When it comes to fishing for warm water species, especially bass, the fly guys are a little lacking in one particular area that the spin fishing crowd has in droves: noise. Bringing more noise to your topwater fly selection can make a huge difference in getting your fly noticed by fish watching the surface. That’s why adding a little slap to your frog or topwater popper can bring you back to catching more fish than the hardware folks, and have way more fun doing it.
Add Some Slap
Instead of landing your fly nice and softly on the surface of the water like a dry fly for a trout, you want your fly to make a splash and get the attention of any fish that may be swimming nearby. When you’re laying out your cast, instead of aiming to get your fly a few feet off the water so that it can softly drift to the water’s surface aim much lower. You should try and get your fly to cruise in just above the water. Don’t aim too low though, or you’ll pile your fly line in a mess over the fly and will ruin your presentation.
Once you fly is above the water’s surface by just a few inches, right before it lands it’s time for you to bring the noise. At the last second pull with your line hand (the one not holding the rod grip) straight back, towards your hip, like a strip-set. This will cause the fly to swing down and slap the water’s surface. Watch those rings extend from your fly and get ready to see an explosion.
Why It Works
Frogs, mice, fish; they’re not known for having a graceful landing. Imagine a mouse falling off a bank into the water, it’s going to make quite a splash. Same with smaller fish jumping up in the air after bugs, when they come back down, you’re going to hear the slap. Frogs off a lily pad? You can bet that fish will be able to hear that from a ways away, and they’ll be coming in hot for an easy meal.
When you add that special slap to your presentation, you’re not only mimicking what happens naturally, but you’re also ringing the dinner bell for nearby fish. Even if you’re not fishing a frog pattern, fish that are swimming through a lily pad forest are going to look up when they hear the slap. Then when they see a juicy topwater fly sliding along the surface, they’ll be rocketing straight for it. That’s when it’s time to hang on tight and watch an awesome topwater slam.
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