‘Tis the season for baitfish patterns. Not only is it about time for brown to start their annual migration, but baitfish, come fall, are important for everything from bass that are fattening up for cooler weather and coastal predators like redfish and speckled trout that are starting to move into coastal estuaries and marshes.
Below, Matt Callies from Loon Outdoors ties what he calls a simple baitfish pattern — where he lives in the northern Central Valley of California, bass are active this time of year, and he’s noticed that big bass won’t shy away from gulping down baby bass. This pattern is meant to imitate an immature bass, but, as you’ll hear him say, the colors of the materials are largely up to the person tying the fly at the vise — you can use colors that match local baitfish, from small mullet in the brackish waters of the Gulf, to small trout and whitefish imitations for predatory browns.
There are lots of great baitfish imitations out there, ranging from the Clouser and Lefty’s Deceiver to more vibrant flies like the Mickey Finn. But, as Matt point out above, tying a generally generic baitfish pattern is quick and easy and it’s a great fly for those who might be new at the vise.
I love this little pattern — I’ve tied up few for the brown trout run that’s just over the horizon here in eastern Idaho.