As we move through the fall and our fly boxes stuffed with Parachute Adams and Pheasant Tail Nymphs are being opened less frequently, my thoughts turn to the saltwater game and the excellent bonefishing available throughout the Caribbean as the warm waters on the flats start to cool down after the long hot summer. I love bonefishing in the mid to late fall and often land my biggest fish of the year during this time frame.

Where I fish for smallmouths in the Great Lakes, I’m looking for the kind of structure that will draw and hold fish during the warm summer months. Early summer I’m looking for transitions zones where bass are feeding and congregating post spawn, on their way to their summer feeding grounds. Mid to late summer I’m looking for any kind of structural anomalies, like ledges, points, and drop offs, with easy access to deeper water. Smallmouth Bass are the ultimate ambush predators so finding structure is going to be the key to successfully finding and targeting smallies with a fly rod.

It doesn’t matter where you’re fishing, be it Alaska, Argentina or Montana, a float trip day adds a great deal to the overall fly-fishing experience. You get to cover and fish so much water on a float day and because you are usually being piloted by an excellent guide who knows the water intimately, you have the opportunity to pick his or her brain throughout the day, which often leads to learning new things and becoming a better angler.