Topwater action is always a fun event, whether its finding rising Trout on dry flies, hopper dropper action, or mousing you really can’t beat the excitement that it brings. Since we are still dealing with some high temps that either completely restrict or reduce our ability to fish for Trouts, you may want to look for another awesome alternative…Smallmouth Bass!
We have local waters in our area that hold these hard hitting and powerful bronzebacks, the Carson River and Prosser River being two of them. You have a multitude of approaches for these fish that are fun (Cray fish, streamers, and poppers), but the most exhilarating one is casting topwater bugs for these fellas. Smallies generally sit in 6-9 feet of water, but will run shallower and of course deeper. Look for underwater structure as they are ambush hunters, weed beds, rock, stumps, and transitions in depth are key locations.
In our experience they always seem eager to rise for a commotion on the surface, and most top water flies will do the job but you may want to shy away from the poppers that are made for Largemouth Bass…keep them a bit smaller and you will increase your hook up rate. Our favorites are Walt’s Bee pattern and Sneaky Petes in Chart/Yellow. Other colors will work of course, but the brighter they are the more irritated the Smallies get.
As far as gear goes you can always approach these guys with your trout rods (minus euro style rods, to small and to light and these Bass will work the crap out of you if you try it). 5wts are probably the smallest rod we would suggest, and 6-7wt rods are the sweet spot for Bass. Gives you the back bone you need to cast out to distance with bigger fly patterns and you will be able to curb these Smallies quicker as they fight pretty fiercely. Go larger on your tippet, 3x might be as small as you want to run, don’t be afraid to run even larger...we normally will go with a 10lb test as the striking power of these Bass is quite hard.
Get out there and have fun with these Bass, and if you need any more pointers or have questions feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact BearFish Alliance at (775) 622-2970 or email email@example.com
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