With splashy takes and hard fights, fly fishing for bass is exhilarating and requires a different set of flies than typical trout fly patterns. While bass are not the most popular sport fish to target on the fly, it is quickly gaining eyes in the fly fishing community for its topwater action.
Whether you are looking to discover new patterns as a fly angler or are wanting to catch something new, here are 21 bass flies we love to toss at small-mouth and large-mouth bass.
One of the things that separates this mouse pattern from others is the tail. Bass can feel movement in the water so a series of quick strips with the skitter will create a wake that will be felt by any bass in the vicinity. Once the Skitter catches their attention, better keep your wits about ya! This is also a tremendous trout pattern.
These popper flies push a ton of water and cause a commotion sure to gain the attention of nearby bass. The rubber legs extending out the sides pulsate with each ‘pop’ or strip through the water.
A common problem with trout anglers is trout that short strike a fly that has too long a tail. Have no fear of that when you’re using the Muddy Buddy! The longer tail will imitate a larger baitfish that’s frantically trying to swim away from the bass that’s about to be in your net.
The Lunchable streamer is a deep diving streamer for bright and clear conditions. Really slow down your retrieves and focus on deep water. You’ll rarely find bass along the shallows unless warm water is discharged into your local water. The Lunchable minnow is perfect for bouncing around large boulders and tight spaces bass congregate.
With a length of 9.5 centimeters or 3.75 inches, it will be tough for large fish not to notice this swimming through the water. Tied with a hinged tail-end, this highly articulated streamer swims effortlessly like a distressed bait fish. Any amount of light will magnify the fluorescent eyes and ultra-flash holographic body, attracting any nearby fish in clear or murky waters.
Woolly Buggers are a great fly pattern for pretty much everything and come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. If retrieved it can imitate a crawling crayfish or baitfish, while a dead drifted bugger can be a dead crayfish or even a stonefly.
Black Yellow Deer Hair Popper
Stripping streamer patterns for bass is great, but there’s something about watching one destroy a popper that forever changes an angler. Once you see a bucket mouth inhale this popper, don’t be shocked if you opt for the topwater flies the next few times on the water!
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Crayfish are a staple diet for warm water species. Whether you drift-it, jig-it, or swing-it, the DB crayfish is great for prospecting bass, carp, trout, and panfish.
The Muddy Buddy pattern is known for his great movement and versatility. Not only is the Muddy Buddy a killer trout fly, but it can be fished in warmer waters as a bass fly.
The bedrock of any predator fly box. Clouser Minnows dive fast and deep into feeding holes and lanes. It’s prime color combo of chartreuse and white racks up trout faster than a lumberjack with wood. It is ranked as one of the greatest fly patterns in history. Make note to carry a variety of Clouser Minnows.
The Dragon Tail streamer features excellent movement and its head pushes water to make a perfect pattern for pike and large bass.
The Meat Whistle is a combination between a rabbit leech and a jig, excellent for fishing along the bottom without getting snagged. Target areas along big boulders, submerged trees, vegetation, and under overhanging branches. Strip the Meat Whistle in and pause between strips to allow it to rise and fall.
This bright colored popper is excellent on sunny days with clear visibility. An unsinkable bass popper fly for predator-rich streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds.
A heavy headed streamer with lively movement and tons of jerky motions. With a load of rubbery legs, the Silly Wiggler is best fished by stripping in once, letting it sink a bit, and then stripping it again to give it an up-down motion.
With 4 layers of durable foam, these top-water flies were designed to take a tough beating from Bass, Brim, Bluegill, Panfish, and Crappie. Modeled after frogs, large terrestrial bugs, injured bait-fish, and damselflies (prime bass food), patrolling fish can’t pass up the almost perfect frog/damsel fly silhouette.
This classic crayfish pattern has just enough weight to dive into the feeding lanes. Watch bass engulf this awesome crayfish fly whole.
Troy Basso’s Nightstalker
The combination of purplish blue and black creates a look in the water that bass have a tough time resisting. This is the perfect fly for deep water slow retrieves on a sink tip or quick stripping through lily pads thanks to its upward facing hook.
Croff’s Nervous Neda
Bass, perhaps more so than any other species, go absolutely bananas for movement. The slightest twitch and gyration of a fly can be all it takes to have a bucketmouth hammer a streamer or popper. Part of what makes this fly so productive is its ability to create movement and tantalize a bass beyond control.
A properly fished crayfish pattern crawls across the bottom. That means a heavily weighted head is necessary, as is an inverted eye positioning. This fly has all of that and more with a long rubber tail to add even more tantalizing movement that bass just cannot resist.
Topwater bass fly fishing is exhilarating throughout the Summer and Fall months. These hard poppers are great for long hours chasing bass on the water. Look for water that is more open to the sun and along deep pockets. In the heat of the summer, target the edges of shaded water
Few color combo produce like black and olive. Throw in some strands of flash and the Burgin bugger quickly becomes a favorite for bass fly anglers everywhere. The rubber legs add even more action that will entice fish from Kansas to Virginia.