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Warm water: In Virginia, the rivers are full of crayfish. Author Michael Smith AKA Rybolov went last week to the South Fork of the Shenandoah, and in a meter-square area along the shoreline, there had to be at least 30 crayfish. That may be why Skip's Dad works so well there.
Learn to tie the bass pattern here
Suggestion: Mark Dysinger has been chasing smallmouth bass with the flyrod for many years, and during that time he's come across some surprisingly difficult fish. Super clear water and high fishing pressure can make these bass as fussy and easily spooked as any educated trout.
This may be the method and patterns that saves the day
More on tying with hen hackles
Note the use of a soft webby hen hackle for the wing in place of the more traditional pair of duck quill slips.