Trees are budding, birds are singing and not a sight to see of old man winter. The first Saturday in May kicks off WI General Fishing Opener; Northern Pike, Walleye and Bass open for the season. In our northern region is unique in that our bass season is open for catch and release for a number of weeks to protect these fish leading into their spawn. Yet fishing pre-spawn bass, especially smallmouths are a absolute must for any fly angler.
Smallies are known for acrobatics and furious eats. Not only will one try to eat the fly, but another fish may try to steal the fly out of the mouth of the fish that is hooked up. They are bulldogs that dive and hunt in packs. Generally smallmouth bass during pre-spawn are very shallow yet are on specific structure during the pre-spawn as they strap on the feed bag with build much nutrition before they mate. This special time frame is sometimes overlooked by fly anglers, and doesn’t last too long. Generally by Memorial Weekend these fish have/about to mate or even on beds. Anglers can still target bed fish, yet C&C strives to preserve and leave spawned fish alone as they protect the beds from egg eat predators. Also, by then Musky has opened and it’s a great time to bust out the 10wt in hunt for your first musky of the season.