Podcast: Fly-Fishing for Redeye Bass, with Matthew Lewis

[Interview begins at 44:27]

You may have never heard of or seen a redeye bass (Micropterus coosae), yet they are a wonderful fly-rod fish. They live in spectacular, clear mountain streams and take a fly very well. They’re mainly found in the Deep South, particularly in Alabama, so they’re a great fly-rod target in places where you would not ordinarily think of fly fishing. They’re a native species that deserve more visibility from the fly-fishing community, and my guest, Matthew Lewis, is perhaps the world expert on fly fishing for them.

This redeye bass (a.k.a. Coosa bass) fell for a blue-and-white Lefty’s Deceiver.
Photo by Drew R. Morgan, cropped and used via CC BY-SA 3.0

In the Fly Box, we have some interesting questions and great tips from listeners, including:

  • What percentage of the time do trout in lakes feed on the surface?
  • What is a go-to fly for late-summer fishing on small streams?
  • What can I do to prevent foul-hooking so many fish? And when I hook a trout in the belly, is it sure to die?
  • Do oils from our hands harm trout?
  • Do you have some general rules of thumb for how rain affects fly fishing?
  • I am using wide-gape hooks and missing a lot of small brook trout. Is the hook my problem?
  • I saw some large brown trout in shallow water around spawning season and could not get them to take a fly. What can I do?
  • What do you think of the Double Davy Knot?
  • A listener shares a killer nymph pattern he developed.
  • When I practice casting, why does the end of my leader fray and my fly-line loop come apart?
  • Do you ever guide?
  • I fish a stream with rainbow trout, and for the first six months of the season I can’t find them. Where do they go?
  • How much less backing fits on a spool when I use 30-pound backing instead of 20-pound?
  • Are the natural materials we use for fly tying from ethically treated animals?
Matthew Lewis with a topwater redeye.
Photo courtesy Matthew Lewis

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