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  • Smallmouth Bass Fly-Fishing Tips

    I use a 5 or 6 weight rod when fishing smallmouth bass along with small flies, wet or dry and poppers. I use a floating weight forward line with about 3 or 4' of 8 or 10 lb florocarbon.

    Then I use a a 10 - 14 lb bite leader also made of flordacarbon. This gives you a fighting chance at a large smallmouth of pike.

    A lot of these feisty fish are wedged into cracks in the rocks, or hiding under an overhanging branch. They lay waiting in ambush for a falling insect or innocent passer-by. This can make it challenging yet very rewarding to catch one of these fish.

    We have a large percentage of smallmouth bass, ranging from 17 - 22' and for these an 8 or 9 weight rod is great because it allows you to throw larger flies and poppers. I will use 10 - 14 lb floracarbon with about 1 foot of 20 - 25 '' bite leader.

    Read about Terry's Steelhead fly-fishing adventure (.pdf)



    I used floracarbon over-wire for my leader because it is more flexible and more difficult to see than wire. There are times where you will want to fish 3 - 8 ' down, for this all I do is use a 3' length sink tip. I loop each end so it is easy to put on and take off, the length and weight you use will be a personal choice.

    Some people like to put a breaking point in their leader material. This is to avoid breaking your fly line when snagged down deep. Luckily, fishing is very shallow in the waters around Merkel's Camp so using a lure retriever is often useful; which is a tool no boat should be without. Most fly fishers don't like to use these particular tools because the rough edges can scuff or fray the fly line. I use surgical tubing or simply tape the end. Smallmouth have more fight pound for pound than most fish, so grab your rod and come on up to Merkel's Camp for a great trip!

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