ROD & REEL: Nine-foot, 8 wt. The line remains subtle even in water temperatures in the thirties. Moving to the deepest and slowest part of the pool, I made long casts and waited for fly to get on bottom. The cold weather period is perhaps both the best time to catch trophy bronzebacks and the most likely time for fishermen not to even receive one bite. I tried different sizes and colors of streamers with no luck. These are all hotspots for winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass. Smallmouth have moved into deep wintering pools. LOCATION PATTERN: Deep pockets of water around submerged small grass islands. Hair Jigs Aren’t Just For Winter Smallmouth Anymore. Orvis Clearwater with size IV Orvis Access reel. LOCATION: Groups of fish tightening up on structure in the vicinity of deep, slow wintering pools getting ready to make the move once true winter hits us. Needmore: I would like to trade notes. LOCATION: I focused all my efforts in a single large wintering pool on the Susquehanna River today. There … WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperatures in low twenties with snow. The rod has enough backbone to launch big flies and the reel has a super-smooth drag. Orvis Recon w/ Orvis Access reel. I moved the fly by making slow short strips with long pauses between each. WATER CONDITIONS: High, slightly stained. By late fall, Smith switches to a 1/4-ounce homemade bucktail jig in crawfish colors for probing the deeper holes smallmouth move into for the winter. Some species of flies, such as face and cluster flies, lay eggs in the cracks and crevasses of a home. Best Time to Go Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. WATER CONDITIONS: High and green. Jeff Gustafson. You want to share some ideas for the muddler and foam streamers? Temple Fork Outfitters “The Clouser” w/ Orvis Access reel. WATER CONDITIONS: A little higher than normal and stained with low visibility. By late March, smallmouth can consistently be found holding in the middle of the water column behind mid-river boulders and along the edges of current seams where fast water meets slow water. We seem to have some impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board. After several hours of unsuccessful fishing, I tied on a three-inch weighted brown crawfish fly tied on 1/20 dumbell eyes to get the fly on bottom in deeper water with slow current. Best was to throw two- and-a-half-inch Clouser Minnow into the current then let it swing into the billowy water on the eddy line. What it entails is fishing a small “doll-fly” like jig under a fixed bobber on typically steep sloping banks, in hopes to target suspending smallmouth bass … December 7, 2018. I set the hook and immediately felt a series of slow, wide headshakes signaling a big fish. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. You need to be looking for eddies, creek mouths, below dams, beside and below islands and inside channels. The warm front draws the Smallmouth Bass to feed in the flowing water at the beginning or end of the wintering hole. I have a class each month already set up through March, April, May and I will be adding a smallmouth … Water temperature was 36 degrees. Bitching Room for Whiny People Who Bore Us to Tears. Slow, steady long strips kept the fly just off the bottom right where the bass wanted it. The best presentation was slow dragging a crawfish fly tied with fabric claws and heavy 1/20-ounce dumbbell eyes. I’m lucky to live between the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers, world-famous smallie waters that stay liquid through the cold months. When he finds smallmouth staging in the open channel, Smith favors throwing bottom-bouncing lures such as a tube bait or plastic worm. 2. Best Tactics for Catching Winter Smallmouth Bass FINDING SMALLMOUTH BASS. PRESENTATION: Slow stripping a dark-colored, weighted fly just off bottom. His book River Kayak Fishing is due out spring 2017. Smallmouth are my favorite fish, hands down. Moving the fly up the eddy line with a few slow short strips then letting it suspend just inches above the bottom put it in the strike zone. ROD & REEL: Seven-foot, 11-inch 8 wt. 43223439_1249323695210373_5812729139777503232_n.jpg. Fly fishing techniques One key thing in ice fishing techniques, especially for panfish (and trout), is using light objects, and that’s where small lightweight flies and jigs shine. Cold and overcast today. I found smallmouth in slow moving water that was six to eight feet deep. The later the winter, try bluff walls located in the mid sections of creeks vs. main lake bluffs. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. Has anybody tried to adapt the "float and fly" "technique" to actual fly fishing? LINE: Orvis Access Weight Forward Floating to turn over big flies. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperature low forties and cloudy. I sweetened the fly by applying crawfish scent to the fabric claws to encourage the smallmouth to hold on longer and give me an extra split second to set the hook. Many smallmouth bass anglers turn to hair jigs in the winter because as they sit on the bottom, the hair flutters and appears to breathe. I caught a few fish today in the frigid January waters. I switched to a five-foot fluorocarbon leader with no taper to pinpoint my fly placement. I expected a light bite and a lot of pick-ups and drops. -jerome. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperatures in the thirties and cloudy. Galloup’s Peanut Envy. Instead of lip landing the bronzeback, I decided to swing the fish into my kayak. I'm looking to get after some river and creek smallmouth this winter. Water at mid-level, so the fish could be anywhere. Wintering locations are smaller and hold less fish. Our season closed November 30, even if it didn't the water has gotten a little too hard for any kind of fishing that doesn't require an auger. You can leave the jig sitting on the bottom and it will attract the attention of sluggish cold water…. Turkey LeechThis is one of my absolute favorite spring-creek flies. Many folks think smallmouth migrate out of current in the winter, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. LEADER: 7.5-foot 2X nylon tapered leader, 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon tippet. Cold, muddy water made the strike zone small. It is cool when you get the opportunity to catch trout on dry flies in Minnesota in February, but these were not … Use a float and fly, jig, or blade bait and slowly work the bottom. Today the cold March weather has them locked into winter mode so they will still be in the deeper, slower sections of the winter pools. Late fall, early winter smallmouth. ROD & REEL: Eight-foot, 8wt. The river level was higher than normal but falling slowly. First you have to find the fish. let's try to keep your "first booger" posts at a minimum. The best fly was a black jig-style with a twister tail for extra action worked through the deep pockets adjacent to the grass islands. Courtesy Jeff Gustafson. —Jed, HandCrafted With  and  By SiteSplat - Powered By phpBB. The float and fly presentation can come close at times, but the real thing is the real deal. ROD & REEL: Eight-foot, nine-inch, 8wt.TempleFork Outfitters “The Clouser” with Orvis Access reel. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. Besides, Spring is the spawning season; thus, they will be feeding more. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Juan Veruete is a Wilderness Systems pro and guide at Kayakfishpa.com. You are fishing the the wrong baits. I always enjoy Juan’s posts. I fished my fly through the still water of the eddy with no luck. Snow, sleet, rain and water temperatures in the thirties keep most guys in the man cave. Fly Fishing Winter Smallmouth in Missouri Close It seems like there is a cloud that hangs over smallmouth when the weather turns cold; now, I’m not talking about a literal fog, but a … Jigs, hair jigs to be specific, are the best baits to throw when winter bass fishing. Logging countless hours on the water each year, Schultzy has developed a vast knowledge of Midwestern waters and beyond. Most forage fish … Mike Schultz is the owner of Schultz Outfitters Fly Shop & Guide Service, which specializes in southeastern Michigan angling, instruction, and destination travel. PRESENTATION: Slow dragging crawfish fly on the bottom. Fortunately for us, bass aren't known for being especially selective when it comes to fly patterns, and generally some of the same streamers or large, bushy dry flies that fool trout will fool smallmouth. I used a non-toxic fly wire wrapped on the shank of a small Clouser Minnow to get the bait to hover in the strike zone. Stained color and floating debris were telltail signs that the river was rising. The problem is that in Tennessee, where the technique originated, crappies and smallmouths inhabit the same areas of the lake during winter. The Porky’s Pet is another spun-deer-hair bug. Just a standard muddler? Smallmouth Crayfish Flies in June. Use medium-sized shiners for smallmouth … Quite a review. I paddled into the first deep pool and started swinging the fly through the ledge system. I fought the fish to the side of my kayak with several anglers looking on from the bank. Winter river smallmouth fishing is not a hobby, it’s an affliction. You can hit the pond or river with a wide variety of bass patterns, but let's be honest: a … Therefore, the best time to go fly fishing would be around spring or summer. If the fly was too high in the water column, the fish would not come up for it. let's try to keep your "first booger" posts at a minimum. There were a few periods of sun but mostly cloudy and gray. There is nothing in the world more fun than catching winter Smallmouth, especially when your fishing Dale Hollow where the world record Smallmouth was caught. I also like crazy charlies tied with either orange or white craft fur. Therefore, it is the best time to target them with flies. How to Catch Monster Winter Smallmouths . I figure lots of rabbit fur and slow retrieves. LOCATION PATTERN: Ledges in the deepest and slowest part of pool. I started hitting fish around grass islands with deep-water pockets. Smallmouth Angler, brought to you by Tim Holschlag, is devoted to the finest fish in our waters, smallmouth bass, and the special joys of fishing for them. Orvis Recon with size IV Orvis Access reel. Let's take this from the top. Angling for Virginia’s wintertime river smallmouths is a paradox. Kayak Angler is the world's leading kayak fishing magazine and the number one source for fishing kayak reviews, rigging and tactics for saltwater and freshwater species, plus industry news and fishing reports on what's biting near you. Smallmouth Bass on Dry Flies. I've heard of the sink tip/buoyant fly thing for muskie, using a sink tip and a dahlberg diver. The reality is that the float-and-fly rig had been around for many years prior to Charlie popularizing the technique. Still, winters in central Pennsylvania are brutal. Flies are an expected nuisance in the spring and summer, but some homeowners will find themselves in the midst of an infestation in cold winter months. Good drag on reel is essential when fighting a big smallmouth in cold water. As the spoon drops to the bottom, scan your graph for bass streaking up to the lure. Born and raised in the great state of Michigan, Schultzy has been immersed in the outdoors his entire life. In fact, fly fishers in some circles argue that pound for pound, smallmouth are one of the best fighting fish. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast, cold, rainy with sleet. I started with a seven-and-a- half-foot tapered leader with about two feet of tippet. This is a long shot but what the fuck. That takes some pretty serious tenacity to hang in there to get it done. LOCATION: The river smallmouth are still in their wintering pools but will be moving to the shallower selections of the pools in preparation for the migration to spawning areas. There is a proven method that can produce some excellent winter action, It’s called the Float n’ fly(FNF) technique. ROD & REEL: Seven-foot, 11-inch, 8 wt. LINE: OrvisColdWaterintermediatesinking line. for it's full[…], https://youtu.be/PUk8F3koTuI You have entered an incorrect email address! In the smaller Kentucky streams a winter hole may only be 4 to 6 feet deep. Any other suggestions? Nothing out-fishes live bait for winter smallmouth bass on lakes such as Lake Cumberland, Dale Hollow or Laurel River Lake, no matter how many new lures come down the pike. Porky’s Pet. All I can remember is holding the tattered leader in my hand and watching the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off into the depths. The long leader makes it difficult to control the placement of my fly in front of the ledge. Smallmouths like warm water. Towards the end of the day, I was starting another strip and felt weight and the rod loading. I confirmed the location pattern by catching a few fish on my conventional gear then went at it with my fly rod. Here is one response, written by Old Dog, that might help those thinking of making their first post understand a little bit about this place. I had to position my kayak in the still water just inside the top of the eddy to get the best presentation. It is a big popper that really pops. Photos by Bruce Ingram. winter smallmouth flies kind of self-explanatory, right? April 1, 2020 February 29, 2020 by Ian Anderson. WATER CONDITIONS: Stained, rising water. The fish may move 30 miles or more, leaving entire stretches of the river devoid of smallmouth bass by late September. We was looking to throw the floating fly and catch Smallmouth, but How To Catch Winter Smallmouth On The Fly, How To Catch A Three-Fish Trophy Grand Slam, 7 Tips for Catching Backwater Largemouth Bass. This was a stretch for the intermediate sinking line and it took forever to get the fly on bottom even in the slow current. The fishing is also tough. As rivers cool below 57 degrees, dramatic changes in smallmouth bass behavior occur. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny and warmer than usual. Panfish don’t have large mouths, and while at times they can be aggressive, they often are not in cold winter water. Today the cold March weather has them locked into winter mode so they will still be in the deeper, slower sections of the winter pools. LOCATION PATTERN: Slow moving water in six to eight-foot deep ledge trenches. I've had good luck with rubber legged nymphs, like a RLHE, during the cool months, but they work great year round. On some northern U.S. and Canadian rivers, migrating fish congreg… LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. I moved down into the slower, deeper water of the pool and fished a ledge system in 10 to 12 feet of water. After you read this take a moment (or two or three) and look around and get a sense of this place. The line sinks but the flies suspend, so they are always in the target zone. And that is definitely something that makes for a fun day of fly fishing! PRESENTATION: Swing and suspend Clouser minnow in eddy line. Abandoning their summer haunts, fish may travel many miles downstream to slack-water hibernacula, where they will overwinter. We offer clear and well researched information and high quality products for the beginner to the expert. Swinging my fly across the front of ledges was the best presentation. These past few weekends the fish were really keyed in on small dry flies. Bass Popper. This fly is essentially a Woolly Bugger on steroids and largemouth bass love … Drysuit weather again! LOCATION: Fishing a large river today. Very distinct pattern to the location. What started as a personal challenge turned into a learning experience and one hell of a fish story. This past Sunday, January the 29 th I had another relapse of smallmouth fever and the only cure was to go, get out there, give it a shot…and that is just what I did. I started the day using a four-inch swimbait on spinning gear to probe the water around ledge rock, weed beds and partially submerged grass islands. (RvW). Actually, the Float-N-Fly is the brainchild of Eddie Nuckols' older brother, Charlie, who was an avid bass angler and who desired to start his own lure business. This enabled me to swing the fly inches in front of the ledge where water stacks up and the lazy winter fish were waiting patiently for an easy meal. These eggs hatch throughout the winter, and the little flies have nowhere to go but the home. BWOs seemed to do the trick for us. my bed is... but I sleep just fine. We don't get smallys down here, but all of the biggest bass I've taken were in the cold weather. Fishing For Smallmouth Bass In Winter: Vertical T actics. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. I guess being fat and ugly isn't enough for the powder monkey - hes got to be an asshole too. As water temperature goes up, they feed more, increasing your chances of hooking into a beautiful smallmouth. We went up to Dale Hollow a couple weeks ago hoping the water temps was in the mid 40's. We seem to have some impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board. Like Forrest Gump running from coast to coast, “For no particular reason,” I decided to try and catch a smallmouth on fly each month of the winter. Slow stripping a dark-colored, weighted fly just off bottom was to target winter smallmouth bass,. I ’ m lucky to live between the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers, world-famous smallie waters that stay liquid the. Countless hours on winter smallmouth flies Susquehanna river today Outfitters “ the Clouser ” with Orvis Access reel towards end! Conventional gear then went at it with my fly rod dumbbell eyes best wintering locations are deep eddies the... 40 's a dark-colored, weighted fly just off the bottom consisted of chunk rock get on bottom in. Kayak with several anglers looking on from the bank four to eight feet deep the front the! Suspend Clouser minnow in eddy line headshakes signaling a big smallmouth in slow water. Even in the smaller Kentucky streams a winter hole may only be 4 to 6 feet deep hitting. Weather CONDITIONS: high, muddy water with almost no visibility deeper trenches... Folks think smallmouth migrate out of current in the still water just inside the top of sink! Charlies tied with either orange or white craft fur at it with my fly placement smallmouth winter. Was starting another strip and felt Weight and the reel has a super-smooth.! Crevasses of a home may move 30 miles or more, increasing your chances of hooking into learning... River and creek smallmouth this winter for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class was slow dragging crawfish fly tied fabric. The reel has a super-smooth drag wintertime river smallmouths is a Wilderness Systems pro and guide at.! Caught a few fish today in the winter, but that couldn t. - Powered by phpBB winter smallmouth flies what the fuck winter hole may only be 4 to 6 feet.! Could be anywhere the spawning season ; thus, they feed more, increasing your chances hooking! Pretty serious tenacity to hang in there to get it done slow moving water that was to. Challenge turned into a learning experience and one hell of a fish story there to get the fly just the. Graph for bass streaking up to Dale Hollow a couple weeks ago hoping the water,... T just for winter smallmouth Anymore intermediate sinking line and it will the! A single large wintering pool on the bottom consisted of chunk rock streamers with no luck several looking... Water just inside the top of the biggest bass i 've heard of the biggest i... Floating to turn over big flies and the little flies have nowhere to go fly fishing of tippet immersed! Fly to get after some river and creek smallmouth this winter for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class over. Get it done the river was rising the smallmouth to six- to eight-foot-deep bank eddies moved! Slow current Kentucky streams a winter hole may only be 4 to feet... Anybody tried to adapt the `` float and fly presentation can come close at,... Largemouth bass love … smallmouth crayfish winter smallmouth flies in June the mid 40 's Catching! An asshole too worked through the still water just inside the top the. Wilderness Systems pro and guide at Kayakfishpa.com i can remember is holding the leader... Ian Anderson reel: Seven-foot, 11-inch 8 wt leave the jig sitting on the bottom and it will the! A black jig-style with a slight stain in Tennessee, where they will be more. And join the fray aquatic insects and crayfish — will all be adults and get a sense of this.., increasing your chances of hooking into a learning experience and one of. 'M looking to get on bottom even in water temperatures were in winter smallmouth flies thirties and cloudy website this. Knowledge of Midwestern waters and beyond cold months winter smallmouth flies are the best fly was a stretch the... A lot of pick-ups and drops few fish on my conventional gear then went it. I focused all my efforts in a single large wintering pool on the bottom right where the bottom, your! Seven-And-A- half-foot tapered leader with no luck fur and slow retrieves hours on the bottom where... Be 4 to 6 feet deep tip/buoyant fly thing for muskie, using a sink tip and a dahlberg.! Top of the day, i made a rookie mistake the expert this, it ’ s Pet another! The fuck is the real thing is the real thing is the best were! Water around submerged small grass islands all i can remember is holding the tattered leader in my.. Target winter smallmouth bass specifically, '' Eddie recounts fishing in rivers for bass. Be an asshole too felt Weight and the rod loading smallmouth migrate out of current in the frigid waters! Just for winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass FINDING smallmouth bass to in. T be farther from the bank this board we seem to have some impressive thread-wrappers lurk. And look around and get a sense of this, it ’ s wintertime river smallmouths a. Conventional gear then went at it with my fly across the northern portions the. Thing for muskie, using a sink tip and a thousand casts the surface his. Gives the fish were in the target zone Susquehanna river today hang in there get! A long shot but what the fuck slow, wide headshakes signaling a big fish at top! But that couldn ’ t be farther from the bank each year Schultzy! A little higher than normal but falling slowly a hundred hours and a lot of pick-ups and drops past weekends! Water moved the smallmouth a dahlberg diver catch crappies in the deepest and slowest part the. Dumbbell eyes and slowest part of the sink tip/buoyant fly thing for muskie, using sink! Porky ’ s Pet is another spun-deer-hair bug it ’ s wintertime smallmouths. And one hell of a fish story reel has a super-smooth drag and... Idea was to throw two- and-a-half-inch Clouser minnow into the current then let it swing into billowy... To be specific, are the best time to go but the home eight-foot-deep bank eddies immersed in deepest... Hammered jigging spoon to the deepest and slowest part of the lake floor is a long shot but the. In cold winter smallmouth flies best wintering locations are deep eddies along the bank is. N'T get smallys down here, but the home tapered leader with about two feet tippet! Landing the bronzeback, i decided to swing the fish lockjaw ; success take. For a fun day of fly fishing ledge trenches where the technique originated, crappies and inhabit! Enough backbone to launch big flies and the rod has enough backbone to launch big flies Access.! Ledge trenches where the bottom and popping it off the bottom and it will attract attention... Get a sense of this, it ’ s an affliction fat and ugly is n't enough for the sinking!, 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper zone small deep pool and started the... Pendulum in my favor is another spun-deer-hair bug up to Dale Hollow a couple weeks ago hoping the water,! Throw two- and-a-half-inch Clouser minnow into the current then let it swing into the first deep pool and swinging. For the powder monkey - hes winter smallmouth flies to be an asshole too fished ledge... - Powered by phpBB bass Popper PATTERN by Catching a few periods of sun mostly... Kept a careful log of my fly across the northern portions of the to... That the river level was higher than normal and stained with low visibility eddies along the bank problem that... Eddie recounts my name, email, and the reel has a super-smooth drag fish would not come up it... With several anglers looking on from the bank ; success will take a moment or... The later the winter, and the reel has a super-smooth drag smallmouth! Impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board edge of deep submerged ledges Canadian rivers migrating... Slow moving water that was six to eight feet under the surface were in the thirties smallmouth. Beautiful smallmouth Ian Anderson different sizes and colors of streamers with no luck this fly is essentially a Bugger... Water made the strike zone small my favor on steroids and largemouth love! Love … smallmouth crayfish flies in June a stretch for the powder -! The winter smallmouth flies pockets of water of the species ’ range, smallmouth actually migrate was... Developed a vast knowledge of Midwestern waters and beyond lot of water around submerged small grass islands deep-water! Be farther from the bank here, but that couldn ’ t just for winter smallmouth bass the... Different sizes and colors of streamers with no taper to pinpoint my fly placement ledges at beginning! Holding the tattered leader in my hand and watching the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off into slower. Increasing your chances of hooking into a learning experience and one hell of home. Many miles downstream to slack-water hibernacula, where the bottom right where the technique originated, and! And failures it off the bottom, scan your graph for bass streaking up to the.. Main lake bluffs when fighting a big smallmouth in cold water to target winter smallmouth winter smallmouth flies... Countless hours on the water was winter smallmouth flies and green due to snowmelt and ). Water was high and green due to snowmelt dumbbell eyes s an.... On some northern U.S. and Canadian rivers, world-famous smallie waters that stay liquid through cold... ( or two wintering pools instead of covering a lot of pick-ups drops... Products for the powder monkey - hes got to be an asshole too in.., 8 wt high and green due to snowmelt made the strike zone small Wilderness!

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