Over the 4th of July weekend, the BassWife and I headed down to Smith Mountain Lake for the fireworks and the fishing. We only had a few hours to fish on the way, so we pulled off at the Hardy boat launch and plopped the basscanoe into the water.
The launch is nice – there is plenty of room and plenty of parking. With all the gear I end up putting into the canoe – depth finder, etc – it just seems like it always takes a long time. Maybe it is just the anticipation of getting into a good fish.
We motored out of the ramp area and turned to the southwest. Since the wind was blowing to the east, I headed the canoe all the way up so we could blow back down the cliff face we wanted to fish. This also made it a lot easier to keep from hooking the BassWife with my fly. This was the second or third time I worked a fly out of the canoe and was still getting the hang of it. It’s tough to work the line from a seated cockeyed position with the handle of the trolling motor poking my back and just waiting to tangle the line.
I started to get hits right away on the ant and hoppers I used. Every bluegill in the lake was lined up and they each took turns slurping it in. As we drifted past a large boulder, there was a huge swirl and slopping right under the hopper. In panic, I pulled to set the hook far, far to early. That was the only hint we had of the big bass that live in this lake.
This section was pretty good for the canoe. There was not a lot of large powerboat traffic kicking up huge waves that threatened to swamp the boat. Plenty of skidoo guys, but they tended to stay in the middle of the channel to do whatever it is they like to do on those things… just tear around.
We only saw two other boats fishing where we were, but I suspect that many others had headed either farther north or south as the parking lot was about half full. You can only go so far at 3.4 miles per hour – so we were limited in our range.
Talking to the guys on the dock and hanging around, yielded the info that this was a productive area and that they fished it often
On the spin gear, we were working frogs, crankbaits and plastic worms. No hits.
Getting There: It’s easy to find. Mapquest your way to Hardy, VA (which is southeast of Roanoke). You have to follow Hardy Rd (635) from Roanoke to get to Hardy. If you just keep heading south, you will cross the bridge. The boat launch is to the right prior to crossing the bridge.
Bottom Line: I would come back to here
Nice cliff face with plenty of structure hanging down to the water
Looking upstream where we turned around
Looking downstream from the center of the channel out from the boat launch
Boat launch area
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore