PT.1: Introduction

PT.2: Influences of color and form

PT.3: How a fly pattern evolves

PT.4: Tutorial Links & Fishing Tips

BLOG: Updates on this topic / Resources

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.

The lizard has the side benefit of being a great teaching fly, and I’ve used the pattern as a segment in a couple of all-day workshops.

The fly teaches:

1. Large fly articulation techniques

2. Double mono-weedguards

3. Advantages of the color blue

4. Tying flies with bulk without weight

5. Bass fly fishing techniques

If that winds your clock, read on...

Larry’s Lizard

originated by Larry Godfrey

variant by Wes Wada

Rear hook: Mustad 3366, #2 or #1

(straight eye wide gape hook)

Weed guard: 40# mono

Joint: Beadalon 19-wire .018” beading wire

Front hook: Mustad 9674 or equivalent, #4 (5XL straight eye streamer hook) - bend and point trimmed after tying. A more convenient combination, though shorter fly body, is just to use two of the same Mustad 3366 hooks, like two #2s.

Conehead: large silver cone with eyes, or Rivers Wild 11mm silver chrome Sculpin Heads

Thread: black monocord or 6/0

Tailing flash: Spirit River Crystal Splash - peacock with few strands of red flash of choice

Tail: magnum (1/4” wide) rabbit strip - black. Larry Godfrey also uses two same-size lengths of regular (1/8” wide) rabbit strip.

Body: large peacock or black cactus chenille

Silcone skirt: Spirit River Grizzly Leggs - metallic blue or blue fishscale metal flake on black - The is the most important color item for the fly.

The lizards are fished on heavy head bass taper floating lines with 7’ long 20#-30# leaders. 7wt. or 8wt. rods.

If you are reading this, you are viewing the content outside of the surrounding page and navigation. Click here to see largemouth bass flies on the site.