Fly Fishing Adventures

Late May Smallmouth on the Fly

Late May Smallmouth on the Fly


Don‘t you just love it when you show up to your fishing location to find a couple of anglers on kayaks already there?  Well, this one had a funny ending.  They were super nice people, gave me a little warning that the fish weren’t biting, and they were just about ready to leave.  It was a pretty cool feeling to throw out my streamer and hook up right in front of them as they paddled away.  The look on their faces was priceless.  This afternoon was one of those glorious days in central Iowa.  The storms had passed, the sun was out, and the humidity was low.  Simply incredible to be out and about.  

I had around a two hour window this afternoon, and needed to make sure I made it back to civilization by 4:00 because I had a conference call with some clients at 4:00.  Yes, a 4:00 conference call on a Friday afternoon.  The clock was ticking...

Today, we were targeting smallmouth bass on the fly, and giving  our El Jefe eight weight combo another test run.  I love testing El Jefe, this rod is a work of art.  We were fishing a clouser minnow, photo is below.  We ran a 3X nine foot leader, we added a few feet of 2X fluorocarbon tippet to the end.  I don’t always use fluorocarbon when fishing streamers, but I had some with me so why not.  I do however almost always use fluorocarbon while fishing for trout using either 5X or 6X tippet.  We fished on the Middle Raccoon River, south of Panora Iowa.  There are many great places to find smallmouth bass around central Iowa.  We also made a little YouTube video of the day.  You can check it out on our homepage.  



The day started out hot, getting hook ups on the first and second cast.  The tactic was simple, we throw the streamer around 45 degrees down river, allow the fly line and fly to swing in the current.  The hook ups happen right when the fly pauses at the end of the swing.  



We fished a stretch of river a couple of miles from here two weeks prior and there were no fish feeding in the faster water.  The water today had warmed up significantly, which had made the fish more aggressive.  I think the next visit, we may be wet wading, which I absolutely love.  The best part of our first few hook ups were watching the bronze backs aggressively attack the fly.  They were no longer holding deep, it’s great to see their activity level increase with the water temperature.  



Smallmouth bass can have some very diverse color patterns.  They are simply amazing fish in both power and aggressiveness.     These fish were not giants, but they sure thought they were.  One of the things I love on some of these fish are the striped patterns on some of their faces.  So cool, and so beautiful.  



Today, we even managed to find a few crappie and a couple of sunfish.  A solid multi species day.  We ended up landing around 15 smallmouth bass today during our two hour window.  On the way back to the vehicle, we noticed a sweet sand flat were some giant carp were cruising.  I think this little flat could be the target of our next window of time.  I made it out of the river and found some good cell coverage, and dialed into my call right on time.  Until next time my friends, tight lines!

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