People look at this time of year and can only think geez it’s so hot, or the fact that fall is still so far away. To be honest about it, this is our favorite time of year because the smallmouth love the muggy days of summer. These days are known as the dog days and even though it’s in the upper 90’s with 100% humidity, all we can think of is the fact that summer is almost over and the topwater bite will be done before you know it. Our tailwaters have had better generation schedules and the freestone rivers could use a little more water, but the fish don’t seem to mind it. I mean let’s face it, they have to eat. The topwater fishing has been great and the fish are definitely looking up, but there are certain times in the day when you need to switch up you tactics and go under the service. I know it can be a let down when fish stop taking topwater, but you’ll forget all about when one stops your streamer.
I gave up on topwater after an hour one day and switched to a streamer, a few casts later this guy jumped on my line. Don’t get caught in a fly slump. Sometimes I am ready to throw the box in and let them choose and then I grab the dumbest looking thing in my box just to see what happens.
As the water gets a little warmer the fish can change what they feed on and how they want it. They can also sit in different areas where the situation works best for them. I like trying to use lighter colored flies for bright days and even dropping it down a size if the fish aren’t reacting to the fly. Also working it slower can work to your advantage if the fish aren’t active. Just remember that the fishing can change at the drop of a hat so be patient and switch up you techniques to find what works.
Poppers and Stealth Bombers have been the first choice for topwater since you can fish them both a lot of different ways and they have produced fish pretty consistently.
Fishing nonstop in the heat can wear you down after a while so pulling the boat in the shade for some lunch and a cold coke will hit the spot. If food doesn’t do it for you and you need something else, then the front of the driftboat serves as a great recliner.
We ask folks all the time if they fish for smallmouth and we almost always get the same response “yes but only when the trout fishing is slow”. We really enjoy showing people another side of fly fishing and once they see how aggressive these fish are they usually call us later on to talk more about smallies. If you don’t have the motivation to fish for spooky trout give us a call and find out what all the fuss is about.
This can be one of the best times of the year to catch plus sized smallmouth on topwater and we have a lot of hot days ahead of us. We’re sorry for the lack of fishing reports lately, but what little off time we have we try to spend on the water. If you like dry fly fishing for trout, than you’ll love this. Have a great day and be safe with all the thunderstorms that just pop up.