You know in May you wouldn’t expect to be wearing a jacket in the morning before shoving the boat off for a smallmouth float, but that’s how we started our morning yesterday. We have experienced a bunch of crazy weather this Spring with thunderstorms and heavy winds on top of high water everywhere, but for crying out loud it’s almost Summer. The good thing is that by lunch time it felt like Spring again and even though the water was a little chilly, fish were coming to the boat.
Dick came down from VA this week and only had enough time to fish for one day. Dick hasn’t been able to fish his home river (the James River) in a long time due to excess amounts of water, 10 ft above flood stage. Even though our tailwaters have been running high for the past few months, the freestone rivers have had good levels to fish and it wasn’t long before Dick had a tight line to a fish.
Like he never skipped a beat.
Floating on we found several good fish that would swipe at a fly and some were lucky enough to get loose, but Dick has been doing this long enough to know that sometimes they just get away. I still feel a little heartbroken sometimes, but mainly for the guy who lost the fish. They were definitely on a big baitfish bite so pick out the streamer you have the most confidence and hang on. Later in the afternoon we got in some good topwater fishing and brighter colored poppers did the trick for the most part and it started to feel like May again.
After a while we found what they wanted and Dick was in the zone.
It’s always a good time with Dick and when we get together the wheels get to turning. June is right around the corner and just so happens to be the best time of year for topwater action. We still have days in June left open for trips and would love to get folks on some smallmouth to show them how awesome this fish is. It’s a great alternative to trout fishing in the warmer months and the rivers we float are very scenic and have a ton of wildlife around them. We hope that you have a blessed day and are able to get out on the water. Take care.
The smallmouth fishing around East TN has been grade A and it has been all topwater flies. Streamers are still working well, but who cares when fish are leaping out of the water to get a popper. I had the opportunity to take Ryan Hicks, a Florida native, on his first fly fishing trip and it was one to remember. These guys were fired up about some topwater,which is great because Ryan got to see just how mean a smallmouth can get.
Shortly after we started fishing Ryan had a blow up on his fly and said this is a nice fish, he was in for a surprise.
After missing a few fish, Ryan decided to buckle down and get serious. It didn’t take long before he caught several more fish and some nice ones. Needless to say, he was the one that was hooked.
Smallmouth have eyes that are sensitive to light so when that sun gets high, they will find shade and cover to hide from it. This time of year when the sun stays out for a long time, the fish will spend a lot of their time in cover, making it hard to get to them and hard to see. Patience can be the key this time of year when it starts to get warm. Trust me, when you throw a fly in the shade and let it sit, something is looking at it so give it time to reveal itself. It could also hit it as soon as it touches the water so stay focused.
Ask Ryan about it he will tell you the same thing.
Tyler and I hit the water early today for some smallie action and it started with fish blowing up on topwater. This time of year the water temps are perfect and because of the constant chance of rain everyday, it keeps the clouds overhead which equals perfect popper action. The first 2 casts caught 2 fish, one being about 12 inches, the next being this guy.
Now normally I get worried when we catch fish right off the bat because of the first cast curse, but this time of year is peak time for topwater so Tyler and I smiled at each other and kept chucking bugs. Of course we have a rule between us that after a fish like this we switch positions, so after 2 casts I was already back on the oars. It wasn’t long before Tyler started ripping some lips too.
The topwater action was non stop all day long, which isn’t out of the ordinary for this time of year, in fact, if you are looking to catch a trophy smallmouth on topwater, now is the time. We have been working on some new topwater flies too and wanted to spend some time fishing them, so today was perfect. Tyler actually stuck a fish that would have dwarfed mine, but as quick as he was on he was off. All it took was a quick shake of the head and the leader snapped. With the hot days getting to be the regular thing, we focus a lot of time on these fish because they thrive in warmer temperatures. They are also very exciting to catch and can really get your blood flowing.
Not to mention gorgeous
You won’t find a freshwater fish that fights harder than these bad boys and the fact that they do cartwheels to eat the fly is incredible. If this sounds like your cup of tea give us a call and we would love to show you some of these heavy hitters. Have a great day and be prepared on the water with a rain jacket.