Your 8 weight will be fine for smallmouths. Also I've been using 10lb flouro. Smallies remind me of Mnagrove Snapper and they're one of the hardest orbery fighters I've ever come across
I've thrown all sorts of big flies (wooly buggers, bunny tails etc.) but they don't seem too fussy. In fact my best results have come from one of my Monomoy clousers:
Size 1 Dai-chi
Copper body braid
Single bucktail wing - blended Olive with a little root-beer and yellow bucktail then add a couple of fluro pink and tourquise hairs as cheeks on each side. Works at Monomoy and the smallies go nuts for it too!
There's not much hair left on the fly but they're hitting it harder than ever. The river is full of crayfish - some quite large - don't be afraid to fish big flies!
The camp site has some good pools and there is great fishing within walking distance upstream and downstream. There is an excellent guide produced by the Housatonic Fly Fishermens Association - any of the fly shops in the area will have it. All the major pools on the Northern TMA are described and all hold smallmouths.
I've had best hook-up ratio by casting upsteam and keeping in contact with the fly as it tumbles down - try to 'swim' it down between the boulders. You will lose a few flies to rocks - if you don't then you're not fishing deep enough! Strikes are fast and furious. It seems like they have less time to inpect the fly as it comes into view.
In between the major pools you'll find lots of pocket water - if its knee deep or deeper there will probably be fish there - some surprisingly big. Lob the fly downstream and across - less than a 10 ft cast. Lift the rod to slowly swing the fly across the pocket and hold on!
If you're not hooking up or getting strikes - move on. No matter how tempting a pool may look. Even after catching a couple, if it goes quiet move on - there's a lifetimes worth of water to fish! Sometimes the smallest holes can be most productive.
They'll rise to whatever is hatching too. If you're there for the whitefly hatch then Dun patterns in size 12 & 14 and spinners in 10s & 12s. Popping bugs are also popular but I've had my best results sub-surface.
If you are there over the week-end let me know and we'll hook up!