One of the joys of an early season trip is the ritual of sweeping aside winter cobwebs as you wave a fly rod around on a warm day. Picture humans wearing stupid grins.
Early season fishing for Largemouth bass is popular in central Oregon at Davis Lake, a fly-only fishery.
Parked in the northern latitutudes, this region has few warmwater fisheries. But, in-between bouts with howling winds and sleet, come a few days where the bass can provide great sport (and a palate-pleasing platter of bass filets!)
There are usually three weeks of fishing available before the general trout season opens the last weekend in April, and numerous anglers use this time for bass fishing. In the cool weather, the action is almost all subsurface, with just a few balmy days when there might be popper action.
A couple of seasons ago, a fishing buddy was raving about a new bass fly Larry Godrey had created. Larry grew up fishing for bass with spinning gear. He is now a dedicated fly angler, and has the rep as an expert bass fly fisher. Larry can be found at Davis Lake, bass flies in hand, from March through October.
As these things go (sure you have had the experience), I was only able to study Larry’s original for a glance, then went home to attempt to tie something similar. At the tying bench, I whipped out a variation based both on materials at hand, and on a favorite color combination that had been successful in past seasons.
This Frankenstein creation, a cross-eyed variation of Larry’s original fly, was dubbed “Larry’s Lizard” and the rest is history. It’s been a wildly effective pattern for multiple anglers in multiple seasons at Davis Lake. Last spring, it was the ONLY fly I used for largemouths, and I had a couple days with a lot of action and a heavy stringer of keepers.