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Large nymphs for TN Smallies?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 twstephens77

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 07:06 PM

Howdy everyone. I live in Middle Tennessee and am fairly new to the area (came from SE Texas), and I've only recently gotten into throwing large nymphs for smallmouth. I love it, but would like to diversify outside the typical large hellgrammites and stoneflies. What other large bugs can be found subsurface in the southeast? I tie my own flies, and although hellgrammites work amazingly well I simply want some more patterns to spice up my box and keep me interested while tying. Thanks in advance for the input. Tight lines.

#2 xvigauge

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 07:34 PM

Woolley Buggers in various sizes and colors (mostly black and olive) work great. Any fly resembling a crayfish will also work. A brown, black, or olive chenille body with a few rubber legs will also work. I fish most of these in a weighted version; i.e., a bead head or wire wrapped hook shank or both.

Joe



#3 mikechell

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 07:55 PM

Welcome to the site, tw.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#4 vicente

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 07:57 PM

Baitfish type streamers are another thing to consider as well.

#5 fshng2

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 09:14 PM

Welcome to the site.
What to tie and more...this should keep you busy.

Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass
Dave and Emily Whitlock
https://www.flyfishe...uth-bass/152373

#6 xvigauge

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:19 PM

One question that should have been asked, are you going to be fishing in lakes or in the faster clear streams like those in the Smokies of south eastern Tennessee? I just assumed you would be fishing in the streams. The flies I mentioned above are what I use in the swift streams around Townsend. The link posted above to the article by Dave and Emily Whitlock describe tactics and tackle for lakes. For streams, rods and lines a little shorter and lighter than what Whitlock describes would be appropriate. Poppers also work well in the streams; just cast to shaded areas around structure.

Joe



#7 Rocco

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:02 AM

I have lots of luck with a large -- size 6 and 8 -- 'flymph' and strip nymphs. The latter feature a narrow fur strip tail projecting past the hook bend; a nymph body made of scraggly fur dubbing,  a peacock wing case,  and a soft hackle for legs.  The smallies hammer the latter pattern as do steel head.   

 

Rocco



#8 tjm

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:53 AM

Hellgrammites are the only large nymph that I have ever seen, I think. Woolly bugger is meant to be a hellgrammite. Try using all the flies that are normal for trout- after all the exercise is to make catching smallmouth more difficult. You already have the flies that make it easy. And bass do eat small nymphs at times. they eat shiners too.

#9 redietz

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 12:37 PM

. And bass do eat small nymphs at times.

True.  One year, my best smallie of the year took a size 16 pheasant tail while I was fishing for trout.

 

A lot of stonefly patterns are going to be larger.  Try a Montana Nymph, for example.


Bob


#10 whatfly

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 12:38 PM

You did not mention if you are using an indicator or swinging/stripping but if the former, google "balanced leech" for some other ideas.



#11 mikechell

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 02:39 PM

Dragonfly nymphs can be huge!

 

dragonfly_nymph-catch-fish.jpg

 

 


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#12 Philly

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 03:24 PM

Welcome to the site.  Where in Middle Tennessee?  I fished the area around Nashville, way too many years ago, before I took up fly fishing and minnows caught just about everything, including bass.  Two woolly variations I'd recommend are the White River Demon, imitates bait fish and the Chili Pepper, imitates a crayfish.  They were designed for rivers in eastern Arkansas, but should work well in Tennessee.


"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#13 xvigauge

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:11 PM

Another "fly" you might try is a squirmy worm. I prefer weighted ones. Try pink, red, and chartreuse. 

Joe



#14 feathers5

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:15 PM

Welcome to the site.



#15 Poopdeck

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:54 PM

Not a nymph but Clousers minnows are hard to beat for SMB. Again, not a nymph but gurglers and poppers are fun to fish and productive for SMB. For small stream fishing I find your standard copper John is well received by SMB if you can keep it out of the mouths of sunnies long enough.