The Fly’s of Late Summer

Carolina Flyfisher | Scotty Davis | September 2021

All across the South, things are looking up. Gardens are in full bloom, Covid is slowly getting under control, and the fish are hammering topwater!

Whether you prefer Largemouth Bass murdering poppers or the saltwater misfits dissecting gurglers, your time is here my friend.

Let’s start with the current bass fishing: its hot. Fish early and late. The fish will find deeper cooler water in the heat of the day. In the low light however, they creep into their cafeteria, and you need to be there…with poppers.

Certain times of the year, I’m very subtle with topwater bass flies, pausing between tiny “twitches.” Not now. When it is this hot and the world is on fire, prey is generally the most active it is all year.

Imagine you’re a bass and a baby bird falls out of a tree. That bird is not going to casually duck paddle to shore, is it? No, it’s going to go into complete panic mode and get to shore as fast as possible.

As always, vary your retrieve until you find what works best. Sometimes a well-timed pause among the retrieve will trigger the chaos.

Surface Seducer Double Barrel Bass Bugs.

Loud poppers such as the Double Barrel Poppers from Flymen Fishing Co. create quite the ruckus. Frog patterns with aggressive lips or legs to create wakes will be destroyed.

Tie/buy several. If the bass in your area are feeding primarily on baitfish, orange or blue would be my first choice. Frogs? Yellow, green or white would get tied on 1st.

I generally do best fishing flies parallel to shore or swimming towards it since that’s how topwater prey would behave. Warning: I’d check with your doctor first; the takes can be heart stopping.

Want a little saltier action? Gurglers and the Lowcountry saltwater fishery are as common a pair as shrimp and grits.

Head into your favorite low tide haunt and watch the shrimp skyrocket towards a false freedom as Mr. Redfish is waiting just below the melee.

Grab a few topwater poppers and a kid or two and watch something magical about the South

Seagulls will often hover just over the action, making very good indicators. So, the “where to cast” should be fairly straight forward.

Here, you don’t want a huge “Pop.” Just get their attention, let them see it, and try and contrl your nerves. Gurglers in shrimpy colors combined with small erratic jerks generally (almost always) get the job done.

Small poppers can be equally effective, just don’t get too aggressive on the retrieve.

In Summary: this is why we flyfish: Jaw dropping top water bites on flimsy rods. Grab a few topwater poppers and a kid or two and watch something magical about the South.

Take advantage of the intel from your local fly shop, they know the trends and latest hot flies.

– Scotty Davis





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