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I decided to go back to the well again today where I had much of my success yesterday. When I arrived at that spot the weather was partly cloudy and there was very little wind. Like yesterday, right out of the gate I caught a smallie on my first cast and it appeared it might be a carbon copy of the success I had the day before. After I caught my first three fish I decided to break out the fly rods. With the partly ¬†cloudy skies and and the light winds I decided I would tie on a topwater fly. The one I happened to choose was given to me by another guide that I bumped into on the Little Pigeon River last spring. His name is Gary Troutman and he guides for Frontier Anglers. Gary is not only a guide, but he ties some of the best smallie flies you will ever see. I am fly caster and not a tier as you will gather from my description of ¬†the fly. The topwater fly I chose was mainly black with a yellow collar and gold colored tinsel like material trailing back about an inch behind the bend in the hook. It wasn’t a popper, but what I would classify it as a slider. The fish were holding in about three feet of water and the clarity was good. On my third cast, I made a couple of short strips and a beautiful nineteen inch smallie launched completely out of the water arcing over with its mouth agape engulfing the fly on its way back into the emerald colored waters of the French Broad. When I was in my teens and I was starting to ramp up my interest in fishing and I would see the covers of outdoor magazines depicting largemouth bass doing that very same thing. I would remark that I had never seen a bass do that when I was fishing topwaters and believed that it was fiction. I would be proven wrong on the Red Cedar River in west central Wisconsin back in the late seventies. I was fishing a popper one summer evening with my father on a section of the river that was known to hold big smallies when an eighteen inch smallimouth did that very thing. I got so excited when the fish landed on the fly that I grabbed my father’s bamboo fly rod with both hands and set the hook as hard as I could. The adrenaline dump resulted in me breaking his expensive rod in two as I watched a four foot section of the rod slide down the fly line towards the fish that I did unceremoniously land. I have had this happen a few other times over the years and when it does it sure is an awesome sight to behold as an angler. Next, I decided to strip a Murdich Minnow over that same spot when again on about my third cast and following a short strip and a long pause a big smallie took the fly. It put up a great fight on my seven weight Sage and measured twenty and three quarter inches. In fact, the two biggest smallies I caught out of the twenty-one fish I landed today were caught on a fly. The picture of those two fish are included with this report. I am looking forward to the next couple of months of fishing as we enter that time of year when some of the best river smallie fishing occurs here in the rivers of East Tennessee.

 

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