With hat in hand, I come seeking information

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by Olive bugger, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Thanks. Had to ask, because that fly looks absolutely "catchy" to me. Downside is...now I have to eat broccoli and such...
  2. Nice looking flies, Brad. Thanks for sharing.
  3. My favorite smallmouth technique is fishing floating flies (rainbow trout looking crease flies, with a wiggly tail) on a full sink line off a +/- 12' leader. Cast and let your line sink to the bottom. Then strip it back in 4-5 strip pulls. This wil pull your fly down towards the bottom, super erratically. Then stop you retrive and let the fly 'swim' back to the surface. You'll see a little dimple on the top as your fly surfaces, then WHAM. They'll smash it on the top. It's a really cool way to catch them, and super effective.
  4. Bass are not leader shy for the most part. I will use 12# when working around lots of weeds and salad to keep break offs to a minimum. A short stout taper is all that it needed, heavy in the but to turn over the heavy flies. Hooks from 1/0 to 4 are fine as bass have tough big mouths. As far as flies just about any streamer / baitfish patterns will work. The worms shown above will work well and can be dead sticked or fished very slowly. I also tle worms from braided yarn of different colors with cone heads or jig style heads. Deceiver saltwater patterns also work well.

    For a rod I like a fast 8' 8wt. This type of rod is more of a saltwater taper for punching wind, turning over big bugs and casts in the 40'-60' range. I will use a 8,9or 10wt WF line that I have cut off the front 2-3' as I do not need as gentle a taper. I do not do hardly any false casting with the bigger line wt, just a pick up an shoot.
    fifafu likes this.

  5. That sounds like something I would like to try. Thanks for the info guys.
  6. Size of the fish is only a small part of choosing the right rod. If i were serious about pursuing smallies. I would buy a boat with a front flat deck and a foot controlled trolling motor. In my opinion you can't do it without that.. I'd be rigged up with 6_ 10 weights. Not for the size of the fish but fly the flies I'd be throwing... The largest of tarpon flies would not be too big. T17 30 foot shooting heads would not be excessive. As far as i know there are no serious smallie fly fishers on the Columbia. Basically find out what the guys in the sparkly boats are doing and copy it with a fly.
  7. I am sorry that post wasn't very helpful.. I'll post something better and more informative tomorrow.
  8. Thanks for the input. I am thinking that maybe some lake fishing.
    Haven't seen any really big hogs except in Lake Washington, and they were Large Mouth.
    An 8 weight rod would not be too large for that, for sure.
  9. I also have a Predator 8 wt that I use for big bass bugs. It works great and lets me imitate the my gear fishing style with the fly rod.

    This year I also had a great time going the opposite direction and using my 2wt. I went to small to small flies like damsel nymphs and classic top water patterns. It amazing how many little .5-1.5 lb bass you can lure in with a slow patient retrieve. Small poppers seemed to be better for tricking the bigger fish.

    Stan Coffin lake, near Quincy, is managed for Bass and seems to be much less crowded than the trout lakes nearby. It might make a nice getaway during a gloomy west side spring.
  10. Thanks for the input Patrick. I would like to make it over in the Spring or summer months for some fishing. Perhaps I could send you an email and we could meet for lunch and maybe some rod bending.

    If that is ok with you.
  11. When you guys do the Stan Coffin trip let me know and I'll tag along.
    Olive bugger and Patrick Gould like this.
  12. Sounds like a plan. How about it Patrick?
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  13. Sounds good to me, and I bet you're not the only one who would like to hit Stan.
  14. Pick warmer weather than what we had two days ago.
  15. Roger that and +1 on that.

    Warm is good. (Insert giant smily face here)
  16. It ain't gonna be that warm. Besides that's the windy time of year.

  17. Thanks for the inspiration. :)
  18. For those wishing to fish the River.....

    Spring/ Pre-spawn.
    This generally occurs in mid March through Mid April but can be even later if the spring is cold. This is the best time of year to catch real quality smallmouth bass. As the water temps begin to warm into the fifties big female smallmouths will move out of their inaccessible winter haunts onto sloping points out of the current or with the least amount of current available at the time. No current is best but often the river is flowing hard this time of year so it's easiest to look for eddies where the current is flowing upstream as these currents are always milder than downstream currents. Any hard point extending into the current is a likely spot to try. The fish may move up and down these points on a daily basis so don't be discouraged if a spot does not produce it's likely that it will at some point during the season. As the fish move to the shallow end of the point they'll be more aggressive and likely closer to the current break. The best way to target them at this time is with a quickly moving fly that is large and fished at their level. They are feeding primary on crayfish but they are often sluggish and need some enticement to get them to react to a fly. Expect this type of activity a little later in the day after the water has warmed a few degrees. If the fish are not up shallow your best bet is to back off the point a little and concentrate the deeper slower side of the point with patterns that you crawl along the bottom S...l...o..w...l...y.
    As the spring progresses the fish will move further back into the cove created by the point. The larger and more isolated the cove is the more fish it will hold but they will also be spread out more. If you catch one fish concentrate on areas that are at the same depth and distance from the main river. these fish are "staging" for the spawn and are often very aggressive in spite of the still cool water covering lots of water with large flashy or even noisy flies will cause a reaction bite. This is the time of year you'll see tournaments won with fish that average 4-5 lbs. Covering as much water as you can is the name of the game. Even covering the same area every few hours can produce as more and more fish move into spawning areas.

    ok this is longer than I expected I'll cover the spawn, post spawn, summer and fall later on...
  19. Smallmouth in the river will begin spawning in late April and last through early June depending on the weather. The warmer and more stable the conditions are the earlier and shorter the spawning season. During this time the bass will not feed however will aggressively attempt to rid it's nest of intruders it deems as a threat. Covering shallow backwaters quickly is the key to catching lots of fish. If the water is clear enough and wind calm enough sight fishing is an option. In these conditions you'll want to use a fly that you can easily see. Cast it beyond the nest and slowly work the fly into the middle of the nest and leave it there. The longer you leave it there the more agitated the fish will become. Sooner or later they will strike... If both the male and the female are present the male will likely take the fly and remove it from the nest, do not set the hook on him, wait till he spits it out and throw it back on the nest until the larger female eats it.
    If all you are catching is small males it's most likely due to the fact that the females have laid their eggs and moved out to the first drop off, even if it's a small one. Female smallmouth usually go into a non-biting funk immediately following the spawn but knowing that they are on the first depth change puts you where they are. Try natural looking flies fished slowly.
  20. Thanks for the information Rob. I will try to put it to good use next spring.

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