Swedish version


Alternative angling
by Julian C Bixler

Fishing smallmouth bass in Pennsylvania

Many equate flyrodding solely with the pursuit of the various trout species/although this endeavour seems the most pure, there are other applications that can be both challenging and equally rewarding. One must, however adapt to the subtle differences in tackle, waters and approach. 

Many rivers, and larger streams here in Pennsylvania, hold great numbers of smallmouth bass. These bronzebacked battlers specialize in, what I care to refer to as, the three a's of angling delight; attitude, aggression and acrobatics. I have had these warriors knock a popper completely out of the water and attack it again on the lure's descent back to the water's surface although you can use the average trout weight rods (in the #5-#7), it is greatly advised to go with a much stouter leader and/or tippet. 

I generally employ something in the 5-7lb range. A heavier leader assists greatly not only for fighting and landing these brutes, but also allows for easier casting of the bigger bugs, streamers and nymphs one must use. Some common patterns which I have found to be productive include weighted crayfish, woolly buggers, muddler minnows and large mayfly imitations, as well as the aforementioned poppers (usually a combination cork body with either feathered or rubber attachment; often used to imitate an injured minnow or frog). While trout may seem almost mannerly when partaking of our painstakingly presented offerings, smallmouths are brash, bold and almost barbaric/and, once hooked, will strip you to your backing with strong downstream runs which are usually interrupted by headshaking leaps.

You can actually hear their gill covers rattle when they perform their aerial acrobatics most fish you will encounter run in the 1 1/2 to 3 pound range, with 4 and 5 pounders not uncommon. Throughout our summer and fall seasons, these broadshouldered battlers can afford one many exciting hours astream. A popper or large dry fished from dusk until after dark can result in some of the most exciting action you can experience

By Julian C Bixler 2005


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