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  • Matt Reilly


The last month has proven hot and cold. Fluctuating water levels that flirt with the high side of ideal before bouncing up again, dropping water temps, and regular rain storms have kept the smallmouth fickle and mobile, but we've been on the river whenever possible, and clients who have kept positive and persevered have been rewarded with some nice fish, sometimes in the 11th hour.

When the fishing has been on, fish have been taking topwater, readily, but with the variable weather patterns and conditions, approach the river with an open, critical mind. Don't get stuck in a pattern that's not working. Experiment. The tough days are the days with the most learning potential, and when it all comes together, the results are exceptionally valuable.

With increased flows due to rain, and the drop in water temperature that tends to accompany it, trout fishing has been viable some days in the high altitude mountain streams. Client, Bill from Tennessee, sent me this picture (below) last week of a solid, dry fly-eating, wild brown trout caught in one of the rivers we guide on in the fall, winter, and spring. Just remember, with the summer air temps and higher-than-ideal water temps, fight fish quickly (this means using stout, capable gear) and minimize their exposure to air to give them the greatest chance of recovery.

The best smallmouth fishing of the year is yet to come. August and September are fantastic topwater months, and I still have available dates. So if you want to float and throw topwater bugs to aggressive, street-fighting smallies, shoot me an email or a phone call.

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