Friday, August 12, 2011

Perfect Weather. Warm Crystal Clear Water, and Lots of Smallmouth Bass!

Yesterday, I ran a trip for smallmouth bass, and the weather was absolutely perfect, the water level was right where you would have wanted it for summertime fishing, and the fishing was good. What else can you ask for besides more fish to hand, but that is just sounding greedy. Fishing was relatively good, and the average fish size was pretty nice yesterday while we were out there. We saw lots of really large fish, but they were not being hoaxed too easily to take our offerings, and we tried lots of flies. We did get some awesome looks from some fish that ran up to about 6 pounds, but they simply gave us the "fin in the long run. It is still awesome to be sitting there with several oversized fish lurking about, and presenting flies; hoping to fool one of them. We did manage to fool many fish throughout the day though, and many of the fish were very nice looking.

A nice hard bodied smallmouth bass
We did manage to land one super sized trophy smallmouth bass, and it tore Jim up nicely before he landed it. While fighting the fish, a cookie cutter same sized trophy was following his fish around, and Gary was tempting it with some nymphs before it decided to scurry off into the depths. The larger fish out there have enough power to break a stout 5 or 6 wt rod if you attempt to horse them in faster than their yielding strength. Their intense bulldog attitude is what makes these fish so special.

Stoked on the trophy smallmouth bass!
Both guys commented on how much the smallmouth bass fly fishing on the Umpqua River is similar to trout fishing. The fish really take a liking to rubber legged buggy nymphs, and the steelhead nymph called a "Vitamin D" is really a hot fly for nymphing for smallmouth bass. They seem to not be able to resist it when they are hot on the bite, and the chartreuse version really has been catching their attention the last two times I was out there.

Steelhead nymphs with rubber legs work well on smallies....
It is really funny when you see a fish or two holding on less than a foot of water exposed to all of the elements, and then you throw your rubber legged nymph to them. When the fly hits the water, the fish race frantically to it, and crush it like they are a lion in a pit getting a gladiator. Sometimes fishing can actually be easy, and catching a fish like this with a silly easy cast is what it is all about! Lots of cheers and laughs come with fishing times like this.

You should have seen the aggression from this fish when it ate the fly........
The day was literally perfect; especially since this summer has had only a handful of over 80 degree days, and this day was in the mid eighties and the water temperature was 80 degrees and crystal clear. Only a light breeze kicked in after we ate lunch, and it would cease every few minutes; enabling us to see the fish taking our flies much easier. When the winds come up, it can be tough to spot fish, and then you simply turn your tactics over to blind fishing with streamers. Unfortunately, this day the streamer fishing was very slow, and so was the surface popper fishing.

Late Summer Beauty.....
Watching the scenery and experiencing the smallmouth bass fishing on a mid August day on the Umpqua is simply awesome. Not much more can represent summertime in Oregon, and what a day to be out there. We are truly lucky to live in such an awesome land we call Oregon. Especially when there are rods folded over with tight lines throughout the day, and hollers of joy are yelling about. Good times!

Smallmouth bass fishing will slow down soon as fall encroaches, but for the next couple of weeks it should remain red hot. It is one of the best fisheries to visit when we are in the summer doldrums. Smallmouth bass shine in the sunshine and intense heat. If wet wading in a bathing suit with wading shoes and catching lots of fish with laughs, cheers, and smiles, then you should sit on the couch and watch television fishing shows.
Lot of smiles comes with smallmouth bass fly fishing.....

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