Monday, July 18, 2011

Match the... Bait

Show 'em your junk.
It's hot and sticky with temps and humidity pushing into the 90's, which means fishing for bronzebacks has heated up as well. Low light conditions (early, late or cloud cover) mean the best topwater action, with streamers getting the job done mid-day under bright skies.

One of our favorite stretches of river to chase smallmouths on is the Kennebec between Waterville and Sydney. Gravel bars, braids, cut banks, buckets, ledges, boulder gardens, back eddies, and deep pools- this is one cool piece of bass water to fish from a drift boat. 

Typically a favorite bass fly is a crayfish pattern, but don't forget eels and other sea run forage like bluebacks, alewife, and baby shad on water with unspoiled access to the sea. On a recent outing an 8-inch long black eel pattern designed for stripers absolutely hammered the smallies while other patterns fell short. We have also been finding bass crashing bait up on shallow shelfs along the banks- which always makes for some exciting shots. A white and pearl Gurgler thrown into the mix with a twitch and a pause will usually get an eat. Don't always expect a big crash on the take in this situation, often the fly will simply disappear with little commotion as a big bass rolls under and opens his hatch, literally inhaling the fly. We have noticed more that one fish puking up small silver bait fish 1 to 2 inches long, that definitely are not common shiners, and look a lot like either juvenile bluebacks or baby shad. 

Match the 'hatch,' and go get 'em.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mixed Bag.

Mrs. Bass and Mr. Trout
After spending one day chasing smallmouths on the lower Andro, a little trout fishing was in order and the next we were trucking a little further upstream. It didn't take long for the Bass' from New York (yes, that's a cool name) to get aquatinted with the Trouts from Maine.
Vice Versa.
As far as the smallmouth fishing goes, going sub-surface will put more bends in the rods, but we have seen some good topwater action recently as well. I think my hands down favorite bass fly, at the moment anyways, is the Todd's Wiggle Minnow. This thing has been lights out and when fished on a floating line makes for some really exciting takes just below the surface. Tie one on, and I doubt you will be disappointed.


Sunday, July 3, 2011


Keep an open mind, and don't judge. We aren't talking about the fish.
After a hiatus for a few days with the family for the 4th of July camping trip that involved sleeping in tents, being eaten alive by black flies, and lots of cute little miniature brook trout from cold mountain streams, it's good to be back home and gearing up for the "other" season.  

It's summer time, which means it is a very good time to chase what may be Maine's most under utilized game fish among fly anglers. Forget about glittered bass boats tearing around the lake,  'NASCAR-esque' fishing shirts, and some dude named Bubba hollering "WHOOWEE!" every time he gets a tight line. 

This is about rolling down a quiet river, firing terrestrial patterns tight to the banks while standing in the bow of a Clackacraft drift boat and hooking fish that, inch for inch, rival any other in the gamefish in the world. All while taking the time to notice the eagles.

Ditch your waders, grab your favorite 7 wt., and give us a call to get out and fish some of Maine's best smallmouth rivers. 

And if you or your guide let out a "WHOOWEE!" we won't tell anyone. And we certainly won't judge.

If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, FlyRod & Reel Magazine ran a feature on Maine's tremendous smallmouth fishing in the Summer 2011 issue. If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check it out.