Fly fishing for bass is steadily gaining in popularity, especially since the lightness of the tackle allows each fish to put up a magnificent fight. Add in the fascination of catching them on flies that you have tied yourself and you can understand why its popularity is increasing. Here we look briefly at both tying and using saltwater flies to catch bass.
When you first experiment with fly fishing there is no need to spend enormous quantities of money on tackle. The other day, for example, I bought a fly rod and reel from a car boot sale for twenty pounds. In fact if you shop around you can often find bargains which will allow you to have a taste of the sport and decide whether or not it is to your liking. Then, if it is, you can always get better quality tackle later on.
Once you have bought your outfit then you need to set it up. Fill the fly reel with backing and then attach your fly line to the backing. (I would suggest that you start off with a weight forward floating line of the correct size to load your rod.) Buy a good quality line rather than a cheap one as it does make a lot of difference to the distance you can cast.
Your fly line will come with a braid sleeve to attach to the nylon tippet. Follow the instructions given if it is not pre-attached but, in the majority of cases, the braid sleeve will already be on the fly line. (Check it for security though. It may need a drop of superglue to permanently secure it.) As for the nylon the best way to deal with this is to use double overhand loop knots (blood bight loops) to connect a series of gradually decreasing strengths of line. Start with a couple of feet of 20 lbs breaking strain and connect this to a three foot strand of 15 lbs breaking strain which, in turn, is connected to a short length of 12 lbs line. This is then, and finally, connected to a fluocarbon tippet of 6 - 8 lbs breaking strain line some four to six feet long.
Sinking lines have a place in deeper water but, over the years, I have found that a floating line is generally the best line to start off with. It will enable you to fish for a variety of species and, although you will probably need a line stripping basket at some marks, it will still be all you need to fish fairly competently from a lot of different places
Casting will take you a while to master so I suggest that you take your outfit to somewhere that you can practice with a bit of wool tied on instead of a fly. It will feel very different to any other style of casting that you have ever done and it will be influenced by the type of line that you have bought.
The basic cast starts by bringing your two hands together in front of your waist, the right holding the rod while the left holds the line. Sweep the rod high with your two hands together until the tip is at 11 o'clock. Now the left hand hauls down on the line while the right pushes the rod back further to about the two o'clock position. Then, as the line extends behind you, the left hand slides back up to meet the right at your shoulder.
Use loop knots to join the nylon tippet to the braided sleeve on the fly line. These are also the best way of joining the different lengths of nylon together.
Fly Fishing for Bass