Fly Fishing for Bass around the British Isles

Fly Fishing for Bass around the British Isles

Fly fishing for bass around the British Isles

Fly fishing for bass around the British Isles is an exciting and challenging experience that many anglers enjoy. Bass are a saltwater fish and they can be targeted using a variety of fly-fishing techniques.

Where to Find Bass

Bass are found in the coastal waters around the British Isles, particularly in the south and southwest of England, Wales, and Ireland. They can also be found in estuaries and harbours, particularly during the summer months. Some of the best places to fish for bass include Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Pembrokeshire, and the West Coast of Ireland.

When to Fish for Bass

Bass can be caught throughout the year, but the best time to target them is during the summer months when they are most active. They tend to feed during the early morning and late afternoon, particularly on calm, warm days. The optimal water temperature for bass is between 17-20C, so it's best to fish for them when the water is at or above this temperature.

Tackle and Techniques

Fly fishing for bass requires a different approach than fishing for other species such as trout or salmon. The best tackle to use is a 9-10 weight rod and reel with a fast-sinking line. A long leader and heavy tippet are also recommended, with a size 1/0-2/0 hook.

There are a few techniques that are particularly effective for bass fishing. The first is surface popper fishing, which involves using a popper fly that imitates a baitfish or shrimp. The fly is typically presented with short, sharp strips to create a popping sound on the surface of the water, which can attract the attention of feeding bass.

Another effective technique is subsurface fishing, which involves using a baitfish or shrimp imitation fly that is presented just below the surface of the water. This can be done using a slow, steady retrieve or a series of short, sharp strips to imitate the movement of a fleeing baitfish.

Finally, intermediate line fishing is a popular technique for bass fishing that involves using a sinking line to present the fly at different depths. This technique can be particularly effective in deeper water or when fishing in strong currents.


Bass are a protected species in the UK, and there are regulations in place to ensure their conservation. It's important to follow these regulations when fishing for bass to ensure their continued survival. This includes releasing all fish unharmed and avoiding fishing in spawning areas during the breeding season.

In conclusion, fly fishing for bass around the British Isles is a challenging and rewarding experience for anglers of all levels. By following the correct techniques and regulations, anglers can enjoy this sport while also contributing to the conservation of this important saltwater species.