Roberts Drake Fly For Smallmouth

In the midwest, and especially Michigan, the Roberts Drake fly is excellent for smallmouth while may flies are hatching out.

In sizes 10-12 (and occasionally 14), the artificial fly we call the Roberts drake is a superb match for the real mayfly we know as Ephemera simulans, which will be popping off Michigan rivers in the late evening for the next two or three weeks.

But tied in 16 and 18, it’s also a good match for many of the smaller yellow-bodied flies in the sulfur group, and in 6 and 8 it works about as well as anything for the big Hexagenia mayflies that will start hatching around mid-June.

The biggest mistake people seem to make about brown drakes isn’t the fly pattern, but timing. Many anglers don’t seem to understand that when they’re getting out of the water about 8 p.m., they really should just be starting to fish.  The nymphs come to the surface like tiny submarine missiles, pop through the film, climb out of their shucks in a couple of seconds and head for the trees, where they’ll spend the next day or two before returning to the river to lay eggs and die.

A No. 12 is my favorite dry fly for smallmouth bass on rivers, where you’ll usually find them holding in the same places trout would hold in a cooler stream. Original story here

The Roberts Drake fly was named after Clarence Roberts, a Michigan conservation officer described as:

… an embodiment of what a conservation officer should be. He worked hard at his job, and though he was nice, people also respected him as an enforcer, and above all he had a reputation as a CO who adhered doggedly to the rules.

Roberts developed his Roberts Drake to match the yellow-bodied mayflies on his home waters around Grayling—the South Branch of the Au Sable River was his favorite. Source

If you would like to learn how to to tie this fly for awesome smallmouth fly fishing action, watch the video below and check out this link: click here

Tying the Roberts Drake fly



I hope this article is helpful to you!  The Roberts Drake fly is a great fly to go to when the mayflies are hatching.  Be sure to read Eric Sharp’s article above by clicking on the link for a real in depth guide to using this fly.

If you don’t tie your own flies, here is an excellent selection of flies from Cabela’s: click here

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