The 4th of July is what I usually like to think of as the peak fishing for the year for smallmouth. Now this can often be up for debate, prespawn can often get you bigger fish and August can have some stellar days too, but for a general start to the regular fishing of summer early July is hard to beat. This year though we have had some large storms roll through the area kicking the rivers up a little and turning them, not dirty, but off-color. We also have had a series of nights where the air temperature got down into the low 40’s making the water temps drop a little also. I guess what I am trying to say is that mother nature is mother nature and you have to adapt your fishing to what she throws at you.
In the early mornings some days it was hard to get the fish on a consistent bite but once the sun poked out and warmed things up the fishing picked up also. The damselflies and dragonflies have started to show up which has made for some great topwater fishing. It has been even more critical lately to not move topwater flies too much when the water is a little cooler. They are willing to come up but they have not wanted to chase it at all. The takes on these days have been very subtle which is always fantastic. It is very hard to tell how big a fish is by the take and some nice fish have been taken that just sipped in the fly from underneath.
On the upper river we also ran into some tagged fish from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. We reported them and are hopefully going to find out more about the tagging survey in the future.
So hopefully the weather warms a little in the future and the fish start going berzerk. You never know so be prepared to change things up and the fish will let you know when you are doing it right!!!