Any fly fishers out there?

I have always had a flyrod for as long as I can remember. I had sort of forgot about it for several years due to 7 long years at school, jobs, board exams, family life, jobs and work again, etc. I just recently go back into it and have been having a blast. I even took a class and actually learned how to tie the proper knots and some techniques that I was completely ignorant on.

Fly fishing seems to go well with canoeing/kayaking. Something about the solitude of paddling silently along and the act of fly fishing itself. Last weekend I saw a spectacle that is probably not seen by non-paddling fly fishers or fisher people in general. On one of the local bayous, as I was paddling along to my favorite fishing spot I saw something tearing up the water, a lot of splashing and drama. The shore birds were right at the shore eating all these little minnows that were flinging themselves onto the bank to avoid being eaten by the predators in the water. Minnows get no breaks in nature it seems. It was really remarkable I sat sat and watched just long enough to get my 3 wt ready for a cast. First cast into the froth delivered a nice 2 lb bass. The action died down a bit. I cast under an over hang and the delivery was answered this time by a 5 lb bass. That was a lot of fun on a 3 wt rig. Anywho I digress. So any fly fishers out there? Where do you fish what do you target? Canoe or kayak? Fresh water or salt? One thing that has surprised me is the price of some fly fishing gear. Wow, it can be pricey, but there are some good gear out there reasonably priced as well. I like the pricey stuff, just out of my budget for the most part. I have picked up some premium equipment used however. Tight lines.

Me, too.
I love to flyfish. I’ve been doing it since I was about twelve (over thirty years ago. :=( ) Built rods, tied many o’ fly.

I have done saltwater from my center conslole (bluefish, no stripers yet), freshwater river bass from my canoe. But, I haven’t tried it yet from the kayak I bought in May. One of these days…

I used to crawl through pricker bushes and briar patches to sneak up on trout. Like you, I now find myself spending as much time ‘observing’ as fishing.

I bring only dry flies. If no fish are rising, I will try to tempt them to come up. If no takers, oh well, that’s the way it goes.

I’d rather catch one fish on a dry fly than one hundred fish on a nitecrawler or spinner bait

Check out this link for used gear.

Fly Fishing

– Last Updated: Jul-05-06 8:34 PM EST –

Bryan, my wife would say that I work to support my fly fishing habit. ;^) I mostly fly fish for trout in small streams, but I do enjoy taking the canoe out on local lakes for panfish and bass. I'm planning to go bass fishing with a friend this Friday after work, and fish until (or after) dark. Few things are more fun than a bass taking a popping fly on the surface.

I have many rods, from a 2 weight up to an 8 weight, and most everything inbetween. I've built several of the rods myself to save money. As you say, they can get spendy. But, it's cheaper than a big shiney bass boat and 200hp engine. I tie my own flies too.

I started out fly fishing when I was 13, and am now 44. I grew up near Long Island Sound, NY, and started ff'ing for small bluefish. Later I moved over to freshwater and trout. When I moved to MN in the early 90's I started with the canoe on area lakes, and also continued my persuit of trout.

Ever get a musky on a fly? I tried for a whole summer. Got some follows. No strikes.

Howdy Fellas
Fly fishing is addictive as heck. I have been slowly gathering gear myself. I am currently assembling a 9 wt saltwater rig for redfish, speckled trout. spanish mackeral and any other toothy saltwater critter. I found a great deal on a 9 wt saltwater reel, now searching for a rod to go with it. I have a 3 wt and a 6 wt, it is crazy isn’t it? Only flyfishers and (hopefully) theirs wifes understand. Luckily my wife supports my habit. Though the 9 wt will be my last one for a while.

It is way cheaper than power boats for sure! Some of those flats boats and skiffs can get upwards of 30K to 50K. Whew… out of my league. I prefer my canoes. Don’t get me wrong if I could swing a nice bay or flats boat, I would probably do it, but for now that is most of a in-state college education at a state school.

Tying flies is something I just started. I can seee from creating just a few, it is going to take some time. It is fun though. Bass and blue gill on a fly is one of my favories, the freshwater trout are a long way from here, with a few exceptions. So for now I go after the local game. Well I am off to try and tie something called Surf Candy. If they turn out I will post some pics.

JNJ, no, I’ve never caught a muskie. I’ve caught northern pike, though, but only smaller ones. I’ve never taken the time to try and specifically target bigger northerns.

Love to fly fish from a canoe

– Last Updated: Jul-05-06 11:07 PM EST –

Yep, its addictive. I grew up fishing more bass, crappie and bullheads than trout, and caught them all on flies at times, even the bullhead catfish.

Am envious of bryanm and getting into a feeding frenzy on bass like that. What a show. I've never caught a five pound bass.

Spent a lot of years in British Columbia, some of the best trout fishing in the world, as well as salmon. Like others, I am so spoiled that if they aren't hitting dry flies on top, I'd rather go do something else. I've fished mostly lakes for trout, from shore, boats, log rafts and lots from canoes, usually in crystal clear water where you can see fish in 40 feet of water if the light is right.

My favorite is to take turns with a friend in a canoe, the bow man fly fishing and the stern paddling and positioning the boat. In a lake the ideal is to cruise slowly with lily pads to my left, watching for rising trout and within easy enough cast to lay a fly in pockets and along the edge. That's as good as fishing gets IMO, especially with good sized cutthroats. Fall brookies in moose pond lakes are delightful, and tastiest of all the trout if cooked immediately.

My best fly caught rainbow went somewhere between 9.5 and 10.5 lbs. (the range of weights the erratic fish scale gave for him).

I have tried coho salmon on flies once, last fall, and didn't get a strike. Missed the timing of the run and only went out once. Have caught many sockeye, pink, and chum salmon on a fly rod and flies. Have fought a few big Chinooks but have yet to land one with the fly rod. The river where I go for them is small and swift and so far, my fly rod Chinooks have all bested me by going on the other side of a log jam, etc. and breaking me off. Got almost all of the fight out of one about 30 lbs. last Fall, but he had worked me downstream to a fork in the river and with his last tired run he got just into the lip of the far fork where I could not follow. I broke the 17 lb. leader trying to keep him on my side. I got several good looks at him and he was a litle bigger than the 28 pounder I'd bonked ten minutes earlier. I confess that I caught that one on heavier bait casting gear to make sure I got one to eat before breaking out the fly rod for fun.

Yes, fly gear is getting astoundingly expensive, but I have managed by finding sales, making gear last, etc.

Have been in places in N. Canada where good sized pike hit nearly every cast in spells of up to a half hour. They would be easy to get to bite on streamers but never tried it, always light spin gear.

I'm making a nine foot seven weight fly rod blank into a spinning rod at present, but that's another story.


– Last Updated: Jul-05-06 10:56 PM EST –

Love the fly fishing venue. from the kayak or sconue. just had our fly fishing school in Penn State PA last week. Lots of dreaming of flyfishing latley, way too much work. good luck and cast one for me!.jeff

I’ll trade…
my piddly 5 lb bass for a 9 to 10 pound trout any day. I fish with both top water poppers, spoon flys or other minnow type flys. I have seen or should I say barely seen some of those tiny dry flys. I am afraid I would have to hire somebody with good eyes to help tie thos elittle buggers on. I would love to give some dry flies and trout waters a try one of these days. I definetly understand the dry fly top water thing. It is too cool to see those fish come up and absolutely nail the fly. Cheers.

My dry flies are too big for elitists
Golly do I ever agree about those little tiny dry flies north eastern guys seem to use. Anything smaller than a 12 seems tiny to me and my eyes aren’t good at tying them on anymore. I’ve used huge grasshopper immitations, up to a size 1/0 and deerhair mouse about that size. Big muddler minnows, unweighted, make good grasshopper immitations.

Most of the flies we use are sizes 6 to ten. I have only used chronomids a few times, and they are small. You usually fish them deeper and it gets to be like soaking a worm so I don’t fish deep wet flies much, though chronomids make up 70% or so of trout diet in many lakes. A lot of our trout aren’t sophisticated so a splash when the fly lands just sounds like a big meal, and if a big dry fly slops along half submerged or even a few inches deep, they seem to hit it when they are feeding.

Smallmouth bass should be a blast on a fly rod. Caught a few on a fly rod when I was growing up and my memory is that they fought more consistently than steelhead.

Ha ha, midges
I have diffiulty seeing midges, let alone tying them on. “Hey, kid, do me a favor.” They do work, though. Warm, sunny days, late winter or early spring, brown trout can somehow detect them.

It doesn’t matter what fly you use, which rod you have, how well you cast… Flyfishing is an aesthetic pastime, like frisbee.

It’s not like whether your boat is plastic or composite. LOL

i started in high school
i never got very sophisticated, mostly level lines and plain mono leaders. i’m still using my first inexpensive 8’ rod and original reel now , 40 years later. i almost killed the reel trying to use it in salt water. i like fishing for bream with a popper best. i caught smallmouth and a bunch of bream using a small white plastic grub, the kind found on a beetle spin. i hope to learn more about saltwater fly fishing and fly tying. i mostly fish ‘just for fun’ now.

Flyin high!
I started out about 18 months ago w/ a buggy whip and the addiction is growing.

My passion is chasing redfish in 6" of water from a Tarpon 140 w/ an 8wt. I LOVE the stalk almost as much as the catch. When reds are “crawling” with half of their back out of the water they’re very easily spooked. A fly makes the softest entry and smallest splash but it’s still possible to spook em if you hit em in the nose.

My other fly passion is bream on a popper. I’m using a 7 wt but will one day buy a 3/4 wt for that venue.

Started tying about two months ago. My wife may divorce me if I don’t put the vice away. The grass is so tall we lost our truck in the front yard last week. She was kinda mad til I took her fishing and put her on a couple of reds. That bought me a few days of complacency. Still, it might be wise for me to crank up the mower today. ;o)

kayak fishing
I fly and spin fish out of a 12 ft sundance kayak here in northern Arkansas - mostly for trout on the White river but also for smallmouth on the warn water rivers. I prefer the fly fishing especially when they are hitting topwaters, but don’t mind fishing nymphs when they are feeding below. Sometimes tossing spinners or rappalas is more productive so I usually take my spinning rod along as well. The Ozark rivers are crystal clear and the scenery is beautiful so a day on the water is a real treat whether you catch fish or not.

I used to fly fish almost exclusively,
unless I was using an ultralight spinning rig. But, my primary fishing waters right now is a bit light on sunfish and bass, has plenty of cats, so its the big baitcasting and spinning stuff, though still take the ultralight, great for smaller cats. This weekend, however, I’m going up to Central Texas on the Brazos River, will take the fly rod, though the primary goal is catching alligator gar in the 20 to 100 lb range. The fly rod may get us some good size beam to use for bait.

Hey Jerl…
Does Sheldon have any open water? I went a few weeks ago, unloaded the canoe, loaded my gear and ice chest. I was prepared for a day of fishing. I had everything I needed, except for the @#$%*&^ paddle! The water was low and there was still some open water.

Haven’t fished Sheldon in a few weeks.
In early June, it still had almost all open water on the South end of the lake…put in at the boat ramp on Pineland Drive down by the Harris County Recreation park. The hydrilla seems to be under control, though I hate to see it all die off, it made for some good fishing. The upper end of the lake is choked off with hyacynth and giant salvinia. You can’t launch there these days. I used to wade fish that area back in the '70’s, but wouldn’t now because of the alligators. Couldn’t fish the area because the vegetation is so thick too.

If you launch at the boat ramp, you’ll see islands that run parallel to the levee the boat ramp is on. Go past the first island, take a left and paddle along the big lotus lily pads, either side. The water is shallow on the line of the pads, but on the West side, drops off to 8 ft, on the East side, as much as 12 ft. Even if the hydrilla chokes the rest of the lake, either side of those pads stays open, though not conducive to lure fishing, except weedless…plastic worms rigged Carolina style so they float.

If the hydrilla isn’t bad, then along the islands there can be good fly fishing and ultralight fishing for bream and bass. The hydrilla may be back. Last time, I was fishing for cats deep and pulled up more than a few gobs of the stuff and lots of it was greeen, that was in 10-12 ft of water.

We should hook up and fish!
Sheldon is reasonably close for me, maybe 30 minutes or so. I would love to hook up with you and fling some flys and some spinners. What looks good to you? Evening or morning, weekend or week day?

Smallmouth Bass
For those who may be interested, or live in the region, the upper Mississippi River, and the St. Croix River, are both outstanding smallmouth bass fisheries, among the best in the USA. Both are also excellent canoeing rivers, very scenic and undeveloped. Well worth a trip if you have the opportunity.

I mainly use spinning and casting tackle for river smallmouth bass, but when I fish for trout it’s with a fly rod. I’ve flyfished for many years, and spend time every year in Montana and other western states flyfishing. I have a bunch of fly rods from 4 wt. to 8 wt…do a little fly-tying as well. I’ve flyfished for redfish and sea trout in Texas, for tarpon and bonefish in Florida, for trout in a dozen different states, for king salmon in Michigan, steelhead in Idaho, and all species of salmon in Alaska. I’ve caught cohos on big surface bugs on a couple of Alaskan streams…what fun!..along with some really BIG rainbows (24-28 inches). My most enjoyable flyfishing trips have been in Montana in late April, trying to catch the “Mother’s Day caddis hatch” on the Yellowstone River and other streams in the area around Livingston. When we’ve been lucky enough to be there at the right time and the caddis hatch comes off while the river is still fishable before the spring snowmelt starts, it’s some of the most unbelievable dry fly action you’ll ever see.