Saugeen Smallmouth [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Saugeen Smallmouth

08-31-2005, 06:26 PM
John Valk of Grindstone Angling wanted to try out a new drift for smallmouth on the Saugeen River and he invited me along as the sacrificial "sport". Katrina was pushing her ugly clouds into the area so things were quiet overall but among the few we conjured up was this 24 1/4" beauty that I took on a deerhair popper about 15 minutes into the drift. John ended up with a couple in the 3 lb. range and we also tied into some dinks and had near misses & brief hookups from larger fish. We also had two close encounters of the muskie kind but despite having a 10 wt. rigged for muskie, we didn't have any luck in boating any -- one ate a popper tossed by John's 4 wt. and the other (a big one) didn't want to stay & play.

Fun day . . . .

08-31-2005, 07:49 PM
WOW! That's a nice fish. Sounds like John knows his stuff!


08-31-2005, 09:31 PM
Having been a smallmouth enthusiast for many years in a past life I can only imagine the kind of battle that beer keg put up!

Much of the recent absence was due to a dozen years living in PNW steelhead country, but the pic makes me want to get back on the bronzeback waters not far from my current home in New England again.

Dble Haul
09-01-2005, 07:49 AM
What a hog!

Great fish.

09-01-2005, 09:11 AM
WOW that's a big smallie! Congrats on the fish!!!

09-01-2005, 06:00 PM
WOW that's a big smallie! Congrats on the fish!!!

Put a smile on my face fer sure. Took all day to loose it. :)

09-01-2005, 06:39 PM
Put a smile on my face fer sure. Took all day to loose it. :)
Your post and another report of some hot smallie action on a river here in Mass made me decide to use my day off tomorrow to try for a few! I took another look at your pics and I still think WOW!!!

09-01-2005, 09:12 PM
Holy leaping football batman!:Eyecrazy:

great fish!

09-02-2005, 10:10 AM
The Saugeen is an unusal fishery in that there aren't a lot of resident fish, whether smallmouth, muskie or browns, but the odds of catching a big fish are probably higher than on other river systems. Most of the smallies we saw, had hooked up, or had strike and miss, were about 3 lbs. or more. Out of the two muskie encouters, one was large. Don't see many browns but they tend to be big and on occasion, they whack smallie poppers. Then as fall begins, the migratories arrive. This is a natural reproduction migratory fishery so chinook 70 river miles up from the mouth, like the one in my avatar, are still bright and fiesty.

River access is limited and much of the river is unwadeable so a drift boat, pontoon boat, or canoe is best. Access points are not all boat friendly so as you'd expect, get away from the access areas and you're in to waters with very light pressure. Float trips are expensive but they're worth doing at least once.

Below Dennys Dam in Southampton, there's ample, easy access and predictably, lots of anglers. I do fish this area but I try to pick my times.

Jamey McLeod
09-09-2005, 05:39 AM
What stick were you using? Trying to get a picture of the whole thing in my head. Very nice fish!

09-11-2005, 11:34 AM
Took my pontoon from Paisley to Denny's Dam on thursday/friday. It was right after Katrina, which didn't really hit up there. Conditions were sunny with a strong west wind and fishing was slow. Still landed two smallmouth (on bead head crystal flash buggers) and spent alot of time muskie fishing. Seen a very small steelhead (pound and a half?) jumping through some riffles on his way upstream. I can't wait till we get some rain and cold weather, that'll make things interesting. It's true that there is alot of open water as opposed to the more easily accessed spots like Denny's Dam. It's also an interesting river because the lake level has changed so many times in the last 15000 years and every time it leaves a new delta (gravel, riffles, islands). It changes from a freestone river to delta to cutting through old lake bottom. There are even rock formations that look like lake shoreline in one spot. A local outfitter provides a very reasonable shuttle service and rentals.

09-16-2005, 02:00 PM
What stick were you using? Trying to get a picture of the whole thing in my head. Very nice fish!

Sorry, just catching up with this thread -- it's a St. Croix 8'9" - 8 wt. "Clouser" rod.


We had slightly higher water conditions and it was a bit off-colour. Katrina blew some ugly looking clouds in and did give us a sprinkle plus a few shots of lightning but it mostly soured the fishing -- except for Ms. Biggie. We were between Walkerton and Paisley -- certainly a nice river to drift, eh?

This is a photo from an October drift a few years back.

09-16-2005, 11:37 PM
wow, pig smallmouth, muskies, and that area?

Ill add that to a list of places I need to go