Pools or Runs are the lifeblood of the smallmouth bass. These features occur between two
riffles and can be several feet to several hundred yards long . They are normally the
deepest section of the river. Generally the center section of the pool is deepest and slopes
upward to both banks. This is if the pool runs straight. If a turn exists in the pool the
outside bend is deepest and the inside bend is more shallow. Smallmouth call pools home.
This is usually where they  begin their day.  In the summer months they will migrate from
the deeper sections of the pool to grass beds, cut banks, riffles  or other more shallow
structue to feed. This usually takes place in lower light conditions,
but not always. If deep
rooted  grass or weeds are present in the center of the pool, smallies may spend much time
cruising these areas. Where ever bait or food exist in plentiful amounts, that's where
along the edges of weedbeds. The minnows
are also  there hunting. When water levels
rise, the weedbeds become flooded to varying
degrees. When this happens, smallmouth
move into the weedbeds to feed. The photo to
the left is a good example of a flooded
weedbed on the South Branch River.  My pal
David and I were fishing this evening. I was
on this side of the river and David the far
side. Smallies were difficult to catch this
evening with the flyrod because the weedbeds
were flooded and the smallmouth were not
on the outer edge but inside the weed line.
David began hollering " fire in the hole". His
way of saying, " Pardon me Carl, I've caught
a fish".
David proceeded to take six fish from one
area. The weeds were a little less flooded on his side and the bass
were at the edge of the weedline. By the way, he refused to trade
sides.  The beautiful Damsel Flies were zipping around all over
these weedbeds. I honestly just missed getting a picture of a
smallmouth taking a Damsel in mid-air. Smallmouth love to feed
on these blue beauties. Sort of a shame but " mother nature
knows best".  River pools are indeed the lifeblood of the river.
Weedbeds along the pools support a tremendous amount of life.
Smallmouth visit these special areas frequently. Please, if you
have a river lot, don't mow this unique river feature. The
destruction of this valuable habitat has a negative effect on
smallmouth populations.  Fishermen would be wise spending
some time learning the nature of weedbeds and what flies to cast.
A minnow imitation, beetle, hopper or Damsel Fly may not be a
bad choice.
smallmouth will be. Most pools will have weedbeds at river's edge. Weedbeds are alive with insects,
minnows and all sorts of aquatic life. Damsel Flies, Dragon Flies, Mayflies, Caddis and Stoneflies, bugs
and beetles all thrive in weedbeds. Smallmouth bass have an easy time finding a meal. Most of the time
smallies will cruise the outer edge of weedbeds where a slight increase in water depth occurs. They lay in
wait for food to stray from the safety of the weeds. Often smallmouth can be seen chasing minnows
Photographs by: Carl D. DeFazio