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Fly Patterns For Largemouth And Smallmouth Bass (8 of 12)

Get expert tips on fly fishing for bass with this informative fly fishing video lesson. Learn the most popular fly patterns for largemouth and smallmouth bass.
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Video Transcript:

You don't need a wide variety of flies for smallmouth bass. First and foremost is some sort of crayfish imitation like this one here; it's weighted, gets down near the bottom and you fish it with twitches or just sinking to the bottom. One of the most popular fly for smallmouth bass is a black woolly bugger. It imitates hellgrammites which they feed on in streams very heavily. Also could be a crayfish imitation or some sort of bait fish or leech imitation but smallmouths love a black woolly bugger.

Then, maybe some sort of trout dry fly, like this big stone fly. They will come up for insects and some big trout-sized flies will work for smallmouths. Then a couple of surface flies; a slider like this white Sneaky Pete, this one doesn't make quite as much commotion in the water. Finally, a popping bug; one with a face that pops, that makes some noise in the water. Smallmouth are aggressive feeders, and they will come up for a popper that's worked fairly aggressively across the surface.

Because largemouth bass are such voracious predators, they'll eat almost anything and they've got a big mouth so they can inhale some pretty large flies. The flies you're going to use, probably a little bit bigger than you use for smallmouths. Some of the popular ones are some sort of streamer. This one happens to imitate a sunfish and sunfish are not only prime largemouth bass food, but they're also nest predators on largemouth bass, so they'll grab a sunfish when it gets near. This is a twisty tail with lead eyes; doesn't imitate anything really. It's a lure, just like a bass lure. Traditional cork popper is one of the most fun ways to catch a largemouth; particularly mornings and evenings when they're near the surface and in shallow water.

Then they eat a lot of frogs. This happens to be a deer hair frog; great fly for largemouths, fun to fish. And, finally, who could go largemouth fishing without a mouse imitation? They eat lots of mice and small rodents.

So now we understand more about rivers, streams, and lakes, and where bass will live in them. We've also discussed using our powers of observation to detect what the bass may be eating. Now in the next segment, we'll discuss casts and retrieves to tie it all together.