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.
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.
With the Michigan Trout Opener quickly approaching, are you ready and prepped for Trout Opener? It seems like a simple question, but there is a series of steps you can follow to make sure you have covered most of your basic needs for success. My hope here is to outline some routine things I try to do while prepping for Trout Opener and the upcoming season. Spending a few short hours inspecting my gear aids in its performance and ultimately contributes to my overall success, especially on the Upper Manistee. The goal here is to eliminate the obvious shortfalls that will hinder our outcomes.
Fly Box Organization
Most of us spend our winter tying flies and trying to bulk up our fly inventories so we don’t have to spend as much time tying during our fishing seasons. This is a great way to pass the idle winter months and it gives us something constructive to do. One important step you can take prepping for Trout Opener and the upcoming season is to organize your fly boxes on a per “hatch” basis.
I will typically organize my fly boxes around a single “hatch”. For example, I will have one box that is completely focused on the Hendrickson hatch and another box for Sulphurs, and so on and so forth. In each of these “hatch” boxes I will have a sample of nymphs, emergers, duns, and spinners in all the appropriate sizes and colors to match all the stages of each hatch. Having all of your fly choices laid out in front of you is a good way to determine if your fly selection has any shortfalls.
Another recommendation would be to carry a second box filled with basic “attractor” patterns. This box should contain an assortment of your favourite old stand-byes such as the Adams, Robert’s Yellow Drakes, Borcher’s Drakes, Stimulators, and Elk Hair Caddis. Organizing my fly boxes in this manner allows me to carry less as the season progresses from one hatch to the next. When we begin to transition from one hatch to another, just replace the previous “hatch” box from your vest or boat bag with the next series.
A new line was introduced in the past month the SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity and have had the pleasure to test it out over the last month. Line showed up during Hex Season, even though my go to line for Hex is the Glow Line , but I have a few days each year that allow daytime fishing of the Hex Hatch. Turning over big dry flies into tight quarters is a must and the New Smooth Infinity was up to the task.
Location, Location, Location
During the last thee weeks the line continues to bring it’s A game to Northern Michigan. With the foam bite (hoppers, ants, and beetles) mixed in with twitching (small streamers on a floating line) these two methods are a huge part of my summer program for trout. Having a line that can deliver dry flies to within inches of a log, but still has the energy to turn over a small weighted streamer with a tungsten cone head into a deep pool. Is a must for me, nice to have confidence that the SA Smooth Infinity can do both without missing a beat.
Local Fly Shop
If you have ever spent much time with me in the boat, and we talk equipment you know how I feel about fly lines, it is the most important part of your equipment! Make sure to stay on top of the latest technology and check them out at your local fly shop. Also if you see me on the water and want to take a test cast just ask.
There’s a reason we call this line the Infinity: there is no end to what you’ll be able to do with it. The Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth Infinity taper is a half-size heavy freshwater line built for everything from panfish to pike. With a long rear taper and extended front taper, it’s delicate for dry flies, has enough power for streamers, and can mend line for nymph rigs with equal ability. Built with the AST Plus slickness additive, Infinity lines are 50% slicker than any other SA line, and will last, on average, eight times longer than any line from the competition.
For Scientific Anglers, fly fishing is a passion. It’s something we live and breathe day in and day out. Every fly line that we produce is the joint effort of a group of dedicated people and we love what we do. SA is built from tiny pieces of all of us. This is who we are.
https://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/SA.jpg403640Jon Rayhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/mangled-fly-northern-michigan-300x181.pngJon Ray2017-10-31 10:25:412017-10-31 10:25:41SA New Video – Tiny Piece of All of US
For years, our leader and tippet materials were marketed as being something they weren’t. The diameters, breaking strengths, and performance just weren’t accurate—or up to par with our own rigorous standards. Our new leader and tippet material is, simply put, the strongest and most reliable we have ever created, with the highest wet-knot strength of anything we tested. Period.
Up to 35% stronger than our previous material and built to traditional X size diameters, Scientific Anglers leader and tippet is strong, accurate, and 100% true.
Put it this way: You can fish the other stuff, or you can Fish the Truth.
https://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Screen-Shot-2015-10-13-at-4.40.52-PM.png327517Jon Rayhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/mangled-fly-northern-michigan-300x181.pngJon Ray2017-02-07 14:08:322017-02-07 14:10:33Fish the Truth Video
Scientific Anglers posts a release pic from one of the Muskie that graced our hands this fall
https://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Screen-Shot-2015-10-13-at-4.40.52-PM.png327517Jon Rayhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/mangled-fly-northern-michigan-300x181.pngJon Ray2015-10-13 20:38:222015-10-13 20:41:43SA Lines make Muskie possible
In Michigan we are blessed with an endless supply of fresh water lakes and streams which translates into endless fishing opportunities. This however, is both a blessing and a curse as you may encounter multiple water types and consequent challenges during a fishing trip. Finding one line that can tackle most of our fishing situations on any given day is
nearly impossible. Most of our streams and lakes are featured by steep drop offs which makes it tough to properly present a streamer in most situations. For most of the streamer fishing I do here in Michigan I need a line that I can cast easily all day long and one that can cut through the water surface tension quickly and achieve sustainable depths in swift
currents in a timely fashion. The other issue I find in our region is cold weather and cold water. Now you can make the argument that this is a good thing for our trout populations but these conditions can wreak havoc on the running lines found standard on most sink tips available today. I will admit I have been frustrated for some time now with most of the lines available today as they love to twist and tangle when you shoot them to
your target often causing your cast to fall short and in a tangled up mess while your fly is sinking to the river floor, NOT GOOD! I was recently handed an SA 250 Coastal Express and immediately I fell in love with thisline. Wow, what can’t I say! 1. Immediately I was hitting my targets 15 – 20 Ft further per cast with the same amount of effort. The slightly textured line instantly improves its castability at distance. It loads quickly and shoots accurately with great fly turnover. 2. This line is designed to get down quickly and it does! The sink tip has a thin diameter which allows it to sink quicker and to achieve greater depths. With a 28 to 30′ sink tip it sinks fast and keeps your fly at your desired depth for much longer throughout your retrieve which is an important part to our fly presentation. 3. Not only was I able to cast this line further and get my flies down quicker and deeper, this line was designed for cold weather and cold water and guess what, the tangle issues I was having with the other lines, well they were reduced to nearly nothing, notta, ninja!! This line has now found a permanent place on my spools and will remain at the top of my list until SA can improve upon the existing line or come up with a new one, but I can’t imagine how they can make it that much better.
Nice work guys, I can’t wait to see whats next!
Contact your local fly shop and pick up a Coastal Express if your in need of a new sink tip fly line.
One of my favorite little stickers. Means new fly lines. Stringing up the new 5wt Skarkwave Trout and GPX for the 2014 season. Can’t wait for the dry fly. Current BWO’s and Little Black Stones. But Russ Maddin reported the first Henny of the year. We are so close!
https://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Screen-Shot-2015-10-13-at-4.47.40-PM.png264384Jon Rayhttps://mangledfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/mangled-fly-northern-michigan-300x181.pngJon Ray2014-04-25 08:10:022015-10-13 20:48:23Happy Angler putting on a Sharkwave