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Robert M

How big are most of your WW Bass Flies?

Warmwater Bass Flies  

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My wife and I fish for smallmouth in northern MN and largemouth around here [iA]. The SMB are in lakes with clear water...you gotta get the fly away from the boat so we use 8 and 9 wts. The flies we like for this are generally size 4, 2, and 1...we prefer topwater. Here in IA it's lakes and ponds both, and the water is muddy. But the flies are bigger [2, 1, and 1/0]. The cast here is usually shorter, but because of fly size and wind we still go with 8 and 9 wt. Cheers, Ed

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For largemouth in the southwest the majority of the fishes come on patterns 4 inches or smaller. However, I do have some yak hair patterns up to 8" long that I use from time to time. But in general, anything over 4" or so and the catch ratio starts going down. For smallmouth I go smaller, usually about 3" or so is perfect.

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Big Bass flies for me are in two categories: 1) Surface (dry fly) and 2) Sub-surface (wet fly).

 

My number one dry fly is a Love Frog and my number two is a Spooky Shad.

 

My number one wet fly is a Beaux-Jangles and my number two is a Baitfish (poly-bear fiber) and a very close third is a large Wooley Bugger (aka Wooly Worm). I most likely would catch more on the Bugger if I fished it more often.

 

However, I fly fish most of the time with a 3 or 4 wt rod for Perch using small flies ( 8, 6, 4 hooks ) and catch a lot of big Bass on these flies. My biggest fly rod Bass was caught on a 3-wt using a size 6 Spooky Shad.

 

Thomas

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Streams I fish most have more smb than lmb or kentucky bass so I'm geared more toward them. WoolyBugger of different weights can be fished from near top to near bottom and represent many foods depending on presentation. Second most used fly would be a Clouser. Tackle being 8'-9'/6-9wt depending on weather and mood, most often 8'/8wt glass rod or 9'/5wt carbon rod with 7wt line. The 9' rod is sometimes used similar to Tenkara in narrow fast runs.

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Great poll and comments.. I have to mention "Knowing Bass" a book by Keith Jones.. It's a compendium of scientific studies done on bass and other fish behavior.. Two studies in particular relevant to the size question..

1) First study (p. 174) concluded bass showed greatest attack response to Rapalas that were 2.75 inches long.

2) Second study (p. 177) concluded bass attacked and held on longest to cylinders that were 4.5 inches long. Shorter and fatter, and longer and skinnier, had lower attack/retention scores.

 

Based on the above I've been tying my minnow and crawfish patterns for river smallies at around 3 inches long. I do carry some smaller beadchain versions also for low clear water (late summer) but my go to flies are generally 3 inches long.

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I've always felt most folks tie their bass flies to large. I guess it's the bigger the bait, the bigger the fish syndrome. Most of the minnow/ rapala style lures I have in my dark side tackle box are gathering dust, are in the 3 to 4 inch range. By cylinders are you referring to soft plastics like Senkos? Same holds true with them, when I've used them, 3 or 4 inches long ones have caught the bass. Most my bass flies these days range from 1 1/2 to 4 inches.

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Hello everyone,

 

This is a very interesting thread that I am enjoying following. I agree with Philly that most folks tie large flies for Bass. I fly fish most of the time for all species of the Sunfish family and use a 3-wt or 4-wt rod and small flies, tied on size 6 and smaller hooks. However I do catch a lot of big Bass while "pan-fishing".

 

The attached photo shows the two dry flies that I catch most of my Bass on when I am fishing for Bass. I use a 4-wt and a 5-wt most of the time with these flies. I fish here on Sam Rayburn lake and the other surrounding lakes which are all warm water lakes. I tie both the Spooky Shad and the Love Frog patterns on Gamakatsu B10S wide gap hooks which I feel give me a better hook set. Not counting the appendages the bodies are all less than one-inch long and I consider that to be a small fly when compared to a 3 or 4-inch casting lure.

 

Have a great day,

Thomas

post-62444-0-15605600-1525877633_thumb.jpg

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I fish for crappie mostly and use streamers and nymphs mostly in sizes 10 through size 2. I enjoy eating and catching them. Bluegill are second and I usually use dry flies in size 12-18. Some nymphs and micro buggers too. Any bass that I catch are accidental most of the time. I have targeted largemouth, white bass, yellow bass, wipers and smallmouth but not very often anymore.

 

I will edit to add that when I targeted Largemouth bass, my favorites were Zonkers in size 1 or 2, Black or Brown Wooly Buggers, and of course deer hair bugs in the late spring and summer when the weeds prevail. For white bass and Wipers, I used Zonkers and bucktail streamers like Black Nosed Dace, and Mickey Finn.

Edited by Flicted

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Poppers, size 1 ro 2. LMB. They will hit anything with dangle stuff on it (rubber legs). I use Clousers, rabbit strip flies, Wolly Buggers, and Blondes. Some Seaducers. My inshore salt and Bass flies are the same. If they are deeper than 4 feet I use a casting rod with plastic worm ot jig.

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Big fish big flies. 7/0

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Seriously this 2/0 bug is beaten up from catching several limits and bouncing off OB, etc.

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Early in the year when the water is clear before the plankton bloom they murder the lil foam frogs. Later gotta call'em up with the poppers.

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Last fall had good luck with foam divers w/marabou tails then later w/curly tails

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I chase smallmouths in rivers, reservoirs and lakes (deep Finger Lakes), usually from a kayak, and most of my flies are on the small side - 1" to 3".

 

 

On the rivers a crayfish or madtom mimic is great, as is a white "chub" type streamer. Worse ways to spend a day than working upstream for a picnic lunch and then drifting downstream and casting through riffles and under sweeper trees.

 

The lakes can be a bit tougher. In the Finger Lakes you can be 60 ft offshore in 100 ft of water. But the northern ends shallow out and have great weed beds. When the smallmouth are holding suspended in 20 to 30 ft of water it can either be total frustration or a banner day. Cheating helps! (see depthfinder below) ;-) Again a 3" weighted white minnow is good medicine. The lake in the image is a 1200 acre reservoir on the Otselic River (Whitney Point Lake). Some good large and smallmouth waters; but it's mostly known for crappie and walleye. I cast 1" foam hoppers or spiders towards the shore and have a lot of fun with little bass. Some years back I measured a 44-1/2" tiger muskie, dead, floating belly up. Now THERE would have been a fly rod battle!

 

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