Popular Smallmouth Bass Flies

Among the best smallmouth bass flies is the Woolly Bugger. Bright flies are easier to see in deep water and have neutral buoyancy. While stripping a bright fly, be sure to stop and pause a few times. When the fly is completely gone from view, the bass has most likely taken it. Then, set the hook. The fish is most likely to strike the fly before it sinks.

Black Woolly Bugger

Woolly Bugger

The Woolly Bugger is a classic smallmouth bass fly that’s available in infinite color combinations and variations. It’s designed to imitate many different types of aquatic insects, including leeches, small sculpins, nymphs, and even crawfish. This catch-all pattern has caught fish all over the world and is still one of the best selling smallmouth bass flies today.

This fly is perfect for any smallmouth bass fishing scenario and is easy to tie. Its appearance is so realistic that it mimics a big meal. You can also tie the woolly bugger with a variety of different colors and materials to catch different types of fish. The woolly bugger is an essential fly in any fly angler’s fly box, and works well in saltwater and freshwater environments. Woolly Buggers are supported by small commissions from affiliate purchases.

Tie the hook with a long shanked hook to give it the proportions that fish like. The hook should be extra-long so you have plenty of room to tie it securely. Add a bead or cone head to the hackle with a lead-free wire, thread, and resin. This will lock the bead or cone head in place and help taper the body from front to back.

Crayfish Flies

Crayfish Flies

One of the most effective flies to imitate crayfish is the Nancy P fly. This nymph is perfect for luring largemouth bass in cold waters. When selecting the size of your fly, match it with the size of crayfish you commonly find in the area you plan to fish. Orange Nancy Ps are popular choices. Fish the fly by bouncing it along the bottom of the lake with slow, even strips.

If you’re looking for a pattern that’s effective for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, consider the Burgin bugger. The long, rubber tail and strands of flash are sure to excite the curious bass. This is a favorite of bass fly anglers because of its realism and ability to tantalize even wary bass. If you’re planning to fish this pattern, keep in mind the weight of the head and the positioning of the eyes.

Whether you’re fishing for smallmouth bass or carp, there’s a crayfish fly to suit your needs. Crayfish make up the majority of smallmouth bass diet and can even be their sole source of food. So when choosing a crayfish fly, you’re aiming for a smallmouth bass pattern that will draw its attention. This fly is ideal for rivers and lakes, as it attracts bass with baby crayfish.

Hexagenia Mayflies

Hexagenia Mayflies

Hexagenia mayflies are common during peak insect activity, and they can be the most effective smallmouth bass nymphs. Fish will not take to rising nymphs because they will be focused on other insects. Hexagenia mayflies are the perfect smallmouth bass flies for late-night fishing, as they will remain afloat for longer.

While hexagenia mayflies are popular for catching smallmouth bass, you can also use these flies to catch larger trout. Hexagenia duns are giant mayflies with yellow sails. When fish take the mayfly, they are enticed by the vortex below. The vortex disappears with a roar, and the brown trout retreats to its deeper lair.

Hexagenia mayflies are the best smallmouth bass nymphs for backwater fishing. The Hex hatch has already finished on Back Lake, but this isn’t the case on other waters. Back Lake fishing has been colder than usual, and you can catch the best fish there while the hex hatch is still underway. In fact, backwater fishing has the advantage of still waters.

cicada dry fly

Cicada flies

Insect fish crave terrestrial cicadas, which can emerge from trees in almost any body of water. Cicadas spend the majority of their lives in tree branches. This means that the more trees around, the more cicadas you’ll encounter. So, if you’re planning a fishing trip to a lake or river, consider using a cicada smallmouth bass fly as a lure.

During the springtime, the annual emergence of cicadas is a great time to fish for bass. This insect is highly attractive to smallmouth bass, and its appearance is the most effective way to attract these hungry fish. If you’re a fly fisherman, this time of year is particularly productive for using a small flie. Cicadas can be caught by casting a large dry fly that mimics one of the larval stages of the adult.

One of the most effective imitations of a cicadas is a large, heavy-winged fly. A few great cicada patterns are Chubby Chernobyl, Fat Albert, and Ultimate Cicada. These patterns all have realistic, lifelike looks and can be very effective for catching smallmouth bass. They are effective and fun to use. But be aware that some flies can fool fish, so make sure you use the right one.

Meat Whistle

Meat Whistle

The Meat Whistle is an effective streamer made by John Barr. It features perpetual motion and a raised eye similar to a jig hook. It’s a good choice for smallmouth bass, as it can be fished for any species. In addition to its effectiveness as a bass streamer, the Meat Whistle is also great for catching big brown trout and steelhead.

A Meat Whistle fly is a great early-season option. Smallies start looking up as soon as summer begins. As the water gets thinner, they start looking up, making this the perfect time to try this fly. It’s important to choose the appropriate pop level for the water, though. In ultra-skin late summer water, you’ll want your fly to have no pop at all. To achieve this action, you’ll want to bend the legs of your fly and practice the wiggle motion until you have perfected it.

Originally developed for bass fishing in Colorado, the Meat Whistle is a versatile fly. It can be tied with a sink line and is also effective on smallmouth bass. You can use it in different colors to mimic the colors of various fish. Known for its versatility, the Meat Whistle has been designed to reach deep water to tease bass out of their lethargy.

Flash Monkey Fly

Flash Monkey

The Flash Monkey is the quintessential smallmouth bass fly, and it has proven to be an excellent choice for many anglers. Its wide rabbit zonkers give it plenty of movement and the wool head pushes the water. The flies’ two articulated trailing hooks add a little more movement when the fish takes them. Whether you fish this fly in lakes or in rivers, it will catch big bass in a variety of conditions.

The Purplish Blue and Black Fly gives it a stunning appearance in the water. This fly is a perfect choice for slow retrieves on the sink tip, as well as quick stripping through lily pads. Bass love the flash in this fly, and even the slightest movement can trigger a bucketmouth hammering. Inverted eyes and legs add action and movement to this fly. It has been the go-to fly for many anglers who have used it on the bank.

Popper Fly


Smallmouth bass love to strike poppers, and they are one of the most effective ways to catch them. They are usually wary and will spook easily if something makes too much noise on the water. A long drift of three to ten feet should draw them up without much effort. Smallmouth bass will also strike if they are in the right mood, so the fish that do strike are not always consciously seeking out the bait.

To get the most out of the popper, you must first learn to cast it. This requires a fly rod with enough power to cast it properly. Most fly rods are designed to cast trouts, and bass poppers are no exception. A 9-foot fly rod in the six to seven weight range will do just fine for short casts to structure, but an eight or nine-weight rod will allow you to make more precise casting and perform better when you’re hooking a bass.

Muddler Minnow

Muddler Minnow

The Muddler Minnow is an extremely versatile smallmouth bass fly. It can be fished dry for bass or fished wet under the surface, and can be tied as a leach, minnow, or sculpin imitation. Fish often respond well to the action of this fly, which is versatile enough to be used in a variety of fishing situations. To learn more about how to use the Muddler Minnow, continue reading below!

During late summer, trout go on a feeding binge in marginal weed beds and feeder streams. This is the time of year when streamer lures come into their own. The Muddler Minnow is a great representation of the brown sedge fly. The Muddler is a fantastic choice for this late-summer time streamer fishing. While the size of the muddler depends on the size of the fish, the fly will work well on almost any waterbody.

The Muddler Minnow is extremely versatile and has practically endless material possibilities. Some Muddler Minnow patterns feature spun deer hair on the head, squirrel hair underwing, and a mottled secondary turkey feather wing. The body is often made of gold/silver Mylar or tinsel wrapped around the hook shank. In the case of a smaller muddler, Marabou can be tied in to substitute the wing. Depending on the style of fishing, the head of the Muddler Minnow can be weighted or unweighted. It may also be tied in with a sinking leader or line.

Smallmouth Bass Flies EVERYONE Should Use!