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 hauled down on the line you should have found that the action accelerated it on the backward sweep. Now, depending on the line that you have chosen, you need to give it a moment to straighten behind you. (If you can see it, you will find that you gain better control a little faster as this will help you to see when the line is fully extended.)
As the line extends - and before it starts to drop - you need to go into the forward power stroke. The right hand pushes the rod forward while the left hauls down and apart from the right to once again accelerate the line.
Repeating this action, each time letting a little more line out, will extend quite a lot of the fly line until you have sufficient out to cast. When you have enough let the rod follow the line down and release the line with the left hand. This should position the tippet correctly.
During the first strokes - known as false casts - the strength of your haul will depend on the amount of line that you have out. A short length requires a fairly gentle pull while a lot requires a much greater one. Personally I would practice aerialising the line until the pulls and power strokes have assumed a nice, fluid rhythm. At that point begin to add more power and practice the release.
Mastering casting will take you a long time to achieve but you will have to completely forget about the distances that you can attain upon a beachcaster. If you can hit twenty five yards on a fly rod you are doing well. Any more and you can definitely give yourself a pat on the back.
Of course, when you start experimenting with real flies it will feel quite different. Just adding in the drag from the water can feel very strange so you will need to get in the habit of lowering the rod tip and pulling the line tight before you start to cast. (You want the rod to pick the line up straight away not disperse energy in slack coils that will fail to load the blank.) You should also wear glasses of one kind or another and a hat that covers the back of the neck.
DON'T dismiss this last advice lightly. A fly travelling at speed can easily embed itself in the back of your neck on the forward stroke or in the eye on the backward haul. If your fly catches an obstruction it can also pull free and shoot backward with enough force to blind you.
One lady reported in the fishing journals caught an obstruction and pulled on the line to clear it. The fly came back like a dart and embedded itself in her eye. She had to undergo twelve painful, long operations - without anaesthetic because the pupil must not relax during the operation - and has been left partially sighted. Nor is she alone in this. WEAR glasses. It is not worth the risk.
You might, of course, like to have a go at tying your own flies, which is fun and adds an extra dimension to your success when you catch. However you will need some tools, including a vice, bobbin holder, finishing tool and sharp scissors. Bobbin threaders, dubbing needles, hair stackers and hackle pliers are also useful.
To start with I would suggest that you bought a white and a chartreuse bucktail, some silver Krystal flash and thread. It might also be a good idea to invest in a pack of hokkai style heads like the one pictured below. You should also bite the bullet in regard to expense and get stainless steel hooks.
Sandeel, or small fish patterns, are very effective for bass.
Fly Fishing for Bass