I don’t know about you but I’m about fed up with winter and ready to hit some warm open water. When the last really cold spell hit a while back I found myself thinking of fishing! Fishing in fast moving water where hard hitting fish lived!! In my mind there was a fish on the end of my line. Not just any fish but a super fish. Pound per pound the toughest freshwater there is. Bronzebacks. Black bass. Smallies. A fish with many names smallmouth stand alone when it comes to fight!
Tim Holschlag knows Micropterus dolomieui better than anyone in the nation. He has been chasing bronze for forty years. To Holschlag catching a battling bronze in a wild river is more impressive than wining Olympic gold in Torino, Italy! If you?ve ever hooked into a big bronzeback you know what I mean.
Holschlag describes it best in his new book, Smallmouth Fly Fishing. “Barreling downstream, then just as quickly upriver, staging a spectacular leap, then another, followed by more finger-burining runs back and forth across the flow. Classic smallmouth battles like this thrill and excite me like few other occurrences in the piscatory world.”
Holschlag points out that he isn?t the only angler and writer to be awed by the smallmouth?s amazing power. Well over a century ago, a core of American fly fishers were already singing the praises of the “small mouthed bass” or “black bass” as they called them. The legendary 19th-century angler, James Henshall, lauded the species? sporting characteristics in his famous “Book of the Black Bass.” There he applauded smallies as; “Inch for inch and pound for pound, the gamest fish that swims.”
Holschlag and so many others, including this writer love the smallmouth for it?s fight, boldness and beauty. Not only the beauty of the fish but the places it swims. From wild rivers in wild places to cold Canadian lakes and in warm back yard rivers in metropolitan areas the smallmouth will call all of these waters home. And Holschlag, like so many other anglers like pursuing them most with a fly rod, popper, streamer and fly.
Holschlag is the first to inform you that smallmouth are not at all like trout like so many people wrongly think and write. In fact they are a completely different fish and should be fished in a completely different way than trout. His book will walk you through the best techniques, flies as well as take you to the best destinations from Minnesota to Missouri and from Wisconsin to West Virginia. Living in 48 states, only Alaska and Florida waters hold no bronze.
Holschlag fell in love with smallmouth bass when he was 10-years-old and he?s chased them all his life. His new book is designed to be the place to go for up-to-date, scientifically based information on any and all smallmouth issues. There are 15 chapters of how-to material covering rivers and lakes, on-foot and water craft fishing. Following that, Part 2 is an entire section devoted to fly patterns for smallmouth, featuring 40 favorite and proven fly patterns. Part 3 of the book are his favorite 100 places to fish that include the best black bass bastions in the nation, including the best places here in Wisconsin and Minnesota.