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Thread: Flies for white bass in a large reservoir, late October?

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  1. #1

    Default Flies for white bass in a large reservoir, late October?

    Looks like I'll be spending a day or two chasing white bass busting shad on Lake of the Ozarks around October 20. I'll be going out with my cousin, who is a conventional tackle guide there (fishinglakeoftheozarks.com), so finding the fish shouldn't be a problem. He doesn't fly fish and I've never done it for white bass. I'd love some fly suggestions. It sounds like #4-6 Clousers in white and combinations of white and "other" are going to be the main tickets; what else should I tie?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Just a suggestion - If they are "busting" shad on the surface, you could hit them with streamers like the Black Nose Dace, Bendback streamers, Black Ghost, etc. These streamers are not weighted and could be stripped in the top couple feet of water and should produce some great strikes. Colors could be combinations of black/white, gray/white, chart./white, etc. Try to size them according to the size of the bait fish they are chasing. I would think up to 3" would work great.

    I have never tried this with a fly rod for them since I no longer own a bass boat, but, I would feel very confident using the streamers with a fly rod if I was going with you....
    Fly fishing and fly tying are two things that I do, and when I am doing them, they are the only 2 things I think about. They clear my mind.

  3. #3


    Clouser minnows are my bread and butter for them. Chart/white, pink/white, gray/white, chart/yellow are the four "staple" colors in my box.
    The Green Hornet strikes again!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    NE Gwinnett Co., GA


    Although I never got to fish for them I have seen guys on the bank of the Tennessee River max out fish baskets when that was going on up in north Alabama. One of the things I remember was there smallmouth bass hung out under the school and took the easy picking that descended from the fray above. Occasionally, the fisherman would connect with one of the smallmouths for even more fun. The other thing I remember is you can get a cut hand from gill plates.
    It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Mark Twain

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Kapaa, hawaii
    Blog Entries


    I don't fish still water, but, I must tell you that I will be fishing Bennett the last week of October.

    I believe you have spent quite a bit of time there in earlier years?

  6. #6


    Thanks all for the replies. Keep them coming.


    Late October is a good time to be there as it's usually less crowded, colorful, and both rainbows and browns are false-spawning. Fish eggs, scuds, and San Juans, though you might get a BWO or midge hatch in the afternoon or evening. The area around the hatchery outlet and anywhere the water is faster will be good. Fish close with the subsurface flies since they eat and spit really fast. Sight-fishing is best. Most people wade out way too far and cast their jig & bobber rigs as far as they can and call that fly fishing. 5X-6X tippets unless the water gets dirty. Don't hesitate to go down and fish in the Niangua as well. Kreelex or similar smallmouth streamers down there.

  7. #7


    I agree with the Clousers. You can't strip them in fast enough to keep it away from a white bass.

    Murdich Minnows can also work:

    Marabou streamers work:

    Even Beadhead Woolly Buggers will work. This was caught on brown, but white and chartreuse are always good colors for white bass.

    've also caught them on Decievers:

    ..And Crease Flies:
    Last edited by FishnDave; 09-27-2013 at 10:07 PM.
    David Merical
    Ankeny, Iowa

  8. #8


    Dave, a couple of those are real chunks! I need to try those murdich minnows....
    The Green Hornet strikes again!!!

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