I have some Deer Hair and hard body bass flies but I've never used any subsurface flies. One reads about several different types in books/magazines but I'd like to know what some of you rely on day in and day out, the pattern, color, size, etc. and what size bass they take? Most of the bass in my area are 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds and right now on the deer hair a thumb nail body size seems about right. Thanks.
I seldom use anything other than poppers or grasshopper imitations when I fish for bass. However, depending on the water, I will on occassion use a small crawdad (blacks, browns or grays) usually no smaller than a size 10. Normally, I am in a rocky creek, but I have had success in farm ponds and lakes. Get the ones that have the hook looking up. Otherwise they tend to hang up on the bottom. I think I still have one or two with a weed guard and they work well also. Obviously, when using them I use a sinking tip line and leader. I've tried various streamers, but have not had much luck with them.
Most large mouth bass I find in ponds are in the two to three pound size. If I remember correctly the largest one I've ever caught on a crawdad was pushing four pounds.
The smallies are in the creeks and a two pounder is as big as they normally get. Due to over fishing I have not been to those creeks in a long time.
I donít fish a lot for bass as often as Iíd like- not many opportunities around here, so some of the experts may have better suggestions. But Iíd try and cover different layers of the water column, and try and match the natural baits in your water- at least for some of the patterns. As far as sizes go, Iíd try and cover a range of sizes, up to the largest you can comfortably throw with your rod. Typical bass sizes would be 8-1/0, mostly I throw 6 and 4 with 6 weights, and 4-2 with 8 weights, (occasionally up to 1/0 with an 8) . You couldnít go wrong with balck white and chartreuse , but Iíd try and mix up the colors a bit, with some additional stuff in yellow olive and brown
Top water (donít know if color matters too much)
Deer Hair Bass Bugs
Dahlberg Diver- a great fly to fish like a floating Rapala, twitches will pull it under, stop and let it pop to the surface. Yellow, olive or natural
Suspending- mid depth
Marabou Muddler- it pushes a lot of water, and has tons of action. (My favorite is black size 6 or 4 for bass but white and yellow work well too for bass)
Leftyís Deceiver or similar baitfish pattern - white if you have shad, red over yellow is a good attractor color, chartreuse id you fish in a lot of stained water. I like these better than EP type flies since theyíre a bit easier to cast and tend not to get mangled after a fish or two.
Deep water- depends on depth of water as to how heavily weighted
Pig boat- black- This looks just like a rubber skirt bass Jig.
Lead eyed rabbit strip fly- Donít know the proper name for it, but itís basically a rabbit strip tied Zonker Style with a X-cut rabbit strip collar and lead eyes to take it deep. My favorite colors are black with purple collar, white with grizzly (rabbit) collar and natural (brownish/tan) with grizzly rabbit collar. These can be a pain to cast when wet, and is more of a chuck n duck, but can be very effective.
For subsurface for bass, I tend to stick with bead/cone-head buggers, clousers, and various rabbit strip patterns. For the latter, boufaces, slump busters, meat whistles, double bunnys, and redneck rabbits all produce. For clousers I like chartreuse and white or light blue and white, for the others, olive, black, grey or white.
BigCliff: If I am not on the surface then I think what I would want is sort of a bunny pattern with a long tail that was more subsurface- say about 1' -2' below the surface and would suspend and very slowly retrieved along a weed line, etc. Any particular favorite type flies of that description? pattern, color, size? Thanks.
Location: Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border
Re: Basic assortment of bass Flies
I fish Smallmouth alot. If I was limited to 4 flies for the rest of my life they would be the Clouser Minnow, Marabou leach, Crayfish pattern, and the Funny Bunny Emerald Shiner. The Funny Bunny Emerald Shiner is actually a Steelhead fly, but I have nailed about a metric ton O' smallies with it.