If you're sensitive about bassin' on the fly, don't reply...

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by FLYRODR, Dec 21, 2005.


    FLYRODR Guest

    I'd like to hear from some folks who give bass some attention during the summer doldrums; watering holes, flies, experiences!!!! I've been giving bass more of my time the last couple of years and have gotten a number of buddies into it. Whole different ballgame!
  2. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    Had a blast doing it this last summer. Looking forward to next summer already. Those explosive surface takes get addicting :)
  3. lx-88

    lx-88 Member

    Doing it right now in Flordia. Bass and 10" bluegill on a 3 weight rod. It's a good break from the guides on my rod freezing and cold toes.
  4. fatwhitedog

    fatwhitedog New Member

    Bassin’ on the fly for almost 10 years now… use a chamois worm sometimes… (It’s like an articulated leech but without any hair\fur)….

    Use poppers with a stinger hook … you can read about how the gear bass guys rig stingers and use the same technique on flies…. Just have to check the fly every so often… but have the stinger riding with the hook point up…

    Also when you use a popper or Dahlberg throw it out over the cover and slam it on the water so it splats and makes ripples, then WAIT for the ripples to stop… about 60 seconds or so… and give it a nice hard chug and wait again… till all the ripples dissipate… slow tactic but after the fly is just floating there not moving bass seem to get all pent up and kill it.
  5. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Have included bass in my fly fishing year since the mid-1960s. Today virtually every lake that has public access has largemouth bass and many of the larger waters have smallmouth- first fished Sammamish 20 years ago and remember being able to fish with the gear guys using 3 inch woolley buggers (black and purple) on sinking lines -those smallies are great fun.

    In the early years one thing that held me back was the need for heavy rods/lines to get larger enough flies to interest the big largemouth bass (fish over 2#). However today with the new rod tapers and synthetic fly materials it is much earier to fish those larger 4 to 8 inch flies with trout gear. By replacing rabbit strips, marabou, wool, chamios etc with the various synthetic materials that do not absrob water light weight flies (even when soaked in water) are easy to produce. Don't use weighted flies but rely on sinking lines to get my flies down if I'm not fishing on the surface.

    With my various normal trout size flies I had great fishing on pan size bass (less than 12") as well as sunfish, perch and crappies but to get more than a very rare largemouth larger than 12" I had to step up in fly size. The smallmouth were much more receptive to the smaller flies (dragon flies, small streamers, crayfish patterns, etc)

    One of the up sides of chasing the various warm water fish is the surprising number of large trout the become the "by-catch".

    Tossing bugs at the various warm water fish can be a nice change of pace though on most larger waters the water skiers and jet skis can detract from the day on the water. Though the dock decorations (espeically on nice afternoons) on some lakes can be outstanding.

    Tight lines
  6. Rory McMahon

    Rory McMahon Active Member

    The best place to toss your fly for bass would be at gissburg ponds. Ive seen some nice fish in there, maybe 6-7 lbs. Some around 8. They do see ALOT of pressure so a fly would be perfect, they probably haven't seen to many flies. Another thing, i wonder how a fly fisherman would do on the bassmaster tournament. It would be something the bass would have never seen before on those impoundments.
  7. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    It has been some time since I hung around bass fishing circles but at least a few years ago fly fishing was banned in tournaments. The reason was likely due to the unfair advantage a fly angler would have over the co-boater, that advantage would be in terms of gear incompatiblity.

    I have fished bass a with some success with both the fly rod and gear and would say in the vast majority of the situations the fly angler with equal skills to the gear angler would be at a disadvantage in terms of catch the maximum weight.

    Tight lines
  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    Is the gear disadvantage because the hardware angler can fish rubber worms and other artificial baits directly on the bottom? Not that fly fishers can't also fish on the bottom, but it takes longer for a sinking fly line to get there than for lead.


    Salmo g.
  9. pearguy

    pearguy Member

    I just returned from Florida where we were targeting Peacock bass, a cinclid introduced from South America. It was definitely a blast, we had no problems pulling in large numbers of very active fish, both Peacocks and largemouth, but it wasn't the same challenge of fishing our rivers out west. The wildest part of the fishing was the location -- the canals in Miami. Basically fishing in people's backyards, under the freeway bridges, along the airport, next to the freeway. Was a trip. Was particularly funny at lunch time, when we decided what we were going to do for food -- pull up at the KFC, pizza and beer, McD's etc. Not quite the same sense of isolation and connection with nature, but fun nonetheless.

    FLYRODR Guest

    My mother-in-outlaw is living in Kennewick so I always have a place to park when in the area. I've heard the Yak is suppose to be a helluva smallie fishery. Anyone know of any specific areas around the Tri-Cities where a FLYRODR can rip some lips????
  11. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Salmo -
    Actually the biggest disadvantage of the fly gear (we are talking largemouth here) is that it is not very efficient way to present the lure in heavy cover - dropping it down several feet in a cluster of trees or extensive hydrilla, algae beds, etc -The classic flipping situation.

    Here in western Washington the vast majority of the nice largemouth that I have caught (those fish over 5 pounds) have been associated with docks. With the increased fishing pressure we have seen in the last 2 decades it has become critical that the lure of choice be presented well under the dock - in some case 6 or more feet. keep in mind most of these docks are less than 12 inches off the water. While I have worked hard on my "trick casting" with a fly rod I am hard press to get a fly more than few inches under such a low dock where with practice I can skip soft plastic grubs/jigs/etc on spinning tackle as much as 8 feet under such docks.

    Here in Western Washington the fly rod can really shine when fishing semi-open weed pads (our lilly pad fields) and surface lures at very specific targets (bedding smallmouth) and selective open water feeding (smallmouth on an insect hatch).

    The modern day bass angler that has master the full array of techniques can be pretty effect in straining the water. They need to be as they are fishing on an incredibly sparse populations. A typcial western Washington bass lake supports less than 2 bass/acre over 12 inches - often it is less than 1/acre. This is further compound by the way bass feed - rather than going on prolong feeding sprees (say like trout during a insect hatch) bass generally feed on large food items and once they eat an item or two may not fed for hours or days. This makes individual pretty inactive/nonagressive most of the time.

    In most situations I am only to make about 2/3 of the casts/day with fly gear that I can with gear. The difference in presentation efficiencies is much like what we see with steelhead. There are days/situations were we can compete pretty effectively with flies but most of the time fly gear will come in second to conventional steelhead gear.

    All the above applies to fishing for bass over say a pound - the smaller fish are much more like trout and the fly angler closes the gap with the gear guys though most bass anglers are targeting those multiple pound fish.

    Tight lines
  12. tyler

    tyler Member

    where i'm from bass fishin' is a very serious pursuit. just make sure you're home in time to watch NASCAR! seriously, though, i've spent considerable time on the on the james, maurey and potomac rivers in VA chasing smallmouth with a fly rod. flies of choice include: sneaky pete, shenandoah popper, chernobyl ant, wooly bugger, clouser deep minnow, various crawfish patterns, etc...

    in fact, bob clouser developed his deep minnow specifically for susquehanna river smallmouth. there's a reason he, lefty kreh and many others love fly roddin' for bass. check it out.

  13. Brooktrout1

    Brooktrout1 Member

    It doesn't matter if you’re fishing a spinning rod or a fly rod; bass fishing is just plain fun. I grew up fishing for Small Mouth on rivers and small impoundments and from the take, through the fight they are simply my favorite fish to chase and catch. I haven't spent any time in Washington chasing them, but I hope to do more next year. Also, if you are looking for flies designed specifically for them, Blane Chocklett's Sliders and Poppers were designed for River Small mouth and his Sili Skin Minnow was as well. Also, Chuck Kraft designed a Cray-Fish pattern using a chamois tail that is killer (TROUT LOVE THIS ONE TOO.:thumb:
  14. NorthernExposure

    NorthernExposure not bad for a yankee

    i would recommend that anyone that likes bassin should try to get down to the john day. I had a blast fishing that river for smallies w/ poppers. one night had fantastic action durign a PED hatch dead drifting a sz 12 parachute hares ear. never thought i'd see the day i'd catch bass on dead drifted dry flies...
  15. Salmon Candy

    Salmon Candy Member

    For info on smallmouth in the lower Yakima, get ahold of the Spring 2005 issue of Northwest Fly Fishing magazine. Bassmaster will be publishing a short piece on the Yakima though I'm not sure of the publication date. The June 2006 issue of Game & Fish will have a "Yakima Bronze" article as well. For other bass articles see the May (Banks Lake)and June (Lake Washington) 2005 issues of Game & Fish. The Game & Fish articles are generally written from the gear perspective but include fly fishing tips as well.

    There are a ton of lakes around Western Washington that support largemouth bass populations, including some small lakes that are easily accessed by float tubers who won't have to worry about being whacked by an out of control personal watercraft operator. (Yes, that was a personal editorial comment:))
  16. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

    Don't be afraid to go small. Bass do not feed the same way as trout, as mentioned before, but that does not mean that they are not opportunistic. Large bass as well as small bass will and do eat small food on a regular basis when nothing else provides itself. Often times my bass fishing has been saved by finally going smaller after pounding the water with "traditional" bass flies.

    Good luck

  17. Scott Behn

    Scott Behn Active Member


    I caught a nice 3.5 lbs bucket on a #12 olive scud. Now that wasn't the intended quarry, but non the less it put on hell of a bend in my 5wt. I know it hasn't been mentioned yet, but if anyone is up here in the Lake Stevens area we have a lovely population of smallies and Lake Cassidy has a good population of Lg. Mouths (that's where I caught the big'n).

  18. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Just call me "Bubba"! I used to have agrat old soft fiberglass Browning Fly rod and it was killer for the bass in the pond behind my house. It was just like the noodle rods you see the Bubbas using on the B.A.S.S. tours. I like smallmouth in river too. Aside from having tried all the stuff of old; the little rubber fly rod frogs and big deer hair bugs, and an early career in hardware and rubber worms etc etc, I am turning to natural imitations, exclusively, for bass this year ahead. Just something to try. I sem to catch more bass on naturals rather than attractors. Small bead heads can be killer.
  19. ChrisW

    ChrisW AKA Beadhead

    I caught a 2# bass on a San Juans lake last summer on a popper, it was a lot of fun! I had been hooking small ones on a wooley bugger every other cast. When I switched to the popper (small, size 10 or so) I had at least a swirl, if not a hookup on every cast. I made my "last cast" toward the boat launch to start reeling in my line for the night when the big one (for me anyway) took. Funny thing was the boat launch area had just been pounded by a guy and his son as they drug spinners with no luck for 1/2 an hour. My fish took in a foot of water about 6' from shore over an area with no structure.

    The fun part was grabbin the fish bubba style from the lower lip while I removed the popper. My dog thought I was pretty cool!

  20. dlw

    dlw New Member

    Many of the small bog and brackish type lakes in W. Washington are full of bass. Most are small 8-12 inchers, but they're numerous and plenty of fun on a light rod. For most of my bassin with a fly rod I just use my 4wt with a floating line. For flies I like to use long bunny leaches (2-4") in darker colors.

    Traditionally bass, especially largemouth prefer larger prey, but this isn't always the case. In the last two years, my two largest bass I've caught have been while trout fishing. The first was a 5lb largemouth on a #10 black wb being trolled near the surface at Lake McMurray (in middle of the lake where the depth was about 40-50ft). The second was a 4lb largemouth which took a #12 olive chironomid on the same lake. When spin fishing, I've also caught a 8 in and a 18 inch largemouth on the same 7 inch rubber worm. :confused:
    This isn't overly common, but shows the variablity in largemouth feeding habits.