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Deciding which sea bass fly to use

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Is there a marked difference in strike rate when using different flies for bass or as a predator do they accommodate what ever is presented to them?

There are two questions to be answered here, firstly:

Bass are expedient hunters and predate mainly from below in deeper water therefore it would make sense to help them find the fly. I tend to do this by rotating 4 benchmark clouser patterns over the day.

During the morning when the sun is low in the sky we tend to elect a chartreuse pattern which is bright against the water film.

As the day matures and the sun rises higher in the sky we will elect a slightly darker hackle (maybe red/white or grey/white).

When the sun is at its highest and the light penetration is vertical you may well find that a lighter hackle mixes with the water film too much and a bass being a deep water predator will strike its prey from below (i.e looking up against the water surface - when light penetration from the sun is at its maximum you may well find a smaller black clouser fly is optimal as a bass may not be able to locate lighter flies as effectively as darker ones.

When the sun begins its movement past the vertical (midday/one o'clock) we merely reversethese patterns, finishing with chartreuse during the late afternoon/ evening.

The second part of the question is more subjective as I've known bass reject certain flies when aggressively feeding so they are not as accommodating as you might think.  I do however believe that the retrieval rate of the fly needs to be matched more importantly than anything else. If too slow then the feeding shoal tends to ignore the fly; under these feeding conditions we've noticed that you do a lot better to just dead-drift your fly in the tidal stream, thus triggering the fish to pick up what it thinks is broken or busted fry. With clouser patters, they pulse when stripped erratically, i.e the hackle opens up and then closes the more erratic the pace... this I'm sure imitates the flagella type movement of squid which seems to trigger a strike. If you strip homogenously (i.e roll retrieve) the hackle will remain tight against the hook and the natural movement of the hackle's body is reduced. Justin Anwyl

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