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    Bass Bugs and Other Critters - Smallmouth Bass Beware

    Fly Tying Patterns

    The flies that we will feature in this article are some of the most productive that you can use in fly fishing for bass, smallmouth or largemouth. Like many flies that we use in fly fishing, they imitate natural foods preyed upon by lunker bass on the prowl for a quick and easy meal of hearty protein. When fished properly, they are sure to lure a vicious strike from lurking bass, often being taken clean out of the water by a marauding, hungry bucket mouth or an acrobatic, feisty smallie. You might even tempt a strike from a toothy pike.

    Our first selection is the ?deer hair frog?. This floating frog imitator is famous for it?s uncanny effect on hungry bass, whether it is fished in a rapid retrieve or just kind of jiggled in place, tempting a strike. Bass will go out of their way to suck down a nice, fat, juicy frog.

    This fly should be cast in between the lily pads or clumps of weeds, or right up next to a line of reeds. Then retrieved in a jerky motion to create the plopping swimming action of a frog. As with any of the plugs or poppers, sometimes I?ll let them sit in place right where they land from my cast till the rippling rings travel a few feet, the whole time anticipating a strike. Then I?ll just twitch the fly a few times trying to tease any fish in the area to make a jab. Another productive method is to cast this frog up onto the pads and then to slowly drag it into the water to and start it?s swim. One of the things that I like best about this particular frog imitator is the fact that his legs are hinged at the body, floating behind him in the water to create additional action as it is retrieved. It really looks like a real frog swimming in the water. It also has a monofilament weed deflector, which works very well when it is fished in the foliage. The perfect place to connect on a trophy bronze back or bucketmouth. [this fly and all the others in this article are available for sale at ]

    The pictured bass popper looks to me as if it might be trying to imitate a frog, seeing that it?s body is frog patterned. But it also has a bright yellow feathered tail with some crystal flash and a yellow row of hackle for added attraction. It also has some rubber appendages sticking out from it?s sides, which creat extra water movement. What it is really supposed to be, well your guess is as good as mine, but I do know that it attracts strikes. Like any popper, it?s flat front surface makes a great deal of splash and pop, the audio frequency of the pop attracting the bass?s keen senses from some extraordinary distances. It should be cast into and around weed beds, lily pad groves and clumps of reeds, and then retrieved in a quick, jerky, erratic retrieve. If you aren?t getting an audible pop from the action in the water, you aren?t fishing this fly properly. It also has a fully functional weed guard protecting the hook from snags on the foliage. This particular popper is always included in my fly box arsenal of bass getting weapons.

    The fuzzy brown creation here is actually a bass fly that is made to imitate a crayfish, one of the smallmouth bass?s favorite foods. It is meant to be fished right on the bottom in clearer sandy areas or over a rocky bottom where bass are known to scout for tasty mini-lobster like dinners. This fly is constructed of dyed rabbit fur strips, with eyes and feelers just like their real counterparts. Heck, if I was a fish, I?d eat it. I like to fish this fly in calmer water, often in a pool or eddy, letting it sink to the bottom after it?s cast, and then to slowly jerk it back imitating the fluttering, spurting travel of a real crayfish. This is, many times, very deadly on smallmouth. There is an eddying pool on Michigan?s Au Sable river, the bottom covered in silt, on the edge of a rocky shoal, where I have had great results with this fly trying to catch smallies. It is also a good bait for perch, especially in the bends of old river bottoms of flooded impoundments. Sometimes it also attracts monster carp, who love to mouth the bunny fur, maybe trying to figure out what it is while you set the hook. The crayfish is a much sought after food by many fishes, especially when the crayfish have shed their harder old casing and they are growing a new one, which is at first very soft. This crayfish pattern is great at imitating that soft shelled phase of this crustacean, and it is very productive.

    These patterns have been found to be very productive for fly fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass. The Flymart Flyshop?s own guide, Captain Steve Kunnath, and his Florida Flats style boat fly fishing clients, have tested these flies extensively right here at our back door on Lake St. Clair, possibly the best smallmouth bass fishery in the United States. He and his happy clients can attest to their fish attracting ability. Do your self a favor. Don?t enter the water without them.

    Want to learn to tie Bass Bugs? Check out these great videos at our online book/video store from the Deer Hair master - Chris Helm. Click on the Video for ordering information.

    1. Fly Fishing Video Magazine Vol.41 John Day River Small Mouth Bass
    from: Bennett-Watt Media,
    14 July, 1994
    Your Price: $19.95
     prices subject to change.

    2. Hooked On Fly Tying, HCH Spinning Deer Hair with Chris Helm
    from: Bennett-Watt Media,
    01 January, 1995
    Your Price: $19.95
     prices subject to change

    3. Bass Bug Fishing Book
    by: William Tapply
    April, 2002
    List Price: $16.95
    Your Price: $11.87
    You Save: $5.08 (30%)
    prices subject to change.

    Recommended Offsite Content on Bass Bugs

    Bass Bugs by Bob Petti at

    Posted on Tuesday, June 17 @ 14:58:50 UTC by admin

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