The author with a feisty smallmouth caught on the surface

Expert fly-fishing tips for catching walleye, bass, pike and lake trout


The author with a fly-caught Spanish mackerel


There’s really no species of fish that can’t be caught if you can put a fly in front of it. I once enjoyed three days of immense fun catching coho salmon on the fly out of Tofino, B.C., for example. And one evening on Winnipeg’s Red River, my friends and I discovered channel cats slurping big emerging mayflies off the surface; in short order, we hooked into them—on dry flies, no less! The take away here is that fish feed on any available food items, all of which can be replicated with a fly.

And it’s not just in Canada that you can catch practically any fish species on the fly. On those occasions when I take a winter vacation to warmer climes, I pack a fly rod. I can almost always find a place to wade and throw weighted streamers, such as the Clouser Minnow. I find it more rewarding, and more affordable, than chartering a boat, and I’m often surprised by the diversity of species I catch—and you will, too.