Packing List | Fly Fishing for Largemouth Bass in Michigan

With Memorial Day came my first time off of work for 2016, so I met a couple of friends in Charlevoix, a fantastic little beach town in northern Michigan to unwind. We hit the water every day and caught more fish than I cared to count. 

Fly fishing can be an expensive hobby to get into, but it doesn't have to be. Here's all the gear I useed to get into the water:

Redington 9' 5-weight Fly Rod $65

It only took minutes to find a once-used fly rod on craigslist. Sure, a 5-weight isn't ideal for bass fishing, but I spend most of my time targeting trout in streams near my home, and this 4-piece, 9-footer was a steal. 

White River Fly Shop Hobbs Creek Fly Reel $60

Tippet, fly line, and backing can end up costing quite a bit of money. Add a reel to the list and you maybe pricing yourself out of a great hobby. That's why I chose this loaded reel from Bass Pro Shops. It has a large arbor, and comes with everything you need to get started, sans fly. Plus, the 5-weight had no trouble landing a 5 pound largemouth.

Orvis Bass Popper $4

I have yet to get into tying my own flies, let alone making my own poppers, but a quick trip to my local Orvis and I had a few varieties in hand. My recommendation? Try the chartreuse. It looks like a wounded frog and draws the big bass in. 

Orvis Encounter Waders Free (Normally $169)

Full disclosure: I got lucky and received my waders and boots as hand-me-downs after my cousin grew out of them some years ago. If the water is warm enough, you don't even need waders, but if the temperature isn't quite there, these from Orvis are a great option. They're not too pricy, and light enough that you won't start sweating when the sun get high in the sky.

Orvis Encounter Felt-Bottomed Wading Boots Free (Normally $99)

Pair these with the waders above and you'll never slip on a wet rock again. 

Sun Protection - Outdoor Research Sun Glove $17, Patagonia Sun Mask $20, Patagonia Hat $23

On a recent salmon fishing trip in Patagonia, I forgot about protecting my face and hands from the sun and paid for it for days. Now, instead of worrying about lathering up with sunscreen every two or three hours, I wear a breathable long-sleeve shirt, and cover up my hands, face, and ears.