Hello and welcome to our Bass Pro Shops blog from your store in Sevierville, TN! The rains in our area have slacked off recently and the typical weather associated with the hot dog days of summer has finally set in. This time of year, the trout fishing slows due to low water and higher temperatures but is still good in the higher elevations. It is often a different story when it comes to fly fishing for bass and bream in lowland rivers. Many people overlook our local rivers during the late summer.
The Pigeon, Holston, and Nolichuky rivers offer some of the best smallmouth fishing there is to be had in the state! Smaller rivers such as the lower ends of the Little river and Middle Prong of the Pigeon river are well worth exploring also.
My favorite way to go after smallmouth and bream is top water. I love to see a smallie crush a popping bug or watching a giant bluegill slowly rise up to suck down a fly is just plain fun! Poppers, sliders, and divers are the most popular baits. No special tackle is needed, a 5-6 weight rod with 7ft 2X leader and a handful of flies will have you out on the river in no time. Don't be intimidated by color and fly selection. Black, yellow, white and chartruese are the basic color selections. Black and yellow being my most productive color pattern followed by white. The size of your fly should be determined by the type of fish you want to pursue. For bass, stick with sizes 1/0 to #4 and #4 down to #12 for bream. A popper/dropper rig is deadly on bream. Any good, buggy-looking nymph such as a Hare's Ear will elicit a bite.
There are 2 basic retrieves I use (the first being most successful). Once you've made your cast allow the popper or fly to settle and sit for a moment, gather your slack line and make a quick jerk with you rod in order to make your popper spit and pop and allow it to settle again. Repeat this throughout the retrieve while varying the pause between pops and you should have a tight line in no time. The other method I recommend is simply dead sticking. Basically cast out your fly and let it sit or drift naturally with the current. This should get you out on the water and hunting for your next bite. If you would like to learn more about this overlooked and underrated resource, come visit us back in the fly shop! Good luck and tight lines!
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