For fly fishing for bass can provide some of the most exciting fishing in the country. The largemouth bass is probably the most popular game fish in America. The popularity of fishing for bass is partly because no other freshwater fish has a wider distribution. Largemouth bass can be found from southern Canada to South America. Smallmouth bass are also excellent for fly fishing, but they prefer slightly cooler waters and are not as ever present as the largemouth variety.
Generally, the warmer the water, the larger the bass will grow. For example, a four or five pound bass may be large for a northern lake, but warmer southern waters regularly produce 10 pounders and better. The temperature of the water is a key factor not only in fly fishing, but in all fishing. When fishing for bass it is an especially important factor.
The best fishing will take place just after the bass have spawned, which is going to vary according to the temperatures. For largemouth bass spawning takes place when the water temperatures reached the low to mid-60s. In Minnesota for example, a female bass may not deposit her eggs until mid-June, while in Florida the female bass may spawn as early as February.
The behavior of the largemouth bass is also influenced considerably by the top temperature of the water. On hot summer days, they usually feed during the early morning hours and then again during the last few hours of daylight, when the sun isn’t as bright and the water temperature is cooler. Bass are generally found in areas of the water that have a lot of vegetation and cover. They spend a lot of time near the water’s edge among the grasses, reeds, and other plants.
Many fly fishermen fishing for largemouth bass use bass bugs and poppers. Poppers were designed as a surface lure to be skipped across the top of the water in a series of quick retrieves. Other good fly patterns for largemouth bass or the Muddler Minnow and the Wooly Worm. There are some fly fishermen that prefer to use streamers and bucktail.
When fly fishing for bass the fly is worked differently than it is for trout. Poppers are worked not only for their appearance but also for their sound. Generally, when a fly is cast for bass it should be allowed to remain unmoving for a longer period of time then for trout. It is estimated that 60% of bass strikes are made on a still fly. Bass tend to inspect your fly for some time before making the decision whether to take it or not. It is important to remember while fly fishing, that the warmer the water, the longer it will take the bass to take a fly.
At times fly fishermen like to tease the bass with repeated casts over the area where they think he’s holding. Teasing can sometimes be a very effective method in bringing a lazy fish up for a strike when nothing else seems to work
Fly fishing for largemouth bass can be a wonderful, exciting experience.