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HELP! Need smallie flies ASAP!!


Tim Smith
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It turns out I am going to get a chance to fish for smallies in Arkansas very soon. Now it looks like my father is bringing his fly rod and I guess I need to whip mine back into shape and try to do this with him. He has never fished smallies with a fly rod at all. We're both hacks.

 

This will be a high gradient bouldery stream in heavy forest canopy with high water clarity (I hope) about 40-60 feet wide with water temps bouncing around between 45 to 65.

 

We're going to be on what is supposedly some great smallie water but I don't have a single smallie fly. I've also never tried to fish for pre-spawn smallies with a fly rod.

 

I think we both have 6 weight rods.

 

Any advice would be gratefully received. Also, if there were any way I could get some streamers and top waters and crayfish patterns appropriate for those conditions, I would be grateful. Obviously, I'd be willing to pay.

 

HELP!

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We should have talked more about this last night. We need to talk when you return, I havent heard of the stream you mentioned.

 

When are you leaving? I have a couple of patterns that have been good to me here, maybe I can get them to you before you leave.

 

What I use for smallies is a level leader, 6 or 8 lb., and the length is 2 1/2 times the depth or just keep an eight footer on and you will be fine.

 

I think you said you woud be near Mountain Home? If so stop in the "Blue Ribbon" fly shop on state road 5 on the east side and talk to Dale. He can set you up with some woolly buggers for swinging, Clouser minnow patterns, zonkers and even some poppers or other flies that are working in that area. You can get your licence there also. Tell him the Jordan brothers sent you. It may help or it may not :)

 

Have a great time, I wish I were going.

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My go to smallie flies are the Clouser and my Bug. How soon are you going? I love tying clousers, so I could whip up a bunch plus some Jude Bugs and send them to you. For payment, you can buy me breakfast next time we fish together.

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My go to smallie flies are the Clouser and my Bug. How soon are you going? I love tying clousers, so I could whip up a bunch plus some Jude Bugs and send them to you. For payment, you can buy me breakfast next time we fish together.

 

I would agree that my Go-To smallie fly would be a Clouser Minnow. But this early in the year and in fairly cold water, I would think you want to stay small. The M&M is somewhat similar to a small Clouser. It is made with Marabou feathers rather than Bucktail. The other difference is that the M&M uses bead chain eyes while the Clouser uses dumbbell eyes. Woolly Buggers are a good standby. If you can get your hands on some of Tim Holshag's HHF (Holshag Hackle Flies) those are good for smallies, but it might still be early in the year for them.

 

Stop by a local fly shop if you need flies quickly. If you can find a local shop where you are going (I think Steve suggested one) then you should get some good flies for the water you will be fishing.

 

It is really great that you are going out with your Dad. Enjoy the trip.

 

Tight Lines,

Ken S.

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Thanks for the advice, guys.

 

We'll see how this goes. The first smallmoth I ever caught was on a flyrod on a popper in the Caddo River. I think conditions will be a little more challenging than they were then. Hopefully we'll have something to show for our efforts this time around.

 

It all sounds encouraging...except that part about long casts. With heavy cover on the banks and my penchant for false-casting I forsee some frustrating moments. Maybe I'll get a little lucky and the water will be just slightly stained.

 

I'll be sure to drop by the fly shop and mention your name, Steve. I guess we'll find out how well you behave when you're out of state by their reaction. Clousers and wooly bugggers...we'll see how it goes.

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I would agree that my Go-To smallie fly would be a Clouser Minnow.

 

If you can get your hands on some of Tim Holshag's HHF (Holshag Hackle Flies) those are good for smallies, but it might still be early in the year for them.

 

Ken I like your thinking, especialy the HHF, it is definitly a "go to" fly for me. Just curious whats your favorite color pattern? I really like a dark olive body, tail and legs. I usually tie a size 6 but this year Iam adding a size 4. Do you tie that large?

 

As long as Im being nosey, what is your normal hook size for a summer Clouser? Do you have a favorite color pattern for smallmouth fishing in Illinois?

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I run Clousers in 4 and 6 but I keep them really sparse, I don't know why but the have been much more effective for me sparse. Also wooly buggers, I always have black and olive buggers on hand and have both body weighted and bead weighted. I typically tie them with dubbed bodies rather than chenille, just dub a bunch in a dubbing loop and when you fish them make sure you soak them and squeeze out all the trapped air so they get down. I usually stick them in the mud and squeeze to "aquaint" them to the river ^_^

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Well guys. I tried...that is to say "we" tried.

 

That plus the fact that the fish were all holding deep in heavy cover and we ended up using a spinning rod most of the day.

 

Some day I swear, I will grow up and stick with a fly rod more than 30 minutes at a time, but probably not under conditions like that.

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