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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 09-21-2012, 10:54 AM
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Default Catfish Flies?

Ive been wanting to get into carp fishing for a while, but i dont think the lakes and rivers near me have many carp in them, maybe a few grass carp. I do know that there are a lot of catfish though, so i was wondering what flies to use for catfish? the same flies as carp?
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Catfish Flies?

Looking forward to seeing where this goes. Fly fishing for carp I know about, but I don't think I've ever seen a reference to fly fishing for 'Cats.'

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Old 09-21-2012, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Catfish Flies?

I've caught a grand total of one catfish on the fly. This was the fly. I wasn't targeting cats. I have no use for a fish that doesn't have scales.

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Old 09-21-2012, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Catfish Flies?

Ive read of a Fl. guide who catches them on the Myakka Minnow. Ive caught two on a brown and gold glass minnow fly. Great fight but for me it was pure terror trying to unhook them in my lap sitting in a kayak!
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Catfish Flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mylobass View Post
Ive read of a Fl. guide who catches them on the Myakka Minnow. Ive caught two on a brown and gold glass minnow fly. Great fight but for me it was pure terror trying to unhook them in my lap sitting in a kayak!
Haha! i remember when i caught my first catfish i was terrified because i had been told that they have barbs, but i didnt know where they were... i treated the thing like a ticking nuclear bomb...
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:40 PM
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Arrow Re: Catfish Flies?

The saltwater cats toxin hurts so bad, i didnt take any chances. The barbs at the end of the fins can get you if you don't get a tight safe grip.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Catfish Flies?

The lake I live on has a decent population of catfish but they are relatively few and far between but they make up for this in average size which is something over 10 pounds. The only way that I have found to effectively target cats is by sightfishing for them when they come shallow early mornings when the water is very warm. I usually use standard gear with a scented rubber crayfish but I have caught them on crayfish flies with some scent added as well. They put up a heck of a fight for sure! especially if the bass arent cooperating...
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: Catfish Flies?

If you've not found many of my posts before this may seem a bit long winded but trust me....I made it as short as I could

I remember my first Channel Cat as if it were yesterday, it was however some 20 years ago. When I did not have the time to drive out of town headed to some exotic wild trout destination like Slate Run etc. I would content my self fishing the lower portions of Lycoming Creek. (Pennsylvania) As darkness fell I would harbor visions of hooking into one of the giant brown trout I just knew had to be there. What the heck, the creek flows south to empty into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River which is huge, so............ I figured that like a lake, the deep waters of the Susky had to be home to some behemoths that would come up the creek on regular grocery runs, especially at night.

A warm night in July set the stage for the Awakening. I was at the head of a really long pool where the creek (a fairly large one) fed into it in a deep swift run. Casting an all black bunny fur leech sort of streamer across and mending repeatedly to put the fly down deep. As the casting became routine the monotony was broken by a heavy pull on the line that came all the way down the rod shaft into my hand. Now awakened from my semi trance-like fishing by the sudden jolt I pulled back and the fight was on!

Whatever I was into didn't jump from the water but it hugged the bottom and stripped line from my reel like a hooked salmon. A Brown Trout and a 'Monster at that' was all I could think of. Comeon baby, don't let that hook come loose. This took a while but eventually I was pumping and reeling the tired fish toward shore. When I began to drag it onto the shore line to the land I was considerably back from the waters edge so's not to spook the fish at the moment of truth. I strained my eyes at the silvery body that flopped over as I pulled its weight from water to land. What the heck is that I wondered aloud? I made a quick sprint to the fish and held it down. What I was seeing to my great amazement was that it was a catfish of about 2 foot in length! I was shocked, I had never heard of catching a Channel Cat on an artificial fly or a fly rod, ever!

In the years that followed that night I became a big black leech at night bottom swinging catfisher and caught a bunch of dandy cats. This all took place before the advent of the digital pocket camera or the internet. It never dawned on me to photograph them using a 35 mm with flash because who was I going to show them to?

So there you have it, big black leech patterns swinging or stripped along the bottom. I didn't need 'scent' and honestly back then had never even heard of it. Just the fly and some willing cats and you'll be off to the races. Our member Nick (Didgeridoo) catches some real monsters up in Saskatchewan every year, look for his threads by finding one (using the user name in a search) and then click his name and choose, View Profile, then click his 'Statistics' tab and choose 'Find All Threads by Didgeridoo' and you'll find his catfish threads.

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Old 09-21-2012, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Catfish Flies?

Ard, that's an awesome post! I agree with the black leech patterns, and have caught Channels & Bullheads on such patterns while targeting bass. I've caught them numerous times while targeting other species, but can't say I've targeted them with flies specifically. I've caught Channel cats on lures too, including crankbaits & spinnerbaits.

I remember hooking into a Channel cat one time in a small stream that held some decent Smallmouths, and thought I had hooked one of the bass. It was in a deep hole under an undercut bank, and was about 20" long. The fly was a size 2 Clouser style tied with black ostrich herl and some bronze & copper Flashabou. A favorite pattern for me in that particular stream.

Frankly, I've caught cats on a few different fly types, including nymphs. I don't think they're all that particular if you happen to get a fly where they are. However, if you're going to target them, then bigger is probably better. I would prefer a fly tied on at least a size 2 hook which not only gives them more to look at, there's less chance they'll swallow it & end up gut hooking them.

Although not on a fly, I've caught Blue cats on small panfish spoons & plastic curltail grubs while fishing for Crappies & Bluegill's, so would expect if a fly was in the right place, Blue cats would be just as likely to eat it too.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Catfish Flies?

Ard, wow... that post was pretty awesome! i felt like i was reading one of John Gierach's or Thomas McGuane's stories!

I definitely need to try this, all i have right now that is even close to a leech pattern is a black wooly bugger. there are no fly shops near me, so i have to order everything online.. im starting to tie my own flies though, and thats almost as fun as fly fishing itself!

The first catfish i ever caught was on a silver rooster tail on a baitcasting rod. i was pretty surprised that it was a catfish. it was very small (12" max) but it put up an incredible fight... thats the main reason im interested in trying to fish for them, for the fight.
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