Fly fishing for bass is incredibly exciting. The sheer amount of top water explosions you can get on an afternoon trip out to your local pond or watering hole can be immense. If you are looking for more ways to catch largemouth bass during your next outing, you will want to take a look at these 11 largemouth bass fly fishing tips. The tips have been passed down from anglers over the generations, and you can use them to help increase your chances at success the next time you head to the water!
Bigger Is Sometimes Better – Unless you have never seen a largemouth bass before, it is pretty easy to see that their mouths open up very wide. This large mouth means that they can gulp in flies that are much larger than you would imagine. If you are having problems catching larger bass you may want to increase the size of your flies quite a bit. It’s not unheard of to use flies the size of small birds or baby ducks!
Try Trolling Your Flies For Largemouth – If you have access to a boat and want to add some offshore action to your bass fishing experience, try heading out over submerged structure and weed beds while trolling some sinking flies. This is a great way to get largemouth to come up from the depths, and usually brings in some of the bigger bass that you will catch.
Vary Your Retrieval Speed – Bass may not be completely picky but some days they prefer their food moving slow, while other days they want it moving fast so they can hit it like a freight train. To figure out what the fish are looking for each time you head out to the water you will want to try varying your retrieval speed. When you start getting bass strikes, maintain that speed and you’ll likely find exactly what they are looking for that day.
Lifelike Flies Aren’t Always Best – Trout fisherman love to tie on incredibly realistic looking flies to make sure that they can fool the fish into thinking it is real. This is, however, not needed for largemouth bass. Some anglers have called them the garbage disposals of the freshwater which, quite simply, means that they will take flies whether or not they appear realistic.
Carry Plenty Of Topwater Flies – Largemouth bass are known for their topwater explosions which is why you should carry plenty of topwater and surface flies. Even though 90% of largemouth bass catches come from sinking flies, when they are turned onto the topwater it is hard to pass up the fun that can be had. The topwater strikes are so vicious that you may end up going through flies fairly quickly, which is why it is wise to carry replacements!
Perfect The Sidearm Cast – The overhead cast is perfect when you are not surrounded by brush and trees, or on a clear bank. However with most bass fishing you are going to be dealing with overhanging snags and other brush in your way. When this happens you will want to make sure that you know how to make a perfect sidearm cast to get the flies out onto the water without losing them to the trees!
Use A Strong Leader – If the pond or lake you are fly fishing for bass contains only smaller 1lb to 2lb bass you may not need to worry about this so much. However for larger fish you are going to want to beef up your leader. It is not unheard of to use a 10lb or 12lb leader to make sure that you can apply adequate pressure to a running slab of a largemouth. The heavier leader also allows you to use a stiffer hookset, ensuring that the hook won’t fall out when the fish is jumping.
Fish Near The Thick Stuff – Largemouth bass love sitting down inside of heavy cover. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still catch them with a fly rod. If you want to increase the number of fish that you catch each day you will want to spend time throwing flies near the thick stuff in the pond or lake.
Carry The Right Sized Rod – You want to avoid heading out to the pond with a small 3-weight, or overly large 8-weight or 9-weight rod. The 3-weight isn’t going to apply enough pressure to bring the bass in without exhausting them while the 8-weight and 9-weight isn’t going to let the fish put up much of a fight. For ponds where the average fish weighs in between 2lbs to 5lbs you can get away with using a 6-weight very easily.
Ask Your Fishing Buddies – Getting in touch with other anglers in your area, even non fly anglers, is a great way to learn where the honey holes are. These honey holes are perfect for helping you get onto more bass than you have ever imagined, but you are going to have to return the favor and give them some tips of your own.
Carry Proven Largemouth Catching Flies – There are a few types of flies that have long been known to catch largemouth bass when you are fly fishing for bass. Flies such as the Dahlberg Divers, frog-like Topwater Poppers, Wooly Buggers, Deer Hair Bass Bugs, and Rabbit Hair Streamers are excellent for pulling in the big fish at your honey holes.
As always, if you have largemouth bass fly fishing tips that you want to share with the community, feel free to send me an email or leave a comment below and let me know what you think!