Fly Versus Spinning
July 29, 2016
Scott & Neil met me early this morning for some smallmouth action. Light N winds were a pleasure for a change and it wasn’t a scorcher, yet! Water temps were holding steady around 75 degrees with all the warm weather we had been having lately and I expected the bite to be on. Neil had brought a fly rod and I instructed him to set it up for our first spot. The fish were shallow and he would be able to get them no problem. Once we arrived, Scott worked soft plastics while Neil casted a bright Clouser pattern along the rocky edge. Well it didn’t take long before Scott was into his first smallie and they were officially on the board. He also managed to get the 2nd and third before Neil finally hooked into one of his own. The wind & current was making it a little difficult for Neil to get where the fish were and I had moved a little closer to give him a better target. These fish were pretty shallow and I didn’t want to put the boat on the rocks! They both managed to hook into many fish here but not all of them came to the net. The bites were light and several of them were getting off on the jump. We hung in there for a while until we had exhausted all of the active fish and then moved to another area nearby. There wasn’t as many aggressive fish here and they had to work hard for their bites. After a while I decided a change of scenery was in order and made a long run to an area much further away. It was here that they got to see some bigger bass and unfortunately the lack of current had the fish a little lethargic. Both Scott & Neil managed to hook into a few of these bruisers but weren’t able to keep most of them pinned up. Scott was the only one to land anything and we moved once again. They wanted to try for largemouth bass so I went somewhere where I knew they were but we weren’t rigged right for the conditions. The search baits just wouldn’t cut it today under the bright sun and flat calm water. I would have needed to set them up to flip heavy cover and it’s always tough with light spinning gear! We searched for about 45 minutes for a taker but it just didn’t happen. Back to smallies we went and Scott was back in the game once again with about another 10 fish to Neil’s zero. Although they both had shots at many, Neil was unable to keep them hooked up and frustration was setting in. He could have switched to spinning gear but by now he was in too deep and it was personal. He was determined to hook up on the fly and stuck with it until the bitter end! Scott was giving him a hard time with every fish he landed making it even worse. Neil stuck to his guns and on the last spot finally managed to hook into some quality. Not before he pulled the fly out of a big fish’s mouth however! Fortunately this fish was hot and as soon as he tossed it back out, the fish hit him so violently that it would have been impossible to miss it this time! Not only did he finally break his long dry spell, but he even managed to land a couple more before we were to leave. Today may have been a bit of a grind but by having many places to go to, they monopolized on catching plenty of quality smallies from most of them. By 3:30 we were done! They had an evening planned at the comedy festival and needed some time before. Fly fishing for smallies may be tougher than conventional tackle but the thrill of being hooked up makes it all worthwhile! Neil had gotten his reward by sticking to his guns and ended with a bang!!