Tag Archive for: Jon Ray

Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass

Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass fishing on Grand Traverse Bay the past 10-14 days has been solid.  The past two weeks a small piece of the puzzle started to come together. I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the post spawn habits of these bass.  Which has been great.  With the up and downs of the Hex Hatch on the Upper Manistee.  This opportunity to target post spawn smallmouth in what I would consider shallow water, has been a great experience. Water temps still remain in the area I have been working in the mid 60’s.  These bass on eager to put back on the weight from the riggers of spawning.

A good population of 3-4 pound smallmouth are hunting and looking for food.  Next few weeks should give plenty of opportunities to anglers looking to catch smallmouth shallow before they venture out deep for the summer.  Saying that I’ve been looking some deep spots I learned last summer and starting to see population building.  Another piece of the puzzle.

Smallmouth Tactics Post Spawn

Northern Michigan smallmouth bass are now mostly post spawn, aquatic insects play a vital role in recovery.  With that crayfish just went thru a huge molting in the last moon phase, and that was a solid bite.  That presentation was key the last 10 days, bouncing thru the rocks on a slow crawl.

While on the bay it’s harder to find fish feeding actively on top.  Brown Drakes, Hexes, Dragonflies, and June Bugs are all on the diet.  Carry a selection of subtle topwater offerings when fish are cruising  shallow can be very beneficial .  Never know when you migth stumble on a top water opportunity.

Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass

As I mentioned the last 10 days the crayfish molt was key to success.  Fast sinking crayfish looking flies on Intermediate lines or Type 3 lines like the SA Sonar I23 were great to fish in the shallow rocks.  Early in the morning finding smallmouth cruising shallow was pretty easy.  As the sun got high and boat traffic increased then the deeper spots played better.  On the gear sides when the wind was blowing tube jigs in the 2.5″-3.5″ range worked well colors that fired this week Green Pumpkin , Amber Purple, Dark Melon, and something Black based in the clouds.

Booking a Smallmouth Trip

Interested in booking a Smallmouth Bass Trip or going for Lake Trout on light tackle, drop us a message via email, or text/call us directly 231-631-5701. We have open boats available this Summer if your want to fish for Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass.

Jon Ray

Fly Fishing Insider Guided Podcast

Fly Fishing Insider Guided Podcast

Scientific Anglers

I am honored to be selected to be part of the Fly Fishing Insiders Guided Podcast series, this series features the Scientific Anglers Ambassador’s and Advisors . This being episode 15 in the series, the host of the show Greg Keenan and I decided to discuss Northern Michigan Smallmouth Bass.

Smallmouth Bass

Greg mentioned he had not had the opportunity to interview anyone yet as it relates to smallmouth bass. I did my best to cover the different ways that I like to target smallmouth bass in Northern Michigan. Going over a few different lines and setups. A key tip I disclose is how I use smallmouth bass to help me later in the year show me those off the radar steelhead spots. Make sure to give the podcast a listen and let me know what you think.


Jon Ray

D Loop – Picture of the Day

Warp Speed – Pic of the Day

Erik Rambo shot this picture of me rowing down the upper manistee.  Very cool effect Erik thanks for sharing.


Working on Something New

Getting closer to releasing something new that Erik and I are really excited about.  First trailer is coming in the next 10-14 days.  Also have new logo for this series, just a quick teaser below.  Getting hard to not share more details.  But the last couple weeks editing, email with musicians and fancy logo designers has gotten to the boiling point and had to post something.  Check back here shortly for the first trailer.

something new

Inland Oceans Book Now Available

One of the greatest most unexplored fly fishing frontiers finally has a book that will help more people tap into a great resource.  Jerry Darkes is the author, of this well written, full of information, fly patterns, stories and maps to help anglers get into fishing the great lakes.  With endless miles of shoreline full of browns, coho, chinook, smallmouth, carp, and muskie.  It’s almost impossible to hit all the ports, harbors, and river mouths in a lifetime.  This book will help narrow in the hotspots if you have a desire to fish this great resource.

Buy this at your local fly shop first, but if they won’t get it for you, here is a quick link.

fly fishing the great lakes

Scott fly rods

Scott T3H Video

Had a great time working with Erik Rambo on this little project.  Great job Erik you do amazing things with the camera and at the editing desk.  Thank you Erik for all your hard work.

Thank you Brad Petzke and Kevin Feenstra for helping in this project as well.  And thank you Scott rods for making such a good product.  If you like the two-hand rods, you owe it to yourself to pick up one of the new T3H’s, they are sweet.

Swinging with the Scott T3H from Mangled Fly Media on Vimeo.

Big Appetite Smallmouth

Big Appetite Small mouth DVD is now available!

Happy to announce the Big Appetite Small Mouth DVD is now available, I have copies of the DVD in stock and ready to ship.  Here is a link to the products page to purchase your copy.  Thank you to everybody for their patience as this  project was an amazing experience.  Thank you Kevin Feenstra and Erik Rambo, it was an honor to work with both of you for the past 2 years.

Big Appetite, Small Mouth contains beautiful imagery of one of the great warm water fish, the smallmouth bass.  Footage includes fly tying and fishing with streamers, crayfish patterns, and surface poppers.  If you are an experienced smallmouth angler, or just getting in to it, you will enjoy this exciting DVD!


Big Appetite Smallmouth
Smallmouth Bass DVD