Everyone has a favorite smallmouth fly, and mine is Jack Gartside’s soft-hackle streamer, which I heretically prefer even over poppers. This supremely simple fly gains its fishiness from the fact that the palmered marabou is reverse-tied, which gives this fly a hollow, jellyfish-like action. This also means a little bit of marabou goes a very long way, which is perfect because a sparse fly is just what I’m looking for in the low-water months of July and August, when smallmouth water calls for quiet presentations. Tied on a Daicchi 2461, this fly is the subtlest smallmouth streamer I know of. Fish it on a floating line with a longer-than-usual tapered mono leader (hint: extend the butt, not the tippet), and prepare yourself for some very interesting streamer eats. Sure, you’ll get the standard fish waking out of shallow water to eat, but you’ll also see smallmouths rise to it almost like a trout taking a dry fly. My go-to color combo is peach and white, but experiment with what fish are responding to on your watershed.