How to Fly Fish for Bass in the Winter (The Only Guide You Will Need)

  • By: fishlovers
  • Date: June 21, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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The great outdoors doesn’t have to be difficult. With just a little creativity and the right mindset, you can find success in any situation. The wintertime is not the easiest time to go Bass fishing but it can be done.

Many people believe that going out to try to catch bass during winter is insanity. Don’t be fooled; it’s cold, and your fingers might get numb, but the benefits far outweigh any disadvantages.

Why should you bother to go fly fishing in the winter? You might be surprised at how productive it can be. The small mouth bass, particularly those who live through the harsh winters and short summers tend to act very differently than their summertime counterparts; but once you figure out what type of water they prefer, then there’s nothing  stopping you . There are just some key things that need taking into consideration before heading out on your next adventure:

 Understanding where all these fish reside,  the  water temperature of where they live or swim, where to focus on  and lastly but not least importantly their diet preferences which can vary depending on seasonally available food sources) will all influence your catch rate. We’ll look at how to get bass in the winter in the sections below.

Where Can You Find Winter Bass When Fly Fishing?

Winter is a tough time for both big small mouth bass and large mouth. The cold weather slows them down, while their metabolism slows due to the change in temperature from warm into cooler climates where it’s more difficult to maintain life force or warmth through external sources such as sunlight. This causes less activity than what you would see during summer months when these fish are typically happier because they can swim around freely without feeling too constraints by ice crystals on body areas exposed to too much surface area.                                        

Bass fishing has always been my favorite, and I think that bass spend most of their time in the deep waters during winter. They can stay under ice for days if need be so you’ll want to focus more on searching out your target area which is the deep area rather than shallow areas near shore where predators would catch them easier with bait or lures too.

Deep water

Target small mouth bass in deep water with over 10 feet of depth. Look for areas that offer security and food, like banks or trees hanging onto steep sloped landings where they can’t see what’s below them when swimming up toward your offerings on their way back down to feed.

Sunken Logs or Debris

Flexibility is key when bass fishing. It can be challenging working with a fly rod, but you’ll have more success if your lure gets stuck on the structure. Find that perfect spot and wait for those tasty treats to come by. You must first find the structure, and then the bass will be revealed.

To find the perfect bass fishing spot, look for a sunken logs or debris. These are deep, warmer water with plenty of security for your fish and give you an advantage over any other small aquatic animals that may come along on their journey through life too. The next best kind would be rocky ledges these can often provide some great spots where we know there will always be food nearby.

Finding the right fly is key when fishing for bass. A deep water area with rocks and cover off either side will give you more opportunity to find that perfect spot, but make sure not too get down until after catching one because they can spurn quickly. If its winter time, try targeting deeper weed beds as those perch usually don’t move around much during colder months.

Casting a level line through weeds is tough, but it’s not impossible. You’ll need to work your way into position gradually and carefully by wading in slowly and quietly, or you might take an issue with a bad fight from the deep water up.

High Temperature waters

In bass and trout fishing, water temperature is crucial. The cold water has a more dire influence on the bass than it does the trout. In this particular water, although trout would still feed and be active, bass becomes really sluggish. Bass enjoy the summer months and water, but winter-season waters are still effective if you want to break out of your cabin confinement and go fishing.

When fishing for trout or bass, look out for waters that are not colder than 40°F. A water temperature near 50 degrees will bring your adventure to an exciting new level.

The best time of day to fish for bass in winter is largely determined by the season. The sunset session is frequently the most productive since the water had the whole day to heat up, allowing the fish to be more lively.

Fishing Gear You Need To Fly Fish For Winter Bass

In order to fly fish for bass in cold weather, you’ll need the same basic gear as summertime. A 5-7 weight rod and reel combo will do just fine with either floating or sinking line depending on where your target water depth ranges from; I recommend using a dry flies during these months because they seem more productive than wet ones when it’s below freezing outside.

In the winter, however, bass will be lethargic because they are not moving about as much and eat less food. As a result, smaller flies should be used instead of big ones in the winter since the bass wants to use the smallest amount of energy possible to feed so tiny prey would be an easy meal. Smaller, heavier weighted flies will imitate a tiny baitfish best whether you’re a novice or an expert. Larger, lighter flies may be attempted by more experienced anglers.

Don’t sit in one spot for too long. If you haven’t found anything interesting in a certain area, move on the more water you cover, the better your chances of catching something. The only way to improve your probabilities is to cover as much water as possible, whether it’s on a lake or a still reservoir.

When fishing for bass in the winter

When fishing for bass in the winter, you should always look for underwater structures first and choose your fly accordingly. It’s difficult to catch them during this time of year because they’re hiding out among other fish that are also looking tasty but if we know what spots will work then it becomes easier.

The first choice for most bass is tiny baitfish since the majority of baitfish dies during the winter, and bass will eat anything that moves. So pick a fly with a fast sinking rate and one that resembles local baitfish. Shad and crawfish imitations are great flies to start with, especially with colors of red, orange and white.

Combination hues are ideal if you tie your own flies. Check out other recommended articles on which bass fly should be fished and associated websites to see what works for you.

When fishing, always start your retrieve with a few short fast strips followed by long pauses. Watch for when the bass love to take and eat this is where they’re most vulnerable as well. If you pay attention at all times while out there then I guarantee you success fishing on any type of water it just takes some patience.

The gradual method, on the other hand, produces better results but takes more time and attention, however once you get used to it , believe me landing those fatties becomes easier than ever ahead.


You’ll have a blast bass fishing if you take the time to master these few changes from your normal technique. Skipping the shallower areas and focusing on slow, deep waters is one way to get more fish on your fly. A sinking line with long pauses in between reels will allow you plenty of time for exciting visuals that bass can’t resist.

The best way to have a great session is by knowing the right tools and techniques. A smaller fly early on will help you get into your fish’s comfort zone, then work up in size until find what works for them.

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