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Hook Shots: Susquehanna Smallie Fly Marathon by FieldandStream

Nothing says “summer” to me like smallmouth fishing on the fly. You can do it old-school; a beat up pair of sneakers and a pocket full of poppers. Or you can make it more complex. We opted for the latter, embarking on a grueling 15-hour float down the Susquehanna near Harrisburg, PA, in July with guide and good friend Nick Raftas of Sky Blue Outfitters. Anyone that fishes for bronze on fly knows you’re not likely to outfish a guy using conventional tackle. Therefore, the more smallmouths in that water, the better the odds of having a big number day with the long rod. And that’s the magic of the Susquehanna. There are so many fish per mile, it’s practically impossible for your fly to not be at least seen on any given cast. On any other river, the blazing sun and 95-degree temps would have likely beaten us down and made us throw in the towel. But even at high noon on a cloudless day, the “Susky” kept kicking out fish after fish. This was by far the most bronzebacks I’ve ever caught on fly in a single day. Enjoy the show!