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Waded a beautiful Ozark stream that is not 15 minutes from me with a good friend yesterday. Water up, and conditions excellent. I have always been able to catch most species on a flyrod, except.....SMALLIES. Yes, I admit it, for some reason I cannot catch smallmouth on the fly, and now that I have "outed" myself will get plenty of suggestions as to why this bass eludes anything I throw at it, streamers fished on the bottom, sub surface, on top, it doesn't seem to matter I obviously don't know what I am or should be doing. Now, I have caught smallies in the past, but I think quite by accident. The friend I was with is not a fly fisherman, but a GOOD fisherman none the less, very proficient with a spinning rod. When he noticed my frustration level and expletives as he caught smallie after smallie, he suggested I go up to the Jeep and get one of his spinning rods rigged with tube baits. (he was using them to catch a fish nearly each cast). I decided what the heck, got the spinner, and immediately got hookups and probably the nicest stream smallmouth I have ever caught. I know some of you guys can catch those bronzebacks with the fly, what's the secret, or do you have frustrating days like this. Catch you all later, headed to the store to buy some tube baits.

Dano

Glass Has Class

"from the laid back lane in the Arkansas Ozarks"

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There isn't alot to it Dano. Lets plan a weekend and get together over there and fish an afternoon.

For me, alot goes into retrieval technique with streamers. Popping bugs take patience and the right surroundings. My fail safe smallie fly is simply a white cone head wooly with some crazy legs off of it in early spring summer. Mid summer to late summer I bring out the darker flies(crawfish, sculpin). If you want a trip, toss a mouse pattern in the late evening on days hot as you can stand it.

A fish is a fish not matter the gear its caught on.

Zack Hoyt

OAF Contributor

Flies, Lies, and Other Diversions

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Try Cluoser Minnows stripped fast in bright colors to drifted with the current in more natural colors. Experiment with everything in between until it clicks. Add poppers and sliders near obvious ambush spots, and that's about it.

Just remember that an "active" Smallie is more hyped up than most Rainbows would be if they were on meth - nothings too fast or erratic or loud for them - most people poke around and fish too slow for Smallmouths.

That includes the tube slinging spinning guys.:lol:

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I don't catch a lot of LARGE smallies on a flyrod, but I really haven't struggled to catch smallies with a flyrod.

I need to give you a holler and we can meet up on a creek between us.

IF I'm fly fishing, I usuallyleave the other junk at home and bring 3 flyrods.

The 4 wt will have a poppinb bug. The 5 wt will ave a streamer or a larger topwater fly. The 6 wt will have a sink tip with a craw or sculpin pattern.

It just hasn't been hard.

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

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I don't catch a lot of LARGE smallies on a flyrod, but I really haven't struggled to catch smallies with a flyrod.

I need to give you a holler and we can meet up on a creek between us.

IF I'm fly fishing, I usuallyleave the other junk at home and bring 3 flyrods.

The 4 wt will have a poppinb bug. The 5 wt will ave a streamer or a larger topwater fly. The 6 wt will have a sink tip with a craw or sculpin pattern.

It just hasn't been hard.

A 4wt for popping bugs?

Gotta offer them something better than a size 10 dry fly to catch the bigger ones. I don't go smallie fishin with anything lighter than my 6wt and it's usually my 7wt. Start casting BIG flies and you'll start catching bigger fish. My popping bugs are about 3" long or longer tied on TMC 8089's sizes 10 to 2. Some of my streamers are about 6" long.

Go BIG or stay home.

There's a fine line between fishing and sitting there looking stupid.

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Reading comprehension isn't everyone's forte.

When FLY FISHING warm water streams. I take three flyrods. I'm fishing, not JUST smallie fishing. I am PRIMARILY targeting panfish with the 4 wt, but end up taking some pretty decent bass with the 4 weight as well.

I do use a little bit larger surface flies with the 5 weight sometimes. Not all of them are popping bugs. Some sneaky petes, gurglers, sliders , etc.

On a recent trip report from the Buffalo, I mention specifically that I went with larger flies to get the attention of the smallmouth.

I have an 8 weight that would throw BIG offerings easier, but since the rivers/creeks I am fishing do not usually require a lot of casting distance or fighting the wind too much, I typically leave it at home an fish with a lighter rod because I enjoy it more.

IF I realy want to catch larger fish, I stick with spinning or baitcasting. I'm not a fly rod snob.

Every Saint has a past, every Sinner has a future. On Instagram @hamneedstofish

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Fellows, I appreciate all of the suggestions, but I am not sure what of those suggestions I didn't try, big flys, small flys, clousers stripped fast and slow, and erratic. I am going to give it another try one day this week. I did rig up another reel with a sinking leader to see if just maybe I wasn't get it down on the bottom although I felt the crawdad patterns and other streamers were ticking along the gravel. I need to come up with a gitzit pattern. :yaeh-am-not-durnk:

Glass Has Class

"from the laid back lane in the Arkansas Ozarks"

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Fellows, I appreciate all of the suggestions, but I am not sure what of those suggestions I didn't try, big flys, small flys, clousers stripped fast and slow, and erratic. I am going to give it another try one day this week. I did rig up another reel with a sinking leader to see if just maybe I wasn't get it down on the bottom although I felt the crawdad patterns and other streamers were ticking along the gravel. I need to come up with a gitzit pattern. :yaeh-am-not-durnk:

Why don't you just use a spinning rod instead, when the indians found guns they threw away the bow and arrows. :)

"Honor is a man's gift to himself" Rob Roy McGregor

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