Any advice on Bass techniques?


Rich Layendecker
I know how to catch bass using gear, but I have tried fly fishing for bass for the past several years with poor results. On the surface I can get small bass (under 10") and I have caught a few larger bass with a sinking line a large wooly bugger. Does anyone have any advice on techniques or flies for bass? I am not seeking hogs, but fish in the 12" to 18" range, which put up a respectable fight on a 6wt.
mice (spun deer hair) and poppers on the surface. Big streamers (like Lefty's Decievers and Clousers), bunny leeches, and other baitfish patterns with a big profile. I have found that it's not the fly so much as the location. Just like with gear, find the structure, weed beds etc. That's where they are. Tie the patterns with a stiff mono weed guard, it will help keep the fly in the water more and you cleaning it less. I haven't played much with full sink lines, but clear intermediate lines have served me well. I generally fish the surface or about a foot under it looking for aggresive fish around the structure. With gear, I would probe the deep waters (over 10') with a jig, but I haven't found an effective way to fish that sort of water with the long rod.
I found what Trevor writes to be so true. Personally I stick to the top water. Most of the large fish I have caught have been from well placed casts and very little movement of the fly. Last year I caught a bunch of mid sized bass with sneaky petes and a fast, rod in the arm pit, double fisted retrieve. My favorite time for this sized bass is between 11 am and 2 pm.
Think big poppers. Weedguards are a MUST. Fish the thickest nasiest stuff. SOmetimes in inches of water. Here in NW MT, "Bass Oclock" is the half hour before dark.If you must fish subsurface, big buggers, more weekgaurds, fish slow, short casts, thick cover, powerful tippets. I use AMnesia running line for leader, bright red, easy to track in water, easy to see it move just a bit....