Sunday, October 20, 2013

Time for Fall Smallmouth Bass on the Fly.

I know this isn't the best way to handle a smallmouth bass.  I'll be the first one to tell you that but it was also released quickly.  Somebody made a statement about my grip and I was quick to say that it's not like the other photos I see.  It seems that folks will tire out a bass so that they can place the fish on a paddle, on the bank with their rod or somehow grip it with one hand as it hangs limp.  

Obviously, this is a better hold.  A few folks were upset that I even defended that at the least I don't tire the bass out and place it for a photo opportunity . . . but it was catch-and-release.  I am doing my best to hold it properly and when I took the first photo,  I figured it was resting on the back of my hand.  Quit a few folks don't really care or perhaps just a little bit.  I care.  I do.  I want that bass to continue to grow and help provide off-spring. 

 I can appreciate the smallmouth.  Year after year, my accesses are shut down.  Year after year, more and more developments come and cause improper run-off and pollution issues on my smallmouth streams.  I understand that folks just don't care if there are fish or the state of the habitat or environment.  I've seen a stream's quality go downhill and an organization created to preserve it by creating awareness.  And with that same stream - the knowledge that it is there and was once a popular recreational stream and that there were publications printed about it . . . and that it isn't just a river where affluent flows from several streams.

I know that it is my - heck, all of our responsibility no matter how small to help preserve what we can - even if it is griping a fish properly so that it is released unharmed for a prosperous future.  

That being said . . . I am still chasing smallies and they already seem to be holding tight and deep.  We've had some colder nights which temps ranging from 35-45 degrees and daytime temps about 60-70.  Fishing on my stream is slowing down.  I am fishing deep and slow.  The smaller bass are hitting the fly on the drift in swift riffles running about 1-3 feet deep.  I am catching smallmouth and spotted bass in deep still pools at the edge or riffles with a heavy fly that is stripped VERY slowly.  On Friday, I took about 20 rock bass around structure.  They were pretty slow too.  Bass and panfish were slashing or soft-striking my flies.  Recent rains with some regularity have brought dirty water since August which still runs swifter than the norm and at a high level which has prevented me from getting to certain locations.  I actually had to put on my waders to stay warm which is the first time since maybe March or April.

The rock bass love that Shucker pattern.  If I had a nickle for every one of those panfish . . .  


  1. Josh, I hear you when you speak of more and more development and less and less fishing opportunities. Two notes: Someday I will get an opportunity to fish for Rock Bass. They are an interesting looking fish. Will have to travel to find them though as Colorado isn't really a resource for Rock Bass. Secondly, love me some Smallmouth Bass. Do have opportunities here to fish for them!

    1. Those rock bass are amazing fighters. I figured bluegills were the best and used to be my favorite fighting panfish. But these rock bass hit hard and I swear there's a bass on the line sometimes.

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