Shuffling Off To The Buffalo

Dan, I recently began fishing for smallmouth bass in warm water rivers (Buffalo, Duck, Harpeth, et cetera) in middle Tennessee from a kayak. I am looking for a guide to give me some pointers on the Buffalo River. Do you know of anybody who guides on the Buffalo? Of course, I am willing to fish from a canoe on a guided trip. Thanks, Lynn

I have fished the Buffalo, Harpeth and Duck rivers for many decades. One advantage to the Buffalo is that it gets so much boat traffic (canoes and kayaks), that there are few anglers. While floating the river can be productive, I actually prefer to park my ‘yak’ , or canoe at good places along the river, and ‘wet’ wade. I fly fish, most of the time. The Buffalo is a smaller, intimate type of river, much like the Conasauga and Jacks rivers in N. Georgia. It is very scenic, and has good populations of smallmouth bass, but for some reason, they tend to run small. I prefer to use an 8′ W5F rod with W5F line. I use a 9′ leader with a six pound tippet. One of my best tactics for the Buffalo is to dead-drift a streamer, just like I would a nympth for trout. I cast up and across, or down and across, and mend the line as needed. Then, I strip retrieve the streamer all the way across. Cast into pockets, woody cover, shallow riffles with fast water, and slow, deep pools. Use weighted flies that will sink quickly to get to the basses level, near the bottom. My best success has been with Clouser Minnows, Woolley-Buggers and Crawfish patterns of flies. I am not aware of any full-time guides that operate along the Buffalo, but for license, guide service, and other information , contact: Game Fair, Ltd., Nashville, TN. at phone 615 353-0602,

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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