Bass fishing with fly rod instead of gear fishing.

Rob Allen

Active Member
You can buy a hell of a lot of rods for the price of a bass boat! That being said I want to go fishing with Billy too!

Every still water angler who fishes where there is a concrete ramp and motors allowed needs a bass boat. After i sold mine i tried a float tube again.. i gave it away shortly after.
 

Replicant

Active Member
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Yesterday, I landed 13 fish while floating my stretch of the river with my daughter (Father's day). This 15" smally was just one of 9 while the remaining 4 were pikeminnow. I think it all comes down to what you want to focus on. I've only been fly fishing for the last 12 years. I am very much a novice, but after catching my first bass on a fly, years ago, I can't quit. I just lost interest in spinning and bait casting gear. I have gone "serious" into fly fishing for bass. If someone told me to fish for trout, I really wouldn't know what to do. It's taken me a long time to get to the mind set of "I'm probably going to catch something today", vs. "I guess they just aren't biting today". Each year, I get better at catching more and bigger bass. I spent a lot of time reading up on the matter, asking for advice, improving my cast and most importantly, letting go of the conventional wisdom that I need bass flies or the belief that 'bass will take anything'. I caught all my fish yesterday on a bead head black woolybugger. I do believe that it is important to match the hatch and watch the water temperature and seasonality of bass. But yes, every now and then I'll tie something big and loud and catch something by surprise. That's the fun of it. My biggest challenge with fly fishing for bass on my stretch of the river is getting a fly down deep, especially when the water is moving fast. On the other hand, I find that I can get my fly where I want it, under branches or structures that I (personally) cannot get into with spinning gear. Finally, I find that landing bass on a fly, just so rewarding. Spotting the location that looks fishy, making a decent cast, stripping, patience and bam! Full focus.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
View attachment 244380

Yesterday, I landed 13 fish while floating my stretch of the river with my daughter (Father's day). This 15" smally was just one of 9 while the remaining 4 were pikeminnow. I think it all comes down to what you want to focus on. I've only been fly fishing for the last 12 years. I am very much a novice, but after catching my first bass on a fly, years ago, I can't quit. I just lost interest in spinning and bait casting gear. I have gone "serious" into fly fishing for bass. If someone told me to fish for trout, I really wouldn't know what to do. It's taken me a long time to get to the mind set of "I'm probably going to catch something today", vs. "I guess they just aren't biting today". Each year, I get better at catching more and bigger bass. I spent a lot of time reading up on the matter, asking for advice, improving my cast and most importantly, letting go of the conventional wisdom that I need bass flies or the belief that 'bass will take anything'. I caught all my fish yesterday on a bead head black woolybugger. I do believe that it is important to match the hatch and watch the water temperature and seasonality of bass. But yes, every now and then I'll tie something big and loud and catch something by surprise. That's the fun of it. My biggest challenge with fly fishing for bass on my stretch of the river is getting a fly down deep, especially when the water is moving fast. On the other hand, I find that I can get my fly where I want it, under branches or structures that I (personally) cannot get into with spinning gear. Finally, I find that landing bass on a fly, just so rewarding. Spotting the location that looks fishy, making a decent cast, stripping, patience and bam! Full focus.
Gotta find the portion of the sport that appeals to you
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
I'd like to thank you folks for all the input. I've learned quite a bit from this thread. Although my past decades of bass fishing with "conventional gear" has pulled me back into that game, the notion of becoming more successful at bass fishing with a fly rod is indeed compelling. For me, gear fishing is allowing me to get a handle on the bass lakes in my area more quickly then my limited fly fishing skills. As I learn more about my local bass, I will be eager to transition to more fly fishing.
 

fishues

fishin fool
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I’ve been going after Largemouth on the west side the last couple years around this time of year with moderate success. Just recently, I’m starting to figure it out. I think the key is having confidence and making accurate casts. I hooked a bunch this evening and landed 3 in the 4 pound range all on top water. So much fun watching them crush the popper!!!! Pulled the trigger too early on some nice blow ups, but that’s part of the challenge and excitement. I am truly loving fishing bass on the fly, it’s super technical and the rewards are incredible!!!!
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
It is becoming apparent (to me) that Washington State has some very good bass fishing.The Florida strain that feeds on stocked trout in Southern California get massive, and a five pounder is "small" (Just starting to eat trout). Over ten pounds and that is considered good. Up here it's different. The bass are different. That being said, it seems (to me) that fishing for bass up here is more fun. More fish (throughout the day), no crowds, less "finicky" fish and much, much prettier lakes. Whatcom and Skagit co have some darn good bass fishing opportunities. Yesterday I ripped some big lips. I like that.
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
I once knew an old man that was very good at pool. He liked to wager at the local dive bar. One afternoon he stated that he would play anyone there....using his cane as a cue stick. He won. He concealed his pride well, but it was evident to me.
 

kamishak steve

Active Member
I got into Stillwater fly fishing because I live close to Pass Lake. Now that I am targeting bass I naturally took my fly rod with recommended "flies". Having limited success I dusted off my "bait caster" bass rod and got serious. Instantly I started to catch (big) fish. Drop shoting a worm, pig and jig, top water plugs etc..It seems that (for me) they were far more effective. Catching a bass with a fly (I tied) is more rewarding for me.. but I like to catch fish. Now when it comes to "poppers" my fly rod will again be my first choice. I'm interested to hear what more experienced fly fisherman have to say about this subject. Do you folks feel that using a fly rod gives you a disadvantage when it comes to bass fishing?
There are times and places where the fly rod can be competitive, but day in and day out, a fly rod is a huge disadvantage. I don't mean to discourage you by any means, and I do a ton of bass fishing exclusively with the fly, but when I see what those bass guys can do with conventional gear, its mind-blowing. Most of our fishing in western washington for LMB is done around docks or fallen timber. Guys with baitcasters can skip baits way under the docks, present lures perfectly vertically without an indicator alongside docks or structure, and easily hop baits up and down over structure thats 10 feet deep or more. They can punch through heavy lily pads or weed growth vertically which we can't really do, either. Plus their setups are able to made more effectively weedless than any subsurface fly pattern. Fishing one of those senko type baits that sort of slowly sinks we could certainly imitate with a fly, but we wouldn't be able to detect strikes as easily because we can't have a direct (meaning straight) connection between the rod tip and the fly. They have so many more techniques than we can employ to catch them, so they are just fundamentally more effective.
Fly rods shine when fishing open water in the spring for SMB, when those gear guys are using jerk baits and covering a ton of water over flats for prespawn fish, the fly rod with a sinking line can be almost as deadly. For topwater/popper fishing, fly rods are definitely as deadly. In rivers for SMB they are super effective, because we can fish sculpins and crayfish just as well as they can, but generally speaking, it's the fly fishers lament. Just like with steelhead, there are a ton of spots where gear guys just have an advantage. As fly fishing evolves (and frankly becomes less like fly fishing-steelhead nymphers i'm looking at you) I'm sure that gap will continue to close, but for now, it's not even a competition. We just have to work a lot harder.
 

jersey

livin' the dream
@Jiminsandiego look at your conventional gear baits which work, then match that “hatch”. Color, size, shape, etc.. you will have to throw junk that doesn’t make sense, but if the fish eat it, then feed ‘em.

i like sliders mainly because of the sound control when stripping. Crease flys work too in open water. Ultimately, you gotta get that bug into tight hides-holes, if you have surface vegetation.

thread for my senko pattern. 6 to 8 feet of leader is how I fished it, slowly sinking using the end of fly line as the indicator.

 

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