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Bass Flies

Bass Fishing Flies: Streamers and Poppers

Bass have a reputation for being real fighters once hooked. You can tempt them using traditional dry fly patterns if conditions are right for a hatch, and nymphs can work all year round, hatch or no hatch. But if you want to see explosive takes from the bigger Bass patrolling your local waters, pack some popper and streamer patterns in your fly box.

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More about Bass

With both salt and fresh water species, Bass are widespread. They can live in warmer and dirtier waters than Trout, so you’ll find them in even relatively urban rivers, but that’s not to say they won’t also be found in sleepy backwaters and mountain streams. Dry fishing flies and techniques that catch Trout will also work on Bass, as will nymphing, but we’d recommend two other ways to get them to take your hook.

Fishing with Bass Poppers

The bigger Bass get, the more they tend to pass on smaller mouthfuls. Sure, if there’s a hatch on and the water is teeming with emerging insects then dry patterns can work. But big Bass will eat frogs, small mammals and even ducklings. Popper patterns do not necessarily need to be representative; they just need to attract attention with their size, color and movement. Some anglers report hooking monster Bass with mouse or rat patterns at night, if cast to land with a significant ‘splat’ followed by jerky movement.

Fishing with Bass Streamers

Bass are voracious under the surface too: as well as large nymphs such as stonefly or dragonfly, they hunt leeches, crayfish and small (or even not so small) fish; they’ve been known to slam into fish that have been hooked. As with Poppers, effective Streamer flies are often more attention-grabbing than realistic: shiny patterns (especially in murky waters) fished fast will attract attention from the bigger inhabitants of your local waters. During high Summer when Bass are in deeper waters trying to stay cool, heavier patterns (or weighting the fly) can make a difference.

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