How to Fly Fish for Bass in a Lake

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Bass fishing is the most adventurous type of fishing. Anglers enjoy catching aggressive fish and they put up a fight, which makes it more exciting. If you know how to fly fish for bass in a lake, you can make any fishing trip a memorable event.

How to Fly Fish for Bass in a Lake

Fly fishing involves a lightweight lure, or the artificial fly that anglers cast with a fly rod and a weighted line. The casting method used is unique and needs practice. You can plan your next trip with the correct gear to make the most of this technique and enhance your skills to catch big bass in lakes.

When anglers strike the rod hard and throw the fly, bass fish jump up to catch it. This technique of fishing is fun for anglers and the time it takes to catch bass is also less. Fishing for bass with this method can be similar to fishing with topwater baits although the gear is specific.

An image of fly fishing

The Right Gear to Fly Fish for Bass in a Lake

Lakes or reservoirs are an excellent place to fish for bass using this technique. However, you will need the proper gear.

Fly Rods

Fly fishing rods of around nine feet, with a 6-8wt weight rod, will work well for this technique with wind-resistant flies. The heavier rods can cast heavier flies. However, if you have lightweight rods of around 4-5wt, you can cast smaller flies.


Large arbor reels with an adjustable drag that is compatible with the fly rod are essential to make your fly fishing experience a success. Ensure that the reel you use is compatible with the weight of your rod.

Fly Lines

If the lake is shallow, a weight-forward floating line will work well to catch bass. Any weight forward line with a compact head will work well against the wind and will allow efficient casting. You can find durable fly lines that work with flies of all sizes.


A leader in the 7-9 feet range will work well for topwater fishing. A good fluorocarbon leader will work with all kinds of flies and lines.


Fishing for bass in lakes with a fly rod does not require a lot of thought to go into the selection of flies as it is the technique that does the trick. You can select wind-resistant flies or lightweight flies that imitate crayfish. Bass in lakes feed on small fish like minnows and crayfish so select flies that imitate these bait fish.

Best Place to Fly Fish for Bass in Lakes

Largemouth bass is most common in lakes and ponds and they stay around heavy vegetation, and under lily pads and bite bait aggressively. Flies appeal to this predator fish, especially when they swim close to the surface during the early hours of the day, or late in the evening.

An image of how to fly fish for bass in a lake

During daylight hours, fly fishing can become a challenge due to the increased visibility of bass fish hiding in the plants, ready to ambush live bait. Fly fishing is done in shallow waters and if bass can see the flies being cast from a few feet away, they do not come rushing towards it.

Bass fish cruise shallow waters during the dim morning light or after sunset when the bait fish cannot see it coming. When you plan a fishing trip during these times, it will be more fruitful as you will be cashing in on the low visibility more than the bass hiding under vegetation!

Famous Lakes to Fly Fish for Bass

Anglers who turn to lakes for recreational fishing in America find fly fishing amusing. There are many reservoirs and lakes where fly fishing is done. You can find the one nearest to you so that you can enjoy catching bass.

  • The Florida Keys
  • Kerr Lake, North Carolina
  • Davis Lake, Oregon

Tips to Catch Big Bass

If you know a few tips and tricks to fish for bass in lakes, you will be heading home with some big catches every time. Moreover, the way you fish will ensure that it does not hurt the feisty, and hungry bass so it is possible to release them back into the water when you unhook them.

Do Not Move the Rod When You Set the Hook

When you cast the fly, do not move the rod towards yourself and let the lure do its work. Even when you are retrieving, keep the tip of the rod underwater and let the bass fight it without any resistance from the rod. When the bass bites the fly, pull the line back and keep the rod stationary.

Focus on the Outer Banks

When you head out to a lake, do not try to go fly fishing for bass in the center. You will find numerous vegetation spots and shallow spots where bass comes to feed. Entry-level anglers can find deep lakes daunting, however, fly fishing allows you to find great success at the outer banks.

Give It Time

You must give the bass enough time to look at the fly and then move towards it. If you move the rod, or if you pull the line before the bass comes for a bite. You will lose the fish, and many others who might get the same signal.

A man fly fishing

Keep the Fly Tense

Keeping tension on the fly will ensure that it moves naturally, alluring bass to come up for a quick bite. Moreover, you will be able to distinguish between a bite and a mild tug on the lure. Once you feel the bass bite, keep the fly still and then start pulling after a while.

Dark Hours Mean Larger Flies

When you head out to fish bass in lakes after sunset, use bigger flies. The wind-resistant flies will be more prominent and will move like real bait on the surface. Bass fish can locate the fly from underwater and will not be able to see the heavier line or leader.

What Flies to Use to Fly Fish for Bass

The motive behind the use of flies is to present a natural-looking bait to hungry bass and ensure that it will move in a way that bass will come to eat it. The flying rod takes care of the technique and the fly acts like the plot that will help frame bass fish and you will be able to catch it in no time.

Flies are topwater lures that look like insects. You will find largemouth bass in lakes, and since this fish is a predator that ambushes the prey, it takes all chances to come up to the surface and bite flies.

Anglers can use various sizes and colors of flies and they can get some big fish in a short time. For your next trip pick colors like grey and white, chartreuse, pink and white for bass. Additionally, use big-sized flies for bass in lakes. They enjoy catching flies on the surface of the water.


Many anglers who want to know how to fly fish for bass in a lake look for the proper gear, flies, and then focus on the technique. Following the tips and tricks to fish for bass with this technique will help you get big bass on your next trip to the lake.