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Wacky Zac

Fly fishing for bass...

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Hi there! Does anybody do any fly fishing for bass? I'm thinking about taking fly fishing lessons, and where I live the closest trout pond is a couple hours away. I'm thinking about targeting bass with a fly rod.

 

As my name suggests I LOVE wacky rigging, but I'm always looking for a new method to catch bass, largemouth and small.

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I've done a fair bit of it.  Fly casting lessons will help but if you're a visual learner you can get by with youtube.  I was targeting bluegill in a pond and caught a 4+ lber on a #14 Adams.  I love catching bass on poppers and dries.  I've seen flies that will mimic wacky rigged worms if you wanna go that route but topwater does it for me.

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It's a pretty fun way to catch them, especially during the summer months when the bugs are thick. Hoppers are a great pattern because pretty much anything will eat them. 

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Juvenile bass main diet is insects of all types.

Fly fishing is very different then any other type of casting. With fly fishing you cast the line not the lure (fly) or what is tied onto the end of the leader (tiplet). 

Bass flies tend to be larger size having more wind resistance then trout flies, this requires heavier line and longer rods. 

Bass eat insects of all types is a important fact to remember. You don't need big air resistant flies or poppers and can use standard trout fly rods and line like a 5 power 8'6" rod in lieu of bigger 9' 7 weight rods. Select tackle for the lure being used. Popper and big flies use longer stronger rods, smaller flies use lighter rods.

I have caught more bass using a MCGinty bee dry fly and woolly bug wet fly on 5 weight rod than any other fly or popper.

Tom

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It's a blast. Are you chasing largemouth or smallmouth?  For bass, I'd strongly recommend a 7-8wt, though a 6 or 9 will also work. A bunch if trout patterns CAN work (i caught my first smallmouth this year on a size 22 zebra midge) but most of your patterns will be bigger streamers, heavy flies, and tricky to cast poppers.  

 

Fly fishing for anything (that'll take a fly) is ridiculous fun, but requires a good bit of practice in the yard and on the water.  Welcome to another money pit. 😁

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Why fly fish? You can wacky rig 2" to 3"  trout plastic worms using spinning tackle.

Don Iovino Tiny Weenie 3" worms work good.

Tom

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55 minutes ago, Turkey sandwich said:

It's a blast. Are you chasing largemouth or smallmouth?  For bass, I'd strongly recommend a 7-8wt, though a 6 or 9 will also work. A bunch if trout patterns CAN work (i caught my first smallmouth this year on a size 22 zebra midge) but most of your patterns will be bigger streamers, heavy flies, and tricky to cast poppers.  

 

Fly fishing for anything (that'll take a fly) is ridiculous fun, but requires a good bit of practice in the yard and on the water.  Welcome to another money pit. 😁

 Haha money is the biggest reason why I may not persue fly fishing as soon as I'd like. I am learning baitcasting on a cheap baitcaster and am ready to upgrade and that in itself is a money pit.

 

If I go through with the fly fishing I think I'll mostly be going for smallies but will also fish for largemouth occasionally as well.

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one of the most enjoyable sights i witnessed was a black man on a farm pond standing in his jon boat fly fishing for bluegills ... he could put that fly on a dime ...

 

good fishing ...

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I use to spend all my free time fly-fishing . Just do it you won't regret it. A 4# largemouth will flat Ware you out

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i fly fish for warm water species quite a bit. This time of year, when its hot and the lakes are crowded, wading a creek with a fly rod is loads of fun.

You won't regret picking up a fly rod. There's lots of decent combos that won't break the bank. 6 wt is a good all around rod, but if you're primarily after bass a 7wt would be better.

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Love wading the creek with the fly rod catching brown bass!  They will run the line between your legs and tangle you up making it more interesting haha

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Lessons will definitely help. Also, read Ellis' book,  Bassin with a Fly Rod,  and Dave Whitlock 's Orvis guide to Bass fishing.  Also books by Terry and Roxane Wilson and Lefty Kreh are excellent.  

 

The low end Orvis combo is a great deal.  Bass pro low end Combos are okay.   I think you should start with top water like a foam popper or hopper.  Get a "Bass" leader and good tippet.  I like Maxon tippet.   I like furled leaders and a WF line.  Feather Craft has a good furled leader system.  In my opinion, you need an  8 wt for LMB and a 4 or 5 for blue gill.  If you are going to try to straddle it, use a 6 wt.  With a 6, stick to smaller poppers, size 4 or so.  As stated, Wooly Buggers work.  The more heavily weighted the fly, the harder to handle.  Heavily weighted flies kind of defeat the purpose of fly fishing, too me.  In general, the more air resistant or heavy the fly, the heavier rod and more dramatic your line taper will need to be.

 

Wear sun glasses for eye protection.

 

Don't get a junky rod.  You will have a difficult time learning on those.  That being said, a fiberglass Eagle Claw is fun and might serve your needs.  It is slow and forgiving.  Don't start with an ultra fast tip rod.  IMHO the faster the rod, the harder to learn on.  

 

Reel doesn't matter as you strip line in.  You might want ro wrap you index finger with tape to prevent line burn from stripping line, or get a finger guard.

 

The advantage to fly fishing is to cast small, lightweight stuff that you can't cast on other rods.  Deep water fly fishing with a sink tip or heavily weighted flies is a pain to me.  It wears thin quickly.  If I am fishing over 4 ft deep, I go with BC or Spinning rod.  But nothing is as much fun to me as catching a Big bass on a popper!

 

Next you will be tying flies.  Another sickness.  Good luck!

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Buy a used 6wt 8-9ft.  A basic reel that's at least made of metal.  A floating wf line.  Then a few different leaders.  Toss woolly buggers, muddler minnows and clousers.  It's fun but do not get crazy overthinking it all.

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Do a youtube search for Lefty Kreh, he's a master of the sport.

 

personal note:  your fly fishing reel is just something to hold excess line, the purity of fly fishing is working the line with one hand and holding your rod with the other.  Please don't use the fly reel like a baitcaster!

 

Have fun, wish more people used fly fishing techniques for bass.  A bit of a learning curve but well worth the effort.

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Peter Kutzer with Orvis has several good videos. Lessons are a great idea. Lots of areas have local clubs that have members more than willing to help new people out. I'd recommend getting with someone that can suggest an outfit that's suitable for a beginner instead of buying something cheap off shelf first. When I first moved to Montana I bought a book from Orvis, 9ft 6wt Clearwater Orvis mid-flex rod(trout fishing), quality WF floating line and hit the local park, most important thing I did was watch my backcast when learning and realize its all about timing and not power. Best of luck its a lot of fun  

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