champlain smallmouth report 6/6
I fished Lake Champlain in St. Albans bay from my co-worker's bass/ski boat. GREAT day. Others on the lake thought that fishing had slowed down, and the bass had moved into a post-spawn pattern. We were able to hook up with some aggressive and BIG fish. My buddy guided us to a perfect, rocky dark-bottomed flat with nearby deep water and a slight current and wind exposure. The clouser minnow in Chart/white was the fly of the day. The bass seemed to like it more than the soft plastics my friend was throwing with spin gear. I'd cast my floating line, let the fly sink, make some strips, pulling the fly to the top, then let it fall again. They seemed to take on the drop mostly. Caught 12-15 fish on a picture-perfect day. All fat: One fished puked up a 4-5" perch. Three of them probably went over 4lbs! One bucketmouth and a couple rock bass for good measure. Plus we spooked a big Pike (cool to see...no hook up). Awesome day on a fishery that never ceases to impress me.
Great stuff! I practice spey casting on a river that has a strong bronzeback population, last time out I caught three just swinging or stripping in for the next cast. One of them had me thinking - salmon! It hit it heavy and made a big hard run before going airborne and giving away it's identity, about 3.5 pounds but a tremendous fight.
I love those bronzebacks!
I love them too!
When I first moved to Vermont I got into them when I was going for Salmon and "steelhead"(lake-run rainbows). I had little luck with those fish at first, but I kept getting bronzebacks. Now I spend most of spring and early summer going for them. People don't realize how quick they are to take a fly. I regularly do better with flies than others throwing hardware/plastic.
I basically have three, very simple patterns - deep minnow, wooly bugger, and a crayfish.
When they get big they really know how to fight, too. They usually get airborne.
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