Where I live in South East Michigan, we don’t have many trout. There are some stocked ponds with browns, but I can pretty much count on finding some bass in almost every river I fish. There is nothing I’d rather be doing on a hot day than jumping in a cool stream and getting some bass on the fly.
We’re gonna go over some of the best flies you can use for bass fishing with a fly rod. Bass are a great species to fish for (obviously), but some of you may not know how much fun they are to fish on the fly. You can definitely try for bass with a lighter weight rod (5 or 6), but the flies were gonna look at today will really perform best with a seven or eight weight rod/reel/line. The poppers and streamers require the extra strength to throw them out for long casts.
This streamer has been around since 1936 when Don Gapen of Minnesota tied it. It imitates the Sculpin family of fish. While traditionally a tool for catching trout, I have had success with it fishing for bass.
Dahlberg Diver Frog
This small frog plunges down, swims around, and resurfaces with a simple flick of the line. The larger fly moves water when it dives and can attract the attention of nearby bass.
San Juan Worm
This fly is always with me whether I’m fishing trout or bass. It’s the anti-fly fly, designed to mimic a small worm. I love diving this fly under the surface with a sinking line and have had success running a dropper underneath it. A dropper is a small wet fly that trails the main fly by about 18″ on a piece of tippet and with some weight just above it. When the fish wont bite on any of my other flies, I can usually get them interested with this one.
The clouser minnow was invented by Bob Clouser in the 1980s specifically for catching smallmouth bass. It is a simple fly that does a great imitation of a minnow swimming underwater. After casting you want to drop your rod tip down to almost the water’s edge and then strip the line in. You should have one for any fly fishing you are doing, but especially bass.
This is a classic bass fly. The shape and weight of the fly make a loud pop when it hits the water, attracting bass looking for a substantial meal. Your retrieve should be erratic. I have also had success fishing this off banks and rocks.
The Leech Fly
The leech is another classic fly for bass. As non-fly fishers know, in the warm summer months bass go crazy for leeches. This streamer fly perfectly imitates the movement of a leech under the water. The long tail moving underwater can also help catch the attention of wary fish.