Smallmouth bass flies

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
Show me your smallmouth bass flies. I am interested in sizes; hook size and types, fly lengths, patterns, recipes etc. Mostly interested in the western region, Columbia River tributaries, lower Yakima River, etc. I have several friends heading to the lower Yakima in the spring, later April to mid May. Trying to round up some good patterns for them. Not a commercial endeavor.

Speyrod GB

Active Member
My understanding, closer and woolly burger with rubber legs. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of experience fishing for them.

Some Shawn West hair bugs work pretty well.


Topwater and tying.
Bob, your Chum Baby tied on bigger hooks (SC15, sz 2)! At least this worked on the lower Yakima. I had more, and bigger, hook ups once I put one on.May-June see the salmon smolt moving downstream while the Smallies are moving up out of the Columbia to spawn. It's a pretty easy float from Snively (below Horn Rapids dam) on down.
A standard bunny leech was fantastic for me me this year. I fished the Columbia probably 20-30 times as well and many outings to columbia tributaries. Solid white, blue, yellow, flesh and black where all go to colors. It really didn’t make a huge difference though, they were always hungry! I also threw gamechangers that worked great about 4 inches in length! Hook size I wouldn’t go smaller than a size 2 most of my flies were on size 1! Hope this is helpful there’s a million bass down there! Good luck!



Indi "Ira" Jones
I’ve done well with leeches. When I fished tournaments, my most productive soft plastic was a 2” leech type pattern. I fish a semi seal leech a lot for them. With that though I’ve also done well with bigger leech patterns and a chartreuse over white clouser is always a winner.


Active Member
I've caught a few on the really small buggy stuff I (used to) fish for steelhead in the CR Gorge trib mouth fisheries. My first choice would be a craw pattern or a weighted bugger.