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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Hudsonville, Michigan
    Posts
    709

    Default Fall River Smallmouth Techniques

    As the weather cools and the Smallmouth aren't all that active on the surface I'd like to know what set ups or techniques you folks use in the colder climates.

    What I'm considering is a sink tip line working 1/4ing up stream in deeper runs and pools. Retrieving a size 6ish streamer or wooly bugger, strip and pause. River Smallmouths are turning into my favorites with the fly! I'd like to keep after 'em as long as weather and the season permits.

    Thanks!

    Denny

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fall River Smallmouth Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by dennyk View Post
    As the weather cools and the Smallmouth aren't all that active on the surface I'd like to know what set ups or techniques you folks use in the colder climates.

    What I'm considering is a sink tip line working 1/4ing up stream in deeper runs and pools. Retrieving a size 6ish streamer or wooly bugger, strip and pause. River Smallmouths are turning into my favorites with the fly! I'd like to keep after 'em as long as weather and the season permits.

    Thanks!

    Denny
    I do really good swinging streamers like I'l swinging for Steelhead but this is when it gets pretty cool out.

    Hit deeper pools/runs and rock flats.
    J-

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Fall River Smallmouth Techniques

    +1 for swinging streamers by deep pools.....but don't overlook swinging them by downed trees, roots of trees along the bank, and by large rocks in the river. There great ambush spots for them, and they're exciting takes as well!

    I also tie my flies for smallies so they ride hook up, and with weed guards. It gives you the option of fishing them on the swing, or letting them sink to the bottom and worked like a crawdad. Options are always a good thing.
    --Ed

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Fall River Smallmouth Techniques

    Yep! as mentioned above, swing down stream casting cross river on and angle and using the current to swing through deep pools and against any cover. this is the same for the early season when they come off spawn and start feeding ferociously but its still to cold for any real top water action.

    there is a sweet spot in the fall, lasts about 3 weeks in my area, where the water is warm enough to keep bass active but the cold hits on he evening and a lowered average day time temp trigger the bass to feed before really going deep and slowing down. at this point they look to fatten up and get pretty aggressive. its the other side of the coin from the spring time when they come out of the winter thaw and need to fatten back up from being dormant and again hit anything that moves

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Fall River Smallmouth Techniques

    Water temps and location are important in the fall. Until the water temps drop below about 55 degrees, the smallies will remain active enough to catch on surface and shallow flies. Once it's consistently below that, you have to go deeper. In the 45-55 degree range, smallie anglers using non-fly tackle usually go with something like a suspending minnow imitation lure, that they can twitch and then pause, and it will suspend without rising or sinking. The fly fisherman can approximate this with a sink tip line and an unweighted or lightly weighted streamer, fished in much the same way. Below 45 degrees, the fish are more likely to want something on or near the bottom.

    As for location, in many parts of the country, smallmouth tend to leave the smaller streams sometime in the fall. Some will remain, but not in the numbers they were during the summer. So bigger rivers are often much better options. And at some point in the fall, smallmouth will begin moving to their wintering pools. So, don't expect to catch fish in the same spots that you did during the summer.

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