Book Review: Time Holschlag's
Smallmouth Fly Fishing
Review written by Troy Winebarger (Shoalieman)
Having previously read Stream Smallmouth Fishing, also written by
Tim Holschlag, I was pretty sure this writing would also be worth my
while. After just a few chapters of
Fly Fishing, it was evident my feelings were correct. Fly
fishing enthusiasts of all levels of experience will find this work
enjoyable and informative.
The author covers far too many techniques,
methods, and ideas for me to hit on all of them in a review format.
However, I found the guidance on pursuing big smallmouths quite
Firstly, key on the top or bottom of the water
column if you desire hooking up with a porkster bronzeback.
Topwaters are most effective when depths are five feet or less. If
the trophy fish have seen too many flies on top, begin scraping the
bottom and many can then be fooled in this manner.
Secondly, stay late if you want to end the day
with a trophy. The river that was seemingly dead at 4 PM often comes
to life near dusk. A sunset angler can often cast to the hawg that
was invisible during the intense afternoon sunlight.
While studying this instruction manual on using
the long rod for bronze, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a
history lesson. Did you know that as early as 1785, there were
anglers fly fishing for smallies on rivers around Montreal, Quebec?
I will bet you were unaware that wealthy gents would dress up in
some of their finest attire to go chase smallmouths on the long rod.
Could you imagine a fellow, in a suit and tie, wade fishing a river
in our day and time? The 1920s and 30s were the first golden age of
smallmouth fly fishing.
Also, the author did not hesitate to point out
that chasing trout and bronzebacks on the fly are very different
matters. Another well known writer and fly angler, Harry Murray,
also mentioned that they are not exactly the same. In a nutshell,
trout are more geared to small insect-like clear water offerings
whereas smallies tend toward bigger, flashier, and more minnow-like
Please do not feel left out shoal bass lovers!
The information shared will work just fine for chasing the
tiger-striped “deep south smallmouth” too.
In closing, Smallmouth Fly Fishing
is a book each and every fly fishing enthusiast can benefit from.
Heck, there is even a section dedicated to locating the finest
bronze fisheries in North America. This writing represents about 40
years of the life of Tim Holschlag; the book is really three volumes
packed into one convenient package. There is no doubt it is a fine
addition to the library of any long rod enthusias.