Autumn is a time of movement for riverine smallmouth bass. This migration may be a relatively short distance or many miles, and while the largest percentage of bass move downstream, a significant number migrate upstream. Their purpose is to locate suitably deep water in which to spend the winter. During the period of migration, the fish are scattered and difficult to locate. Armed with a 5wt rod, I walked along a steep bank above the river, looking for smallmouths. Most of the time, the only indication of bass presence is a flash of movement or the sight of a shadow. My reconnaissance failed to locate a single smallmouth, so I retraced my steps to the parking lot, exchanged the 5wt rod for a 2wt, and attached a size-12 soft hackle to a 5X tippet. Shaded, still pockets and slow eddys held brilliantly colored Longear Sunfish resplendent in bright orange flecked in turquoise. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the Longear Sunfish gets my vote for freshwater’s most beautiful fish. Despite their lack of size, they hit aggressively and fight hard on light tackle. The action continued until an unchecked, and obviously weakened tippet allowed one of these beauties to confiscate the fly. I reeled in the line and leader and waded back to the parking area in darkness.