchell fly rod I had at the house that my Dad had bought years ago from someone. At the time, this was the heaviest weight fly rod I owned, the others being 4wts and 5wts for trout fishing. I knew just enough about bass fly fishing to know that I would probably be using larger flies and poppers, and that I would appreciate the extra line weight to help me cast these larger offerings. That first trip was a success, at least in the sense that I did catch a small smallmouth, along with several redbreast sunfish. I didn't realize it at the time, but that first little bass hooked me just as much as I hooked him.
|First Smallmouth of 2014|
Once we arrived, the water looked clear enough to safely wade, and appeared to be dropping slightly so we decided it was worth rigging up the rods and giving it a try. We headed down the trail to our usual fishing area, a section of river divided by a series of islands. The right side of the islands (looking downstream) contains a narrower channel than the left, but this channel is composed of deeper holes and ledges, with lots of rocky structure for smallmouth to hide around. We have also fished this area enough to have an idea of where and how to wade to avoid a dunking. Some of this knowledge was earned the hard way over the last few years, but we've fished the area enough now to avoid most of the deeper spots.