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Fly fishing for bass

Hi there! Does anybody do any fly fishing for bass? I'm thinking about taking fly fishing lessons, and where I live the closest trout pond is a couple hours away. I'm thinking about targeting bass with a fly rod.

As my name suggests I LOVE wacky rigging, but I'm always looking for a new method to catch bass, largemouth and small.

Grayson Everett


  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
    Flies work very well for bass - particularly at dawn or dusk when the wind dies down with popping bugs.... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,422 Captain
    edited February 2021 #3

       I enjoy bass fishing enough to travel 2000 miles to do it (smallmouth). Fun is where you find it. Maybe your bass won't get as many likes on instagram as a big brownie, but I'd pity the guy who cares. With bass you're adapting to habitat, I haven't found them to be too particular about the fly. Cover water, explore, and take notes. Every body of water has it's own challenges. I will say that a black EP minnow with blue flash seems to be pretty irresistible no matter where I fish.
  • troutbomtroutbom Posts: 421 Deckhand
    Like Bob said, they like poppers
  • nowinchattnowinchatt Posts: 147 Deckhand
    In Tennessee, we fish poppers with a dropper fly usually around 2-3 ' behind. Catches everything. We keep the boat moving slowly, only stopping when something big is hooked up
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,712 Captain
    Poppers and wooly buggers are  2 good bass flies.  One for surface and one for sub surface.
  • Amelia_BelliAmelia_Belli Posts: 11 Deckhand
    edited November 2021 #7
    Finding bass in any body of water is a matter of learning to recognize the different types of cover and structure where they like to rest and feed. Underwater or above water cover such as weeds, woody debris, docks, and even shade can all attract bass. Structure such as rock piles, points, drop offs, and channels are also important to bass, especially if any of the previously mentioned types of cover are present as well. Learning to locate and fish these different types of cover and structure effectively takes time and experience, but it will pay off with big bass on the end of your line.

    Bass are an aggressive fighter and must be approached differently than a trout when using fly tackle. Anglers not used to bass, or not used to fly fishing, may have a hard time hooking and landing them, especially when fishing around the heavy cover where they live. This section will discuss the fighting methods that help fly anglers hook the fish, keep them on the line, and bring more of them to hand.

    Developing a good hook set is paramount if you want to catch bass on a fly rod. Bass have big mouths and hard, bony jaws that make them tough to hook with long, limber fly rods. Instead of lifting the rod to set the hook, as is common with conventional bass fishing, fly fishers use a technique called the strip set to achieve the power needed to penetrate the bass’ bony jaw.

    When you feel or see a strike, give a hard, long pull on the fly line with the rod tip pointed right at the fish. The direct connection will give you the most possible power on your hook set and will work much better than using the soft spongy tip of the fly rod. It may be necessary to follow up with one or two more pulls to make sure the hook is firmly seated.

    Fishing is Love
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
    edited November 2021 #8
    Well said... and once you've been tossing flies at bass for a while... if you can, come down to the Everglades where we use those exact same tactics on snook, redfish, speckled trout - and, of course tarpon... That same rod you use for bass will be a fine start in the backcountry... Making the transition from sweetwater to salt or brackish water is a lot easier than most would think.

    Anyone wanting a brochure... send an email request to [email protected] - you'll get a brochure by return mail... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • gatornaish15gatornaish15 Posts: 1 Greenhorn
    edited December 2021 #9
    First, I'd recommend a six or seven-weight. Gurglers are going to be easier to cast than poppers and have the same action. Also, anything with a malibu or zonker tail works.
  • ItsnotluckItsnotluck Posts: 8 Deckhand
    Here in Canada I target Big Smallie's on Lake Erie out of my Hobie Proangler, also in the local river...
    Smallie hunting is my number one pursuit I've probably caught thousands in my life..If I went to a one fly contest for Smallmouth it would be a ribbit strip leech with rubber legs.A wooly **** variation with rubber legs is good to.Followed by Sculpins,Rabbit tail HalfNHalf,Crayfish.All of these work.Rubber legs are your friend put them in everything except for minnow patterns.My Sculpin patterns now have rubber pectoral fins in them.These pictures are rather poor...Sorry don't know how resize them.. 

  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
    Funny thing... all  of those patterns for smallies would work just fine down here in south Florida - but you'd need a bit larger and stronger hook.... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • ItsnotluckItsnotluck Posts: 8 Deckhand
    I would have to agree with you Bob.When I come go back to Sanibel beach I intend to take a scaled down version of the rabbit tail HalfNHalf with me.Here's a beat up version of the Sculpin with rubber pectorals....Here is the link to the fly idea with rubber pectoral fins..I try to put a little bit of rubber in most of my bass flys now.Given that most Bass water here is heavily pressured now,I have downsized my flys over the years.A small black rabbit zonker with rubber legs is the deadliest stealth pattern..or tied as a wooly b*gger..Dark purple is also a go to colour...
    I would really love to take a shot at Florida Largies but love the beach fishing too much.Fla. lakes would be perfect for fly fishing they are mostly shallow.

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