If you're looking for
smallmouth during the
summer months,
riffles are a good place
to start. Above, below
and in these river  
areas are where
smallmouth "hang
out". Smallmouth
frequent these areas
for two reasons. Food
and oxygen. The water
at a riffle is
concentrated into a
shallow ribbon which
makes it much easier
for smallmouth to
catch their prey. They
like to work at the
leading edge of a riffle
to nab minows and
other aquatic life as
they are swept into the riffle by the faster water. Below the riffle, at the head of the downstream pool,
the same aquatic life concentrates after passing through the turbulent water. Smallmouth at times can
be found working in the riffle itself. Hellgrammites are normally the prey in this area. Water
temperature is often lower and oxygen content is somewhat higher in and below a riffle. During the hot
summer days,  these two factors are critical to a smallmouth survival. Minnow or sculpin patterns work
well above and below a riffle. Hellgrammite, woolly bugger and crayfish patterns are the ticket in the
riffle. Riffles not only give a river character, but also support all sorts of aquatic life. Find a good riffle
and you will find smallmouth, particullary in the summer months.
Photograph By: Carl D. DeFazioP