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Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly #7277838
06/02/21 07:38 AM
06/02/21 07:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,402
Anchorage, Alaska
J
James Offline OP
"Minka"
James  Offline OP
"Minka"
J

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,402
Anchorage, Alaska
I, my brother, and two other guys like to go on fishing trips every other year or so. We've been out for kings, caught silver salmon in Chignik, AK, and pike in Saskatchewan. But our planned June trip to Canada has been scrapped due to the border closure.

So we've decided to go after good red-blooded American smallmouth bass in early September. Thing is, we're not real sure where to go.

I've been told the upper Mississippi is good for big smallmouths. Then someone else told me it's tough there to get them on a fly there because the water tends to be murky.

Another guy (who posts here, but I won't share his name lest he become associated with James) told me the upper Miss is mud-bottomed and murky water, and not that good of fly fishing. He suggested I try some of the rock-bottomed rivers in NW Wisconsin.

Ideally, we'd like to find a good guide or guides with drift boats to take us out. That's a very popular way to fish in the West, and I hear it's catching on down there.

I've also found out there is good smallmouth fishing in the Columbia River, believe it or not. Nobody fishes for them there, they're all after steelhead or salmon. Windy conditions reportedly make fly fishing tough. But we ain't married to our fly rods. We're willing to pick up spinning rods, if needed to catch fish.

Jim


Forum Infidel since 2001

"And that troll bs is something triggered snowflakes say when they dont like what someone posts." - Boco
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277844
06/02/21 07:45 AM
06/02/21 07:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 432
Stanton Mi.
B
BigJoe. Offline
trapper
BigJoe.  Offline
trapper
B

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 432
Stanton Mi.
Grand traverse bay. Super clean water, lots of fish.


Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association Convention Coordinator
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277850
06/02/21 07:53 AM
06/02/21 07:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,006
Wisconsin
8117 Steve R Offline
trapper
8117 Steve R  Offline
trapper

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,006
Wisconsin
Hayward Fly Fishing Company, Hayward WI. Smallmouth and muskies out of a drift boat on a fly. They will put you on lots of fish.


Steve
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: BigJoe.] #7277861
06/02/21 08:08 AM
06/02/21 08:08 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,402
Anchorage, Alaska
J
James Offline OP
"Minka"
James  Offline OP
"Minka"
J

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,402
Anchorage, Alaska

Originally Posted by BigJoe.
Grand traverse bay. Super clean water, lots of fish.


I should have mentioned that we prefer to fish on rivers and streams. Lake smallmouths are a different fish from river smallmouths. River smallmouths spend twenty-four hours a day on a treadmill.

Jim


Forum Infidel since 2001

"And that troll bs is something triggered snowflakes say when they dont like what someone posts." - Boco
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: 8117 Steve R] #7277863
06/02/21 08:12 AM
06/02/21 08:12 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,402
Anchorage, Alaska
J
James Offline OP
"Minka"
James  Offline OP
"Minka"
J

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,402
Anchorage, Alaska
Originally Posted by 8117 Steve R
Hayward Fly Fishing Company, Hayward WI. Smallmouth and muskies out of a drift boat on a fly. They will put you on lots of fish.


Hayward is on my list to check. I found their website. It's good to hear you give them a good reference.

Have you fished with them? How did you do? Did the guides work for you and honestly try to put you into fish?

Jim


Forum Infidel since 2001

"And that troll bs is something triggered snowflakes say when they dont like what someone posts." - Boco
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277873
06/02/21 08:24 AM
06/02/21 08:24 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,006
Wisconsin
8117 Steve R Offline
trapper
8117 Steve R  Offline
trapper

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,006
Wisconsin
Yes, about 20 years ago I won a trip with them on a raffle. I took my son and they used two drift boats. We each caught about 20 or 25 fish. After realizing how much good fly fishing was available in my backyard I bought a drift boat. I am not sure if the two guides we had are still guiding; I think they are the owners and have others guiding with them now. Very good people.


Steve
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277878
06/02/21 08:30 AM
06/02/21 08:30 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,006
Wisconsin
8117 Steve R Offline
trapper
8117 Steve R  Offline
trapper

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,006
Wisconsin
I just went on their website and saw that one of their guides bought the business this spring, so I can’t vouch for them personally. However, the rivers are still there and if they continue the same customer service as the prior owners you would have a good trip.


Steve
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277879
06/02/21 08:32 AM
06/02/21 08:32 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 831
North dakota
N
Nd native Offline
trapper
Nd native  Offline
trapper
N

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 831
North dakota
I routinely catch 18+ inch smallmouth on my fly rod on Lake Audubon in ND. Almost every trip I would catch one that large. Last year was my first year fly fishing for them and my largest was 21 inches long. There are some big small mouth in that lake and are relatively simple to catch. Also the lake has northern, walleye and a very small amount of muskie. And since ND is a walleye fishing state, there is usually next to no fishing pressure and many times the landings I use only have a few trailers at them. The big lake (Sakakawea) on the other side of US 83 draws in very large numbers of walleye fisherman and Audubon is pretty much ignored since the walleye just don't get as big.

Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277884
06/02/21 08:36 AM
06/02/21 08:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,967
MN
W
walleye101 Offline
trapper
walleye101  Offline
trapper
W

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,967
MN
The Ottertail river would be a better smallmouth location in Minnesota than the upper Mississippi.

https://sites.google.com/view/midwest-river-angling/minnesota/otter-tail-river

Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277892
06/02/21 08:55 AM
06/02/21 08:55 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 420
NY
whartonrattrappe Offline
trapper
whartonrattrappe  Offline
trapper

Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 420
NY
The St. Lawrence river, although probably not the best for fly fishing, and the Susquehanna River are worth a look.

Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277896
06/02/21 09:02 AM
06/02/21 09:02 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 930
Tazewell/VA
B
bandy Offline
trapper
bandy  Offline
trapper
B

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 930
Tazewell/VA
Eastern Virginia the James or the Shenandoah the best small mouth float fishing or the new river here in southwest Virginia.

Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277897
06/02/21 09:03 AM
06/02/21 09:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,447
Finally run aground in TN
Scuba1 Offline
"color blind Kraut"
Scuba1  Offline
"color blind Kraut"

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,447
Finally run aground in TN
There are no Small mouth bass in Tennessee ... never have been and never will be ... they are illegal here


I do all my own stunts ..... but never intentionally
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277901
06/02/21 09:07 AM
06/02/21 09:07 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 946
wantage n.j.
E
eric space Offline
trapper
eric space  Offline
trapper
E

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 946
wantage n.j.
Finger Lakes region in New York State. Rivers, streams and lakes.

Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7277982
06/02/21 10:31 AM
06/02/21 10:31 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 194
Owatonna,mn
C
Cibarius Offline
trapper
Cibarius  Offline
trapper
C

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 194
Owatonna,mn
Steve Rinella has a very good episode of Das Boat on YouTube. River fishing smallies in Wisconsin.

Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7278005
06/02/21 11:06 AM
06/02/21 11:06 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 8,969
Northeast Oklahoma
M
Mike in A-town Offline
trapper
Mike in A-town  Offline
trapper
M

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 8,969
Northeast Oklahoma
I've never fished it so I can't speak to the size of the fish, but... Shoal Creek outside of Joplin, MO is a local hotspot for smallmouth bass. Rocky/gravel bottom waterway as well.

Mike


One man with a gun may control 100 others who have none.

Vladimir Lenin
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7278023
06/02/21 11:29 AM
06/02/21 11:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,426
PA
E
elkaholic Offline
trapper
elkaholic  Offline
trapper
E

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,426
PA
All the Erie tribs have smallmouth in them that are fairly easy to catch them on fly's. September is not the time for them. Right now is thru late August is.


Millions of trees die every year to print environmentalist publications
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7278025
06/02/21 11:33 AM
06/02/21 11:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,457
East-Central Wisconsin
B
bblwi Offline
trapper
bblwi  Offline
trapper
B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,457
East-Central Wisconsin
I am sure the Hayward guides will get you some action. There are several good smallmouth rivers in northern WI. WI River and impoundments, Flambeau, north and south forks, Jump River, Red Cedar. Chippewa to name a few. Some have some rapids to be careful with but guides would know all about those. Lot of smallies in these places are more medium in size and not as large as those in bays of Green Bay and Superior. Fly fishing the above rivers can get you hooked up with a decent musky or two as well. River fish are strong due to living in current and put up a good fight. September can find them feeding heavy to ready for the winter.

Bryce

Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: bblwi] #7278044
06/02/21 12:16 PM
06/02/21 12:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 221
MI
S
Supergoose Offline
trapper
Supergoose  Offline
trapper
S

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 221
MI
Jim, already been mentioned —Traverse Bay is good ....people, scenery,food, and lodging great. Muskegon river is good too...... in fact lots of smallmouth fishing in Michigan


A goose may honk....but he won't wave
Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7278053
06/02/21 12:29 PM
06/02/21 12:29 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 9,656
Champaign County, Ohio.
K
KeithC Offline
trapper
KeithC  Offline
trapper
K

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 9,656
Champaign County, Ohio.
James, for the big trip it's probably not worth it, but when you're visiting your parents in Ohio, you may want to try fly fishing the national and state scenic river the Big Darby Creek. It's has very good water quality. It has the most different species of fish in Ohio and the most endangered species. It has lots of smallmouth, with a fair number over 20 inches.

Keith

Re: Good places to catch big smallmouths on a fly [Re: James] #7278144
06/02/21 03:45 PM
06/02/21 03:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,070
Kentucky
ky_coyote_hunter Offline
trapper
ky_coyote_hunter  Offline
trapper

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,070
Kentucky
Come on down to Kentucky Lake James,
.....Would love to show you a smallmouth safari.

Teach you how to fish on the bottom first, Lol. whistle


Member - FTA
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