I’ve been in a topwater, smallmouth bass mode. I haven’t fished for trout in over a month. I’m not mentally ready to gear up for tributary season. I guess that I want to hold on longer to the nicer temps and warm water. Chugging deer hair poppers on warm water creeks has been my late Summer tonic. It’s pure fun. A simple 6 wt or 7 wt rod, several topwater patterns and a stout leader (10 lb tippet) is all that’s needed. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been targeting a local, shallow creek. On one occasion, I took along my nephew and his friends (growing fly rod enthusiasts). We caught a few fish and they loved it. On another, I fished solo for two hours on a weekend morning. My first 3 casts yielded fish. My morning tally was a dozen topwater smallmouth bass, up to 14″. I only changed flies once (got bored catching fish on a yellow/chartreuse deer hair slider) and wanted to see if they would hit a darker pattern. The bass didn’t care about the color, it was the movement and silhouette that triggered strikes. If I found a nice long pool with depth over 3′ and a decent tail out, there were cooperative bass. They gobbled upstream, downstream, across and any matter of presentation. As long as the popper gurgled, moved water, created a waking motion and was consistently moved, they pounced. Most often, I landed several fish from a particular hole. At times, I would hike several hundred yards between promising water. Covering water and finding the right pool conditions was essential.
The salmon are slowly trickling in the Salmon River and tributary season will be upon us soon. The next few weeks may be your last window to explore that late Summer fishery you’ve been intending to fish. Get on the water and do something different. As for me, I’ve now got my sight set on exploring a new, different smallmouth fishery…
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