Bass on the Fly

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
I'm the last guy to ask anything about bass fishing, but... I think I discovered the "Pre Spawn" last night - although I'm not even sure what that means

While fishing and practicing my cast at the south end of Lone Lake (from the dock) I noticed an added attraction to the fining trout that pull me down there each evening - Bass were "Rising" violently on the surface. This is the first time I've seen the bass this year and then I hooked into one - a LUNKER.

This fish made a slow take on my olive WB (thanks again Caveman) and then I've got a huge bend in my 6wt! I'd never really "Needed" to get a fish on my reel before last night, but this baby was just like on TV :)

Not having a scale and never having weighed a bass before, I hesitate to estimate it's weight, but of course I will :) Conservative estimate of 5+ pounds - it was heavy to hold by the lip. The head and mouth on this fish were huge and then it stayed big all the way down through the tail wrist, and very thick for a barrel chested bass, and very long.

While it fought well, it didn't do any of the surface thrashing that the little guys do, it pulled and pulled and pulled - under the dock, and out the other side, tried to get to the cattails, but in the end, even I was able to land him and share the moment with my 4 year old son who was very impressed. It was not Chesapeake, but was sure fun to put a bend in my rod.

Is this a sign of Spring?
My Experience with Bass. They fight terribly hard for 15 seconds to 45 seconds and then they pretty much give up. I've never had even a big bass on the reel, except when using a spinning reel for bass. Bass are fun. In April and May they spawn and if you can find the spawning beds you can have lots of fun with Big Bass.



Active Member
Being stuck in Southern California (trout fishing He&%) I am left with no other choice than to target the local bass population with the fly rod. While I have little in the way of trout in my area, I do have a world class bass lake within a ten minute drive. Pre-spawn activity should be kicking off anytime. It is dependant upon water temp and the area you are fishing. Productive fly patterns that I have found are the WB in green & brown, the V-worm, surface poppers and a few custom ties that I've not yet named. Bass on the fly can be very productive in the spring/early summer and fall (when they are near the surface).
Nice catch on the fly. I haven't caught a Bass taht big down there. I have heard they get pretty big. HOpe you have luck catching troutl



Sculpin Enterprises
Hi Jeff,

Wow, I am more than a bit surprised that you had such active bass action at these water temperatures. The rule of thumb that the 'good ol boys' in NC use to switch from fishing over suspended crappies to targetting bass is water temperatures at or above 50oF. Maybe Washington bass are a bit more cold-adapted. Regardless, sounds like a great fish!! Big bass like that are typically female. As they grow, they change from being swift torpedoes to almost cylinders, with a big gut (seems that I'm going through some of the same transformations).


Jeff Dodd

Active Member
I thought it was a bit early too, maybe just a few big bass fooled by the sunshine we had over the weekend. This part of the lake is shallow as well.

Anyway, thanks for the fly suggestions and gereral bass info guys. Now back to trout fishing...

A buddy of mine who is an avid bass fisherman says 45 degree water triggers the pre-spawn. i have him learning the flyfishing thing so i will have him take me bass-fishing on the fly. looking forward to a good time on huge topwater bugs.


FFing and VWs...Bugs & Bugs
So some more warming could put a body into some pretty decent Bass locally? I've never targetted them before the May/June timeframe with a fly rod. Got a lot more to learn.


Active Member
The water temp trigger is regional. While 45deg is still cold in my area, it may be just right in yours. It is a hit and miss game that is affected by weather patterns as well. I've found that stable weather for a couple of weeks, which generally produces rising water temps, is the time to start searching. A couple of stormy days can shut things down for awhile. I will typically use a fly that covers alot of water for pre-spawn fishing. Clousers, etc. Once you locate the fish, try switching to WB's etc. and work the area well before you move on to the next. I look forward to your reports. Tight lines.
mid march isnt really THAT early..ive had quite a bit of success on bass near the 3rd week of march if we have warm weather... and this is of course on shallow lakes that warm easily with a couple days of sunshine. I think bassin on the fly rod is one of my favorites... especially small mouth that are over 2 lbs