Traditional flies, historically used for trout, is the origin of fly fishing for bass.
Early accounts of bass fly fishing in the literature show anglers using mayfly and hopper patterns of old for early success on both largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Later developments in materials introduced balsawood poppers for bass that later let to the development of other lighter materials, as well as hair patterns for both top water and subsurface delving flies such as the Dahlberg Diver.
There are times when large mayfly patterns will take smallmouth of all sizes and this is perhaps one of the most satisfying for the trout devotee. They can use traditional flies carefully placed above rising bass and emulate a grand trout fishing experience, with fish that will pull the tail off a trout.
New materials today, especially light closed cell foam have given rise to fantastic flies that float very well. Flies such as new hopper patterns are very effective when bass will not readily hit a popper. Dead drifted or slightly twitched hoppers and mayfly patterns can turn topwater fish when other patterns fail.
In addition, depending on the region, mayfly and other invertebrates hatching in selected areas can bring tremendous fishing for bass that are after dragon flies, and large mayflies, both duns and nymphs.
When used at the right time. these flies will out produce almost any other type of lure, bait or fly. These imitations will catch a wide variety of fish partaking of the available smorgasboard. Walleyes, panfish, carp, suckers, rock bass and even northerns will eat these flies when the time is right.
Keep your eyes and ears open in your region. If you hear of a great hatch of big flies – that’s the time to grab your trout vest and go catch some magnum bass!