With hat in hand, I come seeking information

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species' started by Olive bugger, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. No I am not looking for your honey hole, your bestest fly pattern or even your preference in a boat.
    I am looking for some general information about small mouth bass fishing.

    I have never targeted bass with a fly rod. I was thinking that a few taken might relieve some of the pressure on migrating fish in some of the rivers. We are talking East side now.

    I humbly ask, do you think my 8 wt. 9'6"' Sage RP with an 8 wt line is over loaded for smallies?

    What is a "normal" leader tippet size, say 3X?

    What is a normal leader length? 9 ft or shorter?

    Last question, what size hooks would be a good choice for them. I am thinking maybe a 6 or 8?
  2. pick the appropriate tippet for turning over your fly of choice. I'd say 2X is the minimum. Hook size will be bigger than you think. I'd start with Cottage Lake before I ventured over to eastside rivers. Don't forget to factor in a boat for river fishing.
  3. Thanks Bill, can I assume that the rod selection and line selection are correct for this type of fishing? I have a boat for river fishing.

    Cottage Lake is on the start off point. As soon as it opens and the trout crowd is off, I will try it out. Maybe mid May or early June.
  4. I fished bass at Wagner near Monroe with 7 wts. The line weight/tippet is dependent on the size fly chosen and the distance needed for the cast. I used the smaller poppers as I liked to watch the surface strikes. Smaller is a #4 or so hook. 2x or 1X will turn those over. Nothing worse than a nice cast and then the "fly" flops down at the end of the line as the leader/tippet can't roll it over. Smaller tippets can be used with subsurface flies as they don't have the same wind resistance of poppers.
  5. Oh great, I gave my 7 wt to a newbie that was getting started. Now I guess I need a new Sage Bass rod. Ha ha. Wait till Momma hears about that.
  6. An eight weight is probably on the heavy side for most of the fish you're likely to catch. At least over here. I did land a five pound bass while fishing an eight weight single hander for steelhead on the Ronde a few years back, and I was glad to have it. However, when actually targeting bass I like a stout six weight.

    Presentation as we think of it in terms of trout fishing doesn't really apply. I like my leaders short and stout, and use 8# Maxima chameleon for tippet regardless. A good homegrown leader for bass as is follows: 54" 30# maxima, 9" 25#, 9" 15#, 18" 8#. I put a loop on the 15# so I can change out the 8# tippet when it gets too short or abraded. For fishing these east side rivers, I haven't found much need for sinking lines, but they can occasionally come in handy in the early spring. A specialty "bass bug" fly line isn't really necessary either, but lines with long, fine front tapers can be a pain, especially in the wind.

    I tie a lot of wooley buggers on size six and four 2x long hooks. Clousers and crawdad patterns up to size two.

    We've got far more bass than we need. C'mon over and help me thin 'em out!
  7. Thank you for the information. Now I have a winter project, to tie up a couple of leaders, and some Woolies in the larger sizes.

    I am kinda of in a bind on the rod size though. I have a 2 wt, three five wts. one is a 4 piece 5 wt that I can overline to a six, and an 8 wt.

    Would love to make it over to Idaho for some trout and some bass and anything else that takes a fly.
  8. 6, 7, or 8 will work just fine; I used a 6 all of last year & took Smallies up to 6# with no problems. I use short single-poundage 10# test leader (Bass aren't the least bit leader-shy.) & typically my casts are fairly short. Minnow or crayfish patterns work well. I do well with appropriately-hued Clousers over here. I prefer hooks size 2 or larger (up to 2/0 on bulky deer hair sub-surface patterns). A black or brown zonker strip headed with deer hair has been a killer . . . sinks slow & lots of action when you strip it.
  9. That would be a great rod for smallies on the Yak. A big smallmouth in current can put up a good fight so I use an 8wt and 8lb tippet. I tend to use mostly size 6-8 flies, though I have gone smaller and bigger. See if you can find a copy of the the Spring 2005 issue of Northwest Fly Fishing there is a great article about Yakima Smallmouth article written by David Williams. It is a very good primer on river smallmouth fishing. Look for his upcoming book when it gets published; he has a thread on WFF about it:

  10. Thanks to you all for the information. I think I will try my eight weight with a short straight leader on a sink tip line. Tie up some fishy looking flies and head out next season. Like the bass, I like warmer water to have my fun.

    With steelhead and salmon and even trout getting pounded, maybe a change up will help me and the fish.
  11. Fish your eight. It'll be fine.

    Since you plan on tying some buggers anyway, I give you the Grande Ronde bass bugger:

    hook: Mustad 9672 or equivalent, weighted
    tail: black marabou w/6 strands orange crystal flash
    body: black crystal chenille
    hackle: black schlappen
    head: orange cone

    God knows what the silly things make of this pattern, but it's a killer. Strip it, swing it or dead drift.

    PS, if you're fishing in September, the steelhead like it pretty well also...
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  12. Thanks Idaho. Orange and Black are old school colors also. Ha ha.

    Gonna give them a try. Thanks for the recipe.
  13. OB:

    Cottage lake is my home water. See attached pics. 8-weight works well although I prefer my 6 weight. Leader length is completely dependent on whether you are on top or down below. Use No less than 1X tippet. Fluoro has the advantage. Bass are not as easy to catch as folks think, especially the BIG bass. I use #2,# 4, and #6 hooks on my subsurface patterns. It's really a battle to keep them out of the cover. Maybe we can meetup in the spring so I can show you which areas to target and the keys I've found to triggering a strike. The slough has smallies if that's what you are after but river smallies are not that all that common on the eastside of the wet side. Lake samamish is chock full of smallies.
    LargemouthBassCL.jpg Topwaterbass.jpg WiggleMinnow.jpg InnnerTubeBanditWorm.jpg Brad\'sCrayfish.jpg
  14. Your 8 will be fine and a 6 will work fine as well.
    I had been using a 9'6" in both.
    I purchased a used Redington Predator 7'11" 8wt last year and used it a lot this past year. Perhaps a bit overkill for smallies, but excellent to LM.
    I don't see myself going back to the longer rods again for bass fishing.
    I really like the shorter rod for accuracy and it turns over large flies really well.
  15. I would like that Brad. I will send you a PM.
    Seapig likes this.
  16. It looks to me like you are set as far as fly rods are concerned. There are a couple of factors that determine which rod I am going to use.

    1) Fly pattern
    2) Structure in the water

    I suppose structure would be my first priority. A Simiseal Leech, tied on a size 8 Dia Riki 710 hook, is one of my go to patterns for bass. I can, and do, fish this fly on my 2wt rod. If the lake has a lot of weeds, I would be foolish to even try using a 5 wt to fish the leech. Heavy cover equals heavy rods. You need the extra backbone of a heavier rod to muscle those bass out of that cover. When you hook a decent bass, you can bet that is exactly where they are going to go. Where I fish, Columbia Gorge ponds on the wet side of Washington, the primary structure is boulders. I can get away with fishing my 2wt or 5wt rods. As far as I can recall, I have never lost a smallie to the boulders. One note on fishing with a 2wt. It can be a hoot fighting smallies up to about 14". Any smallie larger than that, and you are at the mercy of the fish. All you can do is be patient and hold on. My largest smallie to date on my 2wt is 18.5". I was happy I caught it, but I definitely needed a sturdier rod. If I was not in open water, I would have definitely lost that fish.

    Fly patterns have already been discussed. Size and weight of your fly will determine what rod and leader/tippet to use. You do need to get the fly to your target with minimum effort. I typically use 0X for most of my flies. As stated earlier, bass are not leader shy. I will go with 2X or 3X when using my 2wt. For my sinking and sink tip lines, I use about 3 feet of 0X. If I could only fish one pattern for bass, it would definitely be a bugger/leech pattern. I have caught them on just about any color imaginable. That being said, I prefer black. My second go to pattern would be a Clouser. White/Chartreuse is a deadly combination.

    Be sure to let us know how you do with the bass next year.

  17. One of the lakes that hold smallies is close by and rather large. I can think of two that fit that bill. I would guess that the big mouths will be in the weeds and the smalies will be over gravel. Is this correct?
  18. Depends on the time of year . . . both will be on rock in the Spring. Later, LM will frequent veg cover more readily than SM. On this side, I start hooking LM on gravel/in shallows that warm quickly before I ever find a SM.
  19. OK niemeyer, what is this material...innertube?

  20. Chewy:

    Yes, a bicycle inner tube works best as it is thinner and more managable, but I tie these with regular rubber bands and the colored rubber bands that you find holding broccoli stalks together. Makes a nice segmented body and sinks well. Wolly bugger will catch bass but these really work well. I caught a 5 pounder on an all orange one. I call them RubberBanditâ„¢ worms. Now if I could just sell the pattern to orvis or umqua or somebody!

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