Wild Northerner Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 56

Flies for the North

Flies for the North


For Wild Northerner

Despite being dressed all in white with an added touch of sparkle, this fly is not all that pretty, ; but the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and pre-spawn smallmouth bass are all over this pattern.

It’s super easy to tie, and I would have a hard time thinking of another pattern that does so much for so little. The secret, as always, is in the materials . The rabbit breathes life under the water. The tungsten eyes help it get down fast and gives it an exciting action while the bridal tons of white and sparkle over exaggerate that of a smelt or other baitfish.

We are spoiled for choice when it comes to smallmouth fishing in northern Ontario, and so naturally we try to fish where the bigger ones swim, and that off course means lakes with ample food sources and lakes with smelt populations are an obvious choice.

My experience of fishing smallmouth in spring is limited due to the season only recently opening year-round North of HWY 17 in this zone. I have, however, noticed that over the last couple years as the water warms into the low 50’s, big smallmouth start to become more active and start appearing out of the deeps by moving up and down the drop offs as they seek warmer, shallower areas where they will eventually to pair up and do their thing. It’s during these transitions that the fishing really starts to heat up and this pattern comes into its own.

Concentrate on the drop offs by drifting or working the electric parallel to the shore, making sure to always to be in deeper water casting towards the shoreline. This gives you the opportunity to follow the contours down using fast sink lines covering a variety of depths. Always keep maintaining an eye out for smallmouth. You will see them cruising around and they may follow the fly for some time before committing. If you find them nipping at the tail, then just give it a wee clip to shorten things up. Fish the fly slow, its rabbit strip will move enticingly even if fished static. Be ready to cast to fish over and over again. Often fish that don’t take right away and will finally accept after several times of asking.