The Smallmouth Gotcha is pattern that I fish for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. It comes in whatever colors you like, but I fish it in brown/yellow, tan, and orange. Like with all of my smallmouth bass fly patterns, I use this one in specific situations. First though, here are some features of this smallmouth bass fly.
FEATURES OF THIS SMALLMOUTH BASS FLY
Jig Hook: The fly is tied on a high-quality jig hook, which allows the fly to ride point-up. This is important for hooking big fish in the top of the mouth for better penetration. Also, this fly is meant to be on the bottom, although it catches smallmouth at all levels of the water column. The jig hook lets it avoid snagging the bottom as much.
Mono Loop: Along with the jig hook is a mono loop that I use, which gives the fly great stability in the water. This helps the fly to stay upright while moving over rocks etc. Just be careful with areas that have lots of small sticks, since they can get caught in the mono.
Four Bead-Chain Eyes: These are used to weight the fly but also to act as a rattle. Just shake the fly and you’ll hear how it works. With this approach, the rattle isn’t buried under the materials and will not break, like class beads will sometimes.
WHERE AND HOW I FISH THIS SMALLMOUTH BASS FLY
This fly is designed to fish on the bottom most of the time, although I have been surprised by fish that take it way up in the water column. It’s great for covering hot spots or fishing along the bottom for sluggish fish. This is particularly true when fish are congregated together and you want to entice smallmouth or largemouth to watch and then attack a fly. You can let it sit and then give it very tiny twitches to make the fly bounce in place. The point of this is to generate small vibrations and not really to pick the fly up of the bottom. You need to know that there are fish nearby when you do this, otherwise you are not covering enough water to find active fish. This pattern excels when fishing specific locations, so keep that it mind. Also, keep in mind that you get a different fall speed with a closed knot vs. a loop knot. A closed knot will give you a bit more control if you have lots of cover around but will also cause the fly to drop much more slowly. In fact, it becomes more of a glide. If you want to have more of a triggering action, tie the fly with dumbbell eyes and use a loop knot. You can also thin out the materials to help it have less water resistance and therefore drop faster. I’ve had this fly work on a specific fish when most others wouldn’t. Give it try!
- Hook: Jig hook (2/0 – 4/0) = Gamakatsu 614, Owner 5104 (I use 614 #3/0 or 5104 #4/0)
- Thread: UTC 140 or 210 (rusty brown) or flat waxed nylon (tobacco brown)
- Mono: RIO Alloy Hard Saltwater tippet (.018 or 16 lb.)
- Eyes: Bead chain (4 large 5/32 gold)
- Sili Legs: green-orange-black flake
- Flash: Holographic flash (gold)
- Marabou: yellow
- Body: Hareline Crystal Chenille (rootbeer)
- Rubber Legs: yellow
- Wing: Hareline extra select craft fur (medium brown)
- Marker: Permanent marker (brown)
- Lacquer: Zap-a-gap (brushable)