This baitfish imitation bass bug is ideal for fishing the shallows on the edge of a lake where there is an inlet. Pike like to lurk around areas such as this to intercept fish going up river and those that are coming down stream into the large still water.
DEERHAIR BASS BUG FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 6 - $US each
Because this pattern is made of buoyant deer hair it fish no deeper than a foot. By keeping the rod up and twitching it to get the bass bug up onto the surface, whilst cranking the reel on the retrieve, you can get it to really make a disturbance. This is what attracts the attention of the waiting pike. The difficulty though is setting the hook. The pike do hit the fly again and again so much that you would think there was not a hook on the fly. It is fantastically exciting fishing. It is great sport and it is also visual as you are fishing in shallow water and can see what is going on as you are trying to tempt the pike up to your fly. I let the pike take the fly and turn with it be fore I try to set the hook by quickly raising my rod tip. I use a 9 foot 9 wt rod, floating fly line, 20lb leader material about 8 foot in length, and attached to that to stop the pike biting through the leader with their teeth. I have some pro-leader which is the equivalent of wire but it does not kink.
Many professional tournament bass anglers have learned how draw strikes from the biggest fish by playing to the fish’s instinct. They cast the deerhair baitfish gray and white bas bug into the bass’ strike zone and retrieve it back quickly to force the fish to make a reactive or instinctive attack. Many have learnt how to correctly adjust to environmental changes that effect largemouth bass feeding activity. If the water level is dropping, bass move out of shallow cover and to a drop off area to deeper water, suspending along the edge and over deep water or in deep cover. Try casting from shallow water out to deeper water. The bass face into the current hoping to intercept baitfish leaving the shallow flats into the deeper water. During the incoming tide, bass spread out over the shallow flats actively flushing out prey. Quickly use fan casts to cover as much water as you can.
When the sky becomes overcast bass become active and move to the shallows to feed. Use flies that can be fished fast. Cover as much water as you can quickly. The deerhair on the Grey and White bass bug is shaped aerodynamically to mimic a real fish. It moves through water like a real fish unlike a popper that is designed to cause an attention grabbing disturbance on and in the water. After a weather front has past and conditions are getting better with clearing skies and colder air, largemouth Bass move deeper or close to cover. They become less active with the cooler conditions. Workout where they have are hanging out and fast retrieve the grey and white deerhair bass bug as close to their position as you can to provoke an attack. Bass are typically found at a shallow depth and are aggressive in the half light of dawn and dusk. It is one of the best times to fish for bass.
Bass Bugs are also ideal for Pike, large Trout and Atlantic Salmon when they will not take smaller flies. Bass hide from their own predators by seeking cover. This also protects them from the discomfort of strong sunshine. They prosper when they find a location where they can eat in safety without spending too much energy in catching food. This is why they like to lie in ambush for their prey. Much of their prey lives in or near shallow water. They understand that anything that is on the surface splashing around is usually out of its natural environment and vulnerable. This makes them easy to catch. Bass always keep an eye on what is happening on the surface and rarely refuse to eat off the top. Bass are opportunistic feeders. If anything suggests food they will try and eat it so long as they do not have to venture too far from their hiding place. You can have hours of fun fishing from the shore, wadding in the shallows or sitting in a boat close to the shore looking for that bass hiding place.
Bass will assume that things that splatter onto the water and then wriggle, jerk and splash are alive. These fish primarily hunt by sound and sight. Even if the object does not look like anything it has seen before, if it moves and therefore alive, it is considered food. All bass are active aggressive predators. When young they feed on tiny crustaceans, insects and their larvae, rodents, worms and tadpoles. They soon add to the range of their diet and progress onto larger food such as frogs, crayfish, leeches and other fish. The largest bass has been known to take baby ducks and other small waterfowl.
Floating bass flies whether constructed of wood, plastic, foam, or our favorite deer hair all seem to be lumped into the same category of "bass bugs". A few are tied to imitate specific bass food like mice, leeches or frogs, but others are 'attractors' that try to give the impression of something living and edible. Since bass are keen predators. They will eat anything that looks like fair game and especially attack a bass bug that suggest a living creature struggling at the water's surface. Flies that attract attention and appear to be a vulnerable are the most successful.
Deer hair bugs can be shaped to look and perform like a hard headed wooden poppers, yet they are a fraction of the weight. This is one of the advantages deer hair bugs have over hard bodied bugs. When dry, they are virtually weightless. Thus, they are good to use in situations where you want the fly to land softly, like shallow and clear water, where you do not want to spook the fish.
The drawback to deer hair bugs is that they inevitably soak up water. There are methods to delay the process, but you really cannot eliminate it altogether. The best solution is to have a few duplicate flies on hand. As one gets wet, clip it off and tie on it's twin, with yet another fresh one waiting in your fly box. By rotating flies it is possible to keep bass fishing with a good floating deer hair bug all day long. Even so, I do treat my deer hair flies with a waterproofing spray. I like my bugs to ride partly in the water surface not always on the water top.
I like fishing the edges of areas of aquatic grass. They form around ledge outcropings in the middle of the rivers or along river banks. They usually hold large populations of nymphs and minnows and thus are very popular haunts of Bass. Cast your bug tight against the grass bed and give it a twitching action, pause, let it sit motionless for a few seconds and then give it another twitch. Fish it out for about ten feet and then cast to a new spot five feet further down stream along the edge of the grass bed