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Matt Henderson

Smallmouth Bass on Bronte Creek
« on: August 22, 2011, 21:32:08 PM »
I headed out to Canada to visit the outlaws for a few weeks and due to extended good behaviour managed to organise a fishing trip whilst I was there.  I had hoped for trout fishing but the water temperature at this time of year makes them pretty much uncatchable during the hours of daylight but I was advised that Smallmouth Bass fishing was good at this time of year and that that the best way to get after them was on a drift boat which for one person was ultra expensive.  So I opted for a half day walk and wade trip which meant that I could possible repeat the trip myself in the future. 

Anyways I had tied up a box of streamers and poppers and had packed my latest rod building project and new line and reel for the trip. 

I had to get a permit for the fishing which cost me about $25 Canadian which comes to about £15 for a catch and release ticket for all species for the day that gave me access to all the fishing in the province (bear in mind the UK can fit into some of the great lakes!).

I met my guide for the day James at 0600hrs and we jumped in his car along the highway and parked in a dodgy looking layby and geared up.  James is possibly the luckiest man alive whilst not guiding he doubles as a camera man and had spent the last two weeks “filming” in New Foundland which meant he filmed when necessary and spent the rest of the time fishing for Atlantic Salmon with dry flies on a 5wt! 

Anyways the river is not pretty and was very low due to the weather in the few weeks leading up the day however due to my terrible luck there was a thunderstorm the night before I went out which had A)coloured the river a bit and B)dropped the water temperature.  The river was still so low that you could see old spawning redds whilst walking downstream.  However James was confident that we could still raise smallmouth on poppers.  The tactic is to find the slowest moving deepest bit of water cast preferably upstream to it and as close to any bank side debris as is possible and then strip the fly back in short sharp burst causing the fly to burp and gurgle as it goes.  As James was giving a demonstration he was into a nice fish about 15”. 



We walked and waded wet wading downstream including over a beavers dam without much luck although I did lose one fish at the dam because I didn’t lift hard enough bass have harder mouths than trout.  Eventually I managed to hook up with a little guy hiding beneath a fallen tree stump about 9” at the most. 



And a close up just in case he’s too small to see!  (Irene: yes that is an Orvis Hydros in gold :wink)



The next pool down I cast across a very slow moving area and James who was standing downstream saw a flash as I was retrieving I cast again and the fish refused again, so James asked me to flick my line across to him and he would tie on a streamer.  He tied on a black cone head zuddler.  Basically a cross between a muddler minnow and a zonker.  I cast out and bang fish on, only to come off again which was even more annoying when it became apparent that there was no streamer and only a curly pigs tail!  Lesson learned stick with never letting anybody tie on a fly for you! 
I lost a further four fish on the way back upstream by which time the sun was out and the water had warmed up by 10degrees F. 



All in all a good day out and somewhere I would go back to.  I did find a guide on your shoulder for six hours a little annoying after a while but at least I know the guys in the tackle shop and they gave me lots of advice on where else to try next time I’m back.  It was really nice to fish in that climate and treat to wet wade, just turned my socks down over the top of my wading boots to keep the gravel out. 

Cheers

Matt  :z18

Goolager

Re: Smallmouth Bass on Bronte Creek
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 21:43:35 PM »
Nice one Matt  :z16

Something cool & different.

Nice river  :z3
Looks like there was plenty of casting space - I'd love to try the 2wt for them there varmints.

Iain

p.s. Hydros in gold? you are Selwyn Bling! :z7


Jim Eddie

Re: Smallmouth Bass on Bronte Creek
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 06:27:02 AM »
Nice report Matt , good to see other parts of the worls, that river looks really low though.

 :z18

Jim
"Because in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing what they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion."

Noel kelly

Re: Smallmouth Bass on Bronte Creek
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 07:26:53 AM »
Nice report Matt. I had been wondering how you got on. I have caught one small mouth bass in my life and yours looks like a monster in comparison. Any bears or flying bitey critters in that area?

Mike Barrio

Re: Smallmouth Bass on Bronte Creek
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 09:02:23 AM »
Great stuff Matt :z16

Cheers
Mike
www.flylineshop.com   At the heart of your fishing ..... lies a great fly line!

Matt Henderson

Re: Smallmouth Bass on Bronte Creek
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 22:05:08 PM »
Looks like there was plenty of casting space - I'd love to try the 2wt for them there varmints.

That was one of the best bits, most of the time there wasn't a huge amount of space but often the distance to cast was quite short too becuase the river was so low. I'm not sure if you turn over a popper on a 2wt, and some of the streamers are ultra heavy a crayfish pattern I used had 4 sets of lead dumbell eyes, not much fun to cast! 

Any bears or flying bitey critters in that area?

No bears there Noel.  But plenty of mosquitos.  I had bug sprayed up before we went out so wasn't too bad.  Lots of crayfish in the river too. 

Sandy Nelson

Re: Smallmouth Bass on Bronte Creek
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 02:03:01 AM »
Great stuff Matt

Looks like it was a lot fun, regardless.
It's always exciting being on new water with strange fish
But armed some knowledge :z16
Enjoy the next one :wink

Sandy
John Geirach 1999 "Millions of trout have died of old age before i could catch them and there's not a damn thing i can do about that"

 




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