Fly fishing smallmouth bass 

Late May to Mid-June

This is typically the timeframe of the smallmouth spawn, when the smallies feed on smelt. To imitate smelt, use flies like a Cone Head Articulated Bunny Leech, white color, size #8 (about 4" in length), containing a trailer hook. Trailer hooks help with the short strikes expected from bass on a 4" fly. Make sure to include a wire leader, as it’s typical to get strikes from northern pike while fishing for smallmouth.

Late June to Mid-July

The mayflies hatch around the first week of July, making this a great time for top-water action! Smallies are looking up for mayflies and anglers can site-fish the clear waters along rocky shorelines and boulder reefs. Mayfly drakes are olive green in color and over an inch long. They are blown into the windy shorelines, so fish water less than three feet deep, right up to the shoreline.

Mid-July to Mid-August

After the mayfly hatch, the smallmouth bass feed on crawfish, leeches and minnows. This is when the typical bass flies from home will work well in Canada.

recommended flies

  • Head Articulated Bunny Leech #8

  • Mercer's Poxyback Green Drake #8

  • Kaufmann Stimulator #6 (olive)

  • Murray's Strymph #6 (olive, tan)

  • Helms Deer Hair Popper #6 (tan, yellow, grizzly)

  • Fruit Cocktail Deer Hair Popper #6 (green, white)

  • Bunny Crayfish Weighted #4 (brown, black)

  • Conehead Krystal Rubber Leg Woolly Bugger #6 (orange, brown)

If you forget something, we’ve got you covered with our on-site tackle shop!

fly fishing


fly fishing



Pine Cliff Lodge is the only lodge located on 10,000 acre Big Sandy Lake. With no other commercial access, anglers often feel they have the entire lake to themselves.

A premier Canadian fishing lodge for outdoor enthusiasts, Pine Cliff Lodge offers a remote, world-class fishing experience.


Summer Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 268
Dryden, Ontario Canada
P8N 2Y8

Winter Mailing Address:

Derek and Kara Zimmerman

774 Elmwood Drive

Abilene, TX 79605

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