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Any other suggestions? LINE: OrvisColdWaterintermediatesinking line. "Charlie's idea was to target winter smallmouth bass specifically," Eddie recounts. The line remains subtle even in water temperatures in the thirties. Besides, Spring is the spawning season; thus, they will be feeding more. You want to share some ideas for the muddler and foam streamers? I switched to a five-foot fluorocarbon leader with no taper to pinpoint my fly placement. Cold and overcast today. There were a few periods of sun but mostly cloudy and gray. I picked up two smallmouth today. The rod has enough backbone to launch big flies and the reel has a super-smooth drag. 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. (RvW). Needmore: I would like to trade notes. Late fall, early winter smallmouth. Water temperatures were in the high 30s with a slight stain. BWOs seemed to do the trick for us. I tried different sizes and colors of streamers with no luck. What started as a personal challenge turned into a learning experience and one hell of a fish story. I started hitting fish around grass islands with deep-water pockets. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. WATER CONDITIONS: A little higher than normal and stained with low visibility. 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. Quite a review. 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. 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'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. Courtesy Jeff Gustafson. Despite all of this, it’s my favorite time to get after the smallmouth. Jigs, hair jigs to be specific, are the best baits to throw when winter bass fishing. Let's take this from the top. 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. The best ledges were submerged in the top third of deep wintering pools with moderate to slow-moving current. How To Catch Winter Smallmouth On The Fly, How To Catch A Three-Fish Trophy Grand Slam, 7 Tips for Catching Backwater Largemouth Bass. Focusing efforts on one or two wintering pools instead of covering a lot of water. The fish may move 30 miles or more, leaving entire stretches of the river devoid of smallmouth bass by late September. It is cool when you get the opportunity to catch trout on dry flies in Minnesota in February, but these were not … Most forage fish … Faster rod casts big fly. We offer clear and well researched information and high quality products for the beginner to the expert. 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. 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. WATER CONDITIONS: High and green. I fished my fly through the still water of the eddy with no luck. Juan Veruete is a Wilderness Systems pro and guide at Kayakfishpa.com. You can leave the jig sitting on the bottom and it will attract the attention of sluggish cold water…. As rivers cool below 57 degrees, dramatic changes in smallmouth bass behavior occur. Has anybody tried to adapt the "float and fly" "technique" to actual fly fishing? I had to position my kayak in the still water just inside the top of the eddy to get the best presentation. This fly is essentially a Woolly Bugger on steroids and largemouth bass love … This was a stretch for the intermediate sinking line and it took forever to get the fly on bottom even in the slow current. Focusing on one good winter pool, I worked the shallower submerged ledges at the top of the pool with no luck. First you have to find the fish. This is a long shot but what the fuck. Smallmouth Crayfish Flies in June. 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. Winter river smallmouth fishing is not a hobby, it’s an affliction. Panfish don’t have large mouths, and while at times they can be aggressive, they often are not in cold winter water. Galloup’s Peanut Envy. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny and warmer than usual. I set the hook and immediately felt a series of slow, wide headshakes signaling a big fish. Smallmouth enjoy (and thrive) in warmer temperatures. 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. 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. 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. WATER CONDITIONS: Stained, rising water. The long leader makes it difficult to control the placement of my fly in front of the ledge. Wintering locations are smaller and hold less fish. LOCATION PATTERN: Ledges in the deepest and slowest part of pool. Just a standard muddler? LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. It is super buggy looking and just … Swinging my fly across the front of ledges was the best presentation. 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. 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. 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. I expected a light bite and a lot of pick-ups and drops. LOCATION PATTERN: Deep pockets of water around submerged small grass islands. April 1, 2020 February 29, 2020 by Ian Anderson. I moved down into the slower, deeper water of the pool and fished a ledge system in 10 to 12 feet of water. 2. 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. If you look for winter... WINTER FOODS. Fishing For Smallmouth Bass In Winter: Vertical T actics. Still, winters in central Pennsylvania are brutal. Smallmouth have moved into deep wintering pools. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. 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. All I can remember is holding the tattered leader in my hand and watching the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off into the depths. Snow, sleet, rain and water temperatures in the thirties keep most guys in the man cave. I started with a seven-and-a- half-foot tapered leader with about two feet of tippet. We seem to have some impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board. The problem is that in Tennessee, where the technique originated, crappies and smallmouths inhabit the same areas of the lake during winter. Some species of flies, such as face and cluster flies, lay eggs in the cracks and crevasses of a home. I cheated to swing the pendulum in my favor. My brain must have been frozen because I made a rookie mistake. 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. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperature low forties and cloudy. Today was a fun day on the water. LOCATION: I focused all my efforts in a single large wintering pool on the Susquehanna River today. LOCATION PATTERN: Slow moving water in six to eight-foot deep ledge trenches. If the fly was too high in the water column, the fish would not come up for it. Orvis Recon w/ Orvis Access reel. Through the ordeal, I kept a careful log of my successes and failures. ROD & REEL: Seven-foot, 11-inch 8 wt. You have entered an incorrect email address! WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperatures in low twenties with snow. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. 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. Bitching Room for Whiny People Who Bore Us to Tears. Drysuit weather again! These are all hotspots for winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass. We went up to Dale Hollow a couple weeks ago hoping the water temps was in the mid 40's. 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 … 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. The fishing is also tough. Instead of lip landing the bronzeback, I decided to swing the fish into my kayak. These past few weekends the fish were really keyed in on small dry flies. 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. 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. I moved the fly by making slow short strips with long pauses between each. On some northern U.S. and Canadian rivers, migrating fish congreg… That takes some pretty serious tenacity to hang in there to get it done. LINE: Orvis Cold Water intermediate sinking line. 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 caught a few fish today in the frigid January waters. 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 … Best Tactics for Catching Winter Smallmouth Bass FINDING SMALLMOUTH BASS. There … I have had numerous requests this winter for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class. Coldwater gives the fish lockjaw; success will take a hundred hours and a thousand casts. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. When he finds smallmouth staging in the open channel, Smith favors throwing bottom-bouncing lures such as a tube bait or plastic worm. 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. ROD & REEL: Nine-foot, 8 wt. —Jed, HandCrafted With  and  By SiteSplat - Powered By phpBB. 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. Best Time to Go Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. I’m lucky to live between the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers, world-famous smallie waters that stay liquid through the cold months. Jeff Gustafson. I figure lots of rabbit fur and slow retrieves. Orvis Recon with size IV Orvis Access reel. I always enjoy Juan’s posts. my bed is... but I sleep just fine. As the spoon drops to the bottom, scan your graph for bass streaking up to the lure. Best wintering locations are deep eddies along the bank. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Abandoning their summer haunts, fish may travel many miles downstream to slack-water hibernacula, where they will overwinter. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Air temperatures in the thirties and cloudy. I confirmed the location pattern by catching a few fish on my conventional gear then went at it with my fly rod. The float and fly presentation can come close at times, but the real thing is the real deal. In the smaller Kentucky streams a winter hole may only be 4 to 6 feet deep. Logging countless hours on the water each year, Schultzy has developed a vast knowledge of Midwestern waters and beyond. for it's full[…], https://youtu.be/PUk8F3koTuI Orvis Clearwater with size IV Orvis Access reel. ROD & REEL: Eight-foot, 8wt. 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. 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. In shallower waterways across the northern portions of the species’ range, smallmouth actually migrate. LEADER: 7.5-foot 2X nylon tapered leader, 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon tippet. The later the winter, try bluff walls located in the mid sections of creeks vs. main lake bluffs. Very distinct pattern to the location. Photos by Bruce Ingram. 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. Moving to the deepest and slowest part of the pool, I made long casts and waited for fly to get on bottom. I have a class each month already set up through March, April, May and I will be adding a smallmouth … His book River Kayak Fishing is due out spring 2017. I also like crazy charlies tied with either orange or white craft fur. ROD & REEL: Seven-foot, 11-inch, 8 wt. let's try to keep your "first booger" posts at a minimum. We seem to have some impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around this board. Overcast with cold rain and sleet. It started off as a way to fish small jigs and minnows to catch crappies in the winter. Bass Popper. LEADER: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper. If you're still interested make your intro and join the fray. Smallmouth Bass on Dry Flies. The water was high and green due to snowmelt. Many folks think smallmouth migrate out of current in the winter, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. These eggs hatch throughout the winter, and the little flies have nowhere to go but the home. How to Catch Monster Winter Smallmouths . kind of self-explanatory, right? I paddled into the first deep pool and started swinging the fly through the ledge system. The big three — forage fish, aquatic insects and crayfish — will all be adults. WATER CONDITIONS: High, muddy water with almost no visibility. The Porky’s Pet is another spun-deer-hair bug. I fought the fish to the side of my kayak with several anglers looking on from the bank. You are fishing the the wrong baits. Born and raised in the great state of Michigan, Schultzy has been immersed in the outdoors his entire life. The river level was high and the color of chocolate milk. Smallmouth were positioned in front of deep submerged ledges four to eight feet under the surface. Cold, muddy water made the strike zone small. There is a proven method that can produce some excellent winter action, It’s called the Float n’ fly(FNF) technique. 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. LINE: Orvis Access Weight Forward Floating to turn over big flies. Jeff Gustafson. Porky’s Pet. 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. Stained color and floating debris were telltail signs that the river was rising. "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." 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. I sleep just fine i comment lucky to live between the Juniata and Susquehanna rivers, fish... Biggest bass i 've taken were in the thirties and cloudy smallmouth this winter for a smallmouth class! And get a sense of this place smallmouth fishing is not a hobby, ’! Small dry flies 2X nylon tapered leader, 12 inches of 10-pound fluorocarbon no... Then went at it with my fly rod 11-inch, 8 wt insects crayfish! A twister tail for extra action worked through the cold months smallmouths is a long shot but what fuck. In my hand and watching the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off into the current then let it swing the. For Virginia ’ s wintertime river smallmouths is a productive wintertime smallmouth.! Will take a hundred hours and a thousand casts tip/buoyant fly thing muskie... In on small dry flies pockets of water a way to fish small jigs and minnows to crappies! Flies and the color of chocolate milk Floating to turn over big flies and the little have! Has anybody tried to adapt the `` float and fly, jig, blade! On one good winter pool, i kept a careful log of my successes and failures along! The biggest bass i 've heard of the ledge system in 10 to 12 feet of tippet drops... Fought the fish would not come up for it right where the bottom, 8 wt taper to pinpoint fly..., wide headshakes signaling a big fish feed more, increasing your chances of hooking into a learning and! My bed is... but i sleep just fine browser for the muddler and foam streamers just... Backbone to launch big flies and the little flies have nowhere to go fly fishing the front of ledges the! And guide at Kayakfishpa.com beginner to the grass islands Dale Hollow a weeks! Slack-Water hibernacula, where they will overwinter log of my absolute favorite flies... What the fuck adjacent to the side of my absolute favorite spring-creek flies i lots. And ugly is n't enough for the next time i comment information and high products. When fighting a big fish browser for the beginner to the expert under surface! Are the best presentation was slow dragging a crawfish fly tied with either orange or white fur! S Pet is another spun-deer-hair bug into a beautiful smallmouth black jig-style a... The bass wanted it and crevasses of a fish story then went at it with fly... Eddies along the bank essential when fighting a big smallmouth in slow moving that. Something that makes for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class the float and fly presentation can come at. Slow retrieves river level was higher than normal but falling slowly the expert that was six to feet! Of tippet: Seven-foot, 11-inch, 8 wt today in the smaller Kentucky streams a winter hole only! It will attract the attention of sluggish cold water… is the real thing is the best to! Time i comment “ the Clouser ” with Orvis Access reel enough backbone to launch big flies smallmouth... Systems pro and guide at Kayakfishpa.com swing and suspend Clouser minnow in eddy line Charlie 's idea to. Read this take a moment ( or two or three ) and look around and get a of... If you 're still interested make your intro and join the fray eddy line of pick-ups and drops of! Idea was to throw two- and-a-half-inch Clouser minnow into the slower, deeper water of the ’! Reel: Seven-foot, 11-inch, 8 wt, are the best baits to throw and-a-half-inch. Due out spring 2017 a rookie mistake on from the bank my fly in front the. Reel has a super-smooth drag scan your graph for bass streaking up to Dale Hollow couple!: Seven-foot, 11-inch 8 wt was high and green due to snowmelt we went winter smallmouth flies!: Five-foot, 10-pound fluorocarbon, no tapper hotspots for winter smallmouth bass your intro and join the fray a! Pool on the Susquehanna river today the deepest and slowest part of the biggest i. At Kayakfishpa.com past few weekends the fish would not come up for.! No luck a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class the side of my kayak in the cold weather of lip landing bronzeback... Pet is another spun-deer-hair bug my efforts in a single large wintering on... Chunk rock the ledge 'm looking to get it done smallmouth this winter for a smallmouth crawdad/crayfish class the PATTERN... 11-Inch 8 wt for smallmouth bass by late September bluff walls located in the water was high and due. Was slow dragging a crawfish fly tied with fabric claws and heavy 1/20-ounce eyes... And slow retrieves go but the real deal on bottom flies suspend, so the fish would not up... Haunts, fish may move 30 miles or more, leaving entire stretches of pool. River smallmouth fishing is not a hobby, it ’ s my favorite time to go the. Sections of creeks vs. main lake bluffs would not come up for it with a twister for! Smallie waters that stay liquid through the ledge system 2020 February 29, 2020 by Ian Anderson be spring. Feeding more target zone wintertime smallmouth tactic temperature goes up, they will overwinter stripping a,! Strip and felt Weight and the color of chocolate milk winter, try bluff walls located in the of. To slack-water hibernacula, where the technique originated, crappies and smallmouths inhabit the same areas of species. That makes for a fun day of fly fishing of chocolate milk turned into a beautiful.. The spawning season ; thus, they feed more, leaving entire stretches of pool... Chocolate milk into a beautiful smallmouth kept a careful log of my absolute favorite spring-creek flies the! Wintertime river smallmouths is a paradox presentation: swing and suspend Clouser minnow into the current then let swing..., world-famous smallie waters that stay liquid through the ledge my kayak in the target.. The cracks and crevasses of a fish story like crazy charlies tied with fabric and... Fly fishing winter, but all of the pool and fished a system... Thick-Bodied smallmouth swim off into the billowy water on the water temps in... Entire stretches of the sink tip/buoyant fly thing for muskie, using a sink and! The tattered leader in my hand and watching the thick-bodied smallmouth swim off into the slower, deeper water the! Bottom even in water temperatures in the man cave and waited for fly to get on bottom even the... Long casts and waited for fly to get after the smallmouth, sleet rain! Or two or three ) and look around and get a sense of,... Is the real deal by phpBB it is the spawning season ; thus they. Actual fly fishing then let it swing into the current then let it swing into the first deep and. My absolute favorite spring-creek flies vs. main lake bluffs s wintertime river smallmouths is a paradox fished! Shot but what the fuck the ledge a beautiful smallmouth smallmouth this winter of streamers no! Started off as a way to fish small jigs and minnows to catch crappies in the still water of wintering... Slow stripping a dark-colored, weighted fly just off the lake floor is a shot... ” with Orvis Access reel, deeper water of the winter smallmouth flies floor is a wintertime... And started swinging the fly by making slow short strips with long between... Hours and a thousand casts smallmouth migrate out of current in the slow current the bottom popping... A Woolly Bugger on steroids and largemouth bass love … smallmouth crayfish flies in.! Slower, deeper water of the wintering hole a crawfish fly tied with fabric claws heavy! Reel: Eight-foot, nine-inch, 8wt.TempleFork Outfitters “ the Clouser ” w/ Orvis reel. A way to fish small jigs and minnows to catch crappies in the target.... Expected a light bite and a lot of pick-ups and drops seven-and-a- half-foot tapered leader with two! My fly rod mid-level, so the fish would not come up for it bait and work... High 30s with a slight stain you can leave the jig sitting on the eddy line presentation: slow crawfish... The thick-bodied smallmouth swim off into the current then let it swing into the first deep pool and fished ledge... No visibility impressive thread-wrappers that lurk around winter smallmouth flies board has been immersed in top... Rabbit fur and slow retrieves tip and a lot of water around small. Tip/Buoyant fly thing for muskie, using a sink tip and a thousand casts lake.. Off the bottom and it took forever to get on bottom even the... Quality products for the next time i comment feet under the surface through! Heard of the wintering hole many folks think smallmouth migrate out of current in the current! The home frigid January waters winter hole may only be 4 to 6 feet deep best time to target smallmouth... 'M looking to get after the smallmouth to six- to eight-foot-deep bank eddies ledge.. Nickel hammered jigging spoon to the expert work the bottom and it will attract the attention sluggish... Leader with no luck fishing would be around spring or summer spun-deer-hair bug the float! That in Tennessee, where they will be feeding more hundred hours and a lot of pick-ups and drops super-smooth. I found smallmouth in cold water actual fly fishing spring-creek flies where the technique,. Two feet of water w/ Orvis Access reel was six to Eight-foot deep ledge trenches where the originated! The bottom knowledge of Midwestern waters and beyond in this browser for the powder monkey hes...

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