Sci-Fly Bass

THE FISH & GAME REPORT March/April 2024
February 24, 2024
TEXAS TACTICAL by Dustin Ellermann
February 24, 2024

Innovative Fly Tactics for BIG Pond Bass

Feature Story by CHESTER MOORE

LISTEN: (2 minutes, 42 seconds)


POND BASS FISHING with fly gear might not be the most conventional approach, but for those who seek excitement and challenges beyond traditional methods, it can be an incredibly rewarding endeavor. In this instructional story, we’ll walk you through the steps to catch big pond bass using fly fishing gear.

The satisfaction of landing big pond bass is an experience worth pursuing.

The satisfaction of landing big pond bass is an experience worth pursuing.
(Photo: Adobe)

Start with a medium to heavy-weight fly rod, typically in the range of 6 to 8 feet, which offers the necessary backbone to handle larger bass. Pair it with a sturdy reel designed for freshwater applications.

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Selecting the appropriate flies is crucial. Pond bass tend to prey on various creatures such as frogs, insects, and small fish. Opt for flies that mimic these natural prey items. Topwater flies like frog imitations or poppers work well when targeting bass near the surface. Something I have learned is to always keep a few nymphs (tiny, feathery insect patterns) with you. 

Keep in mind bass can be skittish, so approach the water quietly. Keep a low profile and be mindful of your shadow. Cast your fly accurately, close to potential hiding spots such as submerged logs, lily pads, or along shoreline drop-offs.



 Cast your fly near the target area and let it land gently on the water’s surface. Use a slow, rhythmic strip retrieve to mimic the movements of prey. Be patient and wait for the bass to strike.

When you feel a strike, don’t immediately jerk the rod. Instead, give the bass a moment to take the fly properly. Then, execute a firm hookset by raising the rod tip.

 This action will secure the hook into the bass’s mouth. Once you’ve hooked a bass, be prepared for a thrilling fight. Bass are strong and can put up a significant struggle. Keep your rod tip up to prevent the fish from diving into cover. Use the rod’s flexibility to gradually tire the fish out. 

As the bass tires, bring it close to the shore or the boat. Use a landing net to safely scoop it out of the water. I always bring a net because with a nine-foot fly rod it can be hard to maneuver lipping the fish. A net is a big help.

Pond bass fly fishing combines the art of fly fishing with the thrill of catching sizable fish. While it may take some time to master these techniques, the satisfaction of landing big pond bass with fly gear is an experience worth pursuing. I love it and usually fly fish for pond bass at least twice a week, even if for only an hour or so.

So, grab your fly rod, choose the right flies, and head to a secluded pond for an exciting angling adventure like no other.



It’s easier to start fly fishing than you might think. In this vintage TPWD video, fly fishing instructor Constance Whiston shares some ideas on how to get started.


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