Sunday, July 8, 2012

Broad River Smallmouth (Finally!)

I have been smallmouth bass fishing twice this summer, and I had planned on writing about these trips first when I started this blog. However, things haven't worked out like I had planned, so here is a belated report on the smallmouth fishing that I did a few weeks ago. The first trip was on June 15, and the second was June 19. Since the two trips were only a few days apart I decided to combine them into one post.

The first day my brother-in-law Trent and I headed out to a spot on the Broad River that we have fished off an on for the past three years. The area we usually fish is downstream from the main access point and by walking down we normally are able to avoid the crowds of swimmers that enjoy the river during the summer. The area we fish most is around several small islands and there are some fairly deep holes and rock ledges that usually hold smallmouth. We were both fly fishing, and I started out using a Triple Threat streamer, while Trent was fishing a small popper. Trent had some success early on catching a few largemouth on the popper, while I hadn't had any strikes on the streamer. As we worked our way downstream, I cast to a deeper run against the first island and caught this guy:

First smallmouth of the year!
I absolutely love the way that smallmouth fight. It seems like almost every smallmouth I have caught jumped several times before being landed. Smallmouth are what got me truly interested in fly fishing for species other than trout, and they are fast becoming one of my all time favorite fish. We continued to work our way downstream along the right side of the islands, and when we came to another good hole this bass hit my streamer.

We continued fishing, and I wound up catching two more smallmouth and several bream. Trent also had success fishing poppers, but for some reason the largemouth were hitting his popper but not my streamer, while most of the smallmouth were caught on streamers. I did have one smallmouth take a chartreuse Sneaky Pete, but it seemed like the largemouth were the main ones feeding on top.

One of Trent's largemouth
 Our success the first day convinced us to give it another try a few days later. We returned to the same area with the hopes of repeating our success from a few days earlier. In my experience, you usually can't make history repeat itself, especially in fishing! However, we were lucky that day and found that the fish were biting just as well as a few days before. Once again, I decided to fish a Triple Threat streamer, and Trent decided to use the same frog colored popper that had been so successful for him on our last trip. I didn't catch as many bass as before, but I did manage one nice smallmouth on a streamer.

Broad River bronzeback
At this point the bass were coming few and far between as the day warmed up, so I switched to a small popper and fished a while longer for the feisty bream that this river seems to be full of. If I ever have anyone who wants to learn to fly fish, I can't think of a better way to introduce them to the sport than a popping bug and a river full of nice bream. Watching a fish smash a popper never gets old!

Thanks for stopping by!

- Joseph

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