The tackle, flies and techniques you need to land walleye on the fly

As I leaned over the side of the boat and slipped my barbless 2/0 Clouser Deep Minnow from the mouth of another Shield-lake walleye, I had a realization: I’ve caught more walleye on flies than on conventional tackle. Granted, walleye fishing isn’t particularly good in my home region, so I mostly catch them incidentally when fishing for pike, bass and even trout.


When I’m further afield fishing lakes with good populations of walleye, however, I quite deliberately target them with my fly rod. Or, I’ll co-target them if they’re mingled in with other species. In fact, whenever walleye are within roughly 10 feet of the surface, it’s totally feasible to fly fish for them. And when they are even shallower—in cool northern lakes or among the summertime weeds—it can be surprisingly productive to use flies. Here are a few tips if you also want to stick some Walters on the fly…