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

Good walleye flies include (clockwise from top left): Peanut Butter, Clouser Deep Minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, Seaducer


You probably already have plenty of minnow-imitating streamer flies that will catch walleye, but to excel, there’s a secret: Go big. Outdoor Canada’s fishing editor, Gord Pyzer, figured that out after writing about research showing walleye are surprisingly voracious eaters, especially during summer. Namely, he started cleaning up using oversized soft-plastic swimbaits. Similarly, the first time I caught a lunch-sized walleye on a hot-dog-sized largemouth fly, I was astonished. I’ve since learned this is totally routine, however.

Now when walleye fishing, I use the same three- to five-inch-long streamers I throw for bass, pike and lake trout. My faves happen to be the Clouser Deep Minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, Peanut Butter, Northern Magic and articulated Seaducer. I mostly stick to white, black and chartreuse, with a few olive or brown Clousers to imitate crayfish. That said, the specific pattern is less important than using flies that have a lifelike action, cast easily and cover a variety of depths.