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  1. #1

    Default New to fly fishing for bass

    Might seem like an obvious question to most, but being new to fly fishing and bass I'm wondering what you flies you're using and the method. I've caught my share of sunnies but would really like to hook up with a nice large mouth. Any tips you guys can provide would be appreciated. My roll casting is improving but definitely needs more work.

  2. Default Re: New to fly fishing for bass

    bass will hit almost anyhting. Best bet is good size streamers or poppers. Black wooly bugger size 6 works great. You can either dead drift it or cast down and across and give it a little movement stripping in line. As for poppers cast them out, let them sit there until the ripples disapear then give it a nice quick strip to make it pop and pause for a few seconds and repeat.

  3. Likes mcnerney liked this post
  4. #3

    Default Re: New to fly fishing for bass

    Quote Originally Posted by defishing View Post
    Might seem like an obvious question to most, but being new to fly fishing and bass I'm wondering what you flies you're using and the method. I've caught my share of sunnies but would really like to hook up with a nice large mouth. Any tips you guys can provide would be appreciated. My roll casting is improving but definitely needs more work.
    early in the morning, use the popper fly! you'll like it when they start attacking your popper! I think you can find information about bass 34 pages in this forum...
    "Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have at work on it, and man can only mar it." Theodore Roosevelt
    "Live with your eyes open, you might notice something and you will have the opportunity to share it with the world." Argail

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    sycamore, illinois
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: New to fly fishing for bass

    slow strip a frog pattern through lily pads....or black wooly bugger on the bottom.
    good luck


  6. #5

    Default Re: New to fly fishing for bass

    Thanks guys...heavy rains have messed things up for this weekend, but I'll give all of these a try...hopefully have a few pictures of the results.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)

    Default Re: New to fly fishing for bass

    Defishing, I see you're in Dover, so am guessing you're either fishing the local ponds or some of the tidal rivers here in MD. (Or perhaps the Nanticoke near Seaford). I've been fly fishing for bass for a long time, and the one thing that got me to catching some decent fish was to change my mind set. This of course will depend on the rod weight you have. I started with a fiberglass 8 wt, which was a better size for bass than the panfish I caught near home.

    If you look at the majority of lures intended for bass, they're in the 3" to 5" size range. There are longer, particularly with plastic worms, but most fall into that range. If you're going to use flies, then use something of a size that will interest the bass. My first times fishing for bass was with smaller size flies, because that's what I had been using for panfish, and with success. I also caught some bass, but they were all 12" or less.

    No offense to what the others have posted, as smaller flies will work on bass too, but a size 6 Woolly Bugger IMO is a panfish fly. If you have a rod that can cast a 2, 1 or 1/0 size fly, then that's what you should be using. Flies in that 3 to 5" range are what you need to be using.

    As near as I can remember, the first larger bass I caught on a big fly was about 2 1/2 lbs. Much larger than the dinks I had caught previously. I was using a yellow & red Seaducer, tied on about a size 1 or 1/0 hook and about 3 to 3 1/2 inches long. That sealed the deal for me, and I've been using big flies for bass ever since. I still use some smaller flies, as there will always be times & places that it's necessary, but most times bigger is better.

    However, I also learned very early that stealth & presentation are as or more important than the fly size. Flail & flog the water & you're not likely to catch much, except perhaps with luck a few panfish or dink bass. Larger bass do not get to be larger by being careless. Don't rely on luck. So, work on your casting technique & learn to cast those flies so that you make as little disturbance as possible. Bass are not trout, and don't require delicate presentation, but they can be spooked by careless casting.

    Stealth is something I do as much as practical, often even to the point of wearing camo when targeting bass. From a boat or other watercraft it's not as much of an issue, but I've experienced enough situations where I know I alerted the bass to my presence & caught nothing, even though I knew they were there.

    If you fish from shore, wear clothing that helps you blend in with the background, and when casting do so with purpose. Make every cast count. Learn to cast accurately so you can place the fly on target the first time. Often, repeated casts to a likely spot is necessary to get a bass to take the fly, but that's mostly because they may be reluctant to move far or are not seeing the fly. So accurate casting is important. Beating the water is not good for productive bass fishing. Repeated, purposeful & accurate casting can be important. There is a difference.

    As far as fly patterns for bass, there are many good ones. Use something that imitates prey in the waters you're fishing. That's a good place to start. Bass are not often particular, so colors are not usually important, but you will find there will be certain colors that will work better than others. In the 50 years I've been fishing, I've caught more fish on 3 colors (flies & lures) than anything else. White, Black & Chartreuse. I use other colors too, but these 3 have been the most productive.

    I'm quite old school & use Deceivers, Seaducers, Clouser Minnows, Half & Half's, Murdich Minnows, and some rabbit strip flies for much of the bass fishing I do. I also like big poppers & sliders, and Gurglers. I tie many of the flies I use and often they're tied on 1/0 to 3/0 size straight shank worm hooks, even the topwater flies so they're in the 3" to 6" length range.

    However, I also use an 8, 9 or 10 wt rod, so if you're outfit is lighter, then you'll need to scale the fly sizes to best fit the rod you use. I've fished for bass quite a bit with a 6 wt too, but the bigger you go with fly sizes, the heavier the rod that's needed for practical & efficient casting.

    Check out the various other posts on the subject as argail has suggested. There is a ton of information already posted that should help you gain further knowledge.

    I live near Annapolis, but most of the fishing I do is in the tidal rivers on MD's eastern shore. Perhaps we can get together sometime & chase some bass. I have a Gheenoe that is awesome for those shallow rivers & creeks.

    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  8. #7

    Default Re: New to fly fishing for bass

    i live in the same area as bigjim and fish some of the same waters he does and i agree with what hes saying. to build on that I think it allso depends on the waters you fish. on some farm ponds i fish and in clear water smaller flies seem to catch decent size bass. BUT as the cover gets heavier and the water gets bigger the flies need to get larger. probably just has to do with the size of the prey the fish are used to seeing. if a bass can eat a 3 or 4 inch crayfish or minnow he will compared to a 1.5 inch one if that size prey is available. also like jim said concentrate on presentation and location more than color etc. bass are opportunistic. if your fly is presented well where the bass are it probably wont matter what it imitates or the color if you get it in front of a feeding fish and it looks edible he will eat it.

  9. Default Re: New to fly fishing for bass

    Between a Clouser and most any kind of popper you should be able to catch all the bass you want.

    Seaducers are good if you want something weightless.

  10. Default Re: New to fly fishing for bass

    I would be inclined to agree with the big fly big fish. However the truth is that a bass is an opportunist and will take mayfly as fast as a shad if presented well. They can be selective and spooky but I would say that if your casting is accurate and you are able to read cover then you will catch fish.

    All of the flies mentioned will work as will the techniques. Just put in your time and you'll develop your own routine.

    You can't go wrong with a clouser though.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Brookline, MA

    Default Re: New to fly fishing for bass

    Here's the real truth, most people make bass out to be WAY more complicated than they are. Yes, some flies do work better, especially at certain times, but most common flies will perform decent every day of the week.

    For instance, just a few woolly buggers in 2 colors and sizes could get you through the entire year successfully. If you want a big assortment, get some frog poppers, clousers, mice, and crayfish.

    Understanding the retrieve and fishing style of any fly is simply a matter of understanding what it's trying to imitate. Mice usually come out around dusk, so they work best during that time. Crayfish generally take a few quick dashes then sink back to the bottom to rest. Frogs swim by cover and vegetation, and are rarely found swimming across open water.

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