Thursday, September 13, 2012

smallmouth retrospective

down the road i go
Shorter days certainly signify a change in season but it's also a harsh reminder of the empty fly boxes that need filling before fall. Gear needs to be grouped and cycled and standards must be maintaned.

My reflections on my passing smallmouth season this year have been mixed. On the positive, my first year fishing river smallies by fly has been a blast. Spring in the Rhinelander area was super productive and the upper Wisconsin River is certainly world class. Many new miles of river have been scoured and plenty of picture worthy fish have been landed. My confidence in my streamers and ability to land bass on the fly is higher then its ever been. The Fox river in both Illinois and Wisconsin really shined when other rivers barely had a flow. The Fox River also produced some big healthy river smallies.

river smallies
On another hand, I have lacked the ability to see a few of the bigger bites through to the end. Loosing the three best bites in the late summer sucks. For me, the memories of the spit flies, broken leaders, and slipped knots seem to stand out more then the countless fish that have come to hand. The upper reaches of the Milwaukee produced higher numbers of fish but the average sized seemed to suffer. Scenic as all get out, don't get me wrong, but smaller fish indeed.


As the 5wt relinquishes the passenger seat in my car to the beefier 8, I already make mental plans for 2013. New waters, different flies, and a steady diet of palomar knots all season long seem appropriate. For some reason the clinch knot doesn't seem as sturdy with flouro as with some other lines. I want to spend more time on the Kishwaukee and the Fox in hopes to understand them better. Here come the salmon, hold on tight.

15 comments:

  1. A good stretch and a rubbing of the hands together will help too. Fall is beginning to fall in California.

    Mark

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  2. Blake, it was fun trading tips and info on smallies this year. I'm staying on warm water for a bit longer, holding out for the big fall bite. I hope to see you later this year on local lake run tribs. Thanks for all the posts this summer

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    1. good luck on your upcoming musky hunt, cant wait to see how it all pans out. We will be bumping into each other on the tribs soon, that I'm sure of. Thanks to you for all the intelligent dialog this summer, you certainly have some innovative ideas and have kept the wheels in my brain turning

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  3. This has nothing to do with fishing.....I watched some of the Packers v. Bears game last night and they. Rprofiled a town 50 miles north of the IL border and the Fox River runs through it. The allegiance was split between the two teams. It seemed like a pretty nice place and for the most part all the ribbing was in good fun.

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    1. kinda odd, you set foot over the border and it all seems to be packer country

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  4. Blake
    Nothing like fall weather and landing quality smallmouth. Fall is my favorite time of the year. Thanks for sharing

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    1. spring and fall are the best but i couldn't pick a favorite between the 2

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  5. 2012 has been my small mouth year and like you I'm hooked! Next year they had better watch out! Go get them man

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  6. Good stuff. The WI River in May is hard to beat as I'm sure you now know....

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    1. i might have to do a repeat there early next spring, fun stuff

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  7. You defiantly pounded the smallies this year. I always use the palomar knot with any set up. It has never failed on me. Cant wait to see what 2013 has in store for ya. Like always outstanding results!

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