Black Bass (Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Guadalupe, etc.) are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of the food sources that are plentiful in their waters. Bass often seem to key on the food source that is most abundant and/or easiest to target at that moment in time. That is why certain times of year throwing a crawfish pattern, or a frog pattern, or a bluegill pattern, can be so much more effective than other fly patterns.
Our waterways can be filled with baby bass in the late spring and early summer. Once bass have spawned, moved off their beds, and quit guarding their young, these massive schools of baby bass are now on their own. Making them an easy target for these larger opportunistic bass to key on. That makes this time of year (late spring and early summer), an excellent time to fish baby bass patterned, streamer flies.
Here are my favorite "baby bass" flies:
1) Improved SMP
|Improved SMP - Baby Bass color pattern|
|Olive over White Clouser Minnow|
The Clouser Minnow is a fishable fly for almost any species, in any water, any time of year. But when Bass are preying on baby bass, an olive-over-white Clouser Minnow can be highly effective. I love to fish the Clouser Minnow when I want to fish slightly deeper in the water column, or especially when I am fishing in stronger currents. The weight-to-material ratio allows the fly to fish deeper and the bucktail stands up better to the moving water that does the marabou on the other flies.
|Marabou Clouser - Baby Bass Color Patter|
In clear water, with little to no current, I will often tie on a Marabou Clouser first. When fished slow, the movement of the marabou is very enticing to predatory bass looking for an easy snack. This fly can be fished fast and high in the water column, or slow and low. Both can be effective. However, in stronger currents the marabou doesn't hold up as well as the bucktail of a traditional Clouser Minnow.