In the midst of the last snow storm of the year (fingers crossed) here in Wisconsin, I couldn't help but think of the smallmouth spawn being just a month or two away. During this period, gigantic smallmouth bass become easy prey for fly rod anglers as they frequent the shallows in search of adequate spawning grounds. The fight from a 5 pound smallmouth on a 5 weight rod is hard to beat, and using bunny flies is just the trigger that will get fish in the mood.
About the Bunny Fly Pattern
The Bunny Fly is a probably one of the most used and well known fly patterns over the last decade. The bunny fly can be fished in almost any environment from oceans to lakes and even rivers. The reason that the Bunny Fly is such a great success comes from the use of sultry materials and durable construction.
Fly Tying Materials for the Bunny Fly
Bunny flies do not have a myriad of materials woven into their construction, but rather use a few simple materials in a special way. Rabbit strips are the tail, body and spirit for this fly. Using rabbit for this fly is where this pattern gets it descriptive name from. To tie the pattern, rabbit strips are tied in off the back of the hook shank in such a way that they undulate with every movement in the water. The body of the fly is made from rabbit strips spun into a fur hackle. This fur hackle process adds the illusion of bulk for the fly without any of the extra weight. The epoxy head used in this pattern is key as smallmouth, and other bass species that you might run into, will take their toll on flies not treated to withstand punishment.
The Fishing Techniques to Use
Fishing the bunny fly is simple. Cast the fly into a fishy looking area and let it sink until it is near bottom. Using a combination of short strips and pauses the bunny fly will come to life in the water. If you are a fishing a sandy bottom river or lake you can even let the fly sink and drag it through the sand creating a disturbance that fish will take interest in.
The Bunny Fly is very versatile and lends itself to a variety of presentation techniques in many different environments. This makes it a great fly to have in your box in multiple colors for any situation that may present itself.