We all know that bass fishing is one of America’s favorite pastimes. It’s something many of us did when we were younger with our grandparents in the nearby lakes and rivers. If you ever went to a summer camp on a lake, chances are there were some fishing poles available to try your hand at reeling something in. And if you live in the South, fishing for bass on any given weekend is pretty much a sure thing. But have you ever tried your hand at fly fishing for bass? This is not your typical way of fishing for bass, no matter what species you usually target. FishAnywhere.com is located in Orlando, Florida - so most of our bass fishing is focused on largemouth bass. But it’s quite possible to go fly fishing for smallmouth bass, peacock bass, and even striped bass.
When most people think of fly fishing they’re imagining a lone angler standing in the middle of a river targeting trout or salmon. Images of the movie “A River Runs Through It” seem to fit this scenario. And while we agree this is a very popular image of fly fishing, we want to challenge you to adjust your picture. Change the scenery from mountainous backdrops to the Florida backcountry. And instead of trout, largemouth bass is the species of choice. Catching bass on fly is much different than spin fishing. Conventional fishing like spincasters or baitcasters use monofilament or braided lines to cast weighted lures to their targets. Whereas fly fishing uses weighted lines that can be picked up and immediately recast. Depending on leader length and line taper, a fly can be redelivered in short order. It’s a skill that takes time to master, but earns great rewards when you’ve got it down! When it comes to fly fishing for bass, not only is your choice of fly important, but how you present it to the bass that’s important. This is known as presentation, and it’s ultimately the key to a successful outing when it comes to landing bass on a fly. There are streamers that are colorful and shiny that attract bass from their mud beds; or try using a popper, which imitates topwater animals such as frogs. You can also use weighted flies that sink a bit under the surface of the water; these are good for summer time fishing trips when the bass are found in deeper waters. Whichever type of fly you decide to use, make sure to keep it moving and interesting for your target. If you can’t seem to get their attention, try mixing things up a bit. Try a different color or size if needed. Some of our favorite flies for landing largemouth bass in Central Florida include Clouser Minnow, Umpqua Swimming Frog, and Shenandoah Chugger among others. The key to a successful day of fly fishing for bass is to keep the fly moving. And once you have the hook set, prepare for one heckuva fight! Bass are known as aggressive fighters, so a properly set hook helps to reel them in.
Before heading out, you’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment. A fly fishing rod and reel, as well as the correct line will make all the difference in your success rates. Depending on your location and how big the body of water is that you’re fishing will determine the size and weight of your equipment. But generally, a 5-6 will get the job done. If you’re fishing larger bodies of water, an 8-9 rod will provide the durability you need. Try to match your reel to your rod, taking into consideration drag. If you’re chasing lunkers, consider using a “disk” drag rather than a “click and pawl” system, as this will allow for more gradual resistance as the line is pulled. Your line choice will depend on how much you want it sinking into the water. Sometimes this is helpful, other times you want the line to stay on top of the water. It comes down to personal preference, just keep in mind that you will need to replace your line regularly.
To make your next bass trip a fly fishing excursion, consider hiring a local guide who has all the gear and experience you need for a successful trip. You’ll want to make sure you find a guide who specializes in fly fishing and can teach you the tips of the trade. Once you have it mastered, then you can set out alone and enjoy catching bass on fly anytime you want! To find a local professional guide, search FishAnywhere.com and get your adventure started!