Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. BWOs (Little BWOs)
2. Giant Black Stoneflies
3. Light Cahills
4. Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams)
5. Eastern Pale Evening Duns
6. Little Short-horned Sedges
7. American March Browns
9. Green Sedges
10. Little Yellow Stoneflies
11. Golden Stoneflies
Most available - Other types of food:
12. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
13. Inch Worms
Fly Fishing School - Smallmouth Bass Flies and Fly Fishing Gear
The gear you use fly fishing for smallmouth bass isn't that sophisticated. You normally use anywhere from a
5 to an 7 weight fly line. They can be a lot of fun on a 5 weight rod but that is a tad small for large
smallmouth. A 6 weight is the most commonly used fly line and rod. Seven weight lines and rods are often
used in large lakes where the average size smallmouth ranges from two to six pounds or more. Some
anglers even use an 8 weight fly line and rod when they are using large streamers or fishing deep water for
larger smallmouth bass but that's rather unusual. The larger rods make it easier to handle large and bulky
flies, especially if there's any wind.
You will want a weight-forward, floating fly line for surface flies and flies that you will be fishing in shallow
water or water less than three feet deep. This will help you control the fly line much better than using a
sinking line or sinking tip.
For deeper water, ranging from three to six feet deep, you can use intermediate sinking fly lines or sinking
tip fly lines. These will greatly assist your getting the flies down deeper. When the smallmouth are in very
deep water a sinking fly line will work best.
You will need leaders that are heavier than you are use to using for trout. They should range from six to ten
feet long, depending on the particular flies you are using. Tapered leaders work the best. A non-tapered
leader won't straighten out near as well as a tapered leader with small, light flies. Monofilament leaders work
best. The size of the leader depends on the particular fly use are using. Generally, a ten pound test tippet is
about the average size for smallmouth. You will need some larger and some much lighter down to a size 3X
for light nymphs and flies. We have Perfect Fly leaders especially designed for bass.
You should also carry plenty of spare mono tippet. You will need it the same size of the tippet on the leader.
We do not think fluorocarbon leaders are any better than mono for smallmouth surface or subsurface wise
We have several smallmouth bass flies that work in streams and lakes. The most popular one is our Brown
Crayfish fly. We also have one that imitates a spawning crayfish called the Brown and White Crayfish fly.
These imitate the most common food that smallmouth bass eat.
We also have several of our own baitfish, sculpin and minnow imitations. Our Slider Baitfish and Swimming
Shad are two of our most popular flies. We also have several flies that imitate sculpin - the Brown Sculpin,
White Belly Sculpin, the Yellow Marabou, Black Marabou and White Marabou are all great flies for
smallmouth bass. One of our most popular is the Perfect Fly Shad which, of course, imitates a threadfin
shad, a very common baitfish that smallmouth bass eat when available.
New Schedule of Daily
Mondays: Weather and Stream
Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies -
Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing the park and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions.
Please allow up to 24 hours for a
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
Shipping is free in the U. S. for all
orders of any size. Orders over $50
are shipped free via Priority Mail.
These are some of our own Perfect Fly patterns that are great
for smallmouth bass. All images are thumbnails, so you can
click on them to enlarge the picture.
On your far left is our Perfect Fly Shad, and near left the
Perfect Fly Brown Sculpin. At the top right is the Perfect Fly
Brown Crayfish, below it is the Perfect Fly Brown and White
(Spawning Crawfish) and the bottom right is the Perfect Fly
Brown Crayfish with weighted dumbbell lead eyes. It works
great in lakes and deeper holes in rivers.