Fly Patterns - Bill's Baby Bass Fly

                            Bill's Baby Bass Fly



In both September and December of 2008, I fished Mexico’s premiere trophy bass lakes. There are two main bait fish that the bass in these lakes voraciously consume, leading to their unusually large size: Tilapia, and Threadfin Shad. Here are pictures of these two species:



Tilapia (a la carte)                                                         Threadfin Shad


Using subsurface patterns designed to replicate these two bait fish, I did reasonably well. But, like many fly anglers, I like to experiment—actually, in my case, it’s a contrarian philosophy, which leads me to push the envelope by trying flies that perhaps no one else has thought to use (although that may be a bit presumptuous on my part).


So, I asked myself this question: Why wouldn’t these carnivorous, aggressive fish also be cannibals? In other words, don’t they also eat baby bass? Fortunately, I had included in my vast array of bass bugs a few that look like baby bass, based on a pattern I saw in one of the bass magazines. As usual, I modified it significantly to suit my own theories of imitation, and the result is the bug featured here. The results? Here’s one picture, but you’ll have to ask my El Salto December trip companions for the full “truth.”



Tying Instructions  (For best viewing: (1) Maximize your Browser Window. (2) Type "Ctrl + or -" to enlarge or contract the webpage display. (3) Use the Horizontal and Vertical Scroll Bars to scroll right and up/down to display larger photos in your browser)

  1.  Cover the hook shank with the 6/0 thread from the hook eye to the back end of the barb, leaving the thread behind the eye. At that point tie in an 8” piece of Radfloss (see below under “hints” for a picture of Radfloss) or similar 3/8” wide mylar ribbon. Wrap the thread over it to the back end of the barb, and return the thread to the hook eye.

  1.  Wrap the Radfloss forward to a point about 3/8” behind the eye; wrap it rearward in wide wraps, then forward again to achieve a cigar shaped taper. Tie it off and again move the thread to the eye.

  1. Turn the fly over and tie in a throat of red antron yarn. It should extend rearward only to the point of the hook.

  1.  Return the fly to the upright position and tie in a bunch of Superhair equal to about two pencils width. Begin tying it in just behind the eye, and rearward to that same 3/8” point (where the Radfloss ends). Make sure it is tied in directly on top of the shank, and make adjustments as needed to achieve this goal. Place a tiny drop of superglue on the top of the thread winds.

  1.  Tie in about 12 strands of pearl UV Krystal Flash at the same point by doubling the material around the thread. This will make the interior of the fly come alive. Wrap it down to the rear of the head area.

  1.  Tie in a bunch of blue-green Superhair (same size bunch as white) in the same manner as the white Superhair was tied in.

  1. Tie in about 12 strands of gold Flashabou in the same manner as the interior flash, except pull ½ of the material down onto either side of the fly. This will form the side flash.

  1. Tie in about 12 strands of the UV Herring color Krystal Flash. This time tie it down in the middle of the bunch, allowing the front half of the bunch to stick out over the hook eye, with the rear half extending back over the top of the fly.


  1. Using the same method, tie in a similar bunch of fine black Crystal Flash. Be sure to wrap it down all the way to the back of the eye.


  1. Whip finish the 6/0 thread and then tie on the flat waxed nylon thread, wrapping a nice even head. Leave the thread at the rear of the head area.

  1. Take the UV Krystal Flash and the black Crystal Flash that are sticking out over the eye, and pull them tightly rearward. They will mix but that is a good result. Tie them down with a few wraps at the rear of the head and whip finish there. This forms a “stripe” over the top of the head. Place a tiny drop of superglue on top of the head.

  1. After allowing the superglue time to dry, place the eyes evenly onto the sides of the head.

  1.  Coat the head with a nice coat of  epoxy, extending it rearward about 1/8” beyond the end of the head. Place the fly on a rotating dryer and leave it there until the epoxy is firmly set (the setting time will vary with the type of epoxy used).

Tying Tips

  1. If you want to add a weed guard, tie in 30 or 40# Hard mason onto the hook bend before step 2, and finish the weed guard by tying it in just behind the eye, before step 13.

  2. After the fly is complete and the epoxy is dried, taper the fly by barbering the rear ends of the Superhair material.

  3. Here is a picture of “Radfloss.”



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