Smallmouth on the Fly: Targeting Smallmouth Bass the Various Seasons and Tactics for Fly Fishing Enthusiasts with Matt Reilly | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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Your host Christian Bacasa delves into the realm of smallmouth fly fishing with expert guide Matt Reilly from Southwest Virginia. Matt's profound connection with nature, his passion for smallmouth fishing, and his journey from a curious child to a skilled angler make for an intriguing narrative. This blog encapsulates Matt's unique insights and experiences, offering a window into the art and science of fly fishing.

Part 1: Childhood Beginnings and Lifelong Passion

Matt Reilly's journey into fly fishing began in his childhood, with his father introducing him to the joys of angling. His early days by the farm ponds and tributaries of the James River were filled with adventures and discoveries. Matt fondly recalls his early days of independence, exploring the waters on his own and honing his skills with a fly rod and building a pension for smallmouth.


Part 2: Nurturing a Love for Fishing and Rod Crafting

Fly fishing is not just a sport for Matt, it's a cherished bond he shares with his father. Their joint venture, Riley Rod Crafters, is a testament to their shared passion for fishing and craftsmanship. Matt's journey to becoming a full-time guide, influenced by mentors like Chuck Craft, is a heartwarming story of pursuing one's passion against all odds. Now he owns and operates a guide service that focuses on smallmouth but has plenty other offerings.

Part 3: Exploring the Depths of Electrofishing

Matt's scientific curiosity leads him to explore electrofishing, a technique that offers a deeper understanding of fish behavior and river habitats. His experiences provide a unique perspective on the patterns and habits of different fish species, enhancing his angling intuition and strategy.



Part 4: Mastering the Art of Smallmouth Fishing

In the podcast, Matt shares his expertise in smallmouth fishing, discussing the significance of understanding different water types and fishing techniques. He offers valuable insights into the best approaches for different seasons and water conditions, enhancing the fishing experience for enthusiasts.

Part 5: Seasonal Strategies for Smallmouth Fishing

Matt delves into the nuances of fishing in various seasons, from the early spring to the heat of summer. His detailed strategies for each season showcase his deep understanding of fish behavior and how to adapt tactics to maximize success.



Part 6: Floating, Wading, and the Skill of Rowing when Smallmouth Fly Fishing

In this segment, Matt emphasizes the advantages of floating over wading for smallmouth bass fishing. He discusses the critical role of a skilled rower in positioning anglers for success and shares his preferences for top water bugs over poppers during summer fishing.Part 7: Insights from a Fly Fishing Expert

Matt Reilly’s extensive experience in fly fishing for smallmouth bass is evident in his detailed discussion of techniques and equipment. From choosing the right rod and line to the art of hook setting, Matt’s insights offer a comprehensive guide for anglers looking to improve their skills.


Matt Reilly's journey in fly fishing is a blend of scientific inquiry, passion, and a deep connection with nature. His stories and expertise offer valuable lessons and inspiration for both novice and seasoned anglers. For those seeking to explore the rich world of fly fishing, Matt's insights and experiences, as shared on the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast, are a treasure trove of knowledge.

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Christian Bacasa, Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

By Christian Bacasa
Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast
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