If you are a fly fisherman, then you have fished surface poppers and landed fish using them. There are times when the popper isn't as productive as you've like for it to be, today was one of those days. A lot of factors always affects the fish bite on a big lake like Smith. Falling water, clear blue skies, heavy rains off and on for the past week can put a dent in how the fish will react to any lure presented their way. When conditions get tough then one has to experiment and work harder for the bite, weather you are fishing warm waters or cold waters.
I started the morning at daybreak fishing silk smooth water, perfect for popper action. The rock walls wouldn't give up the quality spots or bluegills this morning using the size 4 Boogle Bug, neither would the Barr Nunn popper produce. As I worked the walls I encountered sticky humid conditions so bad that the seats in the boat were moist. Thank goodness the humid conditions improved some after sunrise.
I retired the poppers after an hour of landing a couple of small gills; when I say small I mean the kind you could actually false cast with. Lucky I had my 5 weight spooled with the sink tip line that I hadn't used since 2015. I like to fish a short leader when casting the sink tip usually 6 ½ to 7 ft. I've found that I can control the cast better and get a little more distance using the shorter leader.
The black gnat tied to the short leader was the fly that got the most action during the 3 hour trip. Four nice gills like this gem produced 16 fillets giving Cathey and I a delicious meal mixed with a green salad and sweet tea.