Smallmouth Fly Fishing in the Upper Peninsula

Trophy smallmouth abound when the conditions are right.

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What an unbelievable couple weeks it’s been in the Upper Peninsula for steelhead and smallmouth.  We’ve gone from days and dayson the water without much to show for it and wondering if there would be asteelhead run of any kind…tBANG all the big steelhead in the world have shownup overnight AND because of the delayed run it is now coinciding with a hugesmallmouth run. To say the fishing has been nuts would be an understatement. A monster 32” steelhead at the beginning of the trip followed by a couple dozen +18”smallmouth that tore our arms off the rest of the way down the river. The nextcouple weeks should continue the madness – and then it’s time to get our trout hats on.  

My approach to fishing these conditions has been to keep itsimple. You could throw just about anything right now and the smallmouth wouldmunch it. I found that a size 4-6 slump buster in rust with an orange head wasthe money for both species. I experimented with some large baitfish streamerpatterns but there was something about that smaller #6 slump buster that justcrushed.    

You do have to get down to the fish. They want it in theirface (except for one smallie that took the streamer right off the surface whenit hit the water )…soI used a variety of heavy sink tips depending on the water depth we werefishing. Other than that, it was a good opportunity to give the 5wt switch and7wt rod a workout. We’d just slowly swing through the deeper darker holes and waitfor “a snag” which then would turn into an explosion and chaos.   

If you’re interested in getting dialed into this crazinessin the next week or two give us a shout we still have some openings. Prime Junetrout season will be here soon to and we have a couple openings as well.   



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