Bass Sub-Surface Flies

Sub-Surface bass flies for the most part imitate the forage creatures that bass prey on, specifically; baitfish (minnows), sculpins, leeches or crayfish. In each case we see very life-like imitations being designed in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. Pictured here is an excellent fleeing baitfish imitation called Clouser Darter by the sub-surface bass fly master Bob Clouser.

Weighted eyes are a big part of this category of flies. Lead bar bell eyes come in a number of different ways such as plain unfinished, painted and nickel plated. Painted lead bar bell eyes seem to be the most prevalent style however there are other more environmentally friendly options like tungsten and brass hour glass eyes. Most eyes are sized by weight and/or the size of eye itself with 1/100 oz (1/8”) being the smallest and 1/10 oz (9/32”) being the largest.

Recipes call for a good deal of synthetic materials like Polar Fibre, Flash N Slinky, Super hair and FisHair however natural materials, especially rabbit fur stripes are still found in many patterns. Hook sizes and styles vary greatly depending on the prey being imitated and you will find saltwater hooks used often even though these are freshwater patterns. 


Clouser Darter Pattern Recipe: Hook- TMC811S, Thread- Olive 6/0, Body/Tail- Orange dyed Calf's Tail, Overwing- Gold Flashabou and Red Krystal Flash, Wing- Olive Calf's Tail, Belly- Olive Calf's Tail, Eyes- Black painted lead Barbell eyes. Pattern Designer- Bob Clouser

Crayfish Pattern Recipe: Hook- TMC8089, Thread- Orange 3/0, Forelegs- Dyed orange bucktail with pearl Krystal Flash, Antennae- Black Krystal Flash, Claws- Two pairs of rust grizzly hackles tied split, Shellback- Dyed orange bucktail, Eyes- Black mono extending up, Legs- Rust grizzly hackle palmered down entire body, Body- Burnt Orange chenille, Weedguard- 12 lb Mason Hard Nylon, Weight- Lead eyes 1/32 oz.

Near Nuff Sculpin (Olive Color Scheme) Pattern Recipe: Hook- TMC5263, Thread- Fluorescent green 6/0, Eyes- Large painted lead eyes, Tail- Olive grizzly hen hackles tied flat against bend with several strands of pearl Krystal Flash on each side, Rib- Olive thread 6/0, Body- Olive dubbing, Thorax- Black dubbing, Head- Olive dubbing, Hackle- Olive grizzly palmered over entire body. Pattern Designer- Dave Whitlock

Softshell Crayfish (Orange Color Scheme) Pattern Recipe: Hook- TMC300, Thread- Orange 3/0, Nose- Dyed orange deer hair spun and trimmed, Legs- Dyed orange grizzly saddle hackle palmered over thorax, Body- Orange Antron dubbing with belly fibers picked out, Ribbing- Medium copper wire, Eyes- X-Small lead 5/32, Antennae- Black moose hair, Claws Orange and brown hen hackles flexamented together tied split. Pattern Designer- Dave Whitlock

Sunfish (Deerhair Variation) Pattern Recipe: Hook-TMC8089NP, Thread- Olive 3/0, Weedguard- 20 lb Mason Hard Nylon, Rib- Medium copper wire, Body Olive Antron dubbing, Wing Olive grizzle hackle tied upright, Gills- Red marabou, Collar Spun and trimmed to shape Deerhair olive upper and orange lower, Overwing- Olive marabou tied sparse over back, Head- Olive and orange Deerhair spun and trimmed to shape, Eyes- Molded 3-D.

Multicolor Minnow ( Orange/Yellow/Black Color Scheme) Pattern Recipe: Hook- TMC5263- Thread- Yellow 6/0, Tip- Red single strand floss, Body- Gold braided Mylar piping, Underwing- Eight strands of medium flat gold tinsel, Overwing- Orange and yellow marabou, Topping- Black ostrich hurl, Collar- Dyed orange, yellow and black Deerhair spun and trimmer to shape to form short throat and collar with close trimmed sides, Head- Dyed yellow, orange and black Deerhair spun and trimmed to sha