If you are like me and love to go smallmouth bass fishing then perhaps you have tried to to catch them with your fly rod. If not, you really have to give it a try as it is great fun. We usually fish for smallmouth bass with our spinning gear but we recently spent an evening fly fishing for smallmouth bass on the Canaan River. We had such a fun time that when I got home I decided to buy some more bass flies, from what is becoming a very popular online store of mine, The Angler’s Dream Flyshop. I have mentioned the online store a few times in previous posts. The latest order did not disappoint for sure. The flies seem to be made with great quality and the prices, including shipping, are very fair indeed.
Green Frog Popper
I love top water fishing, no matter what type of fishing I am doing, so the bass flies I bought this times were all top water flies. Two of the flies I bought are poppers. It takes a handful of casts to get use to the heavier weight at the end of the line but it did not take long to be able to cast it where I wanted to. Once the fly hits the water you can grab the fly line with your other hand and start tugging the line in to make the fly move or flick the rod with your other hand to make the fly do the same thing. When I tried both these techniques, they both worked well. The poppers did a good job pushing the water to attract the smallmouth bass.
Red and White Frog Popper
A third fly I bought this time was a big ole fat swimming frog. It is not a popper but is nice and big and should be easy for the smallmouth bass to see and hear on top of the water.
This time of year the smallmouth bass are done spawning in the Canaan River and leave so we will certainly try fly fishing in this area next May and June. When we go for bass now we will have to try the Oromocto River or some of the other lakes we know about. I am certainly going to bring along my fly rod in the boat each time I go to try these flies out.
This online fly store is in Arlington, Texas and I live in New Brunswick, Canada but that does not make me hesitate to order from their store. The shipping is a good price. They use a sturdy cardboard box to ship.
Just typing this post has me excited to get the fly rod out and go try for some smallmouth bass
I hope all of you are having as much fun as I am fishing this year. Let me know how you are making out. Tight lines.
A nice open spot on the Kennebecasis with some tree cover as well.
This post will be directed more towards people who are new to fly fishing so if you read this and have been trout fly fishing for awhile feel free to add anything extra in the comments section as I am certainly no expert. I have been trout fly fishing in New Brunswick now for 20 years and truly enjoy everytime I get a chance to get the fly rod out and try to catch some trout. I have tried many different spots in New Brunswick fly fishing for trout but like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, my favorite place is Crooked Creek in Riverside Albert. I have also spent countless hours on the Kennebecasis River in the Sussex area.
If you are new to trout fly fishing I would strongly suggest that you try some places that are fairly open as you do not want to spend most of your time getting your fly out of the trees or bush. We all get caught up here and there but if you are new and practicing your casting you will want to have some open space. The above mentioned Kennebecasis River is pretty good for this as you can get right in the middle of the river and mainly be free from the trees. As I just mentioned standing in the middle of the river you really do need to get some waders if you want to get into fly fishing. There are many different kinds and brands that you can get. I use chest waders and I have the green rubber kind. They work great but do not breathe so on a hot day you are certain to sweat in them. You can buy this kind at pretty well any department store (Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire) for around $70. Some have felt on the bottom of the shoe and some do not. The felt do help if you are walking on a lot of rocks (Crooked Creek).
When learning to cast many people say to focus on the 2 o’clock for your back cast and 10 o’clock for your forward cast. It is also important to keep your casting arm straight. Give your line time to get behind you before you start you forward cast. Following these tips will help from your line slapping the water. The better you get with this technique the longer you will be able to cast, which will be important when you get to wide open places where the fish might spook easily. Do not worry to much about making long casts right away. Just practice the 2 and 10 and keeping your arm straight.
When you get to a river or brook and start walking it, always be on the lookout for some deeper pools, some nice looking runs, tree covered areas(careful of those tress ), bigger rocks in the river. Trout will hold in deeper pools as the water is usually cooler in the deeper water. If you are walking up to a pool I would suggest to start casting to it as you are walking towards it. This allows your fly to be seen by the trout before you are. Continue to fish up the pool until you get to the top of the pool. Usually at the top of the pool there will be some rapids going into the pool. If you are dry fly fishing (which I love to so) cast the dry fly into the running water and let it run down into the pool and through the pool. Try this a handful of times. If you do not see any action but feel it is a good spot then try a few different flies. Part of fly fishing is having patience and to be willing to change you fly constantly. Also, when are are walking the river you might see some areas that look like a nice run. What I mean by a run is that the water might be a little deeper and is running a little harder than other parts of the river. Trout will hold in these areas because the water is cooler, there is more oxygen in this water, and there is usually more food supply in the running water. You could also come across some spots that there is a tree over hanging or some branches or anything that might give some cover to the trout. If you are able to get your fly to run through the spot I would certainly give it a try as there could be some nice trout sitting there as they feel protected by the tree cover. You may also find some rocks that are sticking above the water. These are good spots to try because the rock makes a break in the water and the fish may hide behind the rock waiting for some food to float by in the current or rapids.
A spot on Crooked Creek where we always catch some trout.
When trout fly fishing you can use wet flies or dry flies. Wet flies are flies that sink in the water. The trout hit these under the water. You usually cast a wet fly into the current and let it go until your line tightens and then pull the wet fly back towards you in the rapids, current, or in the pool. If you are wet fly fishing a pool I would suggest getting on top of the pool so you can cast out and drag your wet fly back towards you through the pool. When dry fly fishing it is best to cast up into the current or rapids and let the dry fly float down towards you. Same thing when dry fly fishing the pools. Stand back of or beside the pool and cast up and let your dry fly float down into or through the pool. I absolutely love dry fly fishing because I love seeing the action on top of the water. It is very exciting to see a trout come up from it’s hiding place and smack your dry fly. Unless the conditions are not good at all I would say I pretty well always use dry flies. My favorite dry flies to use are the Royal Coachman, the Adams. and the Mosquito. I may lose out on some fish because of this but I enjoy watching the fly float on the water and love the top water action when a fish hits the fly.
A nice pool at Crooked Creek. Careful of those trees.
It is useful to have a wide variety of flies in your fly case so you can try many different flies. It is funny, you can try a spot with a certain fly and have no action and then try a different color and the fishing turns right on. It is also important to have different colors because when you are fishing on a river or a brook you will see a hatch start. This is when you see a bunch of insects flying around or near the water. When this happens you would like to be able to match the hatch with a fly as the trout will most likely go after that color at that certain time. You can build your collection over time. Do not feel you have to spend hundreds of dollars all at once. I am sure you can find someone close to your house who sells flies. If not you can buy some at the store or order some online. If you are going to look at buying online feel free to message me and I can tell you some that I have had good luck with.
Again, if you are new to fly fishing I would not spend a crazy amount of money on your rod, reel, and line. I say this because perhaps you will give it a try and not enjoy it. Yes, having good (more expensive) equipment can give you an advantage on the water but my rod, reel, and line are from either Wal-Mart or Canadian Tire and are certainly not the most expensive around and I catch plenty of trout while fly fishing. If you enjoy it and have the money then go for it and get what you want. I may treat myself soon and buy a new fly reel.
Proof I can catch rainbow trout with my fly fishing setup
I think I have rambled on long enough Again I am no expert but the things I mentioned above have helped me catch lots of trout over the past twenty years of fly fishing. Again, please feel free to add any other tips or comments you may have in the comments section. I will look forward to reading them and adding them to my arsenal for catching fish while trout fly fishing.
A very nice rainbow trout caught at Crooked Creek.
I know there are a lot of people who fish who like to keep “their” places secret. If I was one of those people this is one place I would never tell anyone about. This place is Crooked Creek in Rivervside Albert. I have been fishing here for over ten years now and I make multiple trips each fishing season. I enjoy fishing here so much I get excited on the drive there every time. I live in Riverview so it only takes about 45 minutes to get there.
I fish here alone most times and have great fun but my most memorable times I have had fishing here have been with my brother-in-law Dave, who comes home from Calgary each summer. We usually get to fish here 3-4 times when he is home. The last couple of years he has been home we have used our handheld GPSs to try new entry points further up the brook.
Two reasons I love Crooked Creek so much are the rainbow trout we catch and the beautiful scenery. This is the only place I know of around here that you can catch rainbow trout. It is a great place to fly fish as the river is wide enough that you will not always get caught up in the trees. I love to fly fish with dry flies because I love watching the fish come up and hit the fly. The fly that I have the most success with at Crooked Creek is my personally made Royal Coachman. I have caught many rainbow trout at Crooked Creek with this fly. Dave has even asked me to use one on more than one occasion .:) Dave and I usually fish up the system as it is usually the least fished part of the river. We have had luck catching the rainbows in the rapids but catch most of them in the pools that you come across on the way up the river. The rainbows spook very easily so you have to be careful not to get too close to the pools as you fish them. There are also brook trout in the system but each trip there is in hope of catching some rainbow trout. It is great fun catching the rainbows on a fly rod. Usually when they hit you can see a quick streak of silver. You also know it is a rainbow as soon as it hits because they are much stronger than the brook trout. When you catch a rainbow out of a pool there are usually no more in that spot. I say usually because there have been a few times that Dave and I have each caught a rainbow out of the same spot in a short period of time.
Caught this rainbow a few years ago.
Crooked Creek is also a beautiful place to spend the day. It is located in the Caledonia Gorge so the river runs between the mountains. You can see long stretches of the river and trees lining the river system. It is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. When you are just about to drive onto the dirt road to get to the fishing spots there is a lookout that gives an amazing view of the gorge. I have made it a point the past couple of years to take pictures every time I go there.
Brother-in-law Dave getting a fly ready.
We have had great luck fishing here over the years but I do need to say that we have also been skunked on a few occasions. Since it is in the gorge, there are times that we have been there and the water has been running very hard. If it has rained hard it is best to wait a few days to go there because the water runs down the mountains into the river. We have not had good luck when the water has been running hard. I do not usually start fishing here each season until the first part of July for the same reason.
If you enjoy fly fishing, would like to try to catch some rainbow trout, and enjoy a day in a beautiful spot then I strongly recommend a trip to Crooked Creek.
If you are thinking about trying fly fishing or are new to it perhaps you would be interested in this ebook: Fly Fishing From Scratch.
Have you ever fished at Crooked Creek before? If so, leave a comment and tell me about your experience there. If you would like to give it a try, get in touch and I will give you directions.