Smallmouth bass don’t always respond to the same style of fly fishing. While they will often attack terrestrial flies, they will also strike smaller patterns. A frog pattern is a great choice in the fall, when bass often focus on smaller terrestrials that were inactive all season long. A black magic fly is another effective imitation of terrestrials.
Hopper patterns are another excellent choice. They are easy to tie and can be cast along river banks and overhangs. This type of fly twitches like a grasshopper and catches fish well. You can also use foam hopper patterns, which are easier to tie and more effective. Cicada patterns also attract smallmouth bass during the hatch, and can be very effective when used in the right circumstances.
One fly category that is overlooked by many smallmouth fishermen is the soft hackle fly. While many smallmouth anglers focus on using streamers and larger proteins to target smallmouth, soft hackles are equally effective. While many smallmouth anglers focus their efforts on dry flies, many smallmouth rivers in the northeast are renowned for their prolific white fly hatches. By practicing this fly, you can easily match any hatch.
If you are looking for a traditional fly to target smallmouth, choose a Clouser Minnow. This flies create a commotion under the water and attract big strikes. Fishing for smallmouth bass can be an addictive pastime.