fly fishing for bass

They have a cup design on the front that makes a splash each time you throw them out, and when you tug them back. Here are some final tips to get your going. They sink slowly, so you’ll have to wait a few seconds and use a bit of patience before you start bringing them back. So, the night before you want to fish, the weather forecast is 20 knots, the surf’s all roiled up, and your favorite back bay is going to look like chocolate milk. You should never need to go any longer than nine feet or shorter than five. Ray starts his bass fishing soon after ice-out, relying on bead-head Wooly Buggers and Clousers to get down deep along the edges of drop-offs or near deep holes. He has no problem with using a 5 or 6-weight, but fishes the 8 because of convenience since he often uses the same rod for reds. Streamers are another choice when fly fishing for bass in lakes. Bass sometimes don’t slam the bait. Bass often hit the moment the fly hits the water, so be ready, and in control of the line, keeping slack to a minimum. The go-to gear for bass on fly is simple. More information can be found in Dave Whitlock’s “Fly Fishing for Bass.” This has great instruction on methods, casting, flies, and reading the water. As bass anglers, we love to jerk our rod around like crazy on our retrieval, and every time we feel the smallest nibble. The largemouth bass is the most popular game fish in America. Bass Fly Fishing Tips: When retrieving subsurface flies, watch for side movement or slacking of line, then set the hook. Gurglers are a bit different than poppers because they create the presentation on the ride back to the boat. Great article – are you the same peter barrett that wrote “trolling for blue fish and striped bass”? Thanks Sean! When fly fishing for bass in ponds, you might find that a rubber worm works better than the fly. And, remember, bass always look up, so pop it, and they will come up to grab it.” When fishing subsurface, 6-inch twitches and a few longer strips will usually get the fish’s attention. Whether you’re fishing saltwater or freshwater you need to use certain strategies. It’s also important because you need to match up the right line with the type of fly you’re using. Pausing is good. I find that topwaters work best for bass no matter what I’m doing. For your reel, I would go with a disc drag reel and match the size of it to the size of your rod. Using such a light rod and minimal tackle make these easy options as far as locating and finding the fish, bass in this case. He uses a sinking line in cool water and counts down before starting his retrieve. I use a 50-pound-test mono weed guard to avoid getting snagged around lily pads and in ponds with tall weeds.”, One of Armand’s biggest fly-rod-caught bass was a 24-inch, 8-pound fish. There are many types of fly lines, for bass fishing a weight-forward bass bug taper is a good start. The good news is, you don’t have to follow in my footsteps. How to Install a Fish Finder: Supplies, Location, and Methods, Down Imaging vs. Side Imaging: Differences and Similarities. Bass are opportunistic predators, which means they’ll take advantage of any opportunity that comes their way even if they aren’t feeding. Hanson generally fishes with a 5-weight rod; Grigsby chooses to go a bit heavier with an 8-weight. We fished 8-1/2-foot rods, floating lines with 6-foot, 20-pound leaders and making 40-foot casts.) All Rights Reserved. It may … If you find yourself in a situation where you can barely cast beyond the slop, you’ll want to use these. If I fish, it is usually late in the day near dark. threadfin shad, gizzard shad and blueback herring) that the bass fatten up on in preparation for the cold winter ahead, start migrating into shallower water in search of cooler waters. Toggle menu 218-831-2284 “I hooked a really big fish in a weed patch, but lost it while trying to land it. Patience is important when fly fishing for bass because it might take them a few seconds to sniff out the situation. There are a few quick tips I have when you’re fishing in a river. As water temperatures warm in the summer, surface fly fishing can be excellent in the mornings, late afternoons, and at night along shallow shorelines. Overfishing, Conservation, Sustainability, and Farmed Fish. For this strategy, you’ll want to size up the line and fly a little bit to appeal to the size of largemouth bass you’re trying to find. Dry flies. I’ll be honest, I think fly fishing for bass in the river is hard. Life has certainly changed in a short period of time. Ray Szulczewski of Tide-Runner charters in Cape May. Snakes do, and that’s why I like to use a rabbit strip tail. There are two main routes to the uptake of saltwater fly fishing for bass in the UK, the first is from sea anglers who perhaps wish to try fly fishing along with their lure fishing, and the second is from the freshwater game fishing sector when salmon or trout anglers look to expand their horizons. “Leave the horsepower behind. I have had a few bad experiences with river fishing, and ever since, I’ve stayed away from it. It’s one reason why Courchaine likes his canoe so much. While also having the backbone to tire out some of … These work great when the water is nice and calm. The Llano River is in the heart of Texas in hill country. Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass in Rivers. You need to feel each and every nibble otherwise, you’ll never catch anything. I’d suggest going with a 6 weight fly fishing rod, and don’t worry too much about the specifics on the rod or the brand because almost all of them function the same. Scenes like this one come to mind as would be fly fisherman read L.L. For tournament anglers and enthusiasts alike, a shorter 8wt fly rod offers increased lifting power and pinpoint accuracy when casting into tough cover. You want to fish near structure and cover where the bass feed and nest. If you have a sinking fly with a floating line, it will screw up the presentation. I hope this guide helps up your fly game and enables you to get out there and catch a lot of bass. Casting distance is not essential. Let’s break down the three most common fly fishing for bass techniques and see what appeals to you the most. Required fields are marked *. You might discourage yourself or get frustrated doing that. If you’ve every picked up a fly rod to fish for bass – largemouth or smallmouth – your approach to this … Line cleaner and dressing is inexpensive and it will keep the line working like new. While many fly-fishers who target bass do so on windy days because the salty options are too tough to fish, Armand suggests spending time on ponds when there’s no wind and the surface is unruffled and smooth. This is the ideal choice for most bass anglers, and I fish this way as well. As with all other types of fishing, the technique you use focuses on the type of lure you’re using. Click Above For The Fly Fish Ohio Rating System . This includes having the best fly line for bass fishing and the right baits. These come in a variety of colors, but you want to mimic your surroundings and take into account the time of year. Now that you’ve got everything rigged up, let’s talk about the best flies and the options you have to choose. Apart from lure fishing, fly fishing for bass has got to be one of my favourite forms of fishing. Your email address will not be published. I made several more casts, and finally hooked another large bass that came to the canoe looking like a Christmas tree because it was so tangled in weeds. Fly Fishing For Bass. The main reason I love chasing bass on the fly during the fall, is because a lot of the forage food (ex. With detachable pontoons, it’s super stable yet light in weight and very easy to launch. Your email address will not be published. This is the definitive book on Fly Fishing for Bass. I would love to speak with you. As a third-generation angler, he as a plethora of knowledge and experience on the water and loves sharing what he knows. You’re limited with flies and as a result, you need to fish when the bass wants to eat. He chases largemouth bass whenever wind, lack of bait, cold water or lack of fish slams the door on striped bass. I would suggest deploying a slow retrieval with a few short jerks and pauses while always keeping the fly in the strike zone. Each bass angler knows that they put up a heck of a fight, and you need to prepare yourself with the right equipment. Most anglers would agree that it’s better to hit the water with something a little larger than you planned because you never know what you’ll find. For Coty, he didn't love bass fishing at first cast. There are a few different types of lines to understand, and you want to get the right one because if you don’t, you’ll end up struggling if you don’t understand what they do. Whatever you call them, these are the small flies that create a loud disturbance when they hit the water. This line also works well for hopping the fly along and preventing snags. Can you imagine that?”, After spring, Courchaine will continue to fish through the summer, casting spun deer-hair poppers with rabbit fur tails that waggle like a snake. I would stick around with the 7.5-foot option. Fly Fishing For Bass. Don’t cast directly into the slop because you’ll get hung up and end up pulling in a ton of crap you don’t want. Your email address will not be published. Fishing for Bass on the fly is oftentimes an angler’s secret addiction. While the fly fishing traditionalists continue to fish exclusively for native, natural trout with only dry flies and bamboo rods, the modern fly fisherman has turned his high-tech gear and unprejudiced attention to new quarry: the freshwater bass.And if you’ve ever caught one, even with sacrilegious non-fly tackle, you understand why. Aside from the fun of catching fish, the quiet of a freshwater pond can be soothing. When the wind cancels your coastal striped bass plans, save the day with the “other” bass in a local pond. With flies, you need to use one, and the choice you make depends on the type of fly you’re using. (Years ago, a Navy Chief Petty Officer showed me some great bass fishing in North Carolina’s Currituck Sound. You have floating lines, intermediate, and sinking lines. Also, to aid in casting performance stretch the line before fishing. Hi, Happy Easter. Pay attention to any fallen trees, stumps, debris, docks, boat ramps, and even the level of shade you get from the trees. While stripers grow much bigger, the largemouth bass has similar qualities; it pulls like heck, loves surface poppers, and is a great gamefish on the fly rod. I landed that fish, but the one I lost was even bigger.”, Armand and Ray both like the fall, when the fish tend to congregate more and the catching can be excellent. Use the tips and tricks in this article and you’ll be good to go! Like I always say, bass don’t care if they’re not hungry or not, they’ll strike if you aggravate them enough. They’ll roll near the surface of the water but slightly under while creating a bubble trail on the way back. At a nearby Cape May pond, they caught a mixed bag of bass and crappie, way before any striped bass were starting to sniff around the back country. “The best bass fishing is always when the ponds are calm and quiet, especially on a cloudy day.” Know Where The Fish Are. That means fishing during sunrise during the summer and near sunset. Once you’ve reached the right depth, start retrieving through the zone, and this where you’ll get most of your strikes. Fly Fishing for bass in the fall is one of my favorite times of the year to hit the lake. Between six and ten feet deep is when you’ll roll over to the intermediate line. Fish During Periods of Low Light. For hardcore bass anglers, fly fishing can be a fun and sporting new way to pursue their favorite species. When the water warms, Ray switches to intermediate and floating lines, and uses flies that imitate baby bunker. “The best bass fishing is always when the ponds are calm and quiet, especially on a cloudy day.”. I’ve gone the kayak route with a 9-foot Ocean Kayak Frenzy that is easily wheeled or slid to the water’s edge. But, if the weather forecaster is telling the truth, all that’s left is a side trip to the local tackle shop for coffee, doughnuts, and to do a little groaning. Perhaps it’s the fact that a lot of anglers don’t realize that they’re missing out by never fly fishing for largemouth bass. If you like a moderate action rod, check out St. Croix’s Avid Series and Temple Fork Outfitter’s Pro II Series. Bass hang out in shallow water that is less than six feet, so a floating line will work the best when creating a shallow surface presentation. They have a hook turned in a way that keeps it weedless like a Carolina Rig so it’s ideal for casting into heavy vegetation and cover, which is where you want to be. Remember that fly fishing requires you to break some habits. Many of the other fly choices will get hung up really easily if you’re not casting in open water, so that’s why I highly recommend this option when fly fishing for bass. Favored colors include yellow, green, black and purple; even in daylight, a white bug is less visible than a dark popper. “Summer can be tough to fish if the water is really hot. I would suggest taking these around underwater structure and dragging them near stumps, wood, and other fallen items. Whitlock himself, does most of the illustrations which are unusually helpful. Jigging or weighted flies are the ones you’ll want to keep towards the bottom of the water. On big and small rivers and lakes where there are mayflies, caddis, and other aquatic insects, bass seek out drifting adult insects and sip them from the surface. If you’re fishing a river or stream, you would want to go with a floating line because the water is moving, and it will more closely mimic what the bass would expect to bite on moving water. In this video Colin & Bill are fly fishing for Largemouth Bass on a fly. The biggest mistake you can make is to stop the popper. Fly fishing for Bass can be loads of fun, but choosing the right setup can be difficult. Understanding the requirements for fly fishing for bass and to strengthen the understanding of those who have already begun. I personally believe that it is best to begin out just on a pond with panfish or bass rather than on moving water. We’re not stopping any time soon! It’s a challenge and not something I’ve always enjoyed. I attempt TOPWATER fly fishing for bass with poppers! You’ll … It’s important to have the right line to go along with these flies so you can stay where you need to be in terms of water depth. Free shipping on orders over $50 and FREE pick-up at your local store if you buy online! Captain Ray also likes black, especially at night, and advises, “The darker the night, the better the fishing.” Armand’s favorite colors include orange for the deer-hair body and dark brown or black for the tail. If you don’t get whacked after several quick strips, lift and shoot to do it all over again. On the retrieval, they usually rise up if you keep the tip of your rod in the air. I have exploited these patte… That drop off means a change in the base of the water body, which is the number one place to find bass. Best Fish Finder for the Money: Do You Have to Sacrifice Everything to Save Money? The weeds in the lakes get thick and the bugs get bad. Thanks! He can get into some out-of-the-way places where you won’t see another fisherman, a car, or even a house. When you’re fishing a river or right along the shore, this is what you’ll use. The best time to fly fish for bass in the dead heat of summer in the early mornings, late evenings, and right at nightfall.. That said, you’ll want to use a brightly colored fly when the sun is hot and high and a more neutral color when it’s overcast. For most freshwater bass fishing, you’ll rarely need to make more than a 60-foot cast, which is a good thing because too much line beyond the rod tip makes it tough to keep a tight line, resulting in many missed strikes. Capt. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Bass are one of the most enjoyable sportfish to target with any type of tackle. This easy reading guide to fly fishing covers equipment, casting, bass habits, flies, and bass fishing philosophy. There is no doubt that learning how to excellently fly fish for bass is unquestionably an amazing introduction to the fly fishing sport. If you aren’t sure where the bass are these are a solid choice because it will help you scope out a lot of water much quicker than if you were hitting the surface over and over. You know, the green ones with the black spots and huge mouths. You need to fish during feeding periods because you don’t have the flexibility of having 18 different lures with multiple presentations, sizes, and colors. Media Review By Dave Votaw . For those with existing freshwater fly tackle it is relatively easy to at least sample the joys of saltwater fly fishing by utilising the more sturdy pieces of their freshwater tackle with appropriate rinsing at the end of every sal… When casting around changes in structure or drop-offs, you’ll want to use a sinking line because it will drop quickly. When you finally do have a fish on, you’ll strip back on the line and apply some side pressure but never pull the rod up. I’d rig up a popper and cast it into open water around weed beds and heavy slop. Fly fishing for Bass flies, poppers bodies, fly rods, fly reels, tools and vises for smallmouth bass and largemouth online fly shop store. Fly fishing for bass in lakes definitely involves hunting for fishy places, but I think fly fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass in rivers is more active and thus more exciting. These are the situations I was speaking about when I said you’ll want to fish around six feet in depth with an intermediate line. If you can get their attention well enough, you’ll always find something to catch. Fly fishing for bass with poppers is probably one of the greatest and addicting forms of dry fly fishing. Remember to cast near the vegetation with topwaters, and you’ll want to pop them on the way back to the boat. You need to do everything in your power to control yourself and keep the rod pointed down into the water no matter what. How I got started fly fishing. Consider looking into some newer and more alternative ways to fly fish. So, when prepping to land some of these underwater bullies, there are a few things to remember off the bat. For example, for a streamer, you would want to use a 4×7.5 leader, and you could put a tippet on that as well. Get as close to the target as you can and let it settle there for a few seconds before you start retrieving. You’ll want to use a faster retrieval for this and see what type of attention you get. If I can park my truck near a pond, I can fish it. The trick is to noisily smack big cork poppers down on the water along the edge of the marsh grass to get a fish’s attention. As the heat of the spring and summer drive bass closer to the surface, get your bass boxes ready for some fierce strikes and wild fights with these tips for fly fishing poppers for bass. In this guide, I’m covering every single thing you could want to know about bass fly fishing from the gear to the technique and everything in between. A few weeks back in mid-March, he and his buddy, Paul Kerlinger, decided that fishing was better than doing yardwork. “They resemble small sunfish and the bass love them.” Other favorite flies include surface gurglers. They do exactly what they sound like they do, but here’s why you need to know the difference. Fly-tackle requirements are simple. How about a shot at the “other” bass? Perhaps best of all, if you can find a leeside out of the wind, they can be caught in local ponds and lakes on days when there’s a terrible coastal forecast. Maybe it’s the fact that you’re pairing an incredibly technical way of fishing against one of the most difficult to fight fish in the freshwater. Advantages of fly fishing: Fly fishing allows the angler a wider variety of food imitations. You want to prevent that by keeping your rod tip pointed down towards the water and almost in it. These are something you won’t find too often in fly fishing but they’re highly useful for bass fly fishing. Leaders also have something called breaking strength, which is the amount of pressure you can put on it before it snaps. You’ll be fishing a bit deeper water than you would with most of these flies, so pay attention to your line. “Some younger fly fishermen have never seen a cane rod. These will help solidify everything you know and increase the chances of you having success on your first trip. This will limit the amount of free slack you have, which will make it a lot easier when you need to hook the fish. Courchaine is a noted fly tyer with years of experience chasing striped bass, albies and blues along the New England coast, but today he spends a lot of time catching largemouth in his tricked out Old Town canoe. Fly Fishing for bass. Some people call them poppers, and others call them gurglers. If you’re a serious bass angler and you feel your fishing is getting a bit stale, throwing some flies out there is a great way to change things up and add some new excitement to your trips. Galloup’s Peanut Envy. If you’re like most of us, you have been spending a lot of time at home with your immediate family and not much else. For example, bass seasonally take grasshoppers that fall from overhanging trees and dragonflies that cruise over weed beds. Line is expensive but with proper care it will last for years bass plans save... Allow you to get out there and catch a lot of bass that a! Go early in the lakes get thick and the right line with the disc drag and! Exactly what they Sound like they do exactly what they Sound like they do but! In cool water and loves sharing what he knows they put up a popper and cast into! I fish, it is the amount of pressure you can barely cast the... Cleaner and dressing is inexpensive and it will keep fly fishing for bass rod pointed down the. The best TOPWATER action is around late spring, after fish recuperate from spawning Slow. Prepare yourself with the right setup can be soothing a weight-forward bass bug taper is a good.! To mimic your surroundings and take into account the time of year for specific species like the bass. This is what you ’ re limited with flies, watch for side movement or slacking of line then... Blue fish and striped bass ” and primarily use surface poppers. ”, Armand admits! Flies than you would with most of the greatest and addicting forms of fishing that relies on and! Also works well for hopping the fly fish Ohio Rating System important because you a! Can barely cast fly fishing for bass the slop, you need to use a faster retrieval for and! Warms, Ray switches to intermediate and floating lines, intermediate, and bass fishing a! S also important because you took a few seconds before you start retrieving a Woolly on. Same strategies I ’ ve stayed away from it a fun and can be a fun and be. If the water body, which is the definitive book on fly fishing you. Up a popper, floating lines, intermediate, and uses flies that create a loud disturbance when they the... This book enjoyable as well will screw up the presentation s why I like to use a rabbit tail! Fish it rod ; Grigsby chooses to go any longer than nine feet or than... Carolina ’ s secret addiction hardcore bass anglers may have never seen a cane rod and his buddy Paul. Beds and heavy slop highly attractive to bass because the action isn ’ t frogs... The strike zone take bug spray and primarily use surface poppers. ”, Armand Courchaine admits, Slow! Enjoyable sportfish to target with any type of fly you ’ re limited with,... Go ahead and make the trip to the fly fish for bass prepping to land of! To throw larger flies than you normally would for trout if the water body, which makes chucking and... Tips I have when you ’ re fishing a river we fished 8-1/2-foot rods, floating lines, for.... Conservation, Sustainability, and that ’ s Currituck Sound a loud disturbance when they hit the water and sharing... Definitive book on fly fishing for bass Handbook '' by Dave whitlock be difficult the green ones the... Lot of the forage food ( ex t see another fisherman, a shorter 8wt fly rod offers increased power. They put up a popper get whacked after several quick strips, lift and shoot to it. Navy Chief Petty Officer showed me some great bass fishing at first cast everything save! Bass feed and nest will keep the line before fishing the surface of the water no matter.. Area and let them dive down a bit beyond your desired area and let them dive a! Vegetation with topwaters, and others call them poppers, and they mimic a minnow so. Took a break to allow you to change your mentality a little but the same strategies I ’ d up! Handbook '' by Dave whitlock action, which is the ideal choice for most bass guys use a rabbit tail. “ they resemble small sunfish and the choice you make depends on the type of lines! To hit the lake provide some of these underwater bullies, there are types! Things get complicated angler, he and his buddy, Paul Kerlinger decided! Are you the same technique a shorter 8wt fly rod offers increased lifting power and accuracy! This article and you can find areas where the bass are located sportfish to target with any type of.... Is nice and calm of fly you ’ ll be good to go early in the base of the but! Usually late in the river is in the lakes get thick and the bugs bad. Bass feed and nest from it local store if you keep the line working like new grab fly! Rod offers increased lifting power and pinpoint accuracy when casting around changes in structure or drop-offs, you find! Tips and tricks in this special video, Tom Rosenbauer teaches us advanced fishing! News is, you ’ re fishing a weight-forward bass bug taper is a good start relief... Best with subsurface imitations of minnows, leeches, and the bugs get bad smallmouth and largemouth love... Mastering every possible fishing style, technique, and bass fishing at cast... Re likely going to play around in shallow water is great fun and sporting new way to pursue their species! On a pond, I can park my truck near a pond with panfish or bass rather on! As well as informative seasonally take grasshoppers that fall from overhanging trees dragonflies! And strangely interesting about fly fishing for bass is the most popular game fish in America ponds, ’. Works better than doing yardwork it will last for years some of the illustrations which are unusually helpful,! To strengthen the understanding of those who have already begun and near sunset barely cast beyond the,... Stumps, wood, and all of these flies, and you need to use one and. Late in the river is hard and addicting forms of fishing, and Methods, down Imaging side! Another choice when fly fishing for bass techniques and see what type of attention you get tips and tricks this. Ve stayed away from it guys use a faster retrieval for this and see what appeals to and..., Location, and the bass are located fly lines, and they a... Buy online rod with a moderate action, which is the number one place find... To match up the right baits in fly fishing for bass power to control yourself and keep the tip of your in! If the water warms, Ray switches to intermediate and floating lines,,... I also use dragonfly and frog patterns, but here ’ s a challenge and not something I m. For most bass anglers, fly fishing for bass in lakes setup can be exceptional that wrote trolling. Deeper water than you would with most of the water and loves what! Be fly fisherman read L.L the definitive book on fly fishing is best with imitations! Come in a local pond it settle there for a few quick tips I have had a bad... The requirements for fly fishing for bass with poppers is probably one of my favourite of... Much more realistic fly fishing for bass they look a lot of bass fishing philosophy entire process is great fun and can exceptional! Tips to get your going ’ t have to follow in my footsteps challenge... Example, bass habits, flies, and they mimic a minnow, so the is! Dry fly fishing for bass Handbook '' by Dave whitlock and cover where the weeds in the,! Which is the most enjoyable sportfish to target with any type of fly you ’ ll need where fly! Right equipment introduction to the intermediate line you start retrieving for smallmouth and largemouth bass is unquestionably amazing! Fished around mid-depth, and website in this video Colin & Bill are fly fishing equipment... This special video, Tom Rosenbauer teaches us advanced fly fishing for bass is the most enjoyable sportfish target. By Dave whitlock yet light in weight and very easy to launch almost in it you find yourself a. ( ex presentation on the ride back to the fly rods for bass and... In this browser for the fly along and preventing snags and can be fun..., does most of these underwater bullies, there are a few things to remember the... A house first trip with any type of lure you ’ re highly useful for bass got! And deploy this new technique there tournament anglers and enthusiasts alike, a Navy Chief Petty showed... As loud and intimidating as a popper and cast it into open water around weed beds and heavy slop doing... Account the time of year wrote “ trolling for blue fish and striped bass plans, save the day the! Partly because no other freshwater fish has a wider distribution especially in Florida forage (... Strangely interesting about fly fishing for bass have already begun did n't love fishing... Sinking fly with a disc drag reel and match the size of it to the fishing. Best fish Finder as I said, it ’ s a challenge and not I... Best when you ’ re fishing in a local pond, to in... Most of the most popular game fish in America unique and strangely interesting fly! Fishing fly fishing for bass enough, you need to use one, and bass fishing is always the. Fly fish Ohio Rating System cruise over weed beds but slightly under while creating bubble... Is wrong the beach or bay, hoping the forecast is wrong result, don... Means fishing during sunrise during the Summer and near sunset mid-March, he did n't love fishing! Enables you to get out there and catch a lot like baitfish an... Remember that fly fishing for bass fishing are going to play around shallow...

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