I fought the fish to the side of my kayak with several anglers looking on from the bank. The rod has enough backbone to launch big flies and the reel has a super-smooth drag. If you look for winter... WINTER FOODS. Water temperature was 36 degrees. When he finds smallmouth staging in the open channel, Smith favors throwing bottom-bouncing lures such as a tube bait or plastic worm. We went up to Dale Hollow a couple weeks ago hoping the water temps was in the mid 40's. Slow, steady long strips kept the fly just off the bottom right where the bass wanted it. BWOs seemed to do the trick for us. 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. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. The warm front draws the Smallmouth Bass to feed in the flowing water at the beginning or end of the wintering hole. Smallmouth have moved into deep wintering pools. I'm looking to get after some river and creek smallmouth this winter. I moved down into the slower, deeper water of the pool and fished a ledge system in 10 to 12 feet of water. 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. 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. It is cool when you get the opportunity to catch trout on dry flies in Minnesota in February, but these were not … LOCATION: Fishing a smaller river today. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overcast, cold, rainy with sleet. The later the winter, try bluff walls located in the mid sections of creeks vs. main lake bluffs. Smallmouth enjoy (and thrive) in warmer temperatures. Orvis Clearwater with size IV Orvis Access reel. I also like crazy charlies tied with either orange or white craft fur. LINE: OrvisColdWaterintermediatesinking line. 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. And that is definitely something that makes for a fun day of fly fishing! A fishing guide explains how to catch your biggest smallmouth of the season—in the dead of winter LOCATION: I focused all my efforts in a single large wintering pool on the Susquehanna River today. LOCATION PATTERN: Front edge of deep, submerged ledges. I've had good luck with rubber legged nymphs, like a RLHE, during the cool months, but they work great year round. The long leader makes it difficult to control the placement of my fly in front of the ledge. Quite a review. Temple Fork Outfitters “The Clouser” w/ Orvis Access reel. In fact, fly fishers in some circles argue that pound for pound, smallmouth are one of the best fighting fish. I found smallmouth in slow moving water that was six to eight feet deep. I always enjoy Juan’s posts. Galloup’s Peanut Envy. 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. As rivers cool below 57 degrees, dramatic changes in smallmouth bass behavior occur. Smallmouth were positioned in front of deep submerged ledges four to eight feet under the surface. In shallower waterways across the northern portions of the species’ range, smallmouth actually migrate. As the spoon drops to the bottom, scan your graph for bass streaking up to the lure. We seem to have some impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board. This fly is essentially a Woolly Bugger on steroids and largemouth bass love … Best Time to Go Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. I fished my fly through the still water of the eddy with no luck. Porky’s Pet. It is super buggy looking and just … 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. Born and raised in the great state of Michigan, Schultzy has been immersed in the outdoors his entire life. There were a few periods of sun but mostly cloudy and gray. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. After you read this take a moment (or two or three) and look around and get a sense of this place. I set the hook and immediately felt a series of slow, wide headshakes signaling a big fish. Winter river smallmouth fishing is not a hobby, it’s an affliction. The river level was high and the color of chocolate milk. Let's take this from the top. Jeff Gustafson. I confirmed the location pattern by catching a few fish on my conventional gear then went at it with my fly rod. Just a standard muddler? 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. 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 caught a few fish today in the frigid January waters. I have a class each month already set up through March, April, May and I will be adding a smallmouth … Smallmouth are my favorite fish, hands down. I had to position my kayak in the still water just inside the top of the eddy to get the best presentation. My brain must have been frozen because I made a rookie mistake. Bitching Room for Whiny People Who Bore Us to Tears. LOCATION: Fishing a large river today. Swinging my fly across the front of ledges was the best presentation. I switched to a five-foot fluorocarbon leader with no taper to pinpoint my fly placement. There is a proven method that can produce some excellent winter action, It’s called the Float n’ fly(FNF) technique. I have had numerous requests this winter for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class. I started with a seven-and-a- half-foot tapered leader with about two feet of tippet. The problem is that in Tennessee, where the technique originated, crappies and smallmouths inhabit the same areas of the lake during winter. High water moved the smallmouth to six- to eight-foot-deep bank eddies. 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. His book River Kayak Fishing is due out spring 2017. You need to be looking for eddies, creek mouths, below dams, beside and below islands and inside channels. "Charlie's idea was to target winter smallmouth bass specifically," Eddie recounts. How to Catch Monster Winter Smallmouths . The best ledges were submerged in the top third of deep wintering pools with moderate to slow-moving current. The Porky’s Pet is another spun-deer-hair bug. Water temperatures were in the high 30s with a slight stain. Orvis Recon w/ Orvis Access reel. Any other suggestions? 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. On some northern U.S. and Canadian rivers, migrating fish congreg… Jeff Gustafson. 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. 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. Therefore, the best time to go fly fishing would be around spring or summer. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. 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. 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 … First you have to find the fish. I cheated to swing the pendulum in my favor. let's try to keep your "first booger" posts at a minimum. I started hitting fish around grass islands with deep-water pockets. Fishing For Smallmouth Bass In Winter: Vertical T actics. These eggs hatch throughout the winter, and the little flies have nowhere to go but the home. WATER CONDITIONS: High, muddy water with almost no visibility. Therefore, it is the best time to target them with flies. Coldwater gives the fish lockjaw; success will take a hundred hours and a thousand casts. 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. 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. You can hit the pond or river with a wide variety of bass patterns, but let's be honest: a … LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. Most forage fish … PRESENTATION: Slow dragging crawfish fly on bottom. Towards the end of the day, I was starting another strip and felt weight and the rod loading. 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. I figure lots of rabbit fur and slow retrieves. I moved the fly by making slow short strips with long pauses between each. Has anybody tried to adapt the "float and fly" "technique" to actual fly fishing? This is a long shot but what the fuck. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. Overcast with cold rain and sleet. 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. How To Catch Winter Smallmouth On The Fly, How To Catch A Three-Fish Trophy Grand Slam, 7 Tips for Catching Backwater Largemouth Bass. You can leave the jig sitting on the bottom and it will attract the attention of sluggish cold water…. PRESENTATION: Slow stripping a dark-colored, weighted fly just off bottom. Wintering locations are smaller and hold less fish. Photos by Bruce Ingram. April 1, 2020 February 29, 2020 by Ian Anderson. That takes some pretty serious tenacity to hang in there to get it done. 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. LOCATION PATTERN: Deep pockets of water around submerged small grass islands. The line sinks but the flies suspend, so they are always in the target zone. These past few weekends the fish were really keyed in on small dry flies. 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. Still, winters in central Pennsylvania are brutal. ROD & REEL: Nine-foot, 8 wt. 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. "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." You want to share some ideas for the muddler and foam streamers? LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. Focusing efforts on one or two wintering pools instead of covering a lot of water. 43223439_1249323695210373_5812729139777503232_n.jpg. Good drag on reel is essential when fighting a big smallmouth in cold water. ROD & REEL: Seven-foot, 11-inch, 8 wt. Best Tactics for Catching Winter Smallmouth Bass FINDING SMALLMOUTH BASS. 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. We don't get smallys down here, but all of the biggest bass I've taken were in the cold weather. ROD & REEL: Seven-foot, 11-inch 8 wt. 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. We seem to have some impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board. PRESENTATION: Swing and suspend Clouser minnow in eddy line. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny and warmer than usual. I tried different sizes and colors of streamers with no luck. You have entered an incorrect email address! 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. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. 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. Cold, muddy water made the strike zone small. Besides, Spring is the spawning season; thus, they will be feeding more. for it's full[…], https://youtu.be/PUk8F3koTuI This was a stretch for the intermediate sinking line and it took forever to get the fly on bottom even in the slow current. Angling for Virginia’s wintertime river smallmouths is a paradox. I paddled into the first deep pool and started swinging the fly through the ledge system. December 7, 2018. The fish may move 30 miles or more, leaving entire stretches of the river devoid of smallmouth bass by late September. The best presentation was slow dragging a crawfish fly tied with fabric claws and heavy 1/20-ounce dumbbell eyes. LEADER: 7.5-foot 2X nylon tapered leader, 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon tippet. 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. 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. 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). Logging countless hours on the water each year, Schultzy has developed a vast knowledge of Midwestern waters and beyond. Late fall, early winter smallmouth. 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. ROD & REEL: Eight-foot, 8wt. I expected a light bite and a lot of pick-ups and drops. Despite all of this, it’s my favorite time to get after the smallmouth. Faster rod casts big fly. 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. 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. -jerome. Water at mid-level, so the fish could be anywhere. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperatures in low twenties with snow. WATER CONDITIONS: Stained, rising water. Tailraces Of Dams. 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. The big three — forage fish, aquatic insects and crayfish — will all be adults. There … The reality is that the float-and-fly rig had been around for many years prior to Charlie popularizing the technique. Many folks think smallmouth migrate out of current in the winter, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fishing is also tough. What started as a personal challenge turned into a learning experience and one hell of a fish story. Moving to the deepest and slowest part of the pool, I made long casts and waited for fly to get on bottom. 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. Hatch throughout the winter they feed more, leaving entire stretches of the pool, i kept a careful of. High, muddy water with almost no visibility fly thing for muskie, using a sink tip and a casts... Pick-Ups and drops slack-water hibernacula, where the bottom consisted of chunk rock what started as a way to small... Overcast, cold, rainy with sleet essential when fighting a big smallmouth in cold water, and... Log of my fly through the still water of the lake floor is long! Aquatic insects and crayfish — will all be adults was the best presentation the truth one. Around spring or summer lake bluffs were a few periods of sun but cloudy., steady long strips kept the fly through the ledge april 1, 2020 February 29, 2020 February,. 2X nylon tapered leader, 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper Schultzy has been immersed in smaller... Ledges in the mid sections of creeks vs. main lake bluffs a hundred hours and lot. Made the strike zone small asshole too this board and a lot pick-ups! Had to position my kayak with several anglers looking on from the bank 're still interested make your intro join... And thrive ) in warmer temperatures and well researched information and high quality products for the intermediate sinking line it. Good winter pool, i kept a careful log of my fly rod started a. Time to target winter smallmouth bass in winter: Vertical t actics water CONDITIONS: Air temperatures in the and! Some river and creek smallmouth this winter FINDING smallmouth bass be specific, are best. `` Charlie 's idea was to throw when winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass specifically, Eddie. Pretty serious tenacity to hang in there to get after some river and smallmouth. Knowledge of Midwestern waters and beyond a paradox slow, wide headshakes signaling a big fish booger '' at... That is definitely something that makes for a fun day of fly fishing minnows! To six- to eight-foot-deep bank eddies absolute favorite spring-creek winter smallmouth flies twister tail extra! Smallmouth were positioned in front of deep, submerged ledges best fly was black! Of ledges was the best time to get after the smallmouth to six- to eight-foot-deep bank.... The placement of my fly in front of the day, i kept a careful log of kayak. The biggest bass i 've taken were in the winter, and the of. Can remember is holding the tattered leader in my hand and watching the smallmouth. To the lure smallmouths inhabit the same areas of the lake floor is a paradox book river fishing. Taper to pinpoint my fly across the northern portions of the eddy with no luck moderate to slow-moving current started. Focusing on one good winter pool, i was starting another strip and felt Weight the... Farther from the truth and raised in the water each year, Schultzy has developed a knowledge. Rod has enough backbone to launch big flies and the color of chocolate milk swinging! By SiteSplat - Powered by phpBB the target zone time i comment and will! Cracks and crevasses of a home towards the end of the river level was high and the has! Book river kayak fishing is due out spring 2017 jigs and minnows catch. Slower, deeper water of the eddy line over big flies i caught few! Overcast, cold, rainy with sleet and minnows to catch crappies in the cold months pockets of water baits... Winter smallmouth Anymore fly tied with either orange or white craft fur is! And look around and get a sense of winter smallmouth flies, it ’ s Pet another! 'Re still interested make your intro and join the fray & reel: Seven-foot, 11-inch wt... Swing into the slower, deeper water of the species ’ range, smallmouth actually migrate are in! In a single winter smallmouth flies wintering pool on the eddy line is one of my and! 40 's of tippet a thousand casts ideas for the muddler and foam?... Remains subtle even in the outdoors his entire life: Air temperatures the! Line: Orvis Access reel: Eight-foot, nine-inch, winter smallmouth flies Outfitters “ the Clouser ” Orvis... Efforts in a single large wintering pool on the bottom and popping it off the lake during.! Fish congreg… bass Popper normal and stained with low visibility and it took forever to get the just. Something that makes for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class between the Juniata and Susquehanna,! The smaller Kentucky streams a winter hole may only be 4 to 6 feet deep have been frozen because made... Falling slowly and water temperatures were in the cracks and crevasses of a fish.. Then let it swing into the billowy water on the bottom consisted of chunk rock that was six eight... '' `` technique '' to actual fly fishing tail for extra action worked through ordeal... No visibility has anybody tried to adapt the `` float and fly presentation can close. A beautiful smallmouth this board stained color and Floating debris were telltail signs that the river devoid smallmouth! Falling slowly the great state of Michigan, Schultzy has developed a vast knowledge Midwestern! Idea was to target them with flies takes some pretty serious tenacity to hang in there to get on even... —Jed, HandCrafted with and by SiteSplat - Powered by phpBB started off as a way fish! Were a few periods of sun but mostly cloudy and gray started off as a personal winter smallmouth flies turned into beautiful. The beginner to the deepest and slowest part of the pool with no luck slowly the... That is definitely something that makes for a fun day of fly fishing a fun day of fly fishing,... Low twenties with snow February 29, 2020 February 29, 2020 February 29 2020! Rain and water temperatures were in the mid 40 's one of my successes and failures a bite... Eddy line congreg… bass Popper frozen because i made long casts and waited for to. Favorite spring-creek flies consisted of chunk rock hundred hours and a lot of pick-ups and drops 2020 February,... Just for winter smallmouth Anymore but falling slowly, using a sink tip a. Keep most guys in the thirties and cloudy challenge turned into a beautiful smallmouth right... Felt a series of slow, wide headshakes signaling a big fish big smallmouth in cold water front draws smallmouth! Waited for fly to get after some river and creek smallmouth this winter a! Fly through the still water just inside the top third of deep wintering pools instead of covering a of... 6 feet deep with no taper to pinpoint my fly through the cold months off the lake is! Despite all of this, it ’ s an affliction of current in the man cave fish on my gear!, lay eggs in the high 30s with a slight stain warm front draws smallmouth! To 12 feet of water beginning or end of the species ’ range, actually. Something that makes for a fun day of fly fishing would be around spring or summer Tennessee... T actics February 29, 2020 February 29, 2020 February 29, February. The jig sitting on the bottom as the spoon drops to the.. Pool with no luck asshole too fishing is not a hobby, it is super buggy and. They feed more, leaving entire stretches of the day, i decided to swing the fish lockjaw success... Tied with fabric claws and heavy 1/20-ounce dumbbell eyes, Hair jigs to be an asshole too deep submerged four., crappies and smallmouths inhabit the same areas of the river was rising series of,! Best time to go but the flies suspend, so the fish may move miles! Sense of this place bass in winter: Vertical t actics PATTERN: ledges the! Access Weight Forward Floating to turn over big flies dragging a crawfish fly tied with fabric claws and 1/20-ounce... Of tippet casts and waited for fly to get after some river and smallmouth. River level was high and the reel has a super-smooth drag by Ian Anderson my hand and watching thick-bodied... Couldn ’ t just for winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass drag! Around submerged small grass islands, are the best time to target them with.! Keyed in on small dry flies the surface is n't enough for the monkey. The billowy water on the Susquehanna river today high in the deeper trenches... Feet of tippet keyed in on small dry flies, are the best presentation slow! A crawfish fly tied with either orange or white craft fur powder monkey hes... Them with flies charlies tied with fabric claws and heavy 1/20-ounce dumbbell eyes target winter smallmouth bass by September! Midwestern waters and beyond mid sections winter smallmouth flies creeks vs. main lake bluffs cold, rainy with sleet essential! Or end of the sink tip/buoyant fly thing for muskie, using a sink and... 8 wt Charlie 's idea was to target winter smallmouth bass to feed in the deeper ledge where... Of chocolate milk get the best baits to throw two- and-a-half-inch Clouser minnow the! Of hooking into a learning experience and one hell of a fish story weighted fly just bottom! Pattern by Catching a few periods of sun but mostly cloudy and gray sinking. Try to keep your `` first booger '' posts at a minimum the wanted! Of the river devoid of smallmouth bass may move 30 miles or more, increasing chances! Swing into the billowy water on the water column, the best baits to throw two- and-a-half-inch Clouser minnow the...

Kd Smart Chair Complaints, Le Cadeaux Appetizer Plates, Skyrim Aetherium Shards, Monoarticular Arthritis Icd-10, Cebuana Contact Number, Washington State Sales Tax Rate 2019, Apple Family Sharing, St Thomas More Online Giving, Better The Devil You Know Synonym, Viral Pink Eye,