At some point during this three day excursion I remember saying that to "One Boot" Ed, and it is 100% true. Smallmouth are arguably my favorite fish to chase with fly gear. Smallies are tailor made for those of us that prefer to cast the long rod. They will eat a multitude of fly imitations with vigor, they live in some wonderfully beautiful areas, and they are one of the coolest looking fish that swims. I have said many times, and stand by the statement that pound for pound, no true, freshwater fish pulls as hard as a Smallmouth. Those of you that have done battle with a trophy class fish on a fly rod know exactly what I am talking about. One of the most exciting ways to fish for Bronzebacks is with a top water popper. The sight and sound of the popper as it is being retrieved can be hypnotic, almost mesmerizing... pop, pop, pause...pop, pop, pop, pause... pop, pop...CRASH!!!!! Few things in the world of fresh water fishing will jolt you out of your trance like the take of a good Smallmouth as they inhale your popping bug. The popping bugs of choice for "Irish Flies" are the Boogle Bug. My good buddy Ben, from North Carolina turned me on to these in July of 2013 and Ed and I have been fishing them ever since. If you are into top water fly fishing check em out at www.booglebug.com
This video was shot over 3 consecutive days of early season Smallmouth fishing. The weather conditions were VERY different each day; day one was warm, but rainy. Day 2 was extremely cold (for the time of year) but sunny and day 3 was the best weather wise, but the un-stable weather from the previous 2 days gave the fish a severe case of lockjaw. All fish on the video were caught using the Boogle Bug's of various colors. I do believe yellow has become my favorite!
For as early as this was I think we did ok, with Ed landing the best fish of the three days with this beautiful, dark sided, girl.
Check out "Smallmouth Bass vs Boogle Bug poppers" here. I hope you enjoy, and as always, comments are welcome. Till next time...
The end of May / beginning of June is a great time of year for us here in northern Delaware. Our Trout rivers are fishing well with bugs coming off regularly and our Smallmouth season is just getting started. About a week ago I was talking to my buddy "One Boot" Ed; "Have you seen the pictures Schultzy has been putting up"! He is, of course, talking about Schultz Outfitters Located in Ypsilanti Michigan and the great Smallmouth pictures they have been posting on their Facebook Page. A couple of days later I was texting another buddy of mine, Sean, and he said basically the same thing. "You see the fish the boys in Michigan are putting up" Now we usually don't start Smallie fishing until the middle or end of June, certainly never in May, we are usually still busy chasing Trout. Well, I have been watching an indicator drift down river since last November, and with exception of the few Shad from this year it has been basically all Trout for me, I was ready for a change. Also, you need the I.Q. just a little higher than that of a rock to realize if they were catching Bass in Michigan, we should be able to catch them here.
Now, If you are going to fish for early season Smallmouth You should be aware of a few things. The fish may or may not have spawned yet. For this reason you should keep your casting toward the middle of the channel and keep off the gravel beds with your flies and your feet. We are only shooting ourselves in the foot for next year if we disturb the spawning habitat. It is also my opinion that you never cast to a fish actively tending a redd, again my opinion and I will leave it at that.
On to the Double Dip...
As mentioned we usually don't fish for Smallies until mid June. Beings we were going after them this early we had a chance to put into motion a plan I have been thinking about for a while. It just so happens one of our favorite new Smallmouth spots is directly on the way to one of our favorite old wild Brown Trout streams. Again, being just a little smarter than a rock we realized we could get up early, be on the Smallie water at first light, then move to the Trout river later in the day. If things go as planned this would be a great day of dual species fishing. The truck was loaded, the alarm was set and thoughts of Smallmouth and Trout were in my head as I fell asleep.
Ed and I met up and headed to the Smallmouth water. We decided we would fish poppers, and the Boogle Bug has been my popper of choice for the past few years.
The Smallmouth fishing did not disappoint as we were fortunate enough to land several good fish capped off by a dark bronze back Ed pulled out from his lie behind a big boulder. This was the second time I was using my GoPro Hero 4 camera. I got some cool video and will have the edited versions on my You Tube Channel shortly. Here are some of the pics from the Smallmouth portion of the "Double Dip".
We fished till about noon and decided it was time to go. Ed had to be home so I would have to finish the second half on my own. We geared down at the trucks, said out good buy's and Ed headed East toward home and I headed West toward the Trout.
When I got to the spot the water looked clear and low, tough conditions for any fishing, let alone fishing for smart, crafty wild Browns. I tied up a Dry and Dropper rig and headed to my spot. Any worries of weather it was gonna be a good day were dispelled on the very first cast as this guy sucked down the indicator (A #16 Stimulator) and came to hand with the #16 Pheasant Tail stuck firmly in his jaw.
Usually landing a fish on the first cast is the kiss of death for the rest of the day...not this time! I spent the rest of the afternoon working my way up the stream picking up a fish here and there and having a great time. The capper of the day was when a healthy 13" wild Brown decided to eat the Dry fly in an aggressive style sometimes indicative of wild fish.
Here are some of the pictures from the Trout portion of the day.
What a great day this was and one I won't soon forget. I hope the weather holds so I can get another one of these multi species days in this year. This is one of the best things about living where we live, the diversity of angling opportunities. I want to thank the guys at Schultz Outfitters for allowing me to use some of their pics for this post. If you are ever in the area check them out, you wont be disappointed. For a link to their site click here. To check out some pics of some great Smallmouth Bass check out the Schultz Outfitters Facebook page here. Till next time...