Sunday, January 19, 2014

Big Flies For Big Fish

Like the rest of you, my fly fishing tool box has been fairly simple over the years. I read smallmouth fishing books and pretty much did what everyone else does. I started tossing poppers with a 7 weight and guess what?....I caught stuff. The world of streamers and sinking tip lines came next, so I started flipping size 2-4 streamers and caught fish. Last year something changes for me and I'd like to give you some details because I caught stuff....big stuff.

Before you go crazy about me not posting a ton of pictures please realize that I started fishing from a kayak this fall.  The kayak got me into more remote waters with rapids, boulders, downed trees etc. Since it was my first year in a kayak I did not take many pictures of the fish I caught.  I did not feel comfortable managing the paddle and the other million things going on in my head when I caught fish.  Kayaks are great, but they take a bit to get used to!  The fish were so beautiful this fall I wanted to get them back in the water right away.  This was my formula for success this year:

Kayaks are cheap these days and they get you into into fishy places
  • Use a kayak or small boat to get into places people are not hitting.  The fish I caught this year would be much harder to find in high pressure areas.  Go places where the bigger boats and traffic can't!
Fly by: Gabe Schubert
  • Use bigger flies!  Look.....we all know that if you put a small or medium size fly in the perfect place and the fish is hungry they will eat it - which is great!  I caught all kinds of 12" fish when I tossed your standard popper or Murdich Minnow with lighter gear, but I want to catch big ones.  I started using a 10 wt this year with 12" streamers...what a difference!  The end result was less fish overall, but the fish I caught were larger.
Large Fly Seminar by Gabe Schubert (Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop)
  • Get involved with local fly fishers in your area.  The more you hang around your local fly shop the more inside information you will get.  Attend seminars, open fly tying events and/or just be a good person and people will give up some good fishing spots, techniques, etc. I learned about a beautiful spot this year and had a ball.  I will be respectful to my source and not fish it to death.

  • Big fish require a strip set, NOT a trout set!  When you do get a big fish to eat point the rod right at him and reef on the line HARD with your stripping hand!  Do not use the rod to set the hook like you do with spinning gear or you will lose fish for sure.  If you are a rod setter like me it is a very hard habit to break.  Lastly, make sure your leaders and tippet are tied correctly.  A good strong leader and tippet is key for a god hook set.  Here is a link to a blog post that goes into more detail.
My 2013 season was one to remember.  Not a numbers year by any means, but I did catch more larger fish than I ever have.  The move to heavier gear with larger flies is key to it all.  Smallmouth eat BIG stuff....much bigger than #4 Clousers or #2 Murdich Minnows.

No comments:

Post a Comment