Catfish on a fly rod? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Catfish on a fly rod?

06-17-2007, 10:13 PM
My main reason for posting this is to ask:
Have you ever gotten a catfish on a fly?

I know of at least one person on here that has, which I believe is Peter up in Quebec on a dead drifted minnow pattern and he is actually targetting them. My secondary reason for posting this is to tell my story.

Let me start this by saying that my catch was an accident, but it was a very happy one! I got my first catfish on a fly rod yesterday while targetting largemouth bass in a pond on my parents' property in upstate NY. A bit over 2 years ago my mom had a pond built on her property because she wanted a swimming hole. I posted some info about it at the time but I'm sure most people that were around here then have forgotten. So to recap the main points, it's 3/4 acre, roughly triangular, and 10-12 feet at its deepest, and was stocked with 30 3" largemouth, 30 8" catfish, and 500 minnows 2 years ago. 5 grass carp came later but only 2 are known to survive (saw them today) and 2 are definitely dead (one by heron wound, one by who knows what).

Yesterday was the first time it's ever been fished and I got about 10 largemouth that were all 10-11" long and pretty healthy. They were slamming a yellow conehead fly and when one stole that, they did the same to a white conehead sculpin that replaced it.

After I'd gotten maybe 7-8 bass, I let the fly fall through the same area where I'd hooked a few when my line went tight and as I set the hook, something much larger than the bass took off to the center of the pond with my reel screaming. It put up a heck of a fight, especially for a 4 weight slow action trout rod, before I brought in an 18" cat. It was a heck of a fight and I would be happy to get one on a fly rod again! :)

One additional thing that I'll mention is that I saw at least 4-5 ~3" largemouth in the pond so they're already reproducing. From what I've read, those are probably bass that were spawned this year based on their length. Good news!!!

06-17-2007, 10:41 PM
I've always wanted to, but the good catfishing water in Nebraska seems much to turbid for fish to feed by sight...

Dble Haul
06-18-2007, 09:15 AM
I have caught them purposely and incidentally. I've caught them in the CT River on clouser minnows and deep sinking lines in holes where I've been told that they hold during certain times of the year. I caught them incidentally on the Susquehanna River during the white fly hatch, when everything in the river seems to come up for the feed.

That's right, catfish on a dry fly. :smokin:

06-18-2007, 10:08 AM
In the deeper sections in the Everglades/10,000 Islands you can catch 6-12# Saltwater Catfish with a very slow stop & start retreive on the bottom. They are very strong fighters, but boy do they ever goober up a leader. (and everything else). Because of the goobering and the difficulty of unhook, they are not very often targeted.

06-18-2007, 10:35 AM
I have caught both normal saltwater and gafftop catfish on fly in Florida Bay.
This was not deliberate and my guide was not very happy having to unhook these nasty fish.

06-18-2007, 11:02 AM
We target them on occasion at Lake Powell in Southern Utah. They are often seen swimming around our houseboat and my boys and I can't help but try for a few. They are all Chanel cats and will eat anything resembling a Shad or crawdad as these are the primary forage in Powell. We have also caught them on blond humpies fished dry in areas around the marinas where people feed carp with bread. Cat fish on a dry? I'm not sure if that is right or not. but I know its fun.

06-19-2007, 08:32 PM
If you had a selection for "tried but didn't catch one" I would have picked that one. I've seen a couple of catfish several times in a nearby lake when I fish for carp. They always seem to be in the same spot and I've casted my woolly bugger at them a few times but didn't get any reaction. Maybe I should try a larger crayfish or minnow imitation.