Monday, February 13, 2017

My Top Smallmouth Bass Flies

Caught on Chartruese Woolly Bugger.

Pat's Rubber Legs - A must have because it mimics Hellgrammites and nymphs such as the March Brown that hatch here.  Maybe it's the rubber legs but Smallies love it.  Size 10 - 4.

Crazy Dad - Purple, orange, green, brown - WHICHEVER.  I mainly use purple and orange.  I've never done well with other crawdad patterns. 

Boogle Bug - Any of them.  If Smallies won't hit them the something else will hammer it.  I drift them or pop them - whatever, I never use the same presentation - although, drifting with small twiches does seem to do best for me.

Woolly Buggers - black or olive.  Everybody knows this pattern was created for Smallmouth Bass.

Clouser - A "no brainer".  I use white or chartreuse - mainly size 8.  Sometimes, I use  "store bought" but I also tie them with chartreuse Coon hair.

Panfish Charley -  Size 8 and only in Chartreuse.  I started catching Spotted Bass on this one at the local pond and next thing you know - a winter Smallie tagged it.

Foam Terrestrials - Good times.  I love tossing terrestrials - especially when Smallies are skittish. 
The Shucker/Sculpin - My "go-to" pattern.  A good streamer.  I've had folks mention that it does look like a Sculpin.  I have caught MANY Smallies on this streamer.
Everyone has their own methods or preferences of fishing.  I usually start out with the Shucker.  If they aren't hitting my streamer, I drift Pat's Rubber Legs.  If the Smallies won't take anything else, I drift terrestrials.  Then I move on and try the other patterns.  I mainly wade and fish water rarely over 4 - 5 feet deep and use floating line.  I sight fish A LOT which means that when it is really slow, I will toss the same fly at the same fish for an hour and play with it until I finally land it.  I'm not floating for 8 hours and covering a lot of water.  When it gets really hot and humid, I try not to cover too much distance.  I have even resorted to buying a Life Straw - went out too far on a day with almost 90% humidity.  It was only 83 but a storm front was moving in and it just drained me.  I ran out of water, baked my head and had to find shade and soaked in deep pools.

Always let people know where you are going to be fishing, hiking, biking, etc.  I'll get into gear later.

Let me know if you have any questions.



  1. Don't get to fish as much Smallmouth water as I would like, but, I relish the opportunity. One of the best fish on a fly rod that an angler could ask for!

    Thanks for sharing your favorite patterns. I am not aware of the Crawdad pattern. Hint, Hint.......

  2. Rowan
    The Boogle Bug has to be my all time favorite bass bug---I have landed numerous bass on this one popper. I am really impressed with the life of the popper, a little pricy but worth the bucks. Thanks for sharing

  3. I had to google some of these. Now I have to tie them.

  4. I may need to add some photos. Thanks. A couple members of OSA fished "that creek" in MO last week and caught bass. They said it was wadeable at this time. I think you can wade it around "that area" most any time.