WALLEYE ON TOP
For an exciting change of pace, try casting surface flies and lures for Canada’s most popular fish
The sun had set and the wind had subsided, creating the perfect conditions for going after topwater pike in shallow water. I stealthily paddled into about eight feet of water featuring a sandy bottom and clusters of weeds. I tied on a bright popper fly made from cork and feathers, and cast it out as far as I could. I let my offering sit momentarily before carefully tightening the slack line and making three quick strips, causing the fly to make the “schloop” sound of a struggling baitfish.
Knowing a topwater strike could happen at any moment, I waited three seconds before making three more strips, followed by another pause. I was about to strip again when I heard, saw and felt something attack the fly. I brought in the fish and, to my surprise, it was a walleye. It was obviously hungry, too, since my fly was deep in its mouth.
I went on to hook at least a dozen more walleye on the same popper fly that tranquil evening, discovering in the process that topwater fishing offers an exhilarating change-up from traditional walleye tactics. Here’s how you can also enjoy topwater walleye action, with either fly or spin gear…