The author with a feisty smallmouth caught on the surface

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

Beyond trout and tweed

Too intimidated to try fly fishing? Don’t be. Here’s what you need to know to quickly start catching fish—any fish

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.

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