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Fly-Fishing For Bass
Part 1 -Why Fly-Fish For Bass?


by Jim Mengle


The deer hair bass bug settled gently on the water amongst a maze of stick-ups, I pulled the slack out of the line, waited a few seconds and made my first retrieve. The bug gurgled on the surface. Then, a second short retrieve, gurgle -- and the water exploded as the bug disappeared -- kind of like when you flush the toilet on a Boeing 747.

The bass jumped in an attempt to throw the fly and then went for the maze of sticks and stumps. The fly rod arced as I put maximum pressure on the fish. Minutes later the bass was at the boat, examined briefly and released.

Bass love to eat these bugs. The fish are territorial and have a very predatory nature --just the scenario for top water bugs that pop, shake, shimmy and wiggle.

The question was once asked, "Why fly-fish for trout?" The answer was, "Because they are found in such beautiful places." Because beauty could be defined as 'in the eye of the beholder', one could say the same for fly-fishing for bass. I find a magic moment on the water at daybreak or evening, as the sun slowly rises or sets on the water. Mother Nature paints a picture each time, none of which are the same.

The anticipation of the moment as one makes cast after cast is magic, whether it is with a fly rod or conventional rod. My personal choice for bass is with the top water bass bug. Not because this fly catches more fish, but for the 'grab' - that moment when the water explodes. We do have other flies also; flies that look just like plastic worms, wounded minnows, crayfish, leeches. These are usually not topwater lures, but are made for fishing deeper. But, I have found, over many years of fly fishing for many species of fish, that the bass 'grab' on a top water bug is right at the top of the list. It is a visual thing.

We all deliver the bait, lure, plastic worm, fly or whatever in the same manner - with a rod and reel. Because of the nature and make-up of flies, it is difficult to cast a fly - specifically a deer hair bass bug - with anything other than a fly rod. These flies are light in weight and somewhat wind resistant. Plain and simple, I enjoy fly-casting and, of course, tying my own bass bugs.

I believe that an angler, with a fly rod in hand, can cover lots of good prospective water in a short time. Fly-casting is not as difficult as it first appears and fortunately, in the case of bass, one does not have to make long casts. 30 to 40 ft. is an acceptable distance. But, very accurate casting is a 'must' due to the very nature of where bass are found and the cover one must usually cast into. If areas are approached with stealth, most casts may be less than 30 feet. Oh, yes - I have lost many bass bugs to the 'Stick Gods'.

The four great "truths " of fishing found in Jim Porter's site apply to fly fishing, as well. I make 'many casts per day per fish hooked'. But, where else would you want to be -- watching CNN or at the Stick Marsh? Fly-rodding for bass will extend your 'fishing' window of opportunity and provide you with some very exciting, heart- pounding, knee-knocking experiences.

So get geared up and keep that fly rod ready to go! We'll be covering fly-fishing for bass a lot more in future articles.




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