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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I'm a salt-water fly fisher and fly tier .. I'll fly fish for anything but bass are my thing

On most of the UK forums I frequent, Anglers seem set on using what I class as small flies , I've never caught a bass on a clouser the smallest fly I've caught a Bass would be a 7" Flat wing .. Do any of the SWFF'ers on here use big flies ? or have you tried big flies without success ?

Jim Hendrick published an article in Irish Angler earlier in the year .. this is what he has to say about big flies

As far as I'm aware all the specimen ( 10lb plus) fish that have been caught by him in the past few years have all fallen to bigger flies

your views ?
 

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Caught loads of Bass on flies of all sizes, even 10" tandems.

Depends on what and where they are expecting it and how we can present it.

Had lots of BIG fish on 3 -4" clousers and some big fish on flatwing patterns too.

Big fly =big fish ?

Not always in my opinion.
 

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Most of the bass I have had on fly have been on fly patterns around the 4" size, Tabory Snake fly tied on a tiemco 800S size 2.
But My largest ever bass on fly fell to a white baitfish pattern tied on a tiemco 800S size 6. It took right behind the waves on a shallow beach, foot maybe foot and half tops depth wise.
I have also caught stripers of only a couple of pounds on tandem squid patterns tied 8/0 and 6/0 octopus hooks (fly close to 8" long in total)
With saltwater fly, general patterns like clousers will always work, but if you have the time to find out what the bass are feeding on, then "matching the hatch" will normally get you better fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi

The theory as I understand it is that the bigger fish are generally lazy buggers .. rather than chase a load of smaller fish for a meal. they go for one meal sized fish . Sort of makes sense to me

Noticed there you talked about tandem flies ,, would you tie those specifically for bass fishing ? do you not find that the bass always go for the head so a single hook fly is sufficient ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tunny said:
Most of the bass I have had on fly have been on fly patterns around the 4" size, Tabory Snake fly tied on a tiemco 800S size 2.
But My largest ever bass on fly fell to a white baitfish pattern tied on a tiemco 800S size 6. It took right behind the waves on a shallow beach, foot maybe foot and half tops depth wise.
I have also caught stripers of only a couple of pounds on tandem squid patterns tied 8/0 and 6/0 octopus hooks (fly close to 8" long in total)
With saltwater fly, general patterns like clousers will always work, but if you have the time to find out what the bass are feeding on, then "matching the hatch" will normally get you better fish.
Yes but have you tried big flies here in the uK or Ireland ? or would you automatically use smaller flies because that's what you have caught on before ?
 

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yes, nearly always Bass hit the forward hook.

Today and in fact for many years I prefer to use long tie flatwings.

The tandems were a result of getting some flies around 15 years ago from the states.
I used them as an example of big flies.

I understand the big fish theory of being sluggish etc but for how often we get
to target fish of even 7lb plus on purpose, i'll stick to matching available bait.

I've caught 5lb + Bass on size 16 red tags, go figure ?
 

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In my area (mainly sussex/hampshire coast) our bass tend to feed on smaller baitfish inshore. Gobies, smelt, etc so it was more successful to copy those baitfish.
Most of our fishing was over shallow rocky reef. Into which waters mackerel/herring/shad don't tend to venture. It was a case of giving the bass what they were looking for in the area (and depth) they were looking. A jumbo fly in a cloud of small smelt would maybe catch, but I would bet on the result being a schoolie. The big girls seem to get get more locked on to a particular bait than even chalk stream trout.

I have tried Pop's Siliclones, big flat wings (tied for big profile), Big fishfur bunker patterns. These require something like a #12 ( I use a powerful #11 Fisher with a #12 line on it) to cast them properly and anything more than a couple of hours is knackering. The net result-same as Lou Tabory-match what the bass are eating, however big or small.
If you want a two good patterns for big bass in the summer, off the beaches. Try Boyles Bonito bunny, and the other is a small pair of clouser eyes with a 4" piece of thick brown-green chenile tied in only with the eyes. The bunny nails the fry feeders, and the worm fly is deadly inched along on a sandy bottom. Both have caught 6lb plus bass for me in the UK, and Stripers to over 20lb in cape cod. Worth rememberiing during the fall in Cape cod the favoured fly size off the beach is 6 or 4, and we are talking stripers to over 40lb.

Big patterns are great IF the bass are predating large baits ie mackerel, but you had better have a #10 or #11 you cast them with, because anything you can cast for any time off an #8 or #9 is really a long fly rather than a big fly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think most people who target Bass from the shore would be fishing similar ground Shallow rocky reefs are ideal bass hunting grounds Of course you are correct the larger bait fish such as Herring or Mackerel would not venture over such ground . however there there is one which would and is a great favourite of Bass here in Ireland . Mullet and boy do the bass munch them .

I tied a version of Joeph Manettes Sloopy Droopy .. that worked well , but Jim wanted something with the same action in the water but a larger profile.
A big profile on a fly as I'm sure you know doesn't necessarily mean a bulky fly that's hard to cast . it can be tied sparsely and still create the illusion of a large profile yet still be light enough to cast with a 9#

The fly below is very sparse .. salt water yak hair supports the buck tail maintaining the profile in the water .. tied on a 3/0 its approx 8" long


Photo courtesy of Jim Hendrick


It worked . .rather well in fact

http://www.probassfisher.com/2009/09/tw ... n-fly.html

More pictures

http://www.probassfisher.com/2009/09/se ... ction.html
 

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Nice fish there Andy
Do you tie fly to sell like the ones in the pictures, if so im interested ive had ago at tying me own but there normally pretty too big or just plain ugly :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I do sell flies .. yes
I'll not post the link to my website.. in case its against forum rules .. if you want it drop me a pm

But if you want I could do a step by step for that pattern so you could have a go yourself ?

Andy
 

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This is such an interesting thread and one that I sometimes struggle with... I come from a pike fly fishing background (originally a lure fisherman - and still am occassionally!). The premise is bigger the bait the bigger the fish... talk to the Dutch guys and they are tying pike flies like feather dusters... a devil to cast but apparently provide the results... jacks tend not to go for the bigger fly according to one dutch flytyer I know... I have a tendency to fish deceiver type flies up to about 4-5 inches for most of my piking and they work.

Switching over to bass fishing this summer I had a hit on a small clouser (size 6) in chartreuse and white whilst on Jersey... I then go out on ****'s boat and for the sake of everyone's sanity I used the lure rod... I get two bass - 1 at 2lb and t'other 4lb on the nose on a 6inch Bomber Long A-Salt... now why the difference and why would you fish small and sparse as opposed to big and brash?

I appreciate that big fish will feed on small stuff... I took a size 16 hook out of the lip of a 10lb pike on Chew that a pal of mine caught... and I've had uber small jacks "worry" large flies...

Is there a right answer? or a common theme?
 

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sometimes I think fish want big flies. I find spring more inclined to that pattern.

Also bigger fish following golden grey mullet shoals, or fish on mackerel.

I've caught big Bass on very small and very large flies.

Andy has sent me some most beautiful flatwings, some very long.
I'm being careful with them.

After they have been photographed I'll swim them. I have 3 places in mind and it's not too
many weeks away now till they will get wet.

Dry though they look stunning.
Lets hope that wet, they have similar impact on the Bass.
 

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comming from a fly fishing background i will always set out to "match the hatch" unless im deliberately trying to provoke a take and then i tend to fish big!!!!

having said that.......on slow days i have scaled down to catch anything to avoid the blank!!!!! and have had quite alot of bonus fish!

if i was to offer a plan, it would be this:

1. Match the hatch (size/colour/action/speed etc)
2. if you know fish are in front of you but are not responsive FISH BIG! and fish accurate, stick the lure right in front of them daring them to have a go!!!!
3. scale down looking for smaller (or different fish) generating a bit of action in the swim can switch on the bigger predators.

works for me!!!!
 

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I think its probably easy to interpret what some people say and then apply it incorrectly as a rule, even if it is a generalisation or something that applies to particular circumstances. When this is done of course it becomes an ‘issue’ for anglers to ‘break’. This attempt to ‘break’ the rules is often done on the basis of nothing like what the original words might have meant. Unless of course it’s a blatantly obvious statement.

I saw one of these blatant statements on another forum recently – ‘- if bass will take a shallow feed then they will also take a surface lure’. Its simply not true. Sometimes they wont.

The big fly big fish debate will rage, and yes of course we have all done the contrary – and if we are clever we fish after the circumstances.

I like to use Andy’s flies in certain places here in Wexford at certain times. Most of the flies are in the six to eight inch in length category and I fish with either a #8 or #9. In this type of fishing where I intend purposefully to catch (I hope) a big fish – I very seldom make regular casts. I sit and watch and make maybe five casts in one hour, maybe I choose to move a little………..I take my time and wait for situations to develop.

Have I taken bigger fish on smaller flies? Yes, many times in many places, do I feel more confident fishing slightly bigger flies in the circumstances above? Yes. Why? Under the few circumstances/locations above I have caught bigger fish with bigger flies – simple. But it doesn’t apply to the whole of the Wexford coastline all of the time!
 

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I, Like Iestyn would stick with the valuable advice to match the hatch. Work out what the bass are feeding on and try and match it for size, colour, speed, depth and action. If big bass are feeding on rainbait in front of you, putting on a large (or be it slim) fly will probably make getting a take harder rather than easier. Regardless of the size of the bass.
Lets be honest most saltwater bass are caught on approx 3" flies, be it clouser, deceiver, flat wing or what ever.
As with lures, simply putting a bigger lure in the water, doesn't mean you will catch bigger fish. However putting the right lure in the water will.
 

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Peronally I wouldnt go above a size 2/0 and a 6" fly purely because of the difficulty in propelling a large budgie with the gear I like to fluff chuck, with

If I needed to go larger, I'd tie a generic baitfish in solely artificial materials, because of the water shedding abilities

As a bit of a purist, I'm not keen in artificials but they do the job.

I've never caught on my fav fly, Pete Grays Juicy Lucy - kind of a cross between a big flatwing and a Droopy - but I have high hopes

K
 
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