Dave from the Wet Fly Swing Fly Fishing Blog interviews the biggest names in fly fishing and fly tying today. He digs out all of the best fly fishing tips and tricks to help you understand how to choose the right gear, find fish, present the fly, discover new patterns and much more. Find out about new rods, lines, techniques, knots, tying tools and unheard of tips along with great stories about life and the times of some of the most knowledgeable guides, shop owners, and fisherman from around the world. Season 1 covers all things steelhead fishing. Better understand topics like spey casting, nymphing vs. swinging flies, intruders, finding fish, conservation and finding new waters. Come join us for the current season and share the stories and great memories told by amazing people.
Show Notes: https://wetflyswing.com/534
Welcome to our latest episode featuring Jake Villwock, author of the book Smallmouth Bass Flies. In this episode, we will take you on a journey to Pennsylvania for a typical bass fishing trip with Jake and his team. He will share his techniques and tips on how to catch smallmouth bass, and his gear set up when bass fishing. Jake also gives insight into the flies he uses when bass fishing, so whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, you won’t want to miss this episode!
Episode Chapters with Jake Villwock on Smallmouth Bass Flies
1:34 – Jake shares with us his first memory of fly fishing. His first fish on a fly was a blue gill and his second was a striper. Stripers and saltwater have always been one of his favorite things to target.
3:52 – He has been known for smallmouth bass fishing. He wrote a book titled Smallmouth Bass Flies – Top to Bottom.
5:02 – He talks about the similarities between smallmouth bass and trout.
7:24 – Currently, he operates in South Central Pennsylvania, mainly guiding in Juniata and Susquehanna. Their bass season is from late March to the end of October.
9:41 – Along with other guides, he also guides for steelhead fishing in Lake Eerie and up in New York. He also describes how they do bass fishing.
12:30 – He describes a typical bass fishing trip with them in their area. They meet their clients in a quaint diner called Thompsontown Corner Deli to have breakfast. He also describes the lunch they serve on their trips.
17:20 – We talk about drinking in guiding trips. He mentions the brand Athletic which sells non-alcoholic beer.
19:50 – He explains why big bass in the springtime is very aggressive and shares some tips on how to catch them during this time. He says that keeping yourself low and slow is how you will catch them.
24:15 – We talk about crayfish which is a large portion of the smallmouth’s diet in the summertime. He describes his setup with a crayfish fly pattern.
28:28 – He describes how he uses the tip of the fly line to his advantage. He always casts slightly upstream to have a little bit of an angle. Paying attention to the tip of the line to manage the speed of your retrieve is very important.
33:40 – We dig into the fly patterns he uses. The size of the claws of the crayfish is very important to consider. He further describes how he ties his crayfish flies and the materials he uses.
38:49 – One of his favorite flies for the springtime it’s still cold is Russ Maddin’s circus peanut. We had Russ on the podcast in episode 253.
39:55 – He tells us his signature flies. You can also see how he ties his flies through his YouTube at Relentless TV. He recently signed a contract with Montana Fly Company (MFC). We talked about MFC in episode 531 with Jake Chutz.
41:30 – He walks us through how he targets a fish in top water and subsurface.
47:06 – He also gives tips on finding a fish depending on the season when you’re new in the area. June and October are the months when it’s hard to find fish. The best thing to do is to start on the banks and float the river when it’s low and clear.
51:40 – He gives more tips on his setup, particularly lines. He gives a shoutout to Scientific Angler for their amazing triple-density lines. He also mentions their Stillwater Hover.
55:03 – He mentions the tungsten beads which are good for when you can’t see the fish.
56:30 – He usually sees bigger fish during the summertime when the water is clear. He also explains his theory of how the color of the fish tells you if it’s ready to eat.
59:57 – When he’s bait fishing, he uses a leader that is six to eight feet. For cray fishing and dry fly fishing, he uses a 10 to 12-ft leader.
1:00:42 – He gives valuable tips on casting. When it comes to cray fishing, the more perfect you make the cast, the worse it’s going to be.
1:03:10 – He talks about catching steelhead vs big bass in the Lake Eerie.
1:06:00 – We do the Fly Shop Shout-out segment. He mentions the TCO Fly Shop which has multiple shops in Pennsylvania. For those who want to get a trip with Jake’s team, they can book with TCO.
1:07:45 – His boat is a Clacka HeadHunter Skiff II. He also uses an NRS Raft in the spring.
1:08:13 – He gives one last tip for bass fishing.
1:09:29 – He leaves us with a funny story about that time when he fell off the boat while guiding.
Show Notes: https://wetflyswing.com/534