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

This walleye took a 7″ long Northern Magic fly


Fly fishing in lakes is often a matter of covering as much water as possible, so it’s one of the few times when making long casts equals more fish. So, the better your casting fundamentals, the better you’ll do. You don’t have to be an Olympian, but if you can get the fly out 40 to 50 feet with one or two false casts, you’re in the walleye game.

The other challenge is line management, especially if you’re not used to fly fishing from a boat—fly lines have a near-magical ability to get caught on any imaginable obstacle. To stay organized, keep fly boxes, pliers and other accessories tucked away, and dump your retrieved line in a contained area at your feet. This reduces the chance of tangles and blown casts. The logistics of this can be frustrating at first, but once you establish a system, it becomes second nature. Given all this, I’ll admit that, more often than not, using fly tackle isn’t the most efficient way to catch walleye. But that’s part of the fun. After all, if efficiency was our prime goal, we wouldn’t be fly anglers to begin with.


For more on weighted flies and sinking lines, see