Bass will follow your fly and lure many times without taking. How many times this happens when we don’t see the phenomenon we can only guess. On the rare occasion when we are lucky enough to witness the behaviour its very exciting and interesting.

  1. The fish follows for a short period and then suddenly veers away at speed. The fish has seen you – Action – lower your profile, check your clothing colour and fishing position.
  2. The fish follows for a long period very close to the fly or lure and swims away slowly without a take. The fish is inspecting the bait closely, doesn’t see you, is interested in what it sees but not sufficiently for a take. Action – check for any bait present and change colour of fly or lure to match – move towards more translucency
  3. The fish follows a distance from the lure and swims away after a short period. The fish is interested in the bait but is not convinced. Action – check for any bait present and change size,type and colour of fly
  4. Groups of three or four fish follow but don’t take. The fish are feeding selectively Action – find the bait present and match it as best you can
  5. The fish follow regularly for long distances but don’t take even after adjustments have been made. Fish are interested but not hungry Action – increase speed of retrieve or fish two flies, lure with teaser OR – change to a less dense fly of minimal material
  6. The fish is visible you have cast to him but he wont take – The fish is spooked and will move off Action – stop casting and wait for 15 minutes then try again

No two circumstances are the same and generally most bass will show an interest in your fly or lure. If you are getting a LOT of follows with no takes then always try adjusting what you can change – your retrieve speed, the size, colour, type and shape of fly or lure are all yours to control.

Jim Hendrick