Bluegill Fishing photo
Bluegill Fishing photo


Let’s get sneaky. By that I mean Sneaky Pete, which is my all-time favorite flyrod bug for smallmouth bass. Here we are now in early June, when evening has its longest seasonal slide into twilight. There’s plenty of time for after-supper fishing. What better way to spend it than searching out some topwater smallmouths?

Sneaky Pete is a slider-type bug, which means it just ripples the surface when moved a bit, unlike a popper that glugs and gurgles and makes lots of noise. Smallmouths are smart, cagy fish, most especially so on water that sees lots of fishing pressure. So while most people most of the time are fishing popper-style bugs, the smallies often respond better to a more subtle slider. That often goes for largemouths, too, by the way.

I most often throw these on an 8-pound-test-tippet tapered bass leader and a 7-weight rod. But I really don’t care if you use a 6- weight of whatever else you might have. A tapered leader, while nice, isn’t essential, either. Just tie on 6 feet of 8- or 10-pound mono if that’s all you’ve got.

The gear is not the point. Getting out there is what’s important. For most of this month, there’s fishing light until 9 or even 10 p.m., and that’s just too good to waste.