Video: Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass

I recently had the opportunity to help with the filming of a short video on fly fishing for smallmouth bass on Banks Lake. The video is part of a series of videos the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is producing to promote the amazing variety of fisheries found in Washington.

Bruce Bolding (WDFW Warmwater Fish Program Manager, Olympia, WA) and Danny Garrett (Biologist and video producer extraordinaire, Mill Creek, WA) were the representatives of WDFW and the ones producing the video. David Williams, author of the soon to be released book, Fly Fishing for Western Smallmouth, and I were the anglers in the video.

Fishing Banks Lake in May has become an annual trip I look forward to. The hard fighting smallmouth is great fun on the fly rod and Banks Lake is full of them. A boat with an electric trolling motor is a nice way to fish Banks, but a pontoon boat or float tube will get the job done as long as the wind isn’t too bad.

To fish Banks, take a full-sinking line and a floating line. Fish baitfish and crayfish patterns on the full-sinking line and fish poppers on the floating line. To find smallmouth, concentrate on areas that have rocky bottoms and have some deep water close by. There are plenty of largemouth, carp, panfish, and even walleye that may end up on the end of your line as well.

The video was shot in one day and you will see the changes in weather as a cold front was moving through that made the fishing tougher than normal (plus we lost a few really nice fish!). We still managed to put a video together, but the average size and quantity of fish was much lower than my normal trips. The best fly for me on this trip was the Crazy Dad in olive.

Hope you enjoy the video. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the chance to fish with David, Bruce and Danny. If you haven’t already, definitely leave some space on the calendar to give smallmouth bass a try and let us know if we can help along the way!



Michael Bennett
Pacific Fly Fishers

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