Monday, August 18, 2014

Flyfishing for White Bass, 8-17-2014

Following my previous blog post, I tied up a couple more shad-imitating flies.  I had seen a picture of a fly pattern called "Bill's Articulated Baitfish".  I only had a picture to go recipe or instructions.  I thought they turned out reasonably well:
The first one I tied (the bottom one with the chartreuse eyes) I used a superline or backing line as the articulation connection.  I may have tied it down too tightly or something...when I sink-tested the fly, it was action in the water.  So, the 2nd one (the top one with the red eyes), I used a bent-wire connection, and I really liked the action during the sink-test!  In case fish were small and/or striking short, I left the rear hook in place, where I had clipped it off in the first (bottom) one.  I'm glad I did!
Another fly that caught fish well was this one:

Another fly that did well was the bottom one in the picture below.  You may not be able to see it in the picture, there is a metal bead on the hookshank about 1/3 hook shank length back from the hook eye.  The tail materials tangled some, but I could still fix it and fish it.

I missed at least 2 strikes for every fish caught on the above patterns, probably because of the size and hook placement.

I had a tip from a fellow flyfishing white bass angler...   Small #8 Clousers tied with marabou instead of bucktail.  I had tied up a couple of these:

I fished the bottom two, while my buddy Jay fished the top one.  They all caught fish VERY well, with much fewer missed strikes than the bigger patterns.

In fact, I had the biggest White Bass/Wiper of the day  on the middle fly above.  The strike and fight were amazing....after 10-15 seconds, I decided I must have hooked a channel catfish, THAT's how hard this fish was bulldogging and fighting!  I finally dragged it up onto the sand in the shallows, but it flipped a few times, threw the fly, and swam away.  It was probably about a 15" fish.  Not huge, but REALLY NICE, especially after battling with the fun medium-sized fish (11-12") all day.

Jay took my picture against the fog on the lake in the morning.


  1. Digging those top two patterns! They look like about as good of a shad imitation as you could find.

    1. Yeah, they are very interesting. Make sure to use a wire connection. To get it to turn out decent, you need to do some interesting things with the mylar tubing. For the rear section, after tying in your tail material(s), tie the mylar tubing in behind the hook eye, tie off (but don't cut your thread/mono), wind your thread back to the tail, push the tubing back over itself and adjust the tension to achieve the shape you want, then tie off at the tail. For the front section, I put several turns of .035 non-lead wire on the hookshank after tying in the articulation wire (and adding the rear section to it, then tying down the top wire). Tie the mylar tubing to about mid-shank and tie off/cut your thread. Push the mylar tubing back over itself towards the hook bend.restart your thread at the hook eye, and tied down the mylar there. Add eyes and you're done! :)

  2. Hi, Dave. Sure a good looking pattern. I like the Clouser Minnow tied with the Marabou. In fact, I may have to add it to my fly box.