With the tulip trees blooming, Spring can't be far away.
For the fly fisherman hanging back in the cold weather, this is like the Robin seeing the first worms of spring. Bass fishing is about to crank up. Typically bass spawn the last part of February and the first 3 weeks in March in this neck of the woods. The spawn makes popper fishing the ONLY way to catch bass.
First, a little about equipment.
You want a 6,7,or 8wt rod. This is a good time to pull out the step-child 7wt. Perfect for bass, easy and light and can handle the big bugs and poppers. Line: a weight-forward floating to handle big flies. Now the leader for bass flies and poppers must be stout and short. Stout to turn over the flies and short to present the flies quickly and balance your rig. I like a tapered 7-1\2 ft 12 to 15ld. These bass fight and often times you need a heavy leader to drag them out of structure. Wide gap wire hooks are designed to hook that bucket mouth 2\0, 3\0,and even 4\0 are not too big. The environment where bass hang out often times demands a weed guard. If you are in to tying your own flies it's easy to tie on a weed guard when you tie the fly. If you decide you don't want it later just clip it off.
The techniques for fly fishing for bass are geared to the mind set of bass during spawning season. The bass is feeling his oats and is hungry and aggressive. Give him the works. Bass bugs are big for a reason,that bass wants a big meal during spawning season. He has to have the energy to carry out the duties of fatherhood. Make the meal attractive with a loud popper that pushes mucho agua. Remember, bass like to hide in structure, so seek out the overhung banks and the fallen trees peeking out of the water. The line separating the colony of lily pads from the open water offers the bass a lair to hide in and dart out for food. Toss the fly just to the edge and drag down the line adjacent to lily pads. Now get ready for an explosion. And when the spawn is over and the bass settle down, the pan-fish a.k.a. Bream show up to hold you until the fall fishing cranks up again.
Targeting the appropriate fish for the right time of the year ensures you can always find some fly fishing to feed your angling hunger.