The Susquehanna River offers some amazing water to target smallmouth bass. After fishing the river for years with spinning gear, I recently transitioned to fly fishing for smallmouth. My thoughts in presentation are still the same although I’m using a different setup.
I have been using the new Patagonia Swiftcurrent packable waders the last few times I’ve fished there. Studs in your boots are almost necessary if you decide to wade. Big boulders and slippery mud make wading a challenge, so be careful. I used a basic 7 weight combo that I’ve had for years with a floating line. Flies were thrown on a 2x leader, and using a sinking leader may be helpful because of the current, but snags can be a problem.
Mimicking the baitfish of the Susquehanna, I used streamers between 2-4 inches in both a green and brown color.
Near creek mouths, baitfish will often school in current breaks where bass often will be seen blowing up on the schools. I fished patterns with weight slowly, making sure to keep it close to the bottom. Smallmouth will present an amazing fight, and those who haven’t targeted smallmouth on the fly should give it a try.
We have a range of different leaders and tippets between 0x and 3x that will work perfectly for the conditions on the river. We offer several weighted streamers and some poppers that should get the bass to strike on the surface as summer gets closer.
Gene has spent the latter part of the afternoon unloading a few boxes from the folks at Fishpond. He’s also updated our online catalog to reflect this new influx.In addition to host of fresh trucker hats, we have ever popular accessories like the Headgate tippet holders, Arrowhead retractors, confluence magnetic net releases. We also have a host of smart packs in stock including the Thunderhead submersible series slings and lumbar packs and Nomad Native and Nomad Emerger nets.
Some good news during this extraordinary time. We are huge fans of Scott Rods and we have had happy customers take them to all corners of the world including Patagonia, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, the Rockies and Alaska. If you are interested in treating yourself to one and we don’t have the model you are looking for in the shop, please call the shop or order one online, we’ll have it shipped for free directly from Scott while we stay at home.Here is the note we received from our Scott rep: Dear Scott Dealer,
I hope you are all well and coping with this pandemic as good as possible. On this past Friday afternoon we had a Scott Fly Rod conference call and Jim Bartschi updated us as to what is going on with Scott. During this time, Scott is waving drop ship fees, so don’t be afraid to have a rod shipped to the customers home.I have to tell you that after our call I was more proud than ever (20 plus years) to be working for Scott Fly Rod. A lot of the discussion was centered around taking care of their employees and caring about our dealers. Remember, Scott is the rod company that only supports the specialty fly shop, they don’t do Amazon or big box stores.Your shop is where Scott Fly Rods should be sold!Jim Bartschi is also a member of the AFFTA Board. They had a proposal hand delivered to Secretary Mnuchen and some or all of it was incorporated in the the 2 trillion dollar Care Act. It supplies 300 million in aid to the fishing business as well as guides. Please go to the AFFTA site for more information.
If you see an item that is marked backorder don’t despair, we had an early season run on some of these rods but Scott has a ready supply so please drop us a line and we’ll check in with Scott directly to get one headed your way ASAP! This offer includes all rods in the Scott lineup.
It’s clear that fishing is on your mind-why else would you be reading this? For your consideration and approval are two distinct series of rods from R.L. Winston. I’ve owned my TMF for 19 years -it will be with me for as long as I fly fish for native and wild trout.
Ultimately there is no one fly rod that will be well-suited to every situation but you won’t find finer examples of rods that are smooth, light, versatile and purpose built for fly fishing a wide variety of flies than these two. While Winston is not shipping at present, we currently have these in stock ready for purchase online or via phone and available for curbside pickup or shipped USPS to your home shelter. Stay well.
Scientific Anglers have long been known for outstanding fly lines. This year they have released their premium line of “Absolute” leader and tippet. Here at the shop, we’ve received the full line of leaders and tippet from 7x-20lb and have been very impressed with the quality and performance. Both the Absolute Flourocarbon and Nylon are supple, strong and boast a 30% increase in wet knot strength. SA has done a great job of increasing breaking strength without increasing diameter. The Absolute Streamer leaders are 4 ft and great for use with a sinking line or a floating line on those days fishing in higher water.
To top it off they are packed in biodegradable pouches, continuing a trend of environmentally friendly fly fishing innovation. The new tippet spools feature a line cutter and a tight band that should mean less chance of unknowingly walking down the trail dragging 20 ft of tippet which we’ve all done once -at least I have!
It’s a real statement in the current market when a rod truly stands out from the rest and remains one of the most popular freshwater rods 8 years after it’s introduction, but that’s what the Scott Radian series does.
Despite their fast action, they have a very unique feel which allows for a wide range of uses from delivering small dries on light tippet to banging weighted streamers against the banks. The quick recovery rate and springy action really makes for easy casting rods. Many modern fast action fly rods simply don’t offer this level of control from short to even long range casts.
We have a 9’ 4 weight in stock which is an ideal rod for the Gunpowder. If you don’t know whether you’ll be fishing streamers or fishing an evening spinner fall, this rod has you covered. The 10’ 4 weight has much more backbone and the extra reach allows for easier mending and presentation at longer distances. It would easliy be at home on the larger rivers such as the North Branch in Western Maryland, Little Juniata, Penns or Pine Creek up in Pennsylvania.
Former staffer Ethan Lawson recently took a 10′ 5 weight to Colorado. It makes presenting dries in often windy conditions a breeze!
Ethan Lawson putting his Scott Radian to good use in 40mph gusts on the Colorado River
These are partially ported, leaving just enough surface area to highlight the hand anodized finishes. The frame interior also features varying sets of milled fly patterns for those who appreciate the attention to detail. The large arbor spool features a precision-balanced dual-pawl drag engagement design with a fully sealed adjustable drag. The rigid machining, design and finishes are of the highest quality as you’d expect from Abel.