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Korea_Bassmaster

Fly Fishing 4 Smallies

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I live in Michigan and i was wondering how to use a fly rod to catch small mouth? What kind of flys do you use in mostly shallow and clear with a few holes?

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Fly fishing for bass, in general, is fun!  I have done this for about as long as I have fished.  That's 16 years.   ;)

Most of the streams around here in NW GA are clear, unless a major rain muddies them up, however, that's another story.

I do not spend a lot money on the rod, as the ones at Wal-Mart are becoming better and better as times goes by.  They are like $30.  However, I use a fly line that floats, and I tie on a 8 lb. leader, that is about 2-3 ft. long.

As for flies, use poppers, and also streamers, the long, flowing flies.  If the smallies are small, as they are in our streams, use smaller versions of those flies.

Also, turn over a few rocks in the shallows, and see what you see tucked under them.  That will give you a great insight into what the fish will be feeding on.  

Also, take a look at the bugs that are flying around you while you are fishing.  Those same bugs will sometimes get stuck on the surface of the water, and they provide a food source for the bass.

Have fun, as fly fishing is supposed to be a relaxing way to catch fish.  It's just you and the fish, and your time in mother nature.

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The actual art of casting a fly is somthing only practice will perfect. If interested, I suggest a quick lesson before attempting too much whether from a friend or a pro. A few basic pointers will save alot of grief.

Many will disagree with this but I suggest buying a $25-50 combo kit (7 weight). Includes rod reel and line. There's no need to spend hundreds on equipment yet. Look for somthing with a floating line, these stay on top of water and are easier to lift in your back-cast. This, and all, lines will require a leader which can be made of flouro or mono. I suggest 4-6lb for now. Lines play the major role in where your fly fishes. Lines are made to float or sink(lead core) or some are hybrids of both like a floating line with a sinking tip where the last few feet of line have lead core but not the rest. Read up on lines before bothering w/ looking at flies because fly choice will depend on which line you have on at the moment. Spools can be switched quickly from sinking to floating,as an example. having multiple spools of diff type lines is what can be as big of an influence on your versatility as your fly choices.

As for those fly choices, you look to the surroundings for fly choices. LIft rocks, scan the weeds, the mud, see what's flying around,...and match that as closely as possible. The "spinnerbait" or the "universal", "work anywhere" fly is a black wooly bugger.

Start off bluegill fishing with small flies till you are at the next level of comfort with the equiptment. The flies for smallies will be a little bigger and a little tougher to throw.

There is lots you need to know, a long cool journey ahead. The best thing you could do right now is get one in your hand and start experimenting. Feel free to re-post w/ other questions as you progress and PM me anytime.

Good luck

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i've fly fished before, but i havent caught anything on it.  how do you set the hook with a fly rod? do you pull the line thats in your hand? or do you jerk the rod up like what you do with a regular rod?

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It's a mixture of both.  I have caught everything from largemouths to smallmouths, from gills to crappies, and I even fought a nice 10 lb. channel cat, that I got to hit a home-tied fly.

That was quite a battle.

I set the hook by taking up any slack line, and while doing that, setting the rod back like I do with a normal rod.  I would not recommend using the ferocity that you would use with a heavy action flipping stick, that would bust the rod.

You will find the right strength of the hookset, I promise.   :D

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yea, it's like a combination of locking the line in your hand (your drag system) and lifting the rod as quickly as possible.  Flyrods don't have the same type backbone as bass rods.  They are generally longer and much whippier.  

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Guest hydrillagorilla

if you are fishing bass the best way to strike is to "strip strike" or "strip set". This requires no moving of the rod whatsoever. Point the tip of the rod towards your fly and strip the fly through the cover, using short and long strips <whatever rate of retrieve is working> when a fish eats the bug or your feel a tap, etc. bring in the extra slack and with your stripping hand <L if you are right handed and R if you are L handed> pull straight back (using the stripping motion with the rod still pointed at the water/bait) with vigor. while keeping the rod pointed at the fish.

Think of it like this- take the rod out of the picture - somehow you got the line in the water 30' from you.  you are standing on the bow of the boat and stripping the fly in <remember no rod> when you feel something suspect that warrants a set, you quickly pick up any slack and give it one real hard strip- setting the hook.  

This is proper technique. This will accomplish several things.

1.) set the hook in the fishes mouth

2.) if the fish is not quite there it will not take the lure out of play, the bait will make a fast dart and stop again just in front of the fish, WHERE THE FISH CAN STILL SEE IT.

3.) this is the best set you can get - cause fly rods have to bend in order for you to cast- so, using the rod as a source to set (like bass fishing) is not the way to go. You will get a weak set and if the fish is not there you are out of luck because your fly will be on the other side of the boat (9' lever) or in your cheek.

The above described set is for baits that are under water that you are retrieving or are just sinking/still. If you are fishing a popper on top then the Low Budget set will work and is appropriate. If you are fishing streams and working a dead drift then you will want to pick up your slack with your stipping hand and set to the side not up- this will move the fly left or right instead of up and out of the pescas mouth.

The 'stip set' is the type of set fly fisherman use for Tarpon, Sailfish, Bass, bonefish, red fish etc.

I hope this helps, it is kind of hard to picture or describe with just letters, I hope this helps. Best of luck- the fly rod is a wonderful tool.

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