Fly Fishers' Republic

Smallmouth Fly Fishing

July 18, 2006

by Dan Kreher

Smallmouth Fly-fishing

Tim Holschlag’s latest literary offering, “Smallmouth Fly Fishing,” is a hit! Valuable observations and smallmouth fishing tips are explained in an easy to understand format in this 352-page book. I have seen the few books that have been written on fly fishing for smallmouth bass. For my money, Tim’s new book is the best of the lot and will be a great resource for both stream and lake bronzeback anglers.

Tim Holschlag, a.k.a. Mr. Smallmouth, is an exceptional instructor, guide, and outdoor writer whose immense on the water knowledge in pursuit of smallmouth bass comes through time and time again on these pages. My review cannot do justice to Tim’s succinct way of describing the techniques and tactics he has honed over years of guiding and fishing on more than 250 smallmouth waters across North America.

The book is separated into three distinct sections—Smallmouth Techniques, Flies for Smallmouth, and 100 Top Smallmouth Destinations. So you might say it’s really three books in one.

In the first section, Tim lays out the fundamentals of fly fishing for smallmouths including basic fly fishing gear, surface and subsurface techniques, wading approaches and the often overlooked need for good boat control. Seasonal patterns, daily patterns, how to fish different types of both moving water and lake environments, it’s all in her throughout the first fifteen chapters.

In Section II, the author shows and describes 40 top producing bronzeback flies from around the country. These include his Top 20 and 20 other more specialized flies that have received regional or local acclaim. I found them to be built with durability and effectiveness in mind rather than a “looks good on your hat” type of appeal. He’s tried ‘em all, and these are the ones that catch fish.

Section III of the book is the stuff daydreams are made of. It lists 100 of the top smallmouth destinations across North America. A quick read of this section and your mind will be spinning with the possibilities.

Last, but not least, are the wonderful photographs, many of them full-color, featured throughout the book. Quality photographs of this degree are indeed rare in most publications.

In summary, any fly fisherman looking for some great tips and tactics for their bronzeback bag of tricks, or anyone with even a smidgen of interest in pursuing smallmouth bass on the fly should buy and thoroughly read this book. It is informative, well-written, filled with great illustrations and photos and is based upon the author’s 40 years of on the water experience pursuing the Gamest Fish That Swims.