It’s hard not to get excited about smallmouth bass. They’re abundant—nearly every state in the lower 48 has at least one public smallmouth resource. They’re structure-orientated fish that are easy to locate. Textbook hangouts like weed lines, rocky outcroppings, logjams, and other rip-rap typically hold fish.
But one of the best things about smallmouth bass is their aggressive nature—they’re almost always willing to capitalize on an easy meal whether it’s above and below the water’s surface. Once hooked, they put on quite a show, filled with short, powerful runs and acrobatic jumps. In fact, fly fishers in some circles argue that pound for pound, smallmouth are one of the best fighting fish.
Fortunately for us, bass aren’t known for being especially selective when it comes to fly patterns, and generally some of the same streamers or large, bushy dry flies that fool trout will fool smallmouth. But some patterns do work better than others. Here is a brief list of best smallmouth bass flies available today with some insight on pattern design, presentation, and other motives for carrying a few the next time you get the itch for bronzebacks on the fly.
<h2>Sneaky Pete</h2>The Sneaky Pete is the less-noisy cousin of a Cupped-mouth Popper and while it’s great at getting the attention of lurking smallmouth, it does so by “sliding” over the water’s surface as opposed to pushing it. <br /> This is a good fly for when the bass seem willing to come to the surface, but don’t commit to striking because a fly like a popper is making more commotion than the fish is comfortable approaching.