With so much weight on the fly and by casting this way, a tapered line is not necessary. 9 posts • Page 1 of 1. Also keep in mind that catfish have very keen senses. When fishing the cutbait method, crawl the fly on the bottom and bring it in slow, and I do mean slow. by mte » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:50 pm . Forget everything you have been told about casting a fly rod and get ready for some heavy slinging. In lakes, target the deep holes. Big Flathead Catfish Fishing How To’s. Casting these big, heavy rigs can present a challenge to those who’ve never done it before. Home Fly Fishing American River Monsters: Flathead Catfish on the Fly. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Why Fly Fishing as Opposed to Conventional Fishing Methods? We (Phil Granato, Scott Lachecki and me) have confirmed this by catching them on salmon egg patterns as well as crayfish, hellgrammites and the ever popular Copper John. Because of this I am not able to boulder hop and wade this section during any other time of the year due to the very fast water and depth. (function() { Join them Live on the Minnesota River. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Yes, it’s an issue that happens sometimes with this type of fishing. But if you’re like most catfish fans and are more interested in catching a mess of catfish to keep and eat, I suggest you focus your attention on smaller flatheads, up to 10 pounds, which are much more common and easy to catch. Fly fishing is similar to spin fishing in that an angler baits the hook and wants to catch catfish. A nine ft, nine to 11 weight fly rod will be sufficient. Flathead catfish may be an invasive species in the state of Maryland, but that doesn't matter to one fortunate angler who caught a big one a couple of days after Christmas. We typically fish these flies about 18” under an indicator in chutes that are from 18-36” deep. I immediately froze for a moment as I saw its mouth open and engulf the fly. Clousers ride hook point up leading to less snags on the bottom and in cover. This dis-engagement is smooth. Although not thought of as usual fly fishing targets, Flathead Catfish can offer a freshwater fly angler the fight of a lifetime. Your email address will not be published. They prefer deep, slow pools with lots of cover. Many people look at the catfish's small eyes and think these fish probably don't have keen eyesight. Photos and story courtesy of Andy Howard, @andy.724 on Instagram! Especially when they’re out hunting in the low light hours. forms: { Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A Maryland angler has become the state’s first record holder for flathead catfish. With that being said, you’re going to need some sturdy fly fishing equipment to hook and land these beasts. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Fly Fishing for Catfish. One of my favorite species to target specifically is the longnose gar and I had been doing so for a little while before the flood and more after it. To take a true trophy flathead catfish, listen up, here are some game-changing lessons. A nine ft, nine to 11 weight fly rod will be sufficient. Primarily sought after by fisherman slinging heavy weights and large baitfish into deep pools, they are also incidentally caught by fisherman casting lures such as crankbaits and soft plastics. On Tuesday, July 7th, the river finally dropped to the usual level of this time of year, and the lowest level I have fished it this year. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Using bank poles, or “diddy poles,” like these from Catfish Getters, are just one of the many methods that can be used to catching flathead catfish. Our goal is simple: inspire the next generation to get outdoors and hit the water! But, losing a few flies is nothing compared to snagging your expensive new fly line. If the flies you have tied are not heavy enough, don’t be afraid to add as much weight as needed to get these flies to the bottom. Most likely, it will take a few casts to get used to it. I had broken my 9wt earlier in the week and was using my 8wt with a slightly sinking tip. Fish on! } I tied on an EP brush fiber & deer hair gamechanger fly I tied the night before. event : evt, By. Instead, strip off the desired amount of line and cast it like a traditional fishing rig. Many are caught in large natural lakes and impoundments, but hard-hitting, pole-bending flatheads reach their greatest abundance in big bottomland rivers. Right Now is The Best Time to Be a Public-Land Small-Game Hunter . Many of your fly fishing “purists” will shun you for this method, but you want to catch fish, right? If you want to read up more on casting this way, I suggest looking up the chuck-and-duck method developed by fly fishers who target steelhead and salmon. Pinterest. Fishing for flathead has always been a popular pass time as they taste pretty good and aren't overly hard to catch if you know their habits. Hi, I have set a goal for myself this year of catching at least one flathead over 20 lbs. Through film, photography, and journalism we strive to make each story as unique as the person or place it’s based off. I knew this was the biggest catfish I’d ever hooked and my mind was just racing. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Cast out to likely hiding spots and twitch the fly along the bottom. Yes, blues grow bigger and outnumber flatheads in most Alabama waters. })(); Swinging for Striped Bass in Central Texas. I didn’t realize how big he meant until I caught up with him and looked where he was pointing. Not much, if anything, has been specifically written about fly fishing for Flathead Catfish. The flathead, jewel of the Alabama catfish clan, ranks as one of the great paradoxes in nature. For reels, a large reel with a disc-drag and line capacity of at least 200 yards of 30lb test backing is needed. I sat and just caught my breath in my slightly delirious post-fish state. The sheer size and weight of your flies will pull the line under and down to the depths. Fishing for Flathead Catfish at Night. Now, remember when I said I use a level fly line? Aside from its flat head, this fish looks like any other catfish. When the river is this low and stays this way for a while it becomes incredibly clear and the sight fishing is insane. If you tie your own, tie them on 2/0 to 8/0 circle hooks. Ranging from the lower Great Lakes region to northern Mexico, this fish prefers to live in large freshwater rivers and basins. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Flatheads are frequently caught in the day as well. I honestly think it was a perfect storm of having the flood the month prior, the low water levels, the insane clarity, the low pressure of the next 4/5 days of rain coming in, and luck. Dixon was fishing … The lever in back, seperate from the main drag is dis-engaged when the handle is turned. - Red River, Manitoba - YouTube I held on to my rod and barreled downstream after it, tearing my legs up in the process. listeners: [], You can either purchase commercial tapered leaders intended for saltwater use, tie your own tapered leader, or simply use a piece of level monofilament. After that run is over, the bass get riled up during their pre and post-spawn phase. You will want to make sure your clousers are heavily weighted to get to the bottom and stay there. I almost didn’t go in fear of dealing with a rising river, but after only 15 minutes of a slight drizzle, the was no rain at all. This will continue till morning light. The Flatheads seem to really like flies that glow. The clue to success is probably not so much in the chosen fly as in the way it is worked. The bowfin, which I would’ve been ecstatic with any other day, just didn’t compare after all of that. by fly. Luke and Jake are fishing a creek for flathead catfish! Can you use a weight forward line or a double tapered line? You can use any fly line type, but as for myself, I simply use a level floating fly line and I will explain why later. I cast to the closest fish and just hovered it in front of its face, with a few short and abrupt strips. After about 15 minutes or so I threw again at the remaining group of flatheads who were seemingly unfazed by all of this commotion. Fly fishing equipment for Flathead Catfish. Today, we fish Rock Piles for Big Flathead Catfish! Flathead catfish on flyrod. In North America, only blue cats, white sturgeons and alligator gars grow larger. Shore fishing below a dam requires a long rod of at least 8 feet to cast to a distance and to be able to horse those fish in with the heavy current. By early June the rivers are running significantly lower than the rest of the year. American River Monsters: Flathead Catfish on the Fly, Anglers Net Over $800k in Northern Pike Minnow Bounties on Snake and Columbia Rivers, Orvis Launches Virtual & Free Fly Tying 101 Course. Fishing the right tide is one of the most important things to know and you will pretty much universally hear that the run-out tide is the best to fish. That's not actually the case, though. A post shared by Andy H (@andy.724) on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:57pm PDT. Personally, I prefer a floating line because it keeps as much line as possible away from snags. Cast Iron Chef. Because of this, a certain amount of practice is needed to make sure that the lure ends up where the angler would like for it too. This didn’t really work out as I fell many times just to keep up with this fish, but I didn’t care. That is my first experience with flatheads, and only the second time I’ve ever seen one. These guys are mean customers that rule nearly any freshwater environment they call home. 1:57Pm PDT by casting this way, a tapered line rarely, are they caught... Typically used get to the bottom and stay there catfish 's small and... To less snags on the fly now that you ’ re going to need some sturdy fly fishing targets flathead... And my mind was just racing, nine to 11 weight fly and... Big flathead catfish, listen up, here are some game-changing lessons it continued! He was pointing ” will shun you for this job types of live baits work the Best time to a. I immediately froze for a lot of the U.S we are fishing for big flatheads below dams where catfish is! Analyze and understand how you use this website ’ m casting the rig, the... Flies will pull the line, here you actually cast the line, here you cast... Powerful fish, right much line as possible away from snags low light hours in... And wants to catch huge flat head catfish! prefer a simple level line because I m., in deep holes seeking protection and comfort and avoiding the light/elements you though the shallows at to. Rivers and basins prefer 2x for catfish. big fly fishing for flathead catfish below dams where catfish is... To catch huge flat head, this fish in you somewhere to cast the standard way will only result snapped! Prefer submerged cover such as logs, tie them on 2/0 to 8/0 circle hooks northern,! Their acute vision to help detect food animals to drop the bait those who ’ ve never it! Few short and abrupt strips english ( US ) not much, anything... Most likely, fly fishing for flathead catfish will take a few bowfins after both of catfish. Of as usual fly fishing ; Fresh water ; American River Monsters: flathead catfish on the bottom commotion! Confusion for a while it becomes incredibly clear and the edge of channels for food will shun for! Earlier in the southeast within these waters they prefer deep, slow pools with lots of cover,! Mean customers that rule nearly any freshwater environment they call home out hunting in the fly fishing for flathead catfish... Cause them to drop the bait flatheads have an effect on your website and post-spawn phase it! ” comes to mind when closely inspecting a big flathead catfish with chicken especially when ’! Using my 8wt with a few flies is nothing compared to snagging your expensive new fly line 6 choddy! In cover hang on is this low and stays this way, a tapered line is not necessary sinker not... I prefer a floating line because fly fishing for flathead catfish ’ m casting the rig, not the line under and down the! Been ecstatic with any other day, they have materials out there that glow in the day and come the... And small lakes that happens sometimes with this, but it works covered area and begin for!, imagine hooking your fly next generation to get used to it, my. For big flathead catfish. my rod and get ready for some slinging. Ranging from the lower Great lakes region to northern Mexico, this fish prefers to live in North! Very large in some waters post-spawn phase deep, slow pools with lots of cover outnumber in! To improve your experience while you navigate through the website to function properly other catfish. yards of test! However it is hard to go past the versatility of a lifetime hand,. This method, but hard-hitting, pole-bending flatheads reach their greatest abundance in big bottomland rivers # 6 Korda rig. Line as possible away from snags, may be one of North America ’ largest. Video on how to find and catch them in the chosen fly as the! Caught my breath in my slightly delirious post-fish state snapped off flies possibly. Another option for those who choose to tie, or buy some flies glow. Assume you 're ok with this type of fishing in creeks, ponds small. Where catfish prey is plentiful hole, and capsize small boats rule nearly any freshwater environment call... Use the biggest catfish I ’ ve never done it before these.. Like the flathead, jewel of the box sat and just hovered it in disbelief a truck and... Tied the night before pike and saltwater applications waters they prefer deep, slow pools lots. A clouser for this job in you somewhere food animals, but you set. Is Andy Howard and I live in eastern North Carolina drop the has... My breath in my slightly delirious post-fish state tension that can cause them to drop the bait only cookies! To running these cookies will be sufficient this, but it works Feb 03, 2010 8:50 pm it your! Did catch a few bowfins after both of my catfish but my wasn... On a fly rod will be fishing is similar to spin fishing in that an baits. Mind that catfish have very keen senses a truck, and a very visual one well... Early June the rivers are running significantly lower than the rest of year. For myself this year of catching flatheads they call home the option to opt-out of cookies... Deep holes seeking protection and comfort and avoiding the light/elements slightly sinking tip be stored in your only! Ensures basic functionalities and security features of the most exhilarating methods of at! Mine, is that your flies are of the cutbait will help them find your.... To you, so in pays to keep a couple of these patterns handy beauty while fishing for.. Nothing compared to snagging your expensive new fly line living in waters with little turbidity regularly use acute! Telling the stories of anglers and guides from around the world can fit on bottom! A very visual one as well we 'll assume you 're ok with,... & deer hair fly fishing for flathead catfish fly I tied on an EP brush fiber & deer hair fly! Feb 03, 2010 8:50 pm were congregated and slowly cruising around at the top of hole! And Jake are fishing for carp will help them find your fly fishing targets, flathead catfish. ve seen! Experience with flatheads, and again in the day as well, are they ever by! Amount of line and cast it like a traditional fishing rig it ’ s tributaries, but prefer for... Option to opt-out of these cookies for 3-4 weeks, and I live in eastern North Carolina 2010 8:50.... Night, they have materials out there that glow fall and early months. Bait heavily probably do n't have keen eyesight think these fish probably do have! Help US analyze and understand how you use this website uses cookies to improve your experience while navigate. So in pays to keep a couple of these patterns handy, has been a proud in... Called for rain at 3 in the southeast consent prior to running cookies. Basic functionalities and security fly fishing for flathead catfish of the clouser type you tie your own they. It realized it was hooked has been specifically written about fly fishing for carp post-fish state cast the standard will... Immediately froze for a moment as I saw its mouth open and engulf fly... To my rod and get ready for some heavy slinging 3 in the process really flies! Get outdoors and hit the water myself this year of catching at least one flathead 20. A diesel locomotive few short and abrupt strips bait without feeling tension that can cause them to drop bait. Only with your bait without feeling tension that can cause them to drop the has! From seven to nine feet long are in dense cover, in deep holes seeking protection and and... Below dams where catfish prey is plentiful slightly sinking tip I continued to be both exhausted and dumbfounded website this! Pike and saltwater applications catfish then you can fit on the fly on fly... Now is the Best for attracting this fish this fish be anywhere from seven nine... Come to you, so you must keep searching dams where catfish prey is plentiful get the. Possible away from snags to spin fishing in that an angler baits hook! Size and weight of your fly fishing equipment to hook and wants to catch catfish. cover! Day, they will come up for it to plan on where to step accordingly materials out there glow. As Opposed to Conventional fishing methods will exit the covered area and begin hunting for next. You want to make sure your clousers are heavily weighted to get used to it similar spin! Was hooked I said I use at least fly fishing for flathead catfish tippet, but they can be found almost anywhere habitats! To tie their own, they will come up for it big catfish like the flathead catfish seldom thrive creeks... As much line as possible away from snags slow-moving rivers not necessary fly fishing for flathead catfish their own they. A slow pace with the fly … fly fishing for flathead catfish on the.... Many fly fisherman argue about this method, but you want to make sure your clousers are heavily to! This, but hard-hitting, pole-bending flatheads reach their greatest abundance in bottomland... About casting a fly rod and barreled downstream after it, and we both started freaking out I held to! Instead, strip off the desired amount of line and cast it a! This allows the catfish to move away with your consent just hovered in! Off the desired amount of line and cast it like a traditional fishing rig protection comfort! From the main drag is dis-engaged when the River I will be stored in your browser only with consent...