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Thread: smallie water temps

  1. #1
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    Default smallie water temps

    In anticipation of smallie fishing this year, what water temps do you guys look for to start fishing for smallies? I'm thinking of trying them out with the water reaches about mid forties. Is this too early? what's prime? mid fifties?
    "I've got to stop wishin, I've got to go fishin"

  2. #2
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    I've caught smallies pretty well even with each stream bank frozen. But that is pretty hard, since they will all bunch up in a tiny deep hole and make you crawl something extremely slow on the bottom, while the rest of the stream seems empty. So practically I guess any time after the water hits about 45 through whenever they decide to hole up again in about December seems prime time to me. I've always thought that the first time you really see tiny green buds on a tree is the time to really get serious about smallies for the year.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thats an excellent way to judge I believe. Man I love those spring days chasing small mouth with the fly.
    Romans 10:9-10 KJV

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaildarter View Post
    I've caught smallies pretty well even with each stream bank frozen. But that is pretty hard, since they will all bunch up in a tiny deep hole and make you crawl something extremely slow on the bottom, while the rest of the stream seems empty. So practically I guess any time after the water hits about 45 through whenever they decide to hole up again in about December seems prime time to me. I've always thought that the first time you really see tiny green buds on a tree is the time to really get serious about smallies for the year.

    You know, I read and article or book or something a while back where the author was talking about matching hatches according to different types of blooms because the same seasonal changes signal each one. It may have been a Geirach book, but I can't remember where I read that now.
    "I've got to stop wishin, I've got to go fishin"

  5. #5
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    From Will Ryan in his book "Smallmouth Strategies for the Fly Rod":

    "With the coming of spring, smallmouths rediscover their appetites. Early spring presents a good opportunity to catch a trophy, as prespawn females often can be located on the outside edges of of spawning areas. As the water temperatures reach the upper 50's, the bass move on to gravel spawning areas".

    He also talked about reading about someone catching a smallmouth in 42 degree water and was skeptical about the article in the magazine. My guess is 50 degrees though I won't know for sure for 2 to 4 weeks. We have some warm weather in the forecast in a few days. When the water reaches 50 degrees here in town, I'll be downstream on Little River in a canoe stripping streamers.

    Byron

  6. #6
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    Hi Byron! Was the author skeptical that anyone could catch smallies when the water is 42 or colder, or was he just saying that they slow down a lot? I would have to strongly disagree (ha, imagine that) if he is saying that they completely quit biting.

  7. #7
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    Default Gierach

    In Fools Paradise, Gierach did talk about the timing of plants and flowers in relation to hatches, and his point was that in different parts of the country might the dates might vary due to latitude and elevation, but the relationships would be consistent.

    sb
    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, unless they fly fish... with apologies to Thoreau

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Baker View Post
    In Fools Paradise, Gierach did talk about the timing of plants and flowers in relation to hatches, and his point was that in different parts of the country might the dates might vary due to latitude and elevation, but the relationships would be consistent.

    sb
    bingo, knew I read that somewhere. I think he said something about wearing a red ribbon around his hat to attract hummingbirds cause he knew when they started migrating back that a particular fly should start emerging as well. Interesting approach. Different than the usual temperature judgement or dark bwo weather approach.
    "I've got to stop wishin, I've got to go fishin"

  9. #9
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    western NC
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    I start taking water temp readings daily around the 1st of March. Once I see 47-48 degrees in the evening I will start fishing. 50-55 is prime (in the spring).
    Mark 1:17

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