Podcast: 10 Tips for Summer Smallmouths on the Fly, with Guide of the Year Matt Miles

[Interview begins at 55:11]

My guest this week is Matt Miles, 2023 Orvis Guide of the Year. Matt has extensive experience guiding for trout in the Rocky Mountains, but has returned to his home state of Virginia to concentrate on warmwater species, especially smallmouth bass. Matt offers 10 great tips for fishing for summer smallmouths in rivers, based on his years on the water.

In the Fly Box, we have some interesting questions and also some great tips from listeners, including:

  • I got advice on the right fly patterns from local guides on my river, but I am still struggling. What else would you suggest?
  • What flies do you suggest for targeting freshwater stripers in rivers?
  • I can only afford one guide trip. Should I pick an easier river with stocked (but large) trout, or should I go to the more technical river with wild but tougher trout?
  • Why do you recommend cutting the back hook off an articulated streamer and not the front hook? Don’t fish attack baitfish at the head?
  • I would like a longer fiberglass 3-weight rod for small streams. Why don’t you make them in 9- or 10-foot models?
  • I am terrible at spotting fish. Do you have any tips?
  • Six great tips from a listener for novice to intermediate anglers on trout water.
  • I have trouble tying Perfection Loops in material smaller than 3X. What do you suggest?
  • Some great advice from a listener on how to get a friend or spouse more interested in fly fishing.
  • I am having trouble Euro-nymphing. I only catch a fish or two in a 3-hour trip.  I know I am getting deep enough and I have the right fly patterns. Do you have any tips?
  • Do you have a systematic approach when working a piece of water?
  • Why don’t my flies work as well as live eggs when fishing in murky water for pink salmon?
  • Anything I can do to land more fish that get downstream of me?
  • The fly shop said to fish big Stimulators, but I couldn’t hook any fish that rose to them. Then I went to a smaller Elk Hair Caddis and was able to hook them.  Why?
  • If I am not catching any fish could it be there are no fish there? Or fish are there but not feeding? Or are they feeding on something else and I am not using the right fly? And how long should I stay in one spot if I am not hooking any?
Matt Miles (right) poses with Pete Kutzer after receiving his award.

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