Wanting to spend a little time with the fiancé last Sunday, I opted to take her up to a super awesome section of the Little Pigeon to introduce her to the game of Smallmouth fishing on the fly. I’ve been spending a lot of time chasing larger browns in the Park, but I was really itching to get in some warm water action for my favorite game fish. The stream in this section is big enough for ample casting room and a pleasure to wade for a beginner, so it was a good way for her to get her feet wet, both literally and figuratively.

After having one of the more productive stretches effectively ruined by a party of tubers right out of the gate, I decided to move us further downstream to a run where legends are made, and that I’ve been fortunate to pull several brutes out of the last couple of years. Getting into position, I threw my streamer at an angle upstream and let it swing in the heavy run under a root wad before coming parallel with an overhanging tree just below. As soon as the fly swung even with the tree, bam! The fish darted downstream below and after a several minute ordeal on my Orvis Hydros 6 weight, I finally got this healthy bass to the net.

Now that the day was off to a great start, I went back up into the run again and replicated the cast before. Once again my sculpin was crushed as it swung below the root wad. I set the hook firmly and was soon connected with a true beast of a specimen. This fish bolted downstream like its predecessor and proceeded to run back and forth across the heavy run below. Every time I would get her close, she would dig in and dive down to the bottom. I must have ran 50 yards downstream in total and crossed back in forth over the width of the river 3 times fighting her. After a couple of jumps and dicey moments of me following the fish in deep water I finally brought her to the surface. A lengthy battle came to an end and I was soon looking at a 20” 4 LB football of a female Smallmouth in the net.

I know my fiancé got a great kick out of the whole ordeal, and I think she was as happy as I to see this fish up close and personal. She was gracious enough to snap a few quick pictures and we sent this beautiful girl back home to grow even larger. This is one of the larger LP Smallies I’ve been fortunate to land. I wish everyone could feel the blunt force these fish eat with and the sheer power and determination with which they fight. Seeing the day could not possibly get any better, we decided to call it a day and head into town to eat after a very brief, yet productive adventure. I was very proud of my fiancé and how she improved her skills on this short trip. It won’t be long until she is fishing circles around me.

A good look at this beauty of a big bronzeback...

Hope to see y’all out on the water soon.

Chase Turner