Fly Fishing for Catfish

Questions about Freshwater Fishing

Fly Fishing for Catfish

Postby Steve Horgan » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:42 am

Hello Larry,
I am a multi species fly fisherman who is interested in catching catfish on a fly. There is a 10 acre pay lake near me that has flatheads and blues in it over 50 pounds. They stock them at a weight of around 10 pounds. I have fished for them using a 6 inch Puglisi bluegill I tied and also a large Murdich minnow pattern. I am using a sinktip line and know I am near bottom with it due to occasional hangups. I have not touched any fish yet. I also hope to fish for cats on the Agua Boa River in the Amazon basin next year. Can you recommend fly patterns I should try for catfish? Thanks for your help!
Steve Horgan Cincinnati, OH
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Re: Fly Fishing for Catfish

Postby dahlberg » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:44 am

That's an interesting question.
I've caught channel cats (up to 33#!!) in the rivers here in the usa on 3" Flashdancers when the water temps are in the mid to upper eighties and the water is at it's lowest and most clear. Big boulders in the deepest pools. Slow quartering swing that turns the corner just above and to either side of each boulder.
Also caught suribi on lures after spotting them on sand bars, usually laying on inside tongue of sharp bend in current.
For redtails, good luck. Jau or lau lau a little more likely, if you can find them. Only "good" chance is to intercept a run near a natural barrier.
For all, I would suggest a floating diver style headed fly and fish it on full sinking line using different leader lengths.
When in forward motion, the fly will want to be a few inches deeper than the line, so if you've let the line sink to the bottom you can bump, bump, along the bottom with the fly if you wish and do a much better job of controlling the depth. When stopped the fly will rise slowly toward the surface a distance equal to the length of the leader. By timing your pauses, and depending leader length you can keep within a foot of the bottom or let it float up nine or ten feet and fish half the water column in a twenty foot hole.
I'd use some kind of scent also.
good luck,
Larry Dahlberg
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