Another Milestone Smallie

by | Sep 16, 2022 | huge smallmouth bass | 2 comments

fish-SuperiorMike Neuman, Howie and I fished our butts of yesterday along the south shore of Lake Superior and ended the day with a skunk.  Today we had to avoid that.  We stuck with Lake Superior, but went to a place all three of us know well, Chequamegon Bay.  It was a cool damp morning.  We in fact had to wait out three hours of thunderstorms before launching from the Washburn docks at 9:30 AM.


flyfishingOur first stop was Howie’s whitefish hole.  The same place Howie and I hit successfully last month.  When we arrived at the spot the fish were there tight to the bottom.  Its work but we got our flies down to them, but just like yesterday, the fish had lockjaw.  We worked them hard for a couple hours.  I had one suspended fish slam my heavy black wooly bugger but I missed him.  Dang it!


smalliesAfter a couple hours without landing a fish or more than the one hit, we wandered.  Howie wasn’t really sure what call to make with such a vast number of choices but we had to get the skunk out of the boat.  We went to where we caught some nice smallmouth bass last month.


Matt-Howie-NortonSmallies tend to quiet down as fall moves in – at least in my experience.  But the area we went is a likely spot for big pike too so the way we fished was, I chucked a huge pike fly with wire, Mike went straight big fly, and Howie chucked everything but the kitchen sink.   I was impressed, these boys barely fly fished a few years ago.  You should have seen them their first visit to me in Idaho.  But today they are launching!


smallmouth-bassAfter an hour here with nada, I put away the pike rig and grabbed my 6-weight, my Sonar sinking line and the exact same fly I used in the One Fly – a heavy tan streamer.  I targeted some of the deeper holes.  Honestly, I was thinking walleye when my fly hit the water.


Currier-huge-smallmouth-bassIt didn’t take long and I went tight on the first strip.  It for sure wasn’t a walleye this high in the water column.  Next, a smallie to reckon with leapt three feet in the air.  The bronze colored bass was bent like and shaking like a mini tarpon.  A steelhead for that matter.


A hard fight ensued.  The smallie dove deep for the next couple minutes and did his best to break me in sunken wood and branches.  With overcast skies I couldn’t see that well under water so I heaved hard on him.  My leader was straight 0X Fluoro which I have utmost confidence in.  I’ll bet if you plucked it, the sound would have resembled a guitar string.


Superior-smalliesI’m thrilled to say, Howie swung the net under this fish and we got him.  The skunk was out of the boat and we laid the fish in the measuring trough.  He was 20 and ¾”.  I’m not the type of guy to measure half inches but smallies are my favorite fish.  My beast last month was my biggest ever and because of it, I measured him tight too.  He was 20 and ¼”.  Holy crap I’ve caught the two biggest smallies of my life in the last month!  Thanks Howie!


bassWe weren’t done with the hoopla five minutes when Neuman went tight.  I was just taking a sip off a Leni taking in my new milestone smallie moment.  Mikes fish didn’t jump right away.  We suspected smallie but I must say, deep inside we were thinking perhaps a jumbo walleye.  Howie took stance with the net and we stared in the water waiting to see.


smallmouth-bassFinally, after a good two minutes, Mikes fish came near the net and of course, then it wanted to jump.  It was another mammoth smallie.  In the water we thought it might be bigger than the last but once we got it in the net and in the measuring tray it was just a 19 incher.  Just – ha!  This place is incredible!


Mike-NeumanWe shot a few photos of this fatty.  All the smallies here are pie-plates.  I can remember a giant my dad caught when I was about five years old but I’m not sure it was much longer or fatter than these.  These are true trophy smallmouth bass.


smalliesThat would be all she wrote on the smallmouth.  We fished hard there another hour but they were done.  Those might be the last smallies for 2022.  We’ll see.


We hit numerous other places around the bay in search of salmonids.  Howie wants to cook us up some coho’s during our stay.  We hit some river mouths, but like yesterday, the fish showed up on the finder but they wouldn’t touch a fly to save our life.  Weird but that’s the cool thing about fishing.


walleyeWe remained fishing on the lake until nearly 8:30 PM.  It was dark when we left.  The reason we stayed was the weather.  A blast of warmer air came through and it felt good.  The rain stopped and Superior turned to glass.  Such enjoyable conditions don’t occur often.  We made some casts, sipped some beers and reminisced with Ashland, WI in the background.  We’ll be back at it first thing tomorrow.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Lane

    What a hog!

  2. Jeff

    Hi Lane. I think it will be awhile before I break this one! Thanks for following the blog!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!