I see many bass fly fishermen concentrating on working their flies slowly. Taking time with every cast. Using their hands to slowly strip line. Keeping the fly in the strike zone and keeping in constant touch with it.

That works, sometimes. It can also be boring as heck, and it doesn?t work always, and, tell you the truth, it?s seldom the ?best? tactic except in some very specific instances.

Bass are aggressive fish. They respond to movement, and those that won?t, probably won?t respond to ANYTHING most of the time.

Speed is often an important trigger for bass. How ?fast? a fly moves can be critical.

Most of the prey that a bass consumes can be expected to try to flee from the bass. This movement is one of the primary ?triggers? that will cause a bass to strike. Remember that fish, even little ?gills and shad, can move right quick when they?ve a mind to. A crawfish can move almost faster than you can see when it flaps that tail.

For this trigger to ?work?, though, you have to move the fly ?fast?. Really fast. Quite quickly. Faster than you can strip the line (actually faster than you can reel with ANY type of spinning or casting reel). Holding the rod between your knees and stripping with two hands isn?t even close.

But, luckily for us, you don?t have to move the fly very ?far? at this fast speed to trigger a strike.

For many fly fishermen, the rod is used only for ?casting? and for ?fighting? the fish. You can, if you choose to, also use it to work your flies.

A fast hard ?jerk? with the tip of your rod will cause the fly to dart quickly, then stop. You can vary the length of this jerk, just remember that you can?t do it ?too fast? for a bass to catch it, and ?speed? is the trigger here.

You can see this with lots of the ?mainstream? conventional tackle bass baits. Surface lures built to be worked aggressively with the rod tip like Zara Spooks, Michaels and Ricos poppers that ?spit? and dart, minnow plugs like the Rapapla or RedFin, prop baits like the Devils Horse or Torpedoe. All work best with fast rod tip jerks interspersed with pauses.

Subsurface baits like the Slug-Go, Fluke, Assassins, the ?hard? jerkbaits like the Rattlin? Rogue, T.D. Minnows, are worked by fast rips of the rod. Heavy jigs are ?snapped? off the bottom with movements that rival the old hooksets from the ?rip their lips off? days.

Nobody does this stuff to look cool or to impress the girls hanging out at the launch ramp. It works. It works because it triggers the bass instinctually.

Also, it?s a bit more fun to work a fly more aggressively, and you can cover more water and find active fish faster with an aggressive approach than you can with a subtle one.

It does take some practice. You have to develop the coordination between the rod tip jerks and stripping the line in so that you avoid too much slack (a little is okay, actually beneficial), but it?s not hard to do.

Use this approach any time you find clear water that?s over 60 degrees. Especially for top water fishing in clear, deep lakes after the spawn. It?s incredibly effective, plus it?s fun.

There are times to fish slowly. Cold water. Muddy water. Heavy cover where you know there are fish. Some others.

Just remember that fishing ?fast? can work well too.

Good Luck!