Washington Fly Fishing Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance. 

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Artist
Joined
·
831 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do any of you guys have experience fishing for smallies in deep water on the fly? Im trying to figure out a way to target Small Mouth that are suspending in the 30' and deeper range. I've always ben able to catch them on the drop shot when gear fishing, so I know they are down there and biting. Any Small Mouth experts want to chime in?
 

·
Huge Member
Joined
·
5,193 Posts
Not my cup of tea but I know a guy who does this on the Columbia. First, he is big on underwater cameras so he knows exactly where to fish. Then he throws a "shooting head" made from a chunk of T-14 with a mono running line. Sounds like it works but is pretty low on the enjoyment factor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,850 Posts
I avoid fishing smallmouth in depths greater than 30 because of the danger of barotrauma to the fish caught. The pressure change from bring the fish from depths greater than 30 causes the air bladder to expand and potentially causing tissue damage from tearing and pressure on organs and elevated released mortality. Getting the fish back into the water and allowing them to depth as quickly as possible helps to avoid some (but not all) mortality.

If one was determined to fish at those kinds of depths fishing under a sliding indicator with a heavy weighted fly would be a reasonable approach (talk with Ira). Success would be increased with precise knowledge of those key holding areas with that slow vertical presentation deadly. Again if interested in having those larger fish typically caught in deep water fishing available later in the season as they move shallower and become more susceptible to more conventional methods avoid fishing deeper than 30 feet.

Curt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,299 Posts
A shooting head of T11 or T14 would get you down there easily. However a vertical presentation with a floating line and indicator may be more effective if these fish are at all sluggish and not terribly interested in chasing down a stripped fly. Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,850 Posts
Yard Sale -
A clumsy short cast at best! My bass fishing is done from a boat equipped with a bow mounted electric motor, good electronics (depth finder and GPS) and if attempting the indicator approach intimate knowledge holding areas. The game becomes getting the fly/indicator combo into the water best I can after position the boat over known holding areas, use the electric to extend the cast (working into an breeze), hold the boat steady and work the combo back to boat and repeat until potential holding area is covered.

Doable yes!, painful tedious yes! and frankly once I demonstrated that the approach could produce during the periods when the fish are holding in that 20 to 30 zone and are relatively inactive (slow presentation needed) I opt for my spinning rods and jigs. I reserve my fly efforts for another couple weeks when the fish move shallower and at less for short periods are more active and approach with more conventional sinking fly fishing approaches are productive.

Targeting lake smallmouth (at least here in W. Washington)with the fly rod is a game driven by water temperatures and the bass' response to the changing conditions but those details are outside of the deep water game.

curt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,817 Posts
Yardsale i agree that fishing that deep doesn't sound fun and Curt is right about bringing fish up from that depth, there are ways to relieve that stress on the fish but i never wanted to mess with it myself.. In the case of the Columbia there are always some bass up shallow. I rarely fished deeper than 15 feet. Actively feeding fish are almost always shallow. From mid July- September there is usually a good top water bite. In July and Early August it might be early AM and late PM but once the shad fry start migrating the top water can last all day long. when it comes to bass more than 20ish feet I think light spinning gear becomes more fun.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top