Fly Fishing for Bass – What flies?

With the new season upon us for 2014, it’s time to dust off the fly fishing gear and hit the fly tying bench in readiness for some hectic sessions on the beach.

What happened in 2013? Well, my season was certainly one to remember, not only for my benefit but for a few friends too. Although I was unlucky on a few occasions with the larger sized fish a couple of mates did better and managed to set themselves new personal bests with the best going 10 1/2lbs. A fish of a lifetime on any method but made that little more special when its caught on a fly! There were also a number of other great fish taken between 7 1/2 and 9lbs.

My personal best day however, resulted in over 50+ Bass, “Nothing to shout about you may say” and yes, you could probably do this every other day with schools of fish in the estuaries of a pound or so in weight but, these fish were a few classes above and with an average weight of between 3 and 4lbs. I will quite happily shout about it from the roof tops! It was a insane session, it was a fish a chuck, two fish a chuck at one point when I was fishing a dropper fly. Although I manged to get the first couple of double shots to the net I thought better of it and cut one fly off as 3lb+ fish pulling against each other is asking for trouble and a snap off was on the cards. If the fish had been slightly larger I am sure a breakage would have been a certainty. Thankfully I always use a stout leader, 15lbs breaking strain is the lightest I would go and for the most part I use 20lb. Personally, I have never found Bass to be leader shy so it doesn’t pay to go light on your tippet…  To date, it will certainly go down as my most memorable day SWFF!

I have everything crossed that this season will be as good has the last and with a bit of luck, that 10lb fish which as eluded me so far will turn up.

What do I use?

My favourite fly pattern for Bass is this Silver Baitfish pattern.

Saltwater bass flies

This pattern worked extremely well for me last year. During the months of September and October there’s usually an influx of small mullet on the beaches which range in sizes between 3 – 6″ in length, these make for easy pickings for any marauding Bass so it only makes sense to offer them something which resembles what they are feeding on. It’s a great fly that’s relatively easy to tie and very rarely, if ever, fouls on the cast. The rear part of the fly ( the tail ) consists of extra select craft fur, the front portion is Veniard’s Streamer wing .The streamer wing is what makes this fly almost foul proof, it’s fairly stiff but has a decent amount of mobility, the best part about it is the profile it keeps in the water, it’s excellent. The craft fur gives the pattern all the mobility it requires.

Hook – You preferred pattern of choice and size.
Extra select craft fur.
Veniards streamer wing.
Silver angle hair.
Stick on eyes
Veniard Bug Bond Resin ( Or your preferred UV resin )

This pattern doesn’t only work in the later months. Tied in different sizes it works from the start of the season right until the end.

Tight lines



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Daz Jackson

About Daz Jackson

Welsh saltwater fly fishing ace Darren Jackson began life fishing the rivers of his native land, and in his best season, put some 400 salmon and sea trout on the bank. Since then, Darren has moved onto sea fishing, spending much of the past 20 years honing his fly fishing skills in pursuit of 10 lb plus sea bass. As Darren says, “there are not many fish that swim that can’t be caught on a fly.” Good advice – if you fancy a spot of salt water fly fishing, Daz is your man.