Learn from Others...
Whether you are just getting into bass fishing or consider yourself a bass pro destined to be the first fly angler on the Elite Tour it needs to be said that learning from others is critical to learning and advancing your bass game. The idea that the “conventional fishing” and “fly fishing” world are separate entities is like trying to pick the various “meats or cuts of meat” out of a hotdog…we are all in the same dog man, wrapped up in a nice bun. One thing that we (meaning the Union) have done for a long time is fish with, pay attention to, and learn from, the conventional world of bass fishing. The reality is that for years fly fishermen have adapted Trout tactics to bass fishing with a fly rod…well that works to get a start, but how would a spinner bait or crank bait do on the Lower Yuba for trout?
So, my friends lets be real our trout tactics are exactly that…Trout Tactics, and while fly anglers have MANY ways we can adapt and fish for bass we have to learn from the guys that do it AND that is conventional anglers. HUGE sums of money are spent on how to catch bass with conventional gear…we are talking a BILLION Dollar industry and HUGE Numbers of people…I recently was talking with some of my industry buddies who work in both the fly fishing and conventional tackle worlds and one shared with me that the Rapala Rattle Trap itself generates more in sales then the ENITRE fly fishing industry…so lets not kid ourselves, bass fishing is big money and big money creates competition…competition in tournaments where prize money is in the millions, where lure sales create fortunes, and boats cost nearly 6 figures….simply put competition creates innovation and in this case a LOT of knowledge….Pay attention to these guys.
A good place to start is with a simple adjustment to our mind set… “I am going to imitate to the best of my ability how conventional anglers are catching bass on _______ (blank fishery), during this time of year, or in my area”… Ounce, that is set in, the game changes! Cause lets be real, most conventional anglers are presenting their offerings VERY differently than us fly fishermen and what they are presenting looks NOTHING like a woolly bugger or deer hair popper. .
Can we present our flies in the same manner? Yes we can, but it is going to require a lot of adjustment and creativity and the number of pages it will take to explain these adaptions will fill a book (someday I will write that book…and have the attention span to write something longer then a blog post or a magazine article but until then I will just make blog posts and write articles). The simplest way to go about this from an individual readers basis is PAY attention! Go into the “bait shop” or local bass shop and ASK “what are guys fishing out at ___________ “,or “if you were going bass fishing at a local pond right now what would you fish?” There is no shame in asking questions. Ditch the ego and learn from the conventional world!
This may seem like “duh” suggestion but there is also some great you tube channels devoted to conventional bass fishing and educating on all topics related to conventional bass..now I know most people know about the amazing resource called You Tube but most fly anglers dont search out Tactical Bass BUT CLICK HERE to peruse it … and no it doesn’t talk about flies and lines, BUT part of changing your mind set is seeing how we as fly anglers can do what they are doing with gear with flies…Furthermore learning about colors, biology of fish, weather patterns, etc do not change with tactics another good channel is the Informative Fishermen HERE
Next time you are going bass fishing or want to catch bass go into the bait shop/conventional bass shop and THEN go to the fly shop. See what is working and then what you can come up with based on what they say….may take a little longer but catching more fish is usually fun.