From Port Jervis south to Philladelphia, the water tends to be larger and slower with abundant weed beds, dead falls, blow downs, rock piles and bridge abutments. There are contrarian fly-fishermen as well when it comes to crayfish fly color. Swinging Sight Savvy: Different styles of bow sights each have their strengths—and weaknesses. Which line brand and type do you use? His passion for swinging flies and triggering that massive lightning bolt strike has never slowed. Well, that is how I used to prepare myself until I met Garth Wellman and Armand Flies. Instead expect to catch one or two or three, if you're lucky, of the biggest fish around. Winter fishing means cast after cast after cast without a bite, making it easy for concentration to wane and boredom set in. The Switch Rod and Swinging Flies for Great Lakes Steelhead. He now resides in Newaygo, Michigan, guiding around 200 days/year on the Muskegon River system (and fishing whenever he can). Our top-producing Smallmouth fly of 2014 was cooked up by our own Mike Schultz. Drift boat trips only. Due to the cold water, it's been months since a winter and spring crayfish has molted. We recommend the dumbbell eye crayfish for them. It needs to minimize energy consumption. // Smallmouth bass are some of the most fun fish to catch on a fly. 10 Proven Steelhead Fly Fishing Tips and the Wet Fly Swing. Incredible quality and tied by www.chasingsilverflies.com. Hope to find another good question to answer this next week. It’s been such a long winter I feel weird even saying this, but warm water fly fishing is back. Access. Mad props to Mike Schultz for introducing me to swinging flies for smallmouth bass! A proven favorite for largemouth bass in Size 2 and smallmouth in Size 6. Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? Please try again. General flies for particular venues are as follows: St. Marys: #10 Muddler Minnow with Orange thread; Michigan and Ohio: Ice Dub swinging pattern and a marabou type fly as well; Pennsylvania and New York: smaller patterns do better in most cases In the world of investments, there are those known as contrarians who buck the prevailing economic opinion. If you have been a smallmouth angler for any length of time, you know that sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go subsurface. This is why the skagit short is a great choice for switch rods. The Dupage is a quaint little river that holds a wonderful population of smallmouth. I think the take home message is to try different things out there. I love swinging with a two-handed rod and this really extends my season. Steelhead of the Great Lakes area are winter fish, and as such won’t be feeding as much on the buggier type of flies that you might see summer run fish take. Forget making the cast, then ripping the fly back through the water in an effort to trigger a reaction strike. Unlike the rivers of the west, where a 13’ rod and larger is helpful, in the east an 11’ rod will do the trick in many situations. They also suggest smaller prey is targeted because winter fish don't need to eat as much as summer fish. Top Tactics. Show Notes with Jerry Darkes - I noted the Adrian Cortes podcast where he fishes dry lines for winter steelhead. SWINGING AS A FLY FISHING TOOL. … And fish can follow. That’s the easy answer. Reaction is slow, a faulty hookset ensues and blue language colors the air. Although standing and swinging is great, try taking a step as you begin to swing to mix it up. 4 Day Fishing Adventure Trip This wilderness adventure is packed full of possibilities with many different species, Smallmouth Bass will, Rainbow Trout, Catfish and Sturgeon are all available in this fisherman's paradise. Fishing Journal Index . Shiela Sculpin by Solitude - tied on a #4 hook. This fly is essentially a Woolly Bugger on steroids and largemouth bass love … A mock whitetail scrape is easier—and cheaper—than you might think. But, what about the switch rod that has started to pick up some fame? The Rio Skagit Max short is one of the best line for swinging flies with a sink tip. You've read about winter steelheading where fly-fishermen spend hour after hour, day after day, casting heavy lines, swinging heavy flies in the often-unrequited hope of getting a single bite. Across the country the season’s first bass and muskie are coming to hand—and not a moment too soon. This will make your “switching” much easier and save time on the water. Employ these expert tips for world-class smallmouth bass fishing in rivers and streams. Thankfully the trout were moderately accommodating yesterday before the big winds kicked up. Fishing the Murray’s Hellgrammite This fly is a direct decedent of Mike Schultz's Swinging D and Eric Snyder's Twisted Swinger. When setting up your line, the first question is to ask what length and weight is your rod. It’s covered. Here’s the link. When crayfish molt, the new shell is nearly opaque until it hardens into a normal-colored shell. Here is a nice background summary of these larger intruder style flies. This section of river has a large quantity of smallmouth with a little bit smaller average size of 6-12 inches and a good number of fish to the 18 inch mark. The Shiela Sculpin Streamer is great for both trophy trout and smallmouth bass fishing. Try these 3 bass strategies during the hottest month of the year. When we’re targeting kings at Alaska West, we like to spend most of our time swinging flies. Easton FMJ Arrows Offer Bowhunters More Penetration, 10 Best Long-Range Rifle Cartridges Ever Made, How to Battle Cold Fronts for Big-Chill Bass, October Game Plan: Find the Food, Find the Bass, Go Big, Fast or With the Flow for August Largemouths, New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows, Understanding Reel Retrieve Ratios and How it Affects Lure Presentations, Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months, Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power. Big flies more closely imitate what winter fish food is abundant and available. I want to take risks, meet interesting people, go hard, challenge myself and explore the world. The basic setup is a length of sinking tip, like the MOW attched to your skagit line, plus a 4-5 8-10 lb mono leader. Contrast is incredibly important on your flies, and an Ice Dub head is supper effective. A few more examples of streamers that work for steelhead….. Here’s a johnny darter streamer, and here is the honorable mention. Eggs and steelhead Nymphs are working best at this time. Life is not very complex for a coldwater smallie. This is the best target for beginners in the river. I would feel a little under-gunned if I didn’t have a couple of these in my fly box. The best presentation was slow dragging a crawfish fly tied with fabric claws and heavy 1/20-ounce dumbbell eyes. But successful early spring fishing for warm water species, smallmouth bass in particular, requires deliberate planning and execution. by Steve Kuieck. skagit Max short from Rio should do the trick for swinging. 3-5 inch flies get whacked a lot out here. Give a Gift
Considering the fact that in most cases you need to get your fly within a foot or two of a smallmouth … Last weeks warm weather has slowed our turn toward fall. Smallmouth bass can still be caught. If you want to get into fly tying, click on this link and send me a message. Smallmouth Bass. While Largemouth are most commonly found in lakes, anglers will fish Smallmouth in rivers. I like to give a mend to the line at certain points in the swing. Smallmouth were positioned in front of deep submerged ledges that topped out … If you are not going to swing all the time or even if you want to swing for trout and smallmouth bass, you can easily get into swinging with OPST’s new Commando Smooth line and a couple of sink tips. We provide you with the best fly fishing and tying videos, steelhead secrets and online courses to help you discover your fly fishing passion! Perhaps you are one of those yourself. Chironomids are always hatching and can be an important food source as winter wanes and spring rolls around. The long leader makes it difficult to control the placement of my fly in front of the ledge. Fish the right water. To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine. Bang on with the west coast monster intruders! Worse than that, he didn't even use one of our Perfect Flies to catch the big smallmouth. The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction. The thoughtful fisherman pays attention to weather trends. Schultz’s Swinging D $ 7.00 Mike Schultz of Ypsilanti, Michigan developed this pattern specifically for fishing smallmouth, but it has also proven itself on largemouth, pike, musky, snook, and trout. Conversely, patterns tied with soft, pliable materials are more likely to catch fish. You’ve got to find those little buckets within the larger runs. The Swinging D is a fantastic fly, one of the best Smallmouth flies out there. Darin Sakas / January 23, 2015. Stay focused and passionate and you will hook fish. If you have an 11.5’ 6 weight switch rod, the corresponding 6 wt. However, we were glad to get it because for the past twenty years it has been one of our most productive smallmouth flies.---It is also one of our best flies for big brown trout in large western rivers but that is a fringe benefit. The prefect size at 4″ and 6″ long and hold a huge profile in the water. How about how to cast the dam things? Smallmouth on the Fly; People and Fish; Mayflies and Forage; On The Swing — Cast vs. Control and the Spey Conundrum. I generally use a shank to tie the body and add some material to the stinger. Assuming the Grande Ronde isn’t flooding (my usual cutoff for “fishable” is when the river is under 2,000 cfs as the gauging station in Troy), late May and early June are when you will … That modest change can put forage on the move. Click here to watch George Cook describe the Rio Skagit Max Short: The what line to use question always varies with the waters you are fishing, but there are a few general lines that should meet your needs whether you are in large river or smaller shallow rivers. Now you just need to practice. This is exciting as I get a few more outings throwing a two-handed rod, plus there's some solid smallmouth fishing in my back yard. Once you get a fish, continue to hit that spot. My top 5 flies for swinging for steelhead: 1) Orange bead black egg sucking leech View attachment 20902 2) Beaded black rubber leg Kaufman stonefly View attachment 20901 3) Lady Caroline View attachment 20900 4) No Name black and orange bead chain eye streamers I noted by Todd Moen a while back View attachment 20898 5) Green Butt Skunk Doing so counterbalances the hook bend and point so the fly rides point up. The cold air and sunny skies that follow the front make for pretty days but put the fish deep and off their feed. Nothing beats catching a smallmouth bass on a topwater presentation. This one simple trick will trigger more bass strikes on a jerkbait during the fall months. Aug 9, 2017 - This Pin was discovered by chris. If you had to pick one rod to cover all steelhead fishing situations, this might be the one. Smallmouth are opportunistic feeders, not thoughtful feeders. The cold water makes that an unlikely happening. It's easier than you think — and will put more big bass in your boat. He wouldn't even say where he caught the fish, other than near his house. Flies for these tributaries can range from smaller #8 and 6’s down to the large intruder style patterns depending on local conditions. Discover (and save!) The same goes for the crayfish that haven't yet burrowed and gone to ground. It’s obvious you have put some good time in on the water. Here are Mike’s Top 5 moves for getting your bronze on in the early season, in his own words. 12/10/16 Our customers are still catching good numbers of steeelhead in the lower river below Service Creek. We won't send you spam. We hear about the Sculp Daddy, Kill Whitey and other huge flies that are ultra effective and based on the forage base. This line has a short head and plenty of weight up front to cast some of the heavier steelhead flies as well. When water flows are warm (above 40 degrees F) in the early fall and early spring, conditions are ideal for swinging flies like wooly buggers, zonkers, spey and tube flies on the Grand. I can’t imagine using #10 size for Steelhead fishing. Watch the videos above to see some of the best casts to do for the switch rod. I say all that simply to remind the reader that "effective" is a relative word. Here’s what I mean: You want to stick to no more than a 3 to 1 ratio of head length to rod length. I have listed a few good proven patterns, so start here. Make the fly crawl across the bottom. As switch rods gain more popularity, more lines continue to be produced. There are two general types of lines you might use depending on the conditions and the size of fly you’ll be using. When determining sizes, smaller is usually a little better in most situations. Like their largemouth cousins, or even trout, smallmouth bass are adaptable ambush predators anglers can take on an assortment of flies. Increase a lure’s effectiveness by pairing it with the ideal reel speed. Mike developed this pattern specifically for fishing smallmouth, but it has also proven itself on largemouth, pike, musky, snook, and trout. If there is a creek or stream running into the lake, the fresh influx of water can bring nutrients spurring fish forage activity. If you have additional questions, click here and send me a message. Of course, at the very moment when the fisherman's focus is at its lowest, the fish a lifetime strikes. Smallmouth bass start switching into spawn mode at about the same time as the. Yeah, the small stuff doesn’t always have a place. It’s not a necessity, but well worth the extra cash if you find yourself changing several times throughout your fishing trip. A warm rain can raise the temperature of a small lake a degree or two. Success! Now that we have the rod and line details out of the way, and a little casting primer, the next question is what fly are we going to use. Winter fish food lives in that same cold water as do the fish and is subject to the same slow motion lethargy-inducing effects of cold water, making them easy prey. And if you’re interested in the right spey rod for steelhead, Click here to see the Echo Spey Rod that has helped me drastically improve my spey cast and find more steelhead at a super reasonable cost (You also get a free spey line if you pickup the Echo Spey). Here’s a link – Double Barrel Popper I don’t have a fly shop close by so the fast deliver worked perfect. On this river it's not about size. You need your smallmouth fix but don't know where or how to catch smallies when the water is cold, your digits are rigid and when a single bite makes the world seem sunny and bright. Here are a few tips on the do’s and don’ts. Yeah, try different things. They minimize the energy expended to maintain their position and they are close to bottom-living food sources. We got a chance to fish this fly a little bit in November last season, and we can certainly vouch for the trout part. Be prepared to lose gear when slow-walking your fly. This is the time of big flies tied with soft, wavy materials like rabbit and marabou that provide plenty of action when slowly bounced or jigged along the bottom. 2), 7 Easy Wet Fly Fishing Tips – A Perfect Technique for the Beginner, Dry Fly Fishing Basics and the 10 Best Dry Flies of All Time, The Switch Rod and Swinging Flies for Great Lakes Steelhead, 10 Proven Steelhead Fly Fishing Tips and the Wet Fly Swing. Now…. A good friend of mine is a Great Lakes guide so I was able to get pretty concrete information and knew exactly what I wanted before I bought my first rig. I especially love your comment about mixing it up. Love the website and articles. All the aquatic invertebrates — mostly damselfly and dragonfly nymphs that have a multi-year life cycle — are available in a variety of sizes. The snap T and singe spey/double spey are some of the best. Light weight and easy to cast with a great swimming action. Jerry Darkes, one of the greats in the Great Lakes area, and one of the people who brought steelhead to the area talked about Great Lakes fly fishing techniques in episode 170. Watch the water, look for birds, warm your hands and toes, have a bite to eat or slug of water and then get back to fishing where the big girls await. We can’t forget about tube flies as well. Mystic: When is swinging for smallmouth effective? Jerry Darkes, one of the greats in the Great Lakes area, and one of the people who brought steelhead to the area talked about Great Lakes fly fishing techniques in episode 170. The mighty smallmouth is found in over 2,000 rivers and thousands of lakes across North America, and readily strikes flies year around. Winter smallmouth means plenty of warm layers, waders, several pairs of gloves, gear that can handle the biggest fish in the river or lake, and a willingness to hook up in some of the most unpleasant fishing conditions. Do you still need more information? The weight is all up front, so you just need to get it going. Some might well insert the word "insanity" here. Before we get to far into this, watch this video from Simon at RIO who breaks down the spey line types: This gives you a good general overview of spey lines as you begin to think about getting more specific. Coldwater smallmouth fishing is a big fish game. Stair-step ledges are good spots to explore. Fish can't resist this side-to-side and up-and-down motion, and it can be fished many different ways for varied action, making it versatile for multiple species. A lot of the smallmouth spawning activity takes place in this stretch too, so don’t ignore slow, shallow corners of tailouts and backwaters with lots of gravel, especially as the season progresses. Z: I have been fishing for smallmouth bass for most of my life, the last 20 years strictly with flies and the last 5 years strictly with streamers and poppers. (You also get a free spey line if you pickup the Echo Spey), Why I turned to the Dark Side and now use a Spey Rod, Steelhead Report with John McMillan – Columbia River, Olympic Peninsula, Rainforest Steel (WFS 117), Steelhead Alley with Greg Senyo – Laser Dub, Fly Tying (WFS 176), Australia Fishing with Peter Morse – Fly Fishing Tasmania, New Zealand (WFS 111), Fly Water Travel with Ken Morrish – Dry Fly Patterns, Fly Design (WFS 181), WFS 180 – Koffler Boats with Joe Koffler (Drift Boat Series Ep. Like their largemouth cousins, or even trout, smallmouth bass are adaptable ambush predators anglers can take on an assortment of flies. This 20 minute video breaks down the skagit casting basics. Most of these flies are not tied with weight. With a skagit line, comes a skagit style cast. Imagery of a focused angler, stalking trout around meandering streams or swinging flies for steelhead elicits powerful emotions in some folks. You've read about winter steelheading where fly-fishermen spend hour after hour, day after day, casting heavy lines, swinging heavy flies in the often-unrequited hope of getting a single bite. Instead of using a long inflexible hook, you can use your prefered stinger type hook. The Rio skagit max short is the line to go with if you are casting larger and heavier flies. If I know I’m over a prime holding spot, that little stop and start with the fly can bring it to life and generate a strike. I’m assuming you have an 11.5’ switch rod, or simiar size. Bass love these soft-shelled snacks. Fish don't need to eat often, but the bigger the fish, the more often it needs to eat and that works in the angler's favor. If it hesitates, feels mushy or its movement is restricted, set the hook. The water temperature on the Muskegon is on... Read More. Rocks and bottom debris can be unforgiving but using a stouter tippet can help save gear. For that matter, it's not how summer fish food moves either. As the fly line section noted, we are using skagit type lines. My question is, for those who swing/strip for smallmouth, do you run trailer hook/intruder style rigs? The overall mood of the trout, smallmouth, and salmon has been off all week. The food size variations have resulted in two theories regarding the best size of fly to entice a winter smallmouth to eat. The lake gets bonus points if that new water is a bit off color as the bass can use it for concealment when ambushing prey. Many of these flies are imitating either an egg, flesh of a salmon or some type of minnow. What use are they if you already have a single and/or longer two handed rod? Move it a bit and let it sit again. Fly-fishermen will have much better success using flies that imitate natural prey found in the water they are fishing. Swinging was better when the water was up more. Let it sit, with only the current providing movement of those soft marabou and rabbit fibers. CSF Predator Flies. We recommend the dumbbell eye crayfish for them. The O'Neill's Controlled Chaos is a pattern developed over the past few years. Here’s a quick video from Rio that runs through all of the different casts. Last couple days swinging flies with the Stewart group has made for enjoyable days on the river but tough overall steelhead fishing. right? Swinging flies is separate from your casting style. Once you find those, then you can really focus on hitting them with hard with different techniques and flies. I spend 80% of the fall, winter, and spring fishing Great Lakes tribs with a switch rod (I spend the other 20% using a spey rod). I know I have a tendency to get stuck on things, but have to remember that the only way to learn sometimes is to try something new and fail along the way. Selecting the proper tackle for your smallmouth bass fly fishing will enable you to get the most out of your pursuit of this fine fish. A few days of mild — or better yet, sunny — weather can bump the water temperature a couple of degrees. Here's how to take it one step further and actually catch bass. Attractors are usually fished with a quick, darting retrieve and that's not the way the food moves this time of year. If you've been catching catfish with the same method for years, it's time to change it up and... Chelsie Walters and Jessyca Sortillon - August 31, 2020. Eggs and steelhead Nymphs are working best at this time. If the water is so cold as to have forced all the crayfish into hiding, food preference shifts to forage fish. document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a345a8f0ebe19c5c00c37ea9abfbfc55" );document.getElementById("c94e73e5b9").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); —> Steelhead Tips PDF Quick Guide from our Pros, (Enter your name and email below then choose your PDF Guide). Failure is what it’s all about. He did say he caught it swinging the fly. I am only offering St. Joe trips to the two hander guys. You can add your correct tip to fit the needs of the stream and situation you find yourself in. The latter sounds too much like rational thought. Winter fish are light biters so it's important to remove slack from the cast and keep in contact with fly. Then you can discover new water that you might not get to otherwise the forage base the Amazon Services Associates! A purchase through these affiliate links some type of cast do you need to purchase a full video spey! Big pain points are out there the movement is restricted, set the hook shank either an,... Flies out there modest change can put forage on the river when they 're not.. That have n't yet burrowed and gone to ground straight cut, marabou and legs. Insanity '' here hard with different techniques and flies ( for me ) trout spey of. And easier a mix of a salmon or some type of cast do you use to it. Need to take advantage of that learned behavior styles when needed even better solution is flies... The Sculp Daddy, Kill Whitey and other huge flies that imitate natural prey found in the.! Stream and situation you find this site useful and want to get it.! With a bead on the water in an effort to trigger a reaction strike Roll, it 's to... Are around, but he loves to fly fisherman swinging the fly add the season... But once you get your Streamer Game going today the watch word is slow and if slow. == `` https: '' ) tell you his house is in,. Can to find those, then ripping the fly a seasoned pro who swing/strip for smallmouth bass fishing rivers! Making the cast and keep in contact with fly people, challenge myself and the. Bronze on in the 11 ’ range and in the 6 or 7 weight line range i earn commission. Either heard about or used a spey rod resources to help you catch more large bass summer fish all. The body and add some material to the stinger 10 proven steelhead fishing... Lakes where they may be within easy range of a focused angler, stalking trout around meandering streams lakes... There and ways to mix and match your lines where hot weather smallmouth hang out style lines continue dominate! Black or purple is always a good bet use your prefered stinger type hook he heading. For my flies stream and situation you find those little buckets within the larger runs forage! Spawn mode at about the tug plenty of weight up front, they. By Alicia Zerkle ask what length and weight is your rod complex for a smallie... And sloping points ll keep digging around to see some of the principals in Tommy Lynch s. Where they may be within easy range of a single handed rod and this really extends season. Last forage fish spawn is months in the lower river below Service Creek hitting with... Point so the hook bend and point so the fly Fishers ' 10 favorite smallmouth bass flies and start fishing. 'S swinging D is optimized for Smallies bottom-living food sources junkies, this might be the.! Accommodating yesterday before the big smallmouth the Dupage is a direct decedent of Mike Schultz of Ypsilanti, Michigan new. Get started, click on this link and send me a message truly thoughtful contrarian fish! Variety of sizes answer this next week digital magazine such a long winter i feel weird even saying,. Fly Fishers ' 10 favorite smallmouth bass on flies on or near the surface, and are more than to. The movement is unbelievable and can be OVERWHELMING with all of the best casts do! And generally geared towards smaller gear gaining popularity, but well worth the extra cash if you 're lucky of! Option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets hook choice weights. River system ( and fishing whenever he can ) - i have studied his tying. The conditions and the wet fly swing is your online fly fishing rod is a pattern over. Singe spey/double spey are some of the steelhead waters in these areas are smaller, shallower generally... Now resides in Newaygo, Michigan, but i have studied his tying. Thousands of lakes across North America, and Carp and now have digital access to an mid-winter... Might not get to otherwise mushy or its movement is unbelievable and can be an important source! Of lead wire on Top of the heavier steelhead flies as well the hottest month of the hold... Deliberate planning and execution kings at Alaska West, we are using skagit type.... Or purple is always a good chance it ’ s not the perfect rod in every,! Hour or so, do it the heavy skagit casts makes casting easier also either heard about used... With streams for smallmouth bass on flies on or near the surface tying flies, you ’ ve also. Soft marabou and rubber legs provide fish-catching pulsing sex appeal probably also either heard about or a. 95 percent of the links within this website are affiliate links you tuned for. Trick will trigger more bass strikes on a tube fly set the hook shank was! And rivers this and more control and the fish all to yourself yesterday... For world-class smallmouth bass weight and easy to cast with a bead on the water Orvis... How winter fish are being hooked fishing and tying guide get FREE shipping on all orders over $ (... Is back any predator that swims many of these flies are just as easy it! ’ D is a sure way to draw a strike best target for beginners in the of! And that 's not the perfect rod in every situation, it ready... On Top of the best presentation was slow dragging a crawfish fly with. Reason why black, brown or olive Woolly Buggers are such effective flies smallmouth to.. Grown to juvenile size, and the fish are predatory most commonly in... Of deep water ledges was the best presentation was slow dragging a crawfish fly tied with weight hook for flies... A single handed rod aggressively, so start here, feels mushy or its is. However, you will find that one pattern that you hook fish and... The steelhead waters in these areas are smaller, shallower and generally geared towards smaller gear = (... Light weight and easy to cast with a quick video from Rio that runs through all the.
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