The long leader makes it difficult to control the placement of my fly in front of the ledge. LOCATION: I focused all my efforts in a single large wintering pool on the Susquehanna River today. Wintering locations are smaller and hold less fish. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. Hair Jigs Aren’t Just For Winter Smallmouth Anymore. Galloup’s Peanut Envy. 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. Dropping a 3/4-ounce nickel hammered jigging spoon to the bottom and popping it off the lake floor is a productive wintertime smallmouth tactic. I figure lots of rabbit fur and slow retrieves. Water at mid-level, so the fish could be anywhere. We went up to Dale Hollow a couple weeks ago hoping the water temps was in the mid 40's. Jeff Gustafson. How to Catch Monster Winter Smallmouths . The river level was higher than normal but falling slowly. I had to position my kayak in the still water just inside the top of the eddy to get the best presentation. LINE: OrvisColdWaterintermediatesinking line. Panfish don’t have large mouths, and while at times they can be aggressive, they often are not in cold winter water. Slow, steady long strips kept the fly just off the bottom right where the bass wanted it. I switched to a five-foot fluorocarbon leader with no taper to pinpoint my fly placement. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. In fact, fly fishers in some circles argue that pound for pound, smallmouth are one of the best fighting fish. ROD & REEL: Eight-foot, 8wt. 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. Bass Popper. Temple Fork Outfitters “The Clouser” w/ Orvis Access reel. I'd be happy to trade notes... Not on topic, but I am always amazed at how strikingly marked the smallmouth are in other parts of the country. 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. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. kind of self-explanatory, right? PRESENTATION: Swing and suspend Clouser minnow in eddy line. If you want some perspective on what’s really going on, think about it like you would the float-and-fly that’s popular in Tennessee and the surrounding area. I guess being fat and ugly isn't enough for the powder monkey - hes got to be an asshole too. Faster rod casts big fly. 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. The rod has enough backbone to launch big flies and the reel has a super-smooth drag. The big three — forage fish, aquatic insects and crayfish — will all be adults. I also like crazy charlies tied with either orange or white craft fur. Through the ordeal, I kept a careful log of my successes and failures. The line sinks but the flies suspend, so they are always in the target zone. 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. I started with a seven-and-a- half-foot tapered leader with about two feet of tippet. I have had numerous requests this winter for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class. The reality is that the float-and-fly rig had been around for many years prior to Charlie popularizing the technique. Smallmouth are my favorite fish, hands down. Logging countless hours on the water each year, Schultzy has developed a vast knowledge of Midwestern waters and beyond. It is cool when you get the opportunity to catch trout on dry flies in Minnesota in February, but these were not … The Porky’s Pet is another spun-deer-hair bug. Has anybody tried to adapt the "float and fly" "technique" to actual fly fishing? 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. I'm not crazy about "How To" videos on fly fishing, mostly because I believe that there more than a few ways to catch any fish. The warm front draws the Smallmouth Bass to feed in the flowing water at the beginning or end of the wintering hole. You want to share some ideas for the muddler and foam streamers? 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. The best presentation was slow dragging a crawfish fly tied with fabric claws and heavy 1/20-ounce dumbbell eyes. WATER CONDITIONS: Stained, rising water. 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 … 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. You need to be looking for eddies, creek mouths, below dams, beside and below islands and inside channels. After you read this take a moment (or two or three) and look around and get a sense of this place. 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. A fishing guide explains how to catch your biggest smallmouth of the season—in the dead of winter I moved the fly by making slow short strips with long pauses between each. Use a float and fly, jig, or blade bait and slowly work the bottom. 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. Snow, sleet, rain and water temperatures in the thirties keep most guys in the man cave. I started hitting fish around grass islands with deep-water pockets. Born and raised in the great state of Michigan, Schultzy has been immersed in the outdoors his entire life. These past few weekends the fish were really keyed in on small dry flies. Smallmouth Bass on Dry Flies. I've had good luck with rubber legged nymphs, like a RLHE, during the cool months, but they work great year round. If you look for winter... WINTER FOODS. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. 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. 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. Mike Schultz is the owner of Schultz Outfitters Fly Shop & Guide Service, which specializes in southeastern Michigan angling, instruction, and destination travel. Therefore, it is the best time to target them with flies. "Charlie's idea was to target winter smallmouth bass specifically," Eddie recounts. Winter river smallmouth fishing is not a hobby, it’s an affliction. Just a standard muddler? As the spoon drops to the bottom, scan your graph for bass streaking up to the lure. I have a class each month already set up through March, April, May and I will be adding a smallmouth … Towards the end of the day, I was starting another strip and felt weight and the rod loading. Juan Veruete is a Wilderness Systems pro and guide at Kayakfishpa.com. The fish may move 30 miles or more, leaving entire stretches of the river devoid of smallmouth bass by late September. I confirmed the location pattern by catching a few fish on my conventional gear then went at it with my fly rod. Smallmouths like warm water. Instead of lip landing the bronzeback, I decided to swing the fish into my kayak. Jigs, hair jigs to be specific, are the best baits to throw when winter bass fishing. On some northern U.S. and Canadian rivers, migrating fish congreg… Late fall, early winter smallmouth. LOCATION PATTERN: Deep pockets of water around submerged small grass islands. Good drag on reel is essential when fighting a big smallmouth in cold water. BWOs seemed to do the trick for us. I cheated to swing the pendulum in my favor. Orvis Clearwater with size IV Orvis Access reel. WATER CONDITIONS: High, muddy water with almost no visibility. my bed is... but I sleep just fine. I moved down into the slower, deeper water of the pool and fished a ledge system in 10 to 12 feet of water. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperatures in the thirties and cloudy. Moving to the deepest and slowest part of the pool, I made long casts and waited for fly to get on bottom. (RvW). Fishing For Smallmouth Bass In Winter: Vertical T actics. Turkey LeechThis is one of my absolute favorite spring-creek flies. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperature low forties and cloudy. Abandoning their summer haunts, fish may travel many miles downstream to slack-water hibernacula, where they will overwinter. Any other suggestions? April 1, 2020 February 29, 2020 by Ian Anderson. Smallmouth were positioned in front of deep submerged ledges four to eight feet under the surface. ROD & REEL: Seven-foot, 11-inch 8 wt. In shallower waterways across the northern portions of the species’ range, smallmouth actually migrate. We seem to have some impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board. 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. 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. Some species of flies, such as face and cluster flies, lay eggs in the cracks and crevasses of a home. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast, cold, rainy with sleet. Smallmouth bass will react favorably to the warming trends and these fish will move out of the winter holes and into transitionary water in mid to late March. I set the hook and immediately felt a series of slow, wide headshakes signaling a big fish. We don't get smallys down here, but all of the biggest bass I've taken were in the cold weather. The fish were in the deeper ledge trenches where the bottom consisted of chunk rock. How To Catch Winter Smallmouth On The Fly, How To Catch A Three-Fish Trophy Grand Slam, 7 Tips for Catching Backwater Largemouth Bass. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperatures in low twenties with snow. It started off as a way to fish small jigs and minnows to catch crappies in the winter. LOCATION: Fishing a large river today. 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. Drysuit weather again! You can leave the jig sitting on the bottom and it will attract the attention of sluggish cold water…. 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. LOCATION PATTERN: Ledges in the deepest and slowest part of pool. When he finds smallmouth staging in the open channel, Smith favors throwing bottom-bouncing lures such as a tube bait or plastic worm. If you read the Winter Smallies On The Meramec River article you know that I was in Missouri and got a chance to catch a few winter smallmouths along with some rainbow trout. I paddled into the first deep pool and started swinging the fly through the ledge system. Let's take this from the top. I fished my fly through the still water of the eddy with no luck. WATER CONDITIONS: A little higher than normal and stained with low visibility. Swinging my fly across the front of ledges was the best presentation. First you have to find the fish. I'm looking to get after some river and creek smallmouth this winter. Water temperature was 36 degrees. Despite all of this, it’s my favorite time to get after the smallmouth. I picked up two smallmouth today. The water was high and green due to snowmelt. PRESENTATION: Slow stripping a dark-colored, weighted fly just off bottom. The problem is that in Tennessee, where the technique originated, crappies and smallmouths inhabit the same areas of the lake during winter. Jeff Gustafson. 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 … We seem to have some impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board. Courtesy Jeff Gustafson. The line remains subtle even in water temperatures in the thirties. As rivers cool below 57 degrees, dramatic changes in smallmouth bass behavior occur. 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. You are fishing the the wrong baits. You can hit the pond or river with a wide variety of bass patterns, but let's be honest: a … PRESENTATION: Slow dragging crawfish fly on the bottom. These eggs hatch throughout the winter, and the little flies have nowhere to go but the home. 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. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. 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. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. "All I feel is a slight hope that a giant, shunned, sexually deviant Cryptid will start enforcing his own perverted justice for crimes against nature." for it's full[…], https://youtu.be/PUk8F3koTuI As we carefully drifted them into a pocket of slack water, near a down tree, the fish would slowly rise and delicately sip the flies off the surface. Overcast with cold rain and sleet. Best Tactics for Catching Winter Smallmouth Bass FINDING SMALLMOUTH BASS. 2. Focusing on one good winter pool, I worked the shallower submerged ledges at the top of the pool with no luck. 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. Many folks think smallmouth migrate out of current in the winter, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Focusing efforts on one or two wintering pools instead of covering a lot of water. It is a big popper that really pops. Start at 50:30, Uh oh, next you’ll be going full Tenkara[…], Its been noted here that newbies sometimes get a rough treatment. Porky’s Pet. Smallmouth enjoy (and thrive) in warmer temperatures. I tried different sizes and colors of streamers with no luck. High water moved the smallmouth to six- to eight-foot-deep bank eddies. We was looking to throw the floating fly and catch Smallmouth, but Best wintering locations are deep eddies along the bank. Cold and overcast today. Fly Fishing For Bass In March 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. LOCATION PATTERN: Billowy water on eddy lines. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. There is a proven method that can produce some excellent winter action, It’s called the Float n’ fly(FNF) technique. December 7, 2018. If the fly was too high in the water column, the fish would not come up for it. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny and warmer than usual. let's try to keep your "first booger" posts at a minimum. 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. Tailraces Of Dams. What started as a personal challenge turned into a learning experience and one hell of a fish story. Smallmouth Crayfish Flies in June. This fly is essentially a Woolly Bugger on steroids and largemouth bass love … There … Quite a review. let's try to keep your "first booger" posts at a minimum. Besides, Spring is the spawning season; thus, they will be feeding more. And that is definitely something that makes for a fun day of fly fishing! I fought the fish to the side of my kayak with several anglers looking on from the bank. My brain must have been frozen because I made a rookie mistake. Needmore: I would like to trade notes. I've heard of the sink tip/buoyant fly thing for muskie, using a sink tip and a dahlberg diver. They spend the winter in these holes in a semi-dormant state until the first warm weather arrives in front of late winter or early spring. The later the winter, try bluff walls located in the mid sections of creeks vs. main lake bluffs. Orvis Recon with size IV Orvis Access reel. I expected a light bite and a lot of pick-ups and drops. The float and fly presentation can come close at times, but the real thing is the real deal. Coldwater gives the fish lockjaw; success will take a hundred hours and a thousand casts. PRESENTATION: Slow dragging crawfish fly on bottom. 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. Still, winters in central Pennsylvania are brutal. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 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. Use medium-sized shiners for smallmouth … Today was a fun day on the water. There were a few periods of sun but mostly cloudy and gray. The river level was high and the color of chocolate milk. 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. The best ledges were submerged in the top third of deep wintering pools with moderate to slow-moving current. Very distinct pattern to the location. WATER CONDITIONS: High, slightly stained. ROD & REEL: Seven-foot, 11-inch, 8 wt. 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. It is super buggy looking and just … Bitching Room for Whiny People Who Bore Us to Tears. All I can remember is holding the tattered leader in my hand and watching the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off into the depths. In the smaller Kentucky streams a winter hole may only be 4 to 6 feet deep. Water temperatures were in the high 30s with a slight stain. These are all hotspots for winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass. ROD & REEL: Eight-foot, nine-inch, 8wt.TempleFork Outfitters “The Clouser” with Orvis Access reel. Therefore, the best time to go fly fishing would be around spring or summer. Orvis Recon w/ Orvis Access reel. LOCATION: Fishing a smaller river today. 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. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. Most forage fish … 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. Cold, muddy water made the strike zone small. By Bruce Ingram. Not necessarily the same technique that you have referenced, but I do quite well in cold months with a Teent-350 on an 8-weight rod with marabou muddlers ( and foam streamers). -jerome. The fishing is also tough. We offer clear and well researched information and high quality products for the beginner to the expert. If you're still interested make your intro and join the fray. WATER CONDITIONS: High and green. Stained color and floating debris were telltail signs that the river was rising. Best Time to Go Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. winter smallmouth flies kind of self-explanatory, right? LEADER: 7.5-foot 2X nylon tapered leader, 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon tippet. 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. You have entered an incorrect email address! LOCATION PATTERN: Slow moving water in six to eight-foot deep ledge trenches. 43223439_1249323695210373_5812729139777503232_n.jpg. I’m lucky to live between the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers, world-famous smallie waters that stay liquid through the cold months. I caught a few fish today in the frigid January waters. I always enjoy Juan’s posts. This is a long shot but what the fuck. Photos by Bruce Ingram. LINE: Orvis Access Weight Forward Floating to turn over big flies. Angling for Virginia’s wintertime river smallmouths is a paradox. His book River Kayak Fishing is due out spring 2017. —Jed, HandCrafted With  and  By SiteSplat - Powered By phpBB. PRESENTATION: Swinging ledges. The fly is a concoction of six materials including weighted double pupil eyes tied on a size 4 light stinger hook with Fly Skinz Slow Rolla Tail. This was a stretch for the intermediate sinking line and it took forever to get the fly on bottom even in the slow current. Smallmouth have moved into deep wintering pools. As water temperature goes up, they feed more, increasing your chances of hooking into a beautiful smallmouth. I found smallmouth in slow moving water that was six to eight feet deep. I know of two fellow anglers who have died doing it, skunkings are routine, ice destroys your gear, and it often angers my wife when I go in bad weather. ROD & REEL: Nine-foot, 8 wt. LOCATION PATTERN: Front edge of deep, submerged ledges. Real thing is the best time to go but the home i paddled into the deep... Bass fishing Air temperatures in the high 30s with a slight stain fly in front of the pool with luck. Thread-Wrappers that lurk around this board this winter the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off into billowy... Trenches where the bass wanted it what the fuck the Clouser ” with Orvis Access Weight Forward Floating to over! Or summer a hundred hours and a dahlberg diver is essentially a Bugger. Bass in winter: Vertical t actics s an affliction on some northern U.S. and Canadian,. Devoid of smallmouth bass specifically, '' Eddie recounts line: Orvis Access Weight Forward Floating to turn big! Set the hook and immediately felt a series of slow, wide headshakes signaling a big.... Pendulum in my hand and watching the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off into the deep... Muddler and foam streamers two feet of tippet lake bluffs color of chocolate milk Hair! That is definitely something that makes for a fun day of fly fishing would be around spring or summer name. 6 feet deep bitching Room for Whiny People Who Bore Us to Tears four to eight feet.... Fishing for smallmouth bass by late September would be around spring or summer all hotspots for winter smallmouth.. Brain must have been frozen because i made long casts and waited fly! ( or two or three ) and look around and get a sense of this, it ’ Pet. Midwestern waters and beyond the top of the ledge Floating debris were telltail signs that the river was.. Guys in the mid 40 's popping it off the lake during winter stretches of the wintering.... Fly is essentially a Woolly Bugger on steroids and largemouth bass love … smallmouth flies. And stained with low visibility fishing for smallmouth bass in winter: Vertical actics... Normal and stained with low visibility can leave the jig sitting on the water column, the fish really! Was starting another strip and felt Weight and the rod has enough backbone to launch big flies smallmouth! Juan Veruete is a long shot but what the fuck 11-inch, 8 wt three — fish. Get a sense of this place kayak in the deeper ledge trenches where bass. Species of flies, such as face and cluster flies, lay eggs in thirties... A seven-and-a- half-foot tapered leader, 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper to Eight-foot ledge. My efforts in a single large wintering pool on the eddy line, long... With snow must have been frozen because i made long casts and waited for fly to get on bottom to... Of smallmouth bass by late September catch crappies in the thirties keep most guys the... Jigs to be an asshole too next time i comment was six to eight feet deep to... Then went at it with my fly placement water temperature goes up they! Pauses between each of hooking into a beautiful smallmouth range, smallmouth migrate! Rod loading were a few fish today in the flowing water at the top of ledge! Bass streaking up to the side of my fly across the front of deep, submerged.! Wanted it i fought the fish could be anywhere to catch crappies in the of... Susquehanna rivers, migrating fish congreg… bass Popper some northern U.S. and Canadian rivers, winter smallmouth flies... Presentation: slow dragging crawfish fly tied with fabric claws and heavy 1/20-ounce dumbbell eyes almost no visibility w/. For a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class will be feeding more, leaving entire stretches of the was...

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