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Old 06-02-2012, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: river smallmouth advice

I read an article in Field and Stream I think that showed a rig like a dropper rig. It used a fly at the first point and a slashbait floating crank style on the end. It would mimic a larger fish chasing a smaller fly or fish.
You would jerk it and retrieve then let it float and settle and continue that technique to get a strike.

It stated this is what you would use to lure the LARGER smallies out of where they were holding up. Makes sense.

Maybe the large clouser at the end and a smaller streamer or muddler at the first point?

I tried the rig yesterday with a Grey Ghost at the first knot and a larger streamer at the end and nabbed a smallie but he was a small smallie.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: river smallmouth advice

Have had luck using big poppers and wooly buggers
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: river smallmouth advice

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Great advise! I'm tying much bigger, and the clouser I was using was small. I've tied some larger clouser and decievers now.

How are you fishing them on larger rivers? Floating line, or sinking?
I use both. Depends on various things such as depth & current strength. I also have a couple of different sinking lines that sink at different rates. The only 2 rivers I've fished for Smallmouths that I would consider large are the Potomac & the Susquehanna. The Potomac can be fished with a floating line most of the time or an intermediate sinking line. The Susquahanna, particularly the section in MD which has some strong currents due to the release from the Conowingo Dam, often requires a fast sinking line. Sinking heads could be used too, but I've primarily stuck with full lines, mostly because that's what I bought. The point is, the fly needs to get down fast, or the current will just take it away from likely holding areas too quickly before the fly can get down to the fish.

When I use a floating line, my normal leaders are about 6-8ft in length, while sinking lines will usually be 3-6ft. I go by the principle that the faster the current or deeper the water the shorter the leader with a sinking line. Makes little sense to get the line down if the fly is well above out of reach, and since currents are often strong, the bass are not often inclined to fight the current to go very far for a meal.

Really makes no difference what I'm fishing for, I use the same rule of thumb for large flies, and leader lengths. The only difference might be the rod weights, and I try to keep everything proportionate.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: river smallmouth advice

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Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
I use both. Depends on various things such as depth & current strength. I also have a couple of different sinking lines that sink at different rates. The only 2 rivers I've fished for Smallmouths that I would consider large are the Potomac & the Susquehanna. The Potomac can be fished with a floating line most of the time or an intermediate sinking line. The Susquahanna, particularly the section in MD which has some strong currents due to the release from the Conowingo Dam, often requires a fast sinking line. Sinking heads could be used too, but I've primarily stuck with full lines, mostly because that's what I bought. The point is, the fly needs to get down fast, or the current will just take it away from likely holding areas too quickly before the fly can get down to the fish.

When I use a floating line, my normal leaders are about 6-8ft in length, while sinking lines will usually be 3-6ft. I go by the principle that the faster the current or deeper the water the shorter the leader with a sinking line. Makes little sense to get the line down if the fly is well above out of reach, and since currents are often strong, the bass are not often inclined to fight the current to go very far for a meal.

Really makes no difference what I'm fishing for, I use the same rule of thumb for large flies, and leader lengths. The only difference might be the rod weights, and I try to keep everything proportionate.
Thanks a million, worked like a charm, see my new thread!
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: river smallmouth advice

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Thanks a million, worked like a charm, see my new thread!
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: river smallmouth advice

Click the image to open in full size. Here's a nice chunky brownie I got last Saturday.

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Old 07-02-2012, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: river smallmouth advice

I'm new to fishing for smallies as well and everyone on this forum has been a great help already! the last time I went hunting for a smallie or two, I had trouble telling where they were holding. In a river do bass typically hold in the same spots you'd think a trout would or do they seek different terrain?

Also as far as fishing streamers goes (Clousers, Buggers, Ect.) Are these best stripped or simply dead drifted. I've never had much luck with my streamer presentation for trout anyway so that certainly doesn't help!
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: river smallmouth advice

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Originally Posted by rccola712 View Post
I'm new to fishing for smallies as well and everyone on this forum has been a great help already! the last time I went hunting for a smallie or two, I had trouble telling where they were holding. In a river do bass typically hold in the same spots you'd think a trout would or do they seek different terrain?

Also as far as fishing streamers goes (Clousers, Buggers, Ect.) Are these best stripped or simply dead drifted. I've never had much luck with my streamer presentation for trout anyway so that certainly doesn't help!
i find that in the rivers i fish the trout hold in the parts of the river that move faster and whenever i came across a slower moving part i cast in above logs or large rock or low trees and i let the current bring the fly down past the object where i wanted to fish. i can normally pull about 3-6 small mouth out of each slow moving part of a river i fish a bunch. and i normally use a adams dry fly or asuable wulf.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: river smallmouth advice

Smallmouth hold in SOME trout type spots. They relate a lot more to cover than trout, and will usually be in moving water but not really fast water unless they can get behind some object that breaks the current. And they will be in different places when actively feeding than they will be when inactive.

In the type of streams I fish, look for SMOOTH current, not the broken water of strong riffles. Look for cover they can get UNDER, like big rocks and big logs. Look for feeding fish (during the daylight hours, anyway) to be in water that's from 2 to 5 feet deep. They might be in deeper water, but the deeper they are the less likely they are to be active, since most of their food is found in shallower water. You will find them in eddies just off the main current in fast water, but they are more likely to be in the middle of an eddy, rather than along the current seam like trout, and if the eddy has cover of some kind it's much more likely to hold good fish.

In the summer, river smallmouth tend to be aggressive when feeding, and you'll often (but not always) do better to aggressively fish streamers by stripping them fast and keeping them moving. But if that doesn't work, then go just the opposite and try dead drifting them in current that's just strong enough to keep them drifting.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: river smallmouth advice

In general SM like rocky, gravel, and up to boulders. Mud bottom is not thier favorite holding areas. I have found that they like crayfish, bait fish, and surface poppers. What ever they represent.
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