Living in Texas, I am surrounded by bass. I fly fish for what are known as black bass. The black bass: largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, Guadalupe. All bass species are astonishing and unique to me.
Fly fishing to me is about getting on the water and connecting with nature and the creatures that lie within. Fly fishing allows me to see things from another perspective. What a lot of people see when looking into still water is a reflection; but what I see is much more than that. I look deeper and I see into a whole other world that holds so many riches!
Catching a bass on a fly rod is just incredible in ways that I cannot explain. The feeling of a bass attacking your fly gets your heart racing and adrenaline pumping. Bass attack their prey with intentions of subduing whereas many other species are more opportunistic. With this, the impact of the bass attacking your fly is very wicked and fierce- which makes it so heart-pumping!
On a day-to-day basis when fishing, I usually tie on at least ten to twelve different patterns in order to find out what bass are eating. I use a wide variety of flies that include both top water and streamers. It is hard to narrow down to just one of my favorite bass flies, so I will narrow it down to five.
To start things off, a great fly to use in the summertime is any grasshopper imitation. There is no particular hopper that I like to use- any pattern will do. My favorite way to use this pattern is to throw it over some still water and start stripping it in, attempting to imitate an actual grasshopper as close as you can. You can also throw this fly into a current and strip it in as well dead drift it. Either way works- still water has just been the most successful for me. You can catch bass of any size using this fly. The flies range from small to large, so just pick your favorite!
Another favorite of mine is Bennett’s “Lunch Money”. This fly comes in many variations. My favorite is the Fire Tiger in size 4. A good way to use this pattern is to strip it down deep along the bottom. This fly is designed to get down to the bottom, and that is my favorite way to use it! It works great in rivers or ponds the same. This fly is a sure way to catch a fish! You can see more of Bennett’s patterns on Instagram at @flygeekmatt.
Next up is the Morrish Mouse. This is an all-around great fly to use wherever, whenever. I like to toss this fly along any bank and start stripping. I allow my fly to sit for a couple of seconds about every 4-5 strips, and this allows a bass to get a good look at your fly. Fish will absolutely demolish this fly! Another one of my favorite ways to use this is at night. Although I love using black streamers for night fishing, tossing this mouse at night always pays off! A great place to get this fly is at Umpqua Feather Merchants.
This next fly is a miracle worker. The Cheech Leech works wonders! This fly comes in lots of variations, my favorite being the Cheech Leech Fall. This fly is super complex and unique. I like to toss this fly into a pond or river and strip it in, then let it sink a bit and repeat. This fly has a size 1 hook and has the great perk of a stinger hook. I really like this factor because lots of fish nip at the tail end of a fly, sometimes missing the actual take. With this, the fish actually bites into a hook and it allows you to set and retrieve! Another one of my favorite colors of this fly is the “Halloween”. They have other great patterns and photos that can be found on Instagram at @flyfishfood.
My last and final fly on my top five favorite bass flies is the Smitherman’s PubGrub. This fly comes in sizes 2-6 and many colors, but my favorite is the Shad in size 4. I really like to use this fly in creeks and rivers. My favorite method is to throw this fly into semi-deep water and let it sink about ¼ of the way down and then start stripping. I like to let the fly float about ¾ of the way back to the bottom, and then repeat. This fly also works well in ponds being tossed along the bank, especially during a spawn. To get this fly you can go on Instagram to @fly_guru.
As these flies do wonders in Texas, they will be successful in other states as well. Fly fishing has brought me many joys in these three years and I am excited to see what the future has in store for me!