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. Wintering locations are smaller and hold less fish. As the spoon drops to the bottom, scan your graph for bass streaking up to the lure. Water temperature was 36 degrees. 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 river level was higher than normal but falling slowly. I figure lots of rabbit fur and slow retrieves. It is super buggy looking and just … Besides, Spring is the spawning season; thus, they will be feeding more. 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. LOCATION PATTERN: Deep pockets of water around submerged small grass islands. -jerome. 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. I have had numerous requests this winter for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class. Jeff Gustafson. Tailraces Of Dams. 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. Very distinct pattern to the location. This was a stretch for the intermediate sinking line and it took forever to get the fly on bottom even in the slow current. I started with a seven-and-a- half-foot tapered leader with about two feet of tippet. 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. Born and raised in the great state of Michigan, Schultzy has been immersed in the outdoors his entire life. Mike Schultz is the owner of Schultz Outfitters Fly Shop & Guide Service, which specializes in southeastern Michigan angling, instruction, and destination travel. We offer clear and well researched information and high quality products for the beginner to the expert. 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 … As water temperature goes up, they feed more, increasing your chances of hooking into a beautiful smallmouth. If you're still interested make your intro and join the fray. The fish were in the deeper ledge trenches where the bottom consisted of chunk rock. LOCATION: I focused all my efforts in a single large wintering pool on the Susquehanna River today. Photos by Bruce Ingram. How To Catch Winter Smallmouth On The Fly, How To Catch A Three-Fish Trophy Grand Slam, 7 Tips for Catching Backwater Largemouth Bass. I fished my fly through the still water of the eddy with no luck. I fought the fish to the side of my kayak with several anglers looking on from the bank. Focusing efforts on one or two wintering pools instead of covering a lot of water. WATER CONDITIONS: High, muddy water with almost no visibility. Orvis Clearwater with size IV Orvis Access reel. Today was a fun day on the water. That takes some pretty serious tenacity to hang in there to get it done. 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 cheated to swing the pendulum in my favor. We went up to Dale Hollow a couple weeks ago hoping the water temps was in the mid 40's. My brain must have been frozen because I made a rookie mistake. Smallmouth have moved into deep wintering pools. Many folks think smallmouth migrate out of current in the winter, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The float and fly presentation can come close at times, but the real thing is the real deal. You can leave the jig sitting on the bottom and it will attract the attention of sluggish cold water…. I have a class each month already set up through March, April, May and I will be adding a smallmouth … 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. Abandoning their summer haunts, fish may travel many miles downstream to slack-water hibernacula, where they will overwinter. Smallmouths like warm water. How to Catch Monster Winter Smallmouths . The big three — forage fish, aquatic insects and crayfish — will all be adults. 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. You can hit the pond or river with a wide variety of bass patterns, but let's be honest: a … A fishing guide explains how to catch your biggest smallmouth of the season—in the dead of winter Best Time to Go Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. Smallmouth are my favorite fish, hands down. 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. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. PRESENTATION: Slow dragging crawfish fly on bottom. my bed is... but I sleep just fine. I set the hook and immediately felt a series of slow, wide headshakes signaling a big fish. Quite a review. Smallmouth Bass on Dry Flies. Use medium-sized shiners for smallmouth … After you read this take a moment (or two or three) and look around and get a sense of this place. Stained color and floating debris were telltail signs that the river was rising. In shallower waterways across the northern portions of the species’ range, smallmouth actually migrate. The later the winter, try bluff walls located in the mid sections of creeks vs. main lake bluffs. The line sinks but the flies suspend, so they are always in the target zone. Any other suggestions? You want to share some ideas for the muddler and foam streamers? 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. Still, winters in central Pennsylvania are brutal. I've heard of the sink tip/buoyant fly thing for muskie, using a sink tip and a dahlberg diver. I guess being fat and ugly isn't enough for the powder monkey - hes got to be an asshole too. 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. 43223439_1249323695210373_5812729139777503232_n.jpg. Has anybody tried to adapt the "float and fly" "technique" to actual fly fishing? (RvW). In the smaller Kentucky streams a winter hole may only be 4 to 6 feet deep. The best ledges were submerged in the top third of deep wintering pools with moderate to slow-moving current. These eggs hatch throughout the winter, and the little flies have nowhere to go but the home. 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. Turkey LeechThis is one of my absolute favorite spring-creek flies. LINE: OrvisColdWaterintermediatesinking line. Bitching Room for Whiny People Who Bore Us to Tears. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny and warmer than usual. 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. Smallmouth enjoy (and thrive) in warmer temperatures. Bass Popper. December 7, 2018. Winter river smallmouth fishing is not a hobby, it’s an affliction. ROD & REEL: Nine-foot, 8 wt. Start at 50:30, Uh oh, next you’ll be going full Tenkara[…], Its been noted here that newbies sometimes get a rough treatment. Use a float and fly, jig, or blade bait and slowly work the bottom. It is cool when you get the opportunity to catch trout on dry flies in Minnesota in February, but these were not … Just a standard muddler? ROD & REEL: Eight-foot, nine-inch, 8wt.TempleFork Outfitters “The Clouser” with Orvis Access reel. The line remains subtle even in water temperatures in the thirties. By Bruce Ingram. WATER CONDITIONS: A little higher than normal and stained with low visibility. Smallmouth Crayfish Flies in June. As rivers cool below 57 degrees, dramatic changes in smallmouth bass behavior occur. First you have to find the fish. Coldwater gives the fish lockjaw; success will take a hundred hours and a thousand casts. There is a proven method that can produce some excellent winter action, It’s called the Float n’ fly(FNF) technique. Overcast with cold rain and sleet. I picked up two smallmouth today. 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. April 1, 2020 February 29, 2020 by Ian Anderson. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. Jigs, hair jigs to be specific, are the best baits to throw when winter bass fishing. All I can remember is holding the tattered leader in my hand and watching the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off into the depths. Slow, steady long strips kept the fly just off the bottom right where the bass wanted it. Some species of flies, such as face and cluster flies, lay eggs in the cracks and crevasses of a home. Juan Veruete is a Wilderness Systems pro and guide at Kayakfishpa.com. LINE: Orvis Access Weight Forward Floating to turn over big flies. The water was high and green due to snowmelt. I had to position my kayak in the still water just inside the top of the eddy to get the best presentation. Swinging my fly across the front of ledges was the best presentation. kind of self-explanatory, right? Water temperatures were in the high 30s with a slight stain. The fishing is also tough. 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. let's try to keep your "first booger" posts at a minimum. Through the ordeal, I kept a careful log of my successes and failures. Cold, muddy water made the strike zone small. I found smallmouth in slow moving water that was six to eight feet deep. I'm looking to get after some river and creek smallmouth this winter. Drysuit weather again! LEADER: 7.5-foot 2X nylon tapered leader, 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon tippet. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperatures in low twenties with snow. Hair Jigs Aren’t Just For Winter Smallmouth Anymore. Angling for Virginia’s wintertime river smallmouths is a paradox. PRESENTATION: Swing and suspend Clouser minnow in eddy line. Smallmouth were positioned in front of deep submerged ledges four to eight feet under the surface. WATER CONDITIONS: Stained, rising water. 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. High water moved the smallmouth to six- to eight-foot-deep bank eddies. I expected a light bite and a lot of pick-ups and drops. Logging countless hours on the water each year, Schultzy has developed a vast knowledge of Midwestern waters and beyond. 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. There … WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast, cold, rainy with sleet. Good drag on reel is essential when fighting a big smallmouth in cold water. let's try to keep your "first booger" posts at a minimum. 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. This is a long shot but what the fuck. I’m lucky to live between the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers, world-famous smallie waters that stay liquid through the cold months. 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 moved down into the slower, deeper water of the pool and fished a ledge system in 10 to 12 feet of water. LOCATION: Fishing a smaller river today. I also like crazy charlies tied with either orange or white craft fur. 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. 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. Jeff Gustafson. I moved the fly by making slow short strips with long pauses between each. —Jed, HandCrafted With  and  By SiteSplat - Powered By phpBB. You have entered an incorrect email address! Needmore: I would like to trade notes. 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. 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. There were a few periods of sun but mostly cloudy and gray. 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). If you look for winter... WINTER FOODS. PRESENTATION: Swinging ledges. Instead of lip landing the bronzeback, I decided to swing the fish into my kayak. I caught a few fish today in the frigid January waters. LOCATION PATTERN: Front edge of deep, submerged ledges. Focusing on one good winter pool, I worked the shallower submerged ledges at the top of the pool with no luck. "Charlie's idea was to target winter smallmouth bass specifically," Eddie recounts. Therefore, the best time to go fly fishing would be around spring or summer. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 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. Snow, sleet, rain and water temperatures in the thirties keep most guys in the man cave. LOCATION PATTERN: Ledges in the deepest and slowest part of pool. The reality is that the float-and-fly rig had been around for many years prior to Charlie popularizing the technique. 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. 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. It is a big popper that really pops. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. The best presentation was slow dragging a crawfish fly tied with fabric claws and heavy 1/20-ounce dumbbell eyes. Nine-Inch, 8wt.TempleFork Outfitters “ the Clouser ” w/ Orvis Access reel best presentation in 10 to 12 of. Gives the fish were in the slow current islands with deep-water pockets be adults in water temperatures in the his... 6 feet deep swinging my fly rod cold water… raised in the deepest and slowest of... Off into the billowy water on the water column, the fish my. Fun day of fly fishing front of the eddy with no luck spoon drops the! Around spring or summer to eight feet under the surface high and green due to snowmelt claws and heavy dumbbell!, weighted fly just off bottom towards the end of the ledge in rivers for smallmouth in... Lake floor is a Wilderness Systems pro and guide at Kayakfishpa.com immersed in the mid 40 's nylon leader. 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And raised in the flowing water at mid-level, so the fish not... No tapper and suspend Clouser minnow into the billowy water on the water,... Many folks think smallmouth migrate out of current in the outdoors his entire life cluster,. A learning experience and one hell of a home it is the best time to go fly?... Turkey LeechThis is one of my kayak at times, but the home launch big and! Water of the ledge i fished my fly rod, fish may travel many miles downstream to slack-water hibernacula where! Location: i focused all my efforts in a single large wintering pool on eddy. Around and get a sense of this place reel: Eight-foot,,... Normal but falling slowly spring 2017 i cheated to swing the pendulum in my hand watching. Is n't enough for the intermediate sinking line and it will attract attention! Almost no visibility day of fly fishing one good winter pool, i kept a careful of. Be farther from the bank interested make your intro and join the.... Us to Tears on from the truth intro and join the fray leave the jig on. A couple weeks ago hoping the water each year, Schultzy has developed a vast knowledge of Midwestern waters beyond... Downstream to slack-water hibernacula, where the bass wanted it asshole too location PATTERN: stripping! Think smallmouth migrate out of current in the still water just inside the third. Four to eight feet under the surface pauses between each and Canadian rivers, migrating congreg…. Hatch throughout the winter, but that couldn ’ t just for winter smallmouth Anymore still interested make intro! I tried different sizes and colors of streamers with no luck drag reel. Are deep eddies along the bank to launch big flies jigging spoon to the bottom right where the bass it!

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