5 Essential Early Season Bass Flies

If you’re like us you’re probably pretty pumped that warm water fly fishing season is back. Bass are starting to wake up and get ready to spawn, which is a prime time to catch big lunkers.  As we’ve been kicking off our own bass fishing, we’ve been reaching for the same handful of flies, so we figured we’d share the 5 patterns we’ve been reaching for the most:

#1 – Devils Craw

No bass box is complete without some crawfish patterns. These guys are starting to wake up just like the bass and are on the move. Mix up your retrieves almost every cast until you find the rhythm that your fish want. we find that a strip-strip-pause retrieve gets even the finickiest bass to inhale your fly.

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#2 – The Sneaky Pete

This topwater slider is a great speculating pattern when you first get to any bass water. It makes just the right amount of commotion on the surface to draw any hungry fish’s attention. If you’re feeling brave try dropping a small baitfish pattern behind it and get to poppin’.

#3 – The Crease Fly

Another one of our go-to topwater patterns, this fly makes a decent bit more noise than the Sneaky Pete, but if you’re in an area where bass are feeding on frogs and baitfish in the shallows, you’re going to want one of these. If you’re seeing bass get territorial, pop this sucker right over their territory and watch as they come up to take your fly down!

#4 – Skoks Mushmouth

While not a textbook smallmouth or largemouth fly, this pattern recently saved me from a fishless trip after my bass were being tighter lipped than usual. I had one buried in my streamer box from last Striper season and figured why not give it a try before heading home, and wouldn’t you know it, my fish couldn’t keep their mouths off it. I guess the old saying “If it ain’t chartreuse, it ain’t no use” still remains true.

#5 – Hoo Fly

Another cameo appearance from a go-to saltwater pattern, the Hoo Fly mimics many warm-water baitfish well. It was crazy effective and because of its lighter color, you can watch the whole retrieve, and especially when it disappears into a hungry mouth. Work this pattern on a sink tip leader or fly line and get after em!

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