Fly Fishing for Bass
Fly fishing for bass is popular with many anglers. It is very successful in some waters but in others bass do not take a fly well. It does not catch as many of the big fellows as the bait methods, but a two pound black bass on fly tackle makes more sport for the angler than a three pounder on a bait-casting outfit, and the fly fishermen are all sportsmen. There is no nicer and more enjoyable way of fishing.
Bass will only take a fly when in shallow water, and it is useless to fish for them in this way at any other time. As they feed mainly at night, the best fly fishing is in early morning and late evening, and at such times they will be found on the riffles and in shallow water. Spring and early summer and early autumn are the best seasons for fly fishing. It requires considerable study for best results and the angler should learn the habits of the fish thoroughly, and study their peculiarities, and should also know the waters well. Usually the morning and evening of bright days, when there is a light breeze and the water is clear and a normal height, will yield the best catches.
The fly should be danced gently on the surface of the water and then allowed to sink and float a few inches beneath the surface for quite a distance before making another cast Lakes should be fished from a boat, but on the streams the angler should wade, and it is generally conceded best to fish downstream, casting out first this way and then that, to all of the good looking spots.
The fly rod is always used for this fishing, and it should not be too light a one, especially for the beginner, neither should the amateur buy an expensive rod to learn with. The reel may be either a single action click, holding eighty yards of line, or an automatic of about the same capacity. A single action reel of 100 yards capacity is even better than a smaller one. These reels will hold only about half that much size E enameled silk line, which is the kind to use. A six foot double gut leader or heavy single one is best for the amateur and a single fly should be used on it. A six foot single gut leader is usually preferred by the experienced fly fisherman, and for daylight use it is better than a short one. Two flies may be used on a six foot leader.
The angler should practice to drop his flies lightly on the water and see that the line or leader does not strike first. Keep out of sight of the fish always, and do not splash or make more noise than is necessary. When a fish takes the fly you must hook him quickly for he learns instantly that it is not a real insect and drops it at once. Keep the line taut so that you can hook the fish at the first move. By casting downstream you will have little trouble of this kind.
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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