Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass on Midwest Waters: Re-Discover Your Region #7

If you’ve been watching our videos, you likely picked up on a theme – I like fishing for wild fish and go out of my way to pursue them. If the species is native to the drainage – that’s even better. From where we live here in Buffalo, NY to the western edges of the Midwest, one predator dominates the warm water rivers through numbers and voracious feeding habits. That fish is the smallmouth bass. (Note: read that statement again, carefully before you attack me with comments like, “Dude, what the F&*K are you taking about? Musky are the king!” Again, re-read the claim.)

Why Smalljaws?

Smallmouth Bass, smallies, smalljaws, etc. are my favorite fish. Many people ask me why I travel all over the place to catch them when huge specimens are in my backyard in big numbers. Well…I love these fish – perhaps irrationally – but that’s a sure sign that passion is involved. They look a little different everywhere I go. Every drainage where smallmouth bass has distinct characteristics. Topography, gradient, substrate, forage base, biomass, the list goes on. All these variances lead to distinguishable angling tactics. My hope is that learning some of them well help make me a better angler.

Love these guys! Everywhere I find them

Love that Dorsal Pop!

What Sets the Profession of Guiding Apart

On the journey home from every fishing trip, I tend to reflect on what just transpired over the past couple days. When I think about it, what ends up sticking with me the most are the relationships that are built through time on the water. Guiding is the only profession I can think of that puts a group of complete strangers together in an intimate setting, with little to no escape options, for an entire day. That’s kind of daunting when you think about it. However, in my experience, it rarely works out poorly.

Why Midwest Waters Angling Company?

Now, Mike Allen and Kurt Nelson were not complete strangers to me. I met them briefly at the 2016 Hardly Strictly Musky tournament. We didn’t hang out or anything – just said what’s up and went about our way. Shortly after that, I began following Mike and Kurt’s guide service, Midwest Waters Angling Company, via their social media outlets. I saw that they were catching smalljaws on small rivers and many of them were big. I also noticed that they were based in Illinois – near Chicago. Since it’s a personal goal to catch a fish in all 50 states on the fly and IL didn’t have a chalk mark next to it – I had to go.  Kurt and Mike did not disappoint!

Gar on the Fly – Sick!

We were only an hour away from this – downtown Chicago

Cheers to Midwest Waters and Another Good Shoot

Enjoy the Video and Please Share!

I’ll let the video speak for itself. Just know before clicking that there will be plenty of fish porn and amazing scenery. However, take note of the dialogue and the personalities at play. That’s the undercurrent of every one of our videos and Midwest Water Angling Company is no different.  They have their own brand – playful and professional.  Entertainers when the action is slow and laser focused when the action is hot.  Passionate through and through. Enjoy!

Big Thank You Goes out to

Colton Wright – for producing this.  Even though it took forever!

Kurt Nelson and Mike Allen (http://www.midwestwaters.com) – for hosting us and being professionals.  Click their names to go to their site.  Here are their social media outlets:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MWatersanglingco/
Instagram: @Midwest_waters_angling_co

Mike Davis – I’m not saying you’re the best oarsman out there but…

Penrose Brewing – (http://penrosebrewing.com/)for hosting us


Because we’ve completed 8, Re-Discover Your Region Episodes, more and more people are getting exposed to our content and the response seems to be positive. A few people have asked me how we choose who we will feature or where we are going to go. It’s not a science or anything but it needs to be some combination of these factors:

1. We know you, enjoy spending time with you, respect your knowledge, and believe we have much to learn from you.
2. You’re a new guide, like us, and are going through the pains of starting your business and trying to break into this small industry.
3. We’ve never been to your state and want to chalk it up (of course you have to have some sort of portfolio that leads us to believe you know your fishery and can put us on fish)

Look at who we’ve featured so far and who’s on the docket for the rest of the year (Chris Willen and a musky collabo we’re developing) – I think you’ll see every episode fits at least one of these criteria.
If you’re interested in a collabo, don’t hesitate to contact us. Click here to see all the places we’ve been. If there’s a gap, help us fill it!

Penrose Brewing – (http://penrosebrewing.com/)for hosting us