Ian & Charity Rutter discuss fly fishing for smallmouth bass with popping bugs in rivers and streams around the Smoky Mountain region.


  1. I would like to point out that if some smallies prefer more action. When you pop the fly some times as they approach they won't strike until the popper pops again as if it were running away. I do agree though when the fish are cautious that method works very well.

  2. These are poppers we make ourself using foam cylinders that we color with magic markers. We'll probably do a segment in the future how to make these because they are relatively easy to make and far more durable than painted cork.

  3. Great video….didn't have a clue how to fish for these as I come from ireland….I'm a trout and salmon man!!! Any tips on fishing for l and s bass in California, specifically the russian river……poppers??

  4. We typically use leaders that are about 7'6" long and taper to 1X or 2X depending on the size of the fly. The thick end of the leader connects to the fly line. This helps the line turn over the fly.

  5. Most of these streams in East Tennesse are relatively easy to access from a road but there are some that require hikes. A few are large enough to float, but those are mostly large rivers with a completely different look and feel.

  6. It's usually easier to use a fly that has a weed guard. That's a piece of heavy monofilament that extends from the hook eyes to the hook point. Put it on when tying the fly. The mono will keep most snags from the hook point but a fish biting down will easily move it to get hooked.

  7. How accessible is the creek and the surrounding area small mouth streams from the road? Can one go to the water from the road by car (on foot easily) or is it a long hike in? Or must you float it by boat?

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