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MarlinBoy 04-01-2008 12:26 PM

Patomac Smallmouth Fishing
hello, i spend alot of the summer months wading and floating the patomac fishing for bass. I recently picked up fly fishing and have caught a good deal of smallmouth in the patomac on streamers. The only place ive hooked them, however, is in faster moving rapids and i get the impression this is because they dont get a good enough look at the streamers and take it. In slack water i never can get them to take anything--whether its streamers, dry flies, nymphs etc...does anyone have any tips to get these suckers? Thanks.

FrankB2 04-01-2008 02:28 PM

Re: Patomac Smallmouth Fishing
Hmmmm.....Could be they are holding deeper in the slack water, and your
streamer isn't getting down deep. The bass in moving water might be more
active right now as well.

P.S. Suggestion: Add a little more weight to your streamers (if you tie your own), or use a sinking line. A s-l-o-w presentation
will work better until the water warms up.

Fox Statler 04-06-2008 09:45 PM

Re: Patomac Smallmouth Fishing
Smallmouth are one of the slowest growing freshwater fish because they waist so much energy getting their food. I often told my clients to mend up the catch trout buy mend down to catch smallmouth. What I was meaning by this was...Trout are conserve their energy and sneek up on the fly from behind, Smallmouth would rather chase it or broadside it. Charlie Brewer was probably the greatest worm fisherman that there ever was. He taught worm fishing to some of the greatest present day bass fishermen. Charlie beleived and prove it that slow was better than fast. Charlie only did one turn of his rod handle every 3 or 4 seconds. He fished straight into the bank, never at an angle. He claimed that you miss lots of the water if you fished at an angle.

Here are some tips:
Smallmouth like current, they don't like backwater pools at all. The pool they are in will have some sort of current. To fish the pool properly you should dead-drift the fly, whether it is a nymph or streamer.

90% of the worms a bass eats are less than 4 inches long. Dead drift some small worm imitations through the pool. In the spring, I would choose fluorescent orange, in the summer browns and olives.

Crawfish are a favorite of smallmouth. Start in the spring with crawfish imitations about one inch long and by early fall you should have worked your way up to 3 inch crawfish.

All fish love dead minnows. I catch smallmouth even in December with a slow descending dead minnow pattern. I usually start fishing them the last half of April. Just let the minnow slowly sink away and they will start to swim away with it.

Of all the minnows in the streams, I think that smallmouth prefer creek chubs and hornyhead chubs over any other minnow.

I post a new article in the fly tying article section of this site. These are some of my most productive patterns. I posted some more of the minnow patterns in the Shared Patterns section of this site. Look at the names of the latter. They are named after the conditions they work best in.

I could write 5 or 6 pages on fly fishing for smallmouth but you probably would read it all.

If you want to try something out-of-the-box, watch these 2 short videos.

Part 1

Part 2

Its all flyfishing,

FlyRichardFly 04-06-2008 11:02 PM

Re: Patomac Smallmouth Fishing
You just made me put a couple green pumpkin tubes in my flybox!
All the money I spent on my new vise and new chair and new outfit....... I was really starting to make a decent woolybugger.
I'm doing pretty good with my feather flies, but tomorrow I'm taking a few plastics just to give them a try.

Great vids...... but that dumb hick tossing the 4" lizard and waiting for a gut hook makes me glad I'm a chicken feather flyguy.

Fox Statler 04-06-2008 11:26 PM

Re: Patomac Smallmouth Fishing
The first spinner blade was made for a fly rod by Hildebrandt. One of the first balsa wood lures was made for a fly rod, the popping bug. Plastic were popular on the fly rod in the 50's and 60's, crickets, grasshoppers, frogs and nymphs. I have developed hundreds of flies. Sometimes you learn by stepping out of the box. Like offset worm hooks make the best HPU Patterns. Look for the HPU Patterns Article in the Fly Tying Article of this site.

I won't let some traditionalist put an imaginary boundary in the way of learning and a good fishing experience.

Its all flyfishing,

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