A short outing last night, from 7pm-9pm, below the TMA. Once again, I had the river all to myself — I haven’t seen another angler in the last week! It was pouring when I left the Jeep, but it was over by the time I was on the water. Steamy, tropical, just disgusting air. The river was 440cfs, still a bit over where I’d like it, but I’d rather have this than 100. The fishing was OK — that is, I caught another bazillion fish, only this time there were a few more pipsqueaks in the mix. Sure, there were a bunch in the 10-12″ class, but the big one eluded me on this night. Favorite moment: stripping a TeQueely, bang!, and then both fly (now out of mouth) and bass go aerial.
Mysteries as yet unsolved (but I have my theories): Why such lousy action on wets? (water height, and the fish are feeding deeper than surface/film). Why the lack of visible surface action? (see above). After the previous night’s blizzard, why only a few white flies? (weather, different location, nature of the beast).
On the way home, I called Ken (Abrames) and we had a good chat about smallies, in particular fly patterns. I will be heading to the vise shortly to hammer out some of our ideas.
I call these fish “scrappers.” They’re just short of being forearm burners, but loads of fun and completely unwilling to come to the net quietly. (C&R fans, note the water still dripping from my hands.)
Steve you & that TeQueely…. I still have to have hit one.
Confidence catches fish, Manny, and it’s a high confidence searching pattern for me, especially in these higher flows where the bass may be shy about coming up top to eat. I wouldn’t necessarily throw it if the bass were feeding on small stuff near the surface.
not scientific but high water is a pitahigh water cuts down on surface activitysome nights the flies come off and some nights not so much- that is why i usually do what you are doing- fish multiple nights.the rain may impact the hatchmy experience is that the hatch is best when the day is hot but it comes off later.all in all- as i have said- high water ruins the bite.regarding no anglers- most housy regulars just fish the tma. most anglers do not want to walk.my wife and i fish a stretch and I have NEVER seen another person.most anglers ignore the bass. i am the opposite- i ignore the trout and fish for bass. LOLTHANK YOU or the report and for promoting this great smallie fishery. imo – people dont know what they are missing.
Well, I’m taking the next few days off. Wreaking such havoc that the smallmouth deserve a break!
you were smart to go when you did- river is blowing out and rising. will not be wadiable.- at least for me.more heavy rain tonight and tomorrowi was planning on sunday through wenesday- now very doubtful.and more rain expected mid week.