Smallmouth Fishing Report
TGIF my friends. The weekend finally give us a fighting chance to fish the rivers without flooding. I think through the entire month of July, the weekend water was difficult to fish from the Thur/Friday rains.
Finally….The water is in perfect condition, the Great Miami is on fire and fishing very well in the early morning and later evening. This also includes the Stillwater, Mad River, and some stretches of the Little Miami. Vegetation and structure (boulders/ledges) is the name of game. Find it and work the fly all around it. The mornings have been great to fish up until 9 or so along the banks. The smallies are congregating in the shallows and banks during this time frame to feed up before the bright sun gets over head. Smallies are crushing both crayfish and baitfish patterns. I would have some poppers both hard and deer hair, some waking flies, or some crayfish patterns during this time. Black, white, and olive are all producing. Zoo cougars, Whitlock Crawfish, Schultz’z Craw, Meat Whistle, and sneaky petes are all great in the morning.
Once the sun gets overhead, make sure to get the fly deeper in the river’s channel or runs. Larger fish may be on the pool edges, but most of the larger fish have been taken on clousers, meat whistles, and other fast sinking flies. I really don’t think the pools fish very well as the more oxygen water is in the middle channels and off the edges of the pools. A sink tip works perfectly during mid-day bites. Again white, black, and chartreuse have been the best colors. My best fly lately during the 10-4 range is a white/chartreuse clouser size 2.
As the sun starts to get blocked from the canopy, the surface action turns on. Around 6:30/7 in most areas. Poppers and again flies that make a wake are the best of the best. I love deer hair flies like the zoo cougar and I would encourage a mouse or two for waking flies. Many other anglers have been using fruit cocktails and other larger deer hair patterns. This is absolutely my favorite time to fish all year long, just watching smallies busting water.
Good luck this weekend, make sure to get your sunglasses for the eclipse!!