Putting to rest some common myths about fly fishing
MYTH # 1: FLY FISHING IS ONLY FOR TROUT
I learned how to chuck flies by fishing for bass and sunfish in southern Ontario’s murky suburban ponds. As a result, I sometimes forget that “fly fishing” equals “trout fishing” for many people. How entrenched is that idea? At the Sportsmen’s Show, I was tying garish, tinsel-laden five-inch flies for an upcoming pike-fishing trip. Yet more than a few people looked at my vise and, evidently fearing for my grip on reality, said, “What the heck kind of trout would eat those?”
So, to be clear, you can cast flies for fish species other than trout—lots of them. In fact, any Canadian gamefish that will eat an artificial lure within 30 feet of the water’s surface will also eat a fly. That said, flies aren’t always the best way to catch those fish, but it’s usually at least possible. Fly-fishing innovator and ambassador Lefty Kreh, for example, credibly claims to have caught 130 different species of fish on the fly. In the right water, at the right time, flies are a deadly and super-fun way to catch pike, bass, walleye and panfish, plus salmon and all species of trout, including lake trout (which actually love pike flies, but that’s a whole other story).