I find it rewarding and exciting to mentally mark the hot spots of each days fishing and then take advantage of this on my future fishing trips. Knowing where that exceptionally large smallmouth bass lived on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River close to Edinburg, Virginia enabled me to catch the large smallmouth bass several times over the years. The upper section of Lemar with the big boulders below the last bridge always produce several large cutthroats. And the most productive area on the Outer Banks for sea trout was twenty four power poles North of Buxton in the Sound.
The large smallmouth bass become very wary when the rivers get low late in the season. Fortunately the aquatic grassbeds provide us excellent cover. I like to fish across the small grassbeds or wade upstream through the large grassbeds and fish around the outside edges with surface bugs. You can easily catch many large bass using this tactic.
When the smallmouth rivers get low late in the season you can often prevent scaring the wary bass by making long casts. Keeping your fly line cleaned and dressed will enable you to shoot long casts. Another trick I use is to keep my fly rod clean and dress it with fly line dressing and rub it down. These steps will enable you to shoot much longer casts and catch those wary bass.
In the winter you spot trout rising to feed on the surface. The insects are very small but you finally catch one so you can match it. You are not real good at entomology and you don’t know if its an olive mayfly or a midge but you know the angling tactics are different. Simple. If it has a tail its a mayfly, if not its a midge.