It's no secret largemouth bass are the most popular game fish in America. They inhabit nearly every state of the Lower 48, have an appetite for anything that swims, floats or pops, and are an absolute joy to catch. For fly fishing anglers, bass provide an opportunity for some of the best topwater action available. In this Pro Tips segment, we've broken down the 5 largemouth bass flies you need in your fly box this season.
1. Deer Hair Popper
Poppers are an absolute must-own for any angler looking to target bass on the fly. Deer hair provides great buoyancy in the water, and the flat head creates an attracting disturbance in the water. Cast along the edge of a weed bed, give it a few strips and hold on tight.
This is one of those flies that needs to be in every angler's fly box. Crayfish populate rivers, lakes and small streams throughout the country and are a favorite snack for bass - along with just about every other fish. One of the best parts about fishing with a crayfish fly is that you have a chance to catch every species in the fishery. Can't get a bass to take your topwater fly? Go subsurface with a crayfish to trigger strikes.
3. Cork Popper
Few surface flies create quite the "pop" sound that a cork popper does. These flies are incredibly buoyant, easy to cast and irresistible to hungry bass. Early morning or evening is the best time to cast one of these. Strip it slowly along structure and watch the show.
4. Dahlberg Diver
The Dahlberg Diver is one of the most famous surface flies out there, and is a must-have for any serious bass angler. Unlike cork or deer hair poppers, the Dahlberg Diver plunges into the water on every strip, only to surface again during rests. The action uncannily resembles a frog swimming across the surface, a favorite snack for largemouth bass.
5. Wooly Bugger
It should hardly come as a surprise that the most versatile fly ever tied is also a favorite meal for largemouth bass. Is it a leech? Crayfish? Small baitfish? Yes, yes and yes. The ambiguity of the wooly bugger is what makes it so effective - it looks like just about everything. Tie on a wooly bugger and you're practically guaranteed to trigger strikes.
Fly fishing for largemouth bass is some of the most fun you can have as an angler. What flies have you found to be most effective? Let us know in a comment below.