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Bass fishing with surface flies is generally everyone’s favorite way to catch bass on a fly. Smallmouth and largemouth bass can be indiscriminate in their diet choices, and often react when a large surface fly hits the surface of the water. We will often wait for the ripples to die down after casting and then with your rod tip low, tease bass with aggressive strips, popping, diving and sliding your fly across the surface of the water.
Large and smallmouth bass will hit on many different surface flies. Try different colors and retrieve cadences until you find the combination that works.
Poppers are a very popular choice for surface fishing smallmouth and largemouth bass. They make noise in the water, and many smallmouth will attack poppers twitched across the surface of the water. You can’t go wrong with an Umpqua Bass Popper for topwater bass fishing.
When largemouth bass are roaming shallow water in the low-light morning or evening, casting a large popper or hair bug is usually a great bet. Aggressive largemouth bass are attracted to the noise and commotion of a popper especially in these conditions.
Frogs are a big part of a largemouth’s diet—try out the Umpqua Swimming Frog as a topwater fly. Fished around weeds, pads, docks and even in open water the largemouth bass often crush this fly.
Don’t be shy about casting mouse imitation fly like our Mouserat fly. Largemouth bass love mice and other small rodents. Don’t fish it like a popper—do your best to imitate a mouse swimming across the surface at a slow, steady pace.