By Joe | April 20, 2019 at 12:02 AM EDT | No Comments
Yesterday, on a bright sunny day, I took off work a little early to try some late afternoon smallmouth fly fishing in Stevenson, WA, next to the Columbia River. The main stem is pretty murky and cold but feeder backwater and sloughs are better in clarity and slightly warmer temperature. I fly fished out of my 13' Smokercraft boat. A westerly wind was throwing a good breeze forcing me to use my anchor to spot fish on target spots, though the lee side of of points and islands allowed me to use the bow mount trolling motor. I used an Airflo type III integrated sinking shooting head with intermediate sinking running line and a black glass beaded bugger on the tippet. After the first two hours it seemed pretty hopeless and I switch to one of my white and silver glass beaded buggers. First cast to a flowing storm drain into the cove, my line stopped hard and I thought it was hung up on the bottom until the rod tip came alive! Surprised by the take, I finally cracked a grin and enjoyed the bull dog pull of my first smallmouth of this year! I was using my favorite 8' 3", 4 pc, 6 wt NIRVANA Super glass fly rod from Moonlit Fly Fishing. I suspect the water temperature was in the low 50's, but not by much. A long time local bass angler fishing out of a float tube and casting plastics, managed two nice bass; one more than 3 lbs and the other over 4 lbs. At least there are quality bass showing and the numbers should pick up as the conditions warm up!
If you fish before the water clears up, I highly suggest a white or chartreuse fly, weighted, and fished from a type II sink line or less. A floating line will probably work too using a 10-12 ft leader with 10-12 lb tippet. As the water clears up, you can switch to other colors such as olive, black or red. Suggestive crayfish patterns should work very well as in a simple weighted bugger in olive or red.
Feel free to drop a comment on the blog to share your Columbia River smallmouth fly fishing!
Tite Lines on bully smallmouth!