bass flies

Jake Bannon

nymphs for steelhead....
Ive been catching bass for years on gear but since I got into fly fishing this will be my first year targeting them with fly gear and Im looking forward to it. My only problem is Im not sure which flies to use. Im pretty good at tying flies for a beginner so they cant be extremly hard to tie. Ive got a couple poppers but am looking more toward the streamer and leech catigory, if you guys could help me out it would be much appreciated. Thanks
Pac, This time of year all I ever use sub surface are Clousers or Rabbit strips. Two of the most easy to do up. Top water just get some pre formed foam body and have some hackle hanging out and POOF !! Top water fly. Good luck now is the time !!
I would say you got it down. One other thing I do is use a dark marker to put vertical stripes on mine. Alot of lakes have stunted perch and they love perch !! This weekend I saw and incredible amount of perch jumping like popcorn in big waves. The Bass were attacking them from below. What a sight to behold MONEY !!!
I likek 'em big. These days when I'm fishing warmwater, it's in persuance of pike and muskie, and the bass are incidental catches. I've caught even big smallies on rabbit and yak pike flies going 8"-9". That's me.

Targeting bass, think like a gear fisherman-look through a Bass Pro catalog, and tie your flies to mimic the lures you see in there. Colors to match Firetiger, etc.
Each Spring in June I head to a large lake in New England to vacation with the family for about 3 weeks. The lake is famed for smallies (as they all seem to be). The fish are not usually huge (most in the 2 to 3 lb class) but they are abundant. My dad and I boated 85 in three hours one morning (on gear) and I have personally had many many 30+ fish days on flies. I found that clousers and muddlers work fine, but the smallies seem to really rip them up, the hooks get dull quickly, and the fish tend the throw the heavier weighted flies when they jump. I notice that many follows came up empty as the bass would turn around when the fly stopped and sank toward the bottom.

After getting into tube flies for coho and SRC's a couple years ago, I went to the lake two years ago with a few olive over white tubes and couple shock-and-awes in brown over white. I also brought a couple packets of nice sharp Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap Hooks in #4's #2's and #1/0. While I went through many hooks, I only used two basic olive over white minnow pattern and one shock and awe that entire 3 week trip. And when I said two flies, I don't mean two patterns but two actual flies.

I pretty much repeated the same thing last year and at one time had up over 100+ fish to hand (over a period of about a week) on a single tube fly before I lost it to a pickerel. I also managed to catch several largemouth, although they are not really that abundant in this lake. Last year I even tied up a variant of Leland's SRC poppers on tubes (using a short tube) and that worked exceptionally well too, particularly for the occasional largemouth.

The benefit of the tube fly for bass seems to be that the fly slides up the leader when you fight the fish so the bass can’t really throw the hook plus you always have a nice sharp fine wire hook so you don’t miss many strikes. You can also easily change hook size if you are getting hits from too many small fish or the fish are swallowing the hooks, you can move to the larger hook without changing flies. I also found that like coho, many takes came between strips when the fly is briefly suspended.

For standard tube patterns I put a small bead between the tube and the hook. I used a glass, plastic, or tungsten bead depending on how much sink I want. For the popper variant I used a PVC tube to hold the hook in either a hook down or hook up position that made it relatively weedless.