Ten Fly Patterns for Bass Fishing

Bass are a top notch game fish. Catching them on a flyrod adds even more challenge to America's favorite sportfish.

Bass are a top notch game fish, however, they remain an unconventional species when fly fishing is concerned. We often see fly anglers go after trout, and trout are often kept in mind when designing typical fly patterns. Nevertheless, if your goal is to catch bass while experiencing fly fishing, you should be ready to get started with these 10 flies we have provided here.

Clouser Deep Minnow

The Clouser Deep Minnow is the fly boxes’ most important fly. It is generally seen as a weapon every fisherman must have, and bass make no exception. The invention of this baitfish can be traced back to 1987, when Bob Clouser thought it would be good for smallmouth scoring. Ever since, the deep minnow by Clouser has been an integral part of fly fishing. Its popularity has been spread on many sides by the well-known writer, Lefty Kreh, who invented the fly name in the year 1989, and has been able to wrangle about 90 species of saltwater and freshwater game fish using the Clouser. Regardless of your fishing zone, you just have to keep the white-and-chartreuse fly pattern inside your tackle box.

1 Clouser Deep MinnowRainy's Bob Clouser 13-Piece Smallmouth Assortment

Dahlberg Diver Frog

Your arsenal has to contain a minimum of one frog fly, and the market has no better frog fly to offer than the Dahlberg Diver. This is different from the many flies that zip through the water -- rather it plunges into the depths, swoops around down there, and quickly comes afloat, just by pulling or stripping the line. In effect, this fly displaces large volumes of water, causes so much noise, and consequently attracts large predator fish searching for a sizable appetizer. That is to say it does the work of attracting the monster bass you want for a catch.

dahlbergRainy's Joom Diver (Variation of the Dahlberg Diver)

Fathead Diver

This is typically a smaller form of the minnow version in another style. This can be the perfect choice for anglers craving for a high-performing fly, but at the same time, love to operate in a stealth mode while they catch.

3 fathead diverUmpqua Fathead Beetle (Works very well on windy days).

Soft Shell Crayfish

Your bass fishing experience cannot be more interesting than it will be when you have a crayfish pattern in your tackle box. The Soft Shell Crayfish features an imitating pattern of these specific bottom dwelling species. As a weighted wet fly, its design is after the Clouser Deep Minnow, and this makes it a good companion on rivers, lakes and streambeds. You may not get the feel of a larger fly, but its functionality will satisfy you in most situations.

4 softshell crayfishSoft Shell Crayfish

Woolly Bugger

The Woolly Bugger is also widely accepted as a standard for all fly anglers, and not only for bass fishermen. In most groups, the Bugger, which is a wet fly streamer, is seen as the most effective sizable trout catching standard, and it also works well if you are the bass type. It’s characteristically black and fluffy and is useful in both saltwater and fresh water for catching almost all species. Just as with the Clouser Deep Minnow, this will equally provide amazing results.

5 wolly buggerCabela's Black Woolly Buggers.

Gartside Gurgler

This shares versatility and popularity with the Woolly Bugger, but the difference is that it is used as a top water skimmer. Several modifications of the Gartside Gurgler over the years have made it a fan-favorite. The original Gartside Gurgler created by Jack Gartside is a simplistic design invented to attract fish by instigating commotion on water surface. Gartside’s intention of designing the fly was to make it suitable for different fishing environments through customization. Various colors, sizes and other adaptations or modifications which can be added by the tyer. With the fly’s versatility, your fishing trip (plus bass expedition) has got all necessities covered.

6 gartside gurgler

Deer Hair Bass Bug

The name speaks it all! The functionality of the Deer Hair Bass Bug simply matches with its reputation for bass catching. It works as a popper and is made mainly from deer hair. Some fly anglers run away from deer hair just because they believe it gets waterlogged easily and so loses its effectiveness very shortly. However the Deer Hair Bass Bug might just be the perfect one for you since it features a splitting, attractive color splash that make the bass leave its rest zone with enthusiasm.

7 deer hair bassDeer Hair Bass Bug.

Bunny Bass Leech

Sharing a lot with the Deer Hair Bass Bug, this Bunny Bass Leech is specially made for bass catching. Its ease of tying is a special advantage using a swath of dyed rabbit fur. A purple or black fur is suitably used for catching largemouth bass. In addition, by simply tweaking the colors, you can turn the fly into what all game fish want to rush at.

8 bunny bass leechLeadeye Leech.

Muddler Minnow

There are many other flies in this category that will first serve as a weapon against trout. Nevertheless, it’s a faultless imitation of baitfish originating from the sculpin family and will get you a wide range of big game fish -- without sparing trout, steelhead, salmon and even bass.

9 muddler minnowMuddler Minnow.

Bass Hopper

Here’s a more classical fly for traditional trout catch. It is a good match for streams and rivers during summertime in the abundance of grasshoppers. It’s a rare dry fly that shouldn’t be left back when you are out for bass. You will not be able to use it as often as you would use some other flies, however, using it briefly during summer will make you wish for a longer summer period. It features an exceptional foam design just like the one pictured.

10 bass hopperBass Foam Hopper.

Traditional Methods, Tremendous Results

As you surely noticed, many of these flies are ones you probably already have on hand for your other fishing missions. Success lies in the modification and adaptation to your environment. The TOF Pro Staffers love targeting bass on the fly, and we just couldn’t stop at ten. One more must-try is the Peck’s Popper.

Pecks Popper7016Hard Popper.

Designed in the early 1900’s by a gentleman named E. H. Peckinpaugh, they were manufactured for sale in 1920. A topwater classic, its unique action and appearance make them fun to tie and fish. Cast it, let it lie still for a few seconds, and then strip the line a few times -- if there is a bass around, it will crush this fly!

Have fun at the bench and on the water!

The Online Fisherman

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