Fly Tying

On My Vise: “The Bass Agitator”

The Bass Agitator

The Bass Agitator

Hook: Partridge Attitude Streamer #2

Thread: Black 3/0

Body: Black, Olive, Red ostrich herl tied in halfway up the shank, waste ends pushed back

Body:  Black, Olive and red Marabou tied in by the tip and palmered

Head: Red and Black Laser dubbing

Eyes: Living Eyes, or any holographic eyes

“Spinning Gear” that disgusting old curse word”

Before I began fly fishing I had been spin fishing since the age of 3, (and I’m not ashamed to say.. sometimes I still do! That’s right I said that disgusting phrase! 😂Oh no! Is she crazy? How could she take a spinning rod out on a dock during a full moon and start casting jitterbugs for largemouth for the whole world to see and just not care?! 😂)

I am a bass fisher-woman at heart, and old habits die hard. I only started fishing for the ‘other’😂species; trout, about 3 years ago when I had a lull in between ice fishing and bass fishing. As much as I love this new chapter in my life of learning what goes on in the world of trout, my heart still lives within the confines of those lily pad laden lakes and ponds in summer.

When I fell in love with fly tying and began to come up with flies for bass, I couldn’t just forget everything I had taught myself with that spinning reel, so instead; I incorporated my old techniques into how I now tied and fished my flies. I tried to imitate my favorite go-to lures, with one of them being a very lightweight 4″ suspending jerkbait. Those lures are excellent at pissing off bass on their beds, hanging out under docks and also in cold water when they are still sluggish. The Bass Agitator is the fly I use in replace of a suspending jerkbait, and it produces well when stripped and paused veryyy slowly.

Im guessing thats the last time I used a baitcaster.. or  wore pink pants.. hahhaha

The Bass Agitator is a combination of a lot of things, including improving that first streamer I tied (Which will be included in a post with the first flies I ever tied-here)

All fly tying Is a mixture of retained knowledge and learned skills. A room full of fly tyers is a creative mixing bowl of information and you will find that to be true anytime you attend a show. We are self taught, learn through trial and error, learn from others, we are beginners through experts, we enjoy reading different topics, we attend and teach classes, we give and watch presentations, and we learn and share tips and tricks along the way.

Once during a streamer class at the Housatonic River Outfitters my first year of tying, I was taught that if you want to keep the body of your fly a little bit bulky without adding weight, don’t slip off the excess material. Push it back.  One afternoon at the Anglers Den; I was surprised to be shown that the simplest way to transfer eyes to your fly, was by using the end of the bodkin. Then one evening while watching Rich Strolis tie on a live video I found out that Loctite is a  better for keeping the eyes on your fly than normal crazy glue. These are all things that I have incorporated into this fly, with the knowledge passed on to me from others at different times, and I hope that as you move along your journey behind the vise that you continue to keep and open mind and absorb what skills work for you, and pass them on to others.

 There is no shame in saying that we are always learning, but for some people that comes with a little bit of difficulty. Don’t become someone who is afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to improve at what you enjoy. Remember, the minute that you think you know it all and close your mind to expanding your knowledge, you will stop learning.

Onto the tying!

The Bass Agitator

The Bass Agitator

Hook: Partridge Attitude Streamer #2

Thread: Black 3/0

Body: Black, Olive, Red ostrich herl tied in halfway up the shank, waste ends pushed back

Body: Marabou tied in by the tip and palmered

Head: Red and Black Laser dubbing

Eyes: Living Eyes, or any holographic eyes

Ostrich Herl is a great material that adds movement with almost no weight to your fly.

Creating the flared out body:

First start by running your thread down the hook shank, stopping at about the halfway point.

Next you want to layer your ostrich herl at the halfway point and tie it in with a few wraps, but dont cut the waste ends off yet.
Pull your waste ends back and take a few thread wraps in front of them.

In order to keep this fly a little shapely, you will want to cut the waste ends, leaving about and inch, then take those ends, flare them backwards and add a few more wraps in front of the material to keep them back.

Creating the upper body on your fly:

When creating the upper body on this fly you dont want it to be too heavily hackled so go easy. Here I used three feathers in different colors, but with only a few turns of each.

Tie in your marabou by the tip, then just take a few turns while brushing the fibers back like a soft hackle.
Start with one color, just a few turns of marabou.
Once you have added all 3 colors you can snip the waste ends and wrap over them.

Creating the head of your fly:

Use black and red laser dubbing  on a “slide loop” to create your head, brush it out, whip finish and snip off your thread.

Dont forget to brush it out with velcro before applying your eyes.

Laser dub is a magical material! If you haven’t used it before, take a look at the step by step here with some tips on how it works.

A tip for adding eyes:

Grab your eyes.. grab a bodkin..

Use your bodkin to lift the eye off the paper and add a dab of loctite to the back of it.
Finally use the bodkin to position your eye over the area in which you want to place it. Slide it off the bodkin and  repeat on the other side. Then push firmly on both together, basically just squeeze them at the same time to lock them down.

Whip finish and get to fishing!

The Bass Agitator

Fishing tips for the bass agitator in lakes:

This is a great fly in lakes for bass and crappies, It will suspend after each strip. If you are targeting bedding largemouth bass, this fly will agitate them immediately. Fish it on a floating line, Cast it up against the bank loudly, and pull in the slack while slowly lifting your rod up to glide this across the bed. They will slam it out of the way. When fishing it in deeper water, use a full sinking line and after each cast, drop that rod tip about a foot down INTO the water and start stripping. This will bring that fly down farther without added weight and keep constant contact with it so you can feel any strikes.

Fishing tips for the Bass Agitator in Rivers:

Don’t limit this fly to bass fishing, because trout love it as well. I fish this streamer in rivers with a full sink or a versa leader, and when I want to get this down in the water column to the bottom of a pool I will cast it out, then drop my rod tip in the water just like I do on the lake, and strip it back as you would normally fish your streamers. Dropping the rod tip in the water a few inches will help bring it down where you want it without being so heavy that it gets snagged.

I hope everyone’s had sometime out on the water these days! Happy Tying!


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