CATS ON THE FLY
For a true channel catfish challenge, tackle Canada’s whiskered giants on a fly rod
RODS AND REELS
Since Red River cats are so large, I use heavy outfits to match, with nine- and 10-weight rods the norm. But if you’re fishing a river where you know the fish weigh only three to eight pounds, then a 6- or 7-weight will work.
As for the reel, it must accommodate an adequate amount of backing. Once again, if you’re fishing for smaller fish, then 50 to 100 yards will do, but on the Red, that won’t cut it. I have 200 to 250 yards of 20- or 30-pound Dacron on my fly reels, and when the water is high and fast, sometimes that’s still not enough. Many times, I’ve been spooled by big fish in the high water of spring, and all I can do is break them off.