Fly Fishing (Trout) Lady Goes Bass Fishing…..(Help)

by Rebecca on May 5, 2010

in Fly Fishing For Bass

Lets see, it’s Wednesday morning and in just over 24 hours I’ll be abandoning my wader boots at home and heading off for a weekend of buffet fishing. Buffet fishing = a whole lotta finned friends that aren’t on my normal fishing catch list. From Thursday through Sunday,  I’ll be in pursuit of strange and mystical fishies with names like: Bass, Crappie, Carp, Perch and the mighty will power testers– Sturgeon.


The main focus of this trip for me (the trout loving enthusiast) will be Bass fishing. Some of you may remember an entry I wrote back in December called, Once you Go Bass, You never Go Back? Well the time has come to test out my true Bassin’ abilities. On a bass boat. With a legit Bass Pro. Technically with the proper bass gear. In other words, WITHOUT MY FLY ROD.

My eye just twitched.

Because I’m pretty sure there would be a severe case of separation anxiety, I did elude to Terri aka Bass Man, that I would be sneaking my fly rod onto the bass boat. The good news: He seemed fine with bringing my security blanket along for the ride and even said if I wanted to cast around,  churn some water, I could. However (the bad news) if I wanted to actually catch fish, I’ll have to embrace an open mind and a Bass rod (or something like that).

So today I figured if I was going to the trouble of sneaking a Fly Rod onto a racy Bass Boat, it might be considered good planning if I went ahead and smuggled some Bass flies in my pocket as well. You know, just in case all that smuggling turned into legit Fly Fishing and I could add a Bassin’  notch on my Fly Rod.

Consequently and the result of previous trout focus, I don’t think I own a single fly that would appeal to a bass. I know some of you out there have already embraced your bass fly fishing soul, so today I implore. Tell me your secrets, the right flies to go buy. Is it all about the popper? I need credible Fly Fishing Intel on the Bass gig, or jig, or whatever it is that provokes one of those vicious Bass attacks I’ve seen on TV.

While I wait for your wisdom (I’ll hit the fly shop on the way out of town tomorrow), I’m off to do a few rounds of push ups. That would be my version of a last minute attempt to prepare my unconditioned arms for the upcoming torture session of Sturgeon fishing.
Also known as:
1 minute of wooo hooo MONSTER ON excitement followed by,
44 minutes of pure pain and suffering….



{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt SmytheNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 11:26 am

Anything on the surface is the most fun…pencil poppers, micro poppers primarily. Wooley buggers/big streamers are a sure bet – bead-head or not.
I tie a weighted crayfish pattern that works really well too.
Pretty much anything that moves water will get their attention. But getting the flies back into the cover…that’s the challenge.

Have a ball. I’m actually going bassing with a photographer friend of mine next weekend. With a fly rod. :)


RobNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 11:27 am

Hmmmm…Look for structure. Use a purple or black soft plastic worm, no weight. Swim it just fast enough to get the tail moving. Should get ya a few fish. Top water crease flies might work too….LOL!


ken morrowNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 11:49 am

A big rabbit strip fly…the more neutrally buoyant the better. You want a slow sink rate.

Big poppers in green/charteuse, black/purple, silver/white, blue

Clouser Deep Minnows in chartreuse/white, gray/white, silver/white

Deer hair frogs and mice.


ken morrowNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 11:51 am

Oh…I forgot.

That rabbit strip fly should be in WHITE, ginger, and purple.


ShoremanNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 11:57 am

Bass Fishing? As Sgt. Shultz would say, “I know nothing, NOTHING”. But as a friend, knock’em dead.



EdNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm

If you’re going sub-surface, slow presentation (rabbit strips), make sure you are dialed in…bass can suck-in and spit-out a 6″ zonker as deftly as a trout can a hare’s ear. Speaking of…large nymphs will work for bass and crappie too.


RebeccaNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm

@ Matt ~ Rob ~ and Ken ~ Thank You! As I suspected, I have none of those items in my fly box apart from the standard woolly buggers. I think the price of Fly Fishing just went up, but I always like an excuse to buy a new Fly Box! And……I might be in over my troutin’ head, just maybe =)

@ Shoreman ~ I second that thought. “I know nothing, NOTHING, about Bass Fishing” ……..and I’ll try!

@Ed ~ I’m trying to wrap my mind around a 6 inch fly! But gotcha on the advice of Bass vs Trout. And nymphs, those I know! I’ll have to bring out my biggest and see if they do any good.


Brett ColvinNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Two words: FROG PATTERN.


DaveNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm

It sounds to me like everybody pretty well nailed it. One thing nobody touched on yet was lines and rod.
Must have floating line, and must have an intermediate and a fast sink . I’d also take a 7 or 8wt rod. You could get away with a 6wt IF it’s beefy enough, but I’d stick to a 7 or 8 wt.
The fly list is pretty extensive and pretty comprehensive. Personally I’d take Clouser’s, big streamers, MOAL/articulated Leech patterns, and jigs or some type of crawdad pattern. The flashier the better, and of course poppers.
Find cover, fallen trees, logs, submerged stumps, boat docks, lily pads, grass beds, drop offs, deep ledges, and anything else that will give cover to those stealthy, but opportunistic predators. Above all else, have fun, and stick a few of those bucket-mouths.



ColoradoAnglerNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Banjo minnows and a pack of Redman. It seemed to work for the guys on the infomercial.

Aside from that, I am all tapped out as far as suggestions.

Good Luck!


ClifNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Poppers and divers for sure….big ones…right out of the gate. A top water bite is either on or off – it won’t take long to decide. If it’s on you’ll have so much fun. If it’s off, you’ll need a back up plan…then try again when the sun is setting and the water smooths.

Minnows: Murdich Minnows, Clouser Minnows, or any other minnow looking thingy around 3-6″ long. Short quick strips (as fast as you can move your arm) with pauses in between.

Sculpins or Crayfish: my favorite is the Mad Tom. Fish them slow and let them sink or sit for seconds at a time. If you think you’re going slow enough, go a little slower. Sometimes don’t even move the fly…just twitch it.

Usually one of the three basic patterns above will catch fish. It all depends on the mood of the fish, they can be terribly tempermental. Trust your guide to know where to find fish and then put your fly where he points you. Don’t try hard to be delicate because big flies crater anyway and splashes attract bass (like poppers attract bass).

Get some 8-10lb leader/tippet, not because of the fish but because of the trees they live in. Use whatever kind of line you happen to have spooled on a 6-8wt rod.

You can even take advantage of your guide. If he’s catching them on fast presentations, then use a minnow. If he’s fishing a slow worm with success, go for a sculpin or crawdaddy.

Too bad you didn’t give more warning….I could have sent a package.


ken morrowNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm


One thing nobody has mentioned yet is strip-setting. Your trout fishing way of setting the hook just won’t cut it on a largemouth bass, darlin’. You will need to keep your rod tip pointed straight at your fly at ALL TIMES (well…as much as possible) with as little slack between your line hand and fly as possible. And when you feel old bucketmouth take your fly you pull straight back on the fly line about 6″…THEN you raise the rod tip. Don’t let go with your line hand! Not yet. Now is when you’re making sure that hook is firmly set and getting a feel for how much drag you can put on that fella. ;)


WolfyNo Gravatar May 5, 2010 at 6:43 pm

You knew I’d weigh in when I got the chance, so here it goes:

ALL the suggestions are spot-on. Go 8 wy. with a floating line and a 10# , 6′ -8′ length of flourocarbon for a leader. If you need a sink tip or sinking line – it’s easier to pick up a spinning rod and swim a tube jigon 8# test. Blasphemy, I know, but it’s the truth.

You’re fishing somewhere that has big sturgeon, so I’m thinking Hell’s Canyon. The bass there will be smallmouth. And the water will be COLD – probably too cold for topwater / popper. Take some and try, but thats really a summer pattern in the NW.

I think your best bet will be with big (#6) Double Bunnies , cone head flash buggers, and Clousers. I lean toward whites and yellows, but always have some black, too. the articulated leech suggestion is a great one, too. Cast to the slower edge of the current seams. The fish will tell you what speed they want . And, if they don’t want your flies – pick up the conventional gear and have a ball.

I REALLY hope you get into some sight fishing for carp – that really IS a ball on fly gear!!

And, you’re right about the sturgeon. They’re great for 2 minutes. Then, they’re like tuna, or like tying your line to a car and trying to reel it up a cliff.

Can’t wait to hear your recap



MikeNo Gravatar May 6, 2010 at 5:58 am

Just a couple of flies….

… and I’ve done reasonably well this year with a chartreuse river clouser…

Have fun!!!! Bass fishing is a BLAST!!!



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