Friday, July 5, 2013
Shucking Smallmouth Bass.
It was Tuesday when I hit the water for a 5th time in 8 days. With the wife at home watching the kids, I sneaked out early for some smallmouth bass action on what I figure may be one of my last days out until fall. Hitting some familiar water again, I tied on the Shucker for another day of great bass action. The bass were doing a lot of soft striking and sucking and spitting. They were picking the fly up from the side or plucking it off the bottom from the tail. In the riffles, they would just follow my flies in groups.
Trying different patterns such as Matt's LLano Critter, Crazydads, Clousers, and Ariculated Boogiemen, I had to switch back to the olive Shucker. Perhaps, I don't spend enough time with the other fly patterns. That Shucker has been my "bread and butter" all year.
I really want to float some smallmouth streams but will only do it with a friend. None of mine want to do it! I'm pretty content on wading though. One of my most reliable spots on this streams was filled in with gravel and the logs washed away. Pretty sad. There were some hogs in there.
I do believe 18 smallmouth bass in all had been landed. Most of the action was in the riffles. The bite was off about noon. Most were 10-12 inches with a few larger ones thrown in there and there. I caught a few large panfish too. I lost a few good fish but am happy to have had the chance to go out.
This year, I've been taking most of my bass from swift and deep riffles. In most cases, I'm catching smallmouth off of structure in those riffles or I am casting downstream into the current and stripping the line into the slackwater. I have tied many large flies but for some reason, the smallies only give chase without chomping down on them.
I am seriously considering an attempt at scaling or filleting these rock bass. They put a good bend in the 3 and 4 wgt. rods. This morning, I ordered a 5-6 wgt. Wind River reel from Cabela's. Earlier this year, I bought the WR3 reel and really like using it on the 8 wgt. The 5-6 wgt. is just a smaller reel. I'm looking to put orange line on it. This reel will match my 5 wgt. GLoomis GL3 rod which I totally forgot was tucked away behind some junk. If the rod matches well with the weighted flies I throw, I may not need the TFO Clouser or Scott fly rods once considered to be at the top of my NEED list.
As fall approaches, I look to improve and integrate color into my Clousers. I also need to purchase hooks of better quality and those geared towards bass. Foe example, the hopper (above) was hit and smashed many times. I had a couple of bass on but the streamer hook wouldn't hold them long. I need a larger gap and sharper hook to convert those strikes into catches. I've also been looking into wading sandals like Korkers, a sling/shoulder bag and a new guide or fishing shirts. Time to update the gear!