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sxm 07-15-2011 10:50 AM

It's Summertime and the fish ar jumping, but
they won't bite. Yesterday was nice, got two Smallmouth and a Pickerel who cut the leader before I could grab him). But today the Smallmouth were just jumping all over the place all around me. Would not touch anything I tried, which were Sneaky Pete popper, wooly buggers (BH and not) and Heavy Helgi.

Any suggestions for getting their attention? Perhaps a good old dry fly?

Pictures from yesterday.

peregrines 07-15-2011 01:23 PM

Re: It's Summertime and the fish ar jumping, but
Sounds like a dry fly couldn't hurt-- did you see any sign of bugs on the surface or in the air, or birds like swallows diving around picking insects out of the air? This time of year sometimes you'll birds swooping around at tree top level picking off mayfly spinners.

For smallmouth some general dry flies that might be good to have: size 10 or 12 bushy durable hairwing flies like Wulffs or Humpies, Stimulators, and foam or deer hair grasshopper patterns. These are funn to fish and would be a good choices to throw if they're not responding to your poppers and sneaky petes.

But depending where you are, and the water you fish fish, you may have some specific "Big Deal" hatches that may be going on now. If so, they're worth imitating with more specific patterns. In the East and Midwest, these summer hatches generally happen around dusk and into the evening and can drive smallmouth (and trout) nuts when they occur.

White fly - a white mayfly that hatches around dusk and into the evening often in huge numbers (White Wulff size 12 or 14)

Hex- This is a huge mayfly, with a many popular imitations, deer hair extended body, or 3xl size 6-8. Spinners can be active way after dark, so bring a flashlight and tie on a heavy leader.

Light Cahills and Pale Evening Duns there are a variety of summer mayflies with light creamy yellow body light cream or pale gray wings. Light Cahills, Pale Evening Duns or any similar shade dries like a creamy yellow body with a bleached deer hair wing Comparadun or Sparkle Dun size 12 or 14.

Hellgrammites (larvae) turn into Dobson Flies (adults) Woolly buggers for the larvae and 3" long Stimulators or foam creations for the adults.

Hope this helps.


HuronRiverDan 07-15-2011 02:08 PM

Re: It's Summertime and the fish ar jumping, but
Try some medium size white streamers, brown rams wool leeches, crayfish patterns, or some big Cherynobl Ants; tye the ants with extra long rubber legs, the wiggle drives Smallies crazy...


ncflyboy 07-15-2011 04:07 PM

Re: It's Summertime and the fish ar jumping, but
Those 2 bass look like LM instead of lateral line, the big head on the lower pic, and the extended jaw. The first pic has the facial markings of a SM though.

Try some imitation grasshoppers...I caught plenty of SM on live ones (back in my spincast days). Try a mickey finn streamer. Try an imitation cricket.

Sometimes fish want natural foods...I have cast with active crappies all around me, and not a single bite from the flyrod!



hillbilly rick 07-16-2011 02:34 PM

Re: It's Summertime and the fish ar jumping, but
I'm new to fly fishing and wouldn't know the name of any fly to use, but, I see the same thing often. The others are right, you probably have hatches going on now. These bass may be eating the bugs, but, they could also be eating the minnows, shad or small pan fish. The bass wait lower in the water column then rise fast to grab or injure prey above.
When spin fishing, I would tie on a small rattle trap, a Rapala count down minnow or a 4" tube jig on a1/16oz head to keep it high in the water. As for flies, I don't know what's what but I bet some one here knows what to use to mimic these. Try a minnow imitation that can be kept about a foot or so below the surface, if there is one.
Best of luck

caseywise 07-17-2011 12:40 AM

Re: It's Summertime and the fish ar jumping, but
nice looking bass!


sxm 07-19-2011 09:12 PM

Re: It's Summertime and the fish ar jumping, but
Thanks for the responses. Yes, there were a lot of insects on the water that day. Those Smallmouth can really jump. One of its distinctive characteristics.

two_nymph_rig 07-27-2011 09:15 PM

Re: It's Summertime and the fish ar jumping, but
those are largemouth bass, not smallies. just so you know

kwb 07-28-2011 10:07 AM

Re: It's Summertime and the fish ar jumping, but
One word: ANTS

Don't dead drift them though, skate them on moving water and twitch them on still water...

I like to tie them on a steelhead dry fly hook, don't mess with the typical Trout type ant pattern, tie them a bit bigger...

As others already stated, those are Largemouth bud...

Guest1 07-28-2011 12:57 PM

Re: It's Summertime and the fish ar jumping, but
Could you see what they were jumping after?

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