Location: Alice Springs, AUS, but I call call CO my home.
Fly for Large Mouth Bass
I love to fly fish. My brother loves to Bass Fish. One very successful technique he has is to surface float a 3-4 inch plastic (worm, shad, lizard, etc), pretty much playing it over cover as one would do a floating Rapala. I would like to replicate that in a fly. Why? Because I think the fight would be a LOT more fun on a fly rod. Any ideas? Forget zonkers, too heavy. I go light. Looking for something that is 3-4 inches long that I can cast with a 7 weight (could go 8) that will squrm in (not on) the surface film. Recognize I will have to probably go to a #4 tippit vice the #7 I use for trout.
I don't know what a floating rapala is.... I can tell you that there are tons of top water (both on and in the surface film) Flies for Bass that will give a great strike as well as a good fight. One of my favorites is a hopper pattern. There are plenty of mouse patterns out there-- the moorish mouse seems to be the most castable. Then there are the frog patterns.
I tie a 'dying minnow' imitation that acts much like a slider/ diver but is much easier than stacking all that deer hair-- I use a marabou tail, and take buck-tail, make a 'bullet head', and let the length of the hair be a 'collar' that extends further back than a regular collar. pm me for a pic, if interested. The hair will keep it fairly high in the water, but not right on top-- except for the pause-- it will rise to the surface. strip it and it flails and dives-- pause, it suspends, then rises.... repeat.
Of course any and all of the deer hair bugs (poppers, sliders, divers, etc.) will be fun top water work.
Have fun and be creative-- Bass like lots of movement, and noise on top.
I used a #10 Wooly Bugger to catch this (perhaps the most posted pic on this site ):
Wooly Buggers do really well with any species of fish, and I was using a 9' 5wt with a 9' 4X leader that day. If you tie the Wooly Bugger without weight, it'll float. In fact, when I use rooster hackle and lightly weight buggers, they can float all day. This particular bugger was weighted enough to fish in just a couple feet of water, and you can see the little fly in this picture:
Wiggling/articulated buggers should be easy enough to tie, although I've never done it. Leaving the tail off the lead bugger section should result in a fairly nice fly. If you haven't seen articulated flies, go to YouTube or Google. They look pretty nice, but as I said I've never tied one.
If you tie that fly without any weighted eyes on the lead hook, and a little bit of weight on the trailing hook, it should ride the way you described. Using
rooster hackle on the lead hook should guarantee that the lead hook stays on the top, or really close to it. I know that the lightly weighted buggers I tied with rooster hackle have to be yanked under, and they float like a cork again after each cast, so that might be something to consider.
P.S. The hook bend on the lead hook does get cut off in the final few seconds of the video.
PPS: The Dalhberg Diver Dan posted works really well for what you described: the rear is meant to hang lower than the head. It's not articulated, so I thought I add my 2 cents.
I'm home right now, and tied a couple of QUICK articulated Wooly Buggers. The second has much better hackle proportions than the first, but they were both tied much too quickly. A job worth doing is worth doing right. I wish I could remember that....
#10 streamer hook, and around 15 turns of .015" tin wire:
Zonker Strip Tail:
25# Leader passed through the trailing hook's eye, and then tied to the leading hook shank. After winding thread to the eye, the mono was folded over itself and wrapped for extra holding power:
Finished Fly before cutting the bend off the leading hook:
Second Fly with better hackle proportions (maybe):
EDIT In the spirit of doing things right, I tied a nice one. It only took a couple minutes longer, has bead chain eyes and an ice dub collar. I even used some gold wire to counterwrap the hackle (a step I usually skip):
These things only take about twice as long as a regular Wooly Bugger, and look like that should be really effective. Since these were all tied with some really stiff saddle hackle, I know they'll float until pulled under: they've done it before, even with the bead chain eyes. While looking at the fly here, I realize that I should have used a lighter thread for the head of the trailing fly. Just another excuse to tie more....