Well, it seems we have moved out of the rain pattern that we have been in just in time for the heat to show up. With the Brandywine water temp up around 80 degrees and all of our local Trout rivers well above the 70 degree mark we are smack dab in the middle of Smallmouth season. A few cool evenings last week and some low humidity have the past few afternoons quite comfortable for fishing and many of us have been taking advantage of the nice weather. All of the reports from people on the river this past week have been strong. Ed and Mark floated the river last weekend. Ed's report was strong with several Panfish and Smallmouth landed. Ed's buddy Mark had an exceptional outting with two of the "biggest fish I have ever seen to come out of the river" according to Ed. Judging by the picture I would say Mark got a few nice ones.
Top flies have been the tried and true Rubber Legs, a shop favorite, Sculpin patterns of all types (my favorite) and any buggy looking fly have been getting smashed by the Smallmouth. A pattern I have been playing around with is the Howell's Big Nasty. Part Dragon fly nymph, part Crayfish and all fish catcher The Big Nasty is a fly that should be in every Smallie box. Buggers of all colors, Clousers, and Streamers all have been producing well. Don't forget about the surface bite! Poppers, Sliders, and Ska-oppers have been producing well just before dark or on overcast days. 'One Boot" and I had a pretty good morning on Saturday a week ago. I fished the Ska-opper all morning while he switched flies and techniques. Between the two of us I guess we landed around 12 fish, not bad for only a few hours fishing. ( I actually made it back on time to open the shop).
Last Monday I had the pleasure to fish with a new friend. Ben is a new customer and lives in North Carolina. Ben has one of those jobs where he flies up here to work all week and then flies home for the weekend. Being here all week by himself with all of his family in NC leaves a man with a lot of time on his hands. Ben has been a "regular" in the shop for some time now with a thirst for fishing knowledge that you don't see everyday. When He told me "I have never caught a Smallmouth before" I knew we had to fix that ASAP! We met at the shop one afternoon and I took him to a very productive (and very public) spot. You may have thought it was Christmas eve as we rigged up and prepared to spend the evening on the river. I set Ben up with my favorite "numbers" fly the Clouser Swimming Nymph. (He now calls it the "fly from the Smallmouth Gods"). Well, I am happy to say Ben landed a Pumpkin Seed, a Fall Fish, and a Smallmouth within the first 10 casts. Even a downpour could not dampen our spirits as Ben got a taste of Smallie fever.
Ben went back to the same spot a few days later on his own. Using what he had learned he managed to get into a better class of fish. Texts were coming to me at a feverish pace, the last one said it all..."I'me addicted"! Well buddy, I am glad I could help in your addiction. We will get out together again real soon.
We are set up to have a great Smallmouth season. Keep in mind the best Bronze back fishing of the year can be in October. That means we have a solid 3 more months of Smallmouth fishing ahead of us. Get yourself a few 2x leaders, grab your 6 weight and a basic selection of flies and hit the river. A few good evenings like we have had and you will soon be "addicted" like Ben, myself, and all the guys that have discovered this great summertime fishing opportunity.
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