The Further Adventures of a Wildlife Enthusiast, Amateur Fly Fisherman, and Bird Lover.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Catfish on a Fly?

This past summer 2011, I began fly fishing.  I have always loved spinner or spin-reel fishing and had thought about fly fishing as "old man's fishing".  I always knew Trout were finicky fish with particular eating habits and I would always say to my fishing buddies "bah, the Trout fuss too much." I must mention that I had never caught a Trout in my life, so the point was just blind prejudice.  One of my good friends finally convinced me a few weeks before Opening Day 2011to join him at the Musconetcong River for my introduction into fly fishing.  He warned me to not expect a catch on my first time out but, me being who I am, I would and did try my damnedest to get a fish on a fly on my first outing.  I didn't get a fish.  My first fish on a fly would not come until a week or two later and that still was not a Trout.  The first one turned out to be a Blue Gill. I was very surprised by this because I had always been under the impression that Fly fishing was for Trout only and that other fish liked other fishing styles.  Little did I know, fish don't care.  Blue Gills and other Sunnies, Crappies, Small Mouth and small Largemouth Bass were also attracted to the flies.  Over the next few weeks I learned alot about streams, bugs, fish, and how to read the water; I also bought my first fly rod and reel.  In everything I was told about fly fishing, Catfish were never mentioned.  Soon after I got my rod, some flies, and some knot tying savvy, I headed out to the very same spot where I'd had my first taste of fly fishing.  I put on a bead-head 10 size Woolybugger, black and blueish sparkly tinsel.  I proceeded to catch a Largemouth Bass and a few Sunnies.  No Trout were hitting, even though I could see them darting all around the area.  As I'm about to call it quits, I get the idea in my head to cast the fly up-stream from the submerged boulder I was fishing around.  Hopefully, this would drift the Bugger into a sinking flume on the far side of the rock and drag it low and underneath.  It worked; the fly got sucked right under.  As I'm hauling the Woolybugger out from under the rock, I felt a tap.  I kept going and saw the bait come from under rock.  No sooner than I put eyes on the bait, there came a brown/yellow flash.  I choked up on the pole and set the hook.  This fish ran hard for a few minutes until I was able to get him close and in the net.  It was a brown Catfish!  I went back to my friends with the story and some pics and they could not believe it!  I don't know if it is because you don't fly fish for Catfish or because its such and oddity but, I'm proud to say I'm the only guy I know who has caught a Catfish on a fly rig and its still early in my fly fishing adventures!!!

No comments: