Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Yup, you got it. More smallmouth bass.
I caught this smallmouth bass on Friday of last week on a Wooly Bugger. Saturday morning wasn't very productive but I did land 17 bass in two outings lasting about 4 hours altogether. I've been fishing a small stream and it holds a lot of small to medium bass. There are some large smallmouth here and there but you've got to hit the main river for those guys. They are hiding in the large pools which have become a rarity on this stream.
I may have to give my honey hole a rest. Due to the obvious lack of rain, the water is receding rapidly. Fish don't have deep holes to rest in. There are the odd deep spots every quarter mile or so now. Even the larger bass are moving about in about 8 inches of water as they look for a place to rest or hunt. The riffles are virtually non-existent and the weeds and rocks have become hiding places along the banks. With large amounts of bass in this stretch of the stream, it's hard not to scare them at this point. Even with stealthy wading, bass which usually group together in about 2 or 3 feet of water are meandering into some pretty clear and shallow water. Funny thing is that top-water action has been almost non-existent the past few trips out.
At this point, I'm going to find fish some deep spots and leave most of the stream alone. Those poor fellas need a break from this drought. Wooly Buggers, crawdad patterns, and Clousers have been my go-to flies. Last week before I went out of town, I landed 4 nice smallmouth bass all in the same hole. That hole is now a slow and low riffle. At this point of the drought, the stream is so low that fish are becoming stranded in certain portions of the stream. Whereas, in the Spring when the water was higher, the fish were moving throughout a larger portion of the creek. Bass were coming out of the deep holes and hanging out in smaller holes and medium to deep riffles to feed. Stealthy wading and soft casting is the key. On this stream, I find that bass are now less active in the morning and as the stream warms back up, smallmouth are more to grab a bit to eat. Soft strikes and quickly yet while being subtle will hit a fly or pounce lightly while evading the hook.
So, if you are fishing smaller streams or creeks right now, good luck. Stealthy wading and soft casting to those of you hunting smallmouth during this drought. If we're lucky, maybe it will rain.
More photos to come! Sold 11 sets of flies this week! 18 sets of flies week before last. I'll list some more on ebay in the next day or so.