Housy Smallmouth Report: And so it begins

A quick zip-in, zip-out smallie mission the other night to get reacquainted with an old friend. Or is that old friends, with an emphasis on the plural? Regardless of whether the subject is the river (242cfs, 76 degrees, clear) or the smallmouth (many of them, mostly in the 8″-12″ class with a couple at a foot-plus), a splendid time was had. Fished from 7:30-9pm, down Kent way. The bass liked the Gurgler, TeQueely, and of course the Countermeasure. Best action was from 8pm-8:30pm — as night fell, the bigger fish action tapered off and the smaller guys came out to sip bugs in earnest.

I test drove a new line on my 5-weight 10′ Hardy Marksman2 — or should I say a new weight line. It’s same line I’ve been using for several seasons, the Scientific Anglers Mastery Anadro. I like its long WF taper for mending. I had been using the 7 weight (225 grains) but wasn’t thrilled with it on that rod for throwing bigger flies longer distances. So I upped it to the 8-weight (260 grains). Casting was easier, but it made the rod feel a little noodly. I’ll give it another shot, but perhaps I need to rethink in terms of a bigger rod. More on this as it develops.

Why I went fishing. A pretty fair Housy smallie that crushed a grey and chartreuse Gurgler a few strips after it splashed down. After a nice aerial display by the bass (that bastard judge from East Germany only scored it a 5.4) we had this Kodak — er, GoPro — moment.


11 comments on “Housy Smallmouth Report: And so it begins

  1. john pavao says:

    SteveWhere in Kent did you fish- where I told you to try?I cant wait to get up there again- so much fun.White flies will be soonBest,john

  2. Mark Singer says:

    I know you only get a certain amount of reader mail. Just in case, let me know if any under-50 readers ask you what “East Germany” is. . .. This post reminds me of my unfortunate stumble in the Housy at the Abutments last August, when I lost a fly box of streamers plus a few Gurglers manufactured by Culton Industries. I actually mentioned this to you a while back: I’m in need of a half-dozen, please, at your convenience (2 gray, 2 yellow and 2 . . . chartreuse sounds nice). Thank you, my friend.

  3. aablodgett says:

    Good to see the bass action is starting for you. Funny, I just this week put the SA Anadro lines on my Sage ONE 6-wt and old Sage Xi-2 8-wt rods. I use these primarily for streamers and sometimes the six for heavy nymph rigs. I had to scour the internet for days to find them in the now discontinued Sharkwave style. I did it for the same reason as you…to get better mending and still be able to throw a heavier fly/rig. They replaced a RIO Gold (which I hated from day one) and an old Cortland 444SL that was showing it’s age.

    Keep us posted on the Anadro performance on your end please.

  4. Bob Dibble says:

    The Housy smallmouth are epic this year, most fish have been mid to upper teens and full on brawlers. It’s like getting into a tussle with Lord Humungus from Mad Max 2. I hooked a monster last week, what I thought was a once in a blue moon fish, then another and another, same thing on multiple days and different locations, been deep into the backing a bunch of times. I haven’t seen the smallmouth fishing like this in over 30 yrs. Most of my fishing this year has been further downstream from the Stanley Tract. Very short walk from your car and easy river bottom. If you want, shoot me a email and I’ll map out some super secret locations.

  5. JASON PEYSER says:

    What do you mean by Stanley Tract? Is that a location? I’ve only been out a couple times this month for smallies and its been slow in my usual spots around Kent. I was trying some different setups so that may be it. But how do you fish topwater in the Hous? I don’t catch too many on top because my drifts go bad almost immediately. Do you keep stripping or twitch and dead drift? Thanks as always.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Jason, the Stanley Tract is a Bass Management Area that runs about 6 miles from Sharon to Kent. Do an internet search or check the DEEP regs for more info.

      There’s no one simple answer to how to fish topwater on the Hous. When the bite is on, it’s also hard to make a topwater drift go bad. Yes to stripping. Yes to twitches and pauses. Yes to dead drift. Yes to swings. Yes to landing the fly with a splat and waiting for the attack. The bass will always tell you how they want it. I know some people have success with topwater during the day, but for my money nothing beats dusk for topwater. Check out this video. You’ll see all the hits came on a moving, chugging fly (it’s a Gurgler) https://currentseams.com/2018/12/13/best-of-2018-10-topwater-smallmouth-before-the-floods/

      Hope that helps!

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