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Catfish on a fly ???? #13361228 12/04/19 05:15 PM
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FlyFX Offline OP
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I have fooled several channel (easy) and a few blue (little harder) with a fly but not 1 flathead. Is it done and no one admits it? I have been trying since last year with larger bait fish patterns drenched in store bought and homemade scent but no takers yet. I'm sure it is possible though. I realize they mostly take on live bait. Sometimes I don't have any live. I know they are in this lake I have caught several over the years. Got a pic sent to me by a friend last week 28# flat from this and lake we have found larger ones.
I yield this to the forum gurus for insight.


Most people double haul so they can throw their mistakes further - Bernard "Lefty" Kreh - R.I.P.
On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.
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Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13361625 12/05/19 12:17 AM
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Would love to take a look at them larger tied flies.

Never seen any and was nearly booted out when I asked if I can catch cats on a fly rod.

As you can tell I'm very new to it. Hahaha


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Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13361682 12/05/19 01:27 AM
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FlyFX Offline OP
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Yeh I get the cold shoulder with a few posts.
I get better response on other boards
I have also caught cats on large articulate wooly buggers.
Here is something I posted in the fly tying section, haven't tried it yet but I'm no stranger to articulated flies using link / shanks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0475p5iAtg


Most people double haul so they can throw their mistakes further - Bernard "Lefty" Kreh - R.I.P.
On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.
Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13361764 12/05/19 03:01 AM
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I haven’t gotten a flathead on the fly yet, either. Like you said, channel cats will readily take a fly. It’s hard not to get channel cats where I fish. I’ve only gotten one small blue, though. I thought it was mostly about numbers. The lake I regularly fish has tons of channel cats, but a whole lot less of the others. I’ve briefly seen a big flathead or two , but when I fish a live bluegill, it’s always channel cats or largemouth bass. If a live bluegill isn’t getting the flatheads, I’m not real hopeful making the fly work.

I haven’t tried any scent on a fly.

Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: karstopo] #13361775 12/05/19 03:24 AM
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FlyFX Offline OP
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Karstopo, it's just a part time quest of mine.
When I lived in your area (Manvel /Pearland) I several times caught sailcat, gaftop what ever you want to call them on fly in the bay so I thought it might work here.


Most people double haul so they can throw their mistakes further - Bernard "Lefty" Kreh - R.I.P.
On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.
Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13361877 12/05/19 09:32 AM
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I’ve caught some decent sized gafftopsail catfish on flies, mainly on a shrimp pattern. Hardheads have been very rare, thankfully, on the fly tackle.

Seems like there was a thread on the fly fishing sub forum where bones72 caught a flathead on a fly in a creek. I think he had seen it in a spot before and knew it hung out there.

My flathead strategy has been to throw flies like Steve Farrar blend, Gartside Soft hackle streamers, crawfish types, woolly buggers or balanced leeches, but I’m probably not throwing big enough ones. All those patterns catch is channel cats, along with the bass and crappie. I’ve got a few big and meaty, articulated bigger shad-like offerings I should try more. I’m not even sure what they are as I didn’t tie or buy them.

Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: karstopo] #13362536 12/06/19 01:22 AM
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My strategy parallels yours, all known effective enlarged patterns. I was just thinking of a glider search type pattern to get further in closer to the target. Might be kinda hard to aim in 15 - 20 ft water though. We better get out of here before they start throwing stink bait at us.

Last edited by MJM; 12/06/19 01:26 AM.

Most people double haul so they can throw their mistakes further - Bernard "Lefty" Kreh - R.I.P.
On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.
Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13362856 12/06/19 03:48 AM
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I catch lots of channels on a fly and have caught one flathead about 10 pounds The fly I used was my carp slayer fly. It is about the size of your thumb. The flathead may have been just chasing a small fish and swallowed the fly but I didn’t complain.

Oh, and by the Texas Parks and Wildlife rules it is not considered fly fishing if you put scent on a fly or make the fly with scented bait; at least from a fish record standpoint.

Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13363042 12/06/19 08:38 AM
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That’s good to know, I’d rather not throw giant, articulated patterns. If a thumb sized something worked at least once, I’ll probably just keep at it with my usual not so giant patterns.

I’ve recently tied with some duck flank feathers. They have a scent of wet duck. I’ve never tried an added scent on a fly. I suppose any and every fly has a scent just from the materials. I always hope for that first fish early. I think that the fish slime and any blood from that first fish primes the pump for more fish to come. Some of the adhesives used in fly tying have a bad chemical odor. I try to avoid those and use as little glue as possible on flies. In most tying videos and SBS instructions, the tiers are often applying glue to secure dumbbells and other intermediate steps in the tie. All that stinky and messy extra adhesive just seems superfluous and unnecessary, ultimately hurting the tie. I don’t see flies I tie coming apart from the lack of glue. I’ll put on a bit of UV on the finishing wraps if I have to and whatever it takes to keep glue on eyes in place, but most of what I use are glue free.

Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13363171 12/06/19 02:15 PM
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I use Sally Hanson Hard as Nails instead of glue. It is easy to apply, cheap, isn’t messy, and has worked for me. I usually do not tie pretty files and I just use whatever material I come up with. I have had good luck for catfish slow dropping streamers when shad are around.

Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13363428 12/06/19 05:46 PM
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Osborn, I didn't know about scented fly not being legal for a record but makes sense. I didn't consider a record but would be open to one. I just got caught in the moment I could see her on the graph but not able to get a response. Could have easily dropped a weighted presentation jig style but with all the wood don't think I would have got her out as previously bass have beat me on this tree. This gal's head was as wide as the tree trunk she was under. Just guessing 6 - 8".


Most people double haul so they can throw their mistakes further - Bernard "Lefty" Kreh - R.I.P.
On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.
Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13363622 12/06/19 09:13 PM
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Here are the Rules. I only point them out so an angler won’t lose a record in the future.

Fly Fishing Equipment
1. The lure must be a recognized type of artificial fly. A fly may be dressed on a single or double hook or two single hooks in tandem. Treble hooks are prohibited. The use of any other type of lure or natural or preserved bait, either singularly or attached to the fly, is prohibited. No scent, either natural or artificial is allowed on flies. The use of scented material in a fly is prohibited.
2. The rod, reel, line, and leader equipment used must be designed for fly fishing.
3. Casting and retrieving must be carried out in accordance with normal customs and generally accepted practices. The major criterion in
casting is that the weight of the line must carry the lure rather than the weight of the lure carrying the line.

Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13363630 12/06/19 09:24 PM
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I actually will use a scented or baited fly with a Plnor (pole and line no reel) fly fishing set-up since the lack of a reel already eliminates a fly fishing record. If you bait or scent a fly you can still get a rod and reel record for the catch, just not a fly fishing record. Without a reel the record would be in the other methods category. I just really like catching fish on a fly rod.

Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13363750 12/07/19 12:04 AM
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I have caught a total of three flathead on the fly. Two in Kentucky on Otter Creek just of post (Ft. Knox) and one here on Brushy creek. The two in Kentucky came on conehead autumn splendor bugger and the one here came on a #2 clouser in shad colors. The two in Kentucky were complete accidents while I was targeting smallmouth and sauger. The creek there was full of crawfish and throwing that brown bugger with rubber legs was effective for fish that fed on them. Here the flathead was a sorta accident. I saw the large fish, if not large for a flathead at least large for that creek, charging small rios and longears tied on that clouser and waited for his next pass down the channel he was feeding off of and boom fly didn't even make it to mid column or even the first strip. Where I grew up in Virginia there used to be a guide that targeted flathead in the upper tidal portion of the James river and he swore by 5/0 and larger deceivers. I'm gonna go with being able to find them accessible in clear water and sight fishing to them is the key. Cant seem to find the picture on the platform I'm on right now but there are pictures in the other parts of the board. https://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/13280120/strange#Post13280120

Last edited by Bones72; 12/07/19 12:18 AM.
Re: Catfish on a fly ???? [Re: FlyFX] #13364199 12/07/19 02:40 PM
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Osborne I have an issue with "recognized type" I have dozens of books with patterns from early 1900's to patterns introduced this year and then there is the toob. Think I'll call TPWD for clarification, because we have access from traditional patterns to something that appears to have been shot out of a kaleidoscope. Are we talking recognized pattern or tying method. Because I can tie dryer lint and a rubber leg on a hook or a Durham Ranger, quite a difference.

Bones72 nice flathead I'll bet it was fun. Clouser strikes again


Most people double haul so they can throw their mistakes further - Bernard "Lefty" Kreh - R.I.P.
On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.
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