Monday, April 13, 2009

The "Other" Fly Fishing

For most folks, trout are what fly fishing is all about. They operate under the assumption that fly fishing's sole goal is to catch trout. This is unfortunate because thinking this way closes the door on numerous other angling opportunities.

Trout are great and I love to catch them. However, I often find myself looking for something different than two-fly nymph rigs or midge patterns fished on ultralight tippets. In other cases the trout stream isn't in the best of shape due to runoff etc. So...I chase after my two current fly fishing obsessions- carp and smallmouth bass.

Carp and Smallies are well distributed in our state. My favorite waters include the Cheyenne River, Angostura Reservoir, and Lake Sharpe on the Missouri River. Other options include the Belle Fourche River, Orman Reservoir, Shadehill Reservoir, and countless bodies of water east of the Missouri River. Take a look and you will find carp or bass water nearby.

Carp have all of the cunning of any other sporting fish, so don't let their "trash fish" reputation keep you from giving them a try. The fight that begins after the hook set is enough to make any fly angler smile.

Smallmouth are the best fight I have ever found on a fly rod. They are my current fly rod quarry of choice. Think of them as a cross between a brown trout and a largemouth bass. One day you will find them gently sucking mayflies off the surface like a trout. The next day they are slashing through herded schools of baitfish or hunting crayfish.

Next time you find trout fishing routine or find your local stream too high to fish, try expanding your horizons. For me those horizons have led primarily to smallmouth bass and carp, however the horizon doesn't end there. In our corner of South Dakota I have caught largemouth, smallmouth, crappies, walleyes, bluegills, catfish, goldeneyes, northern pike, sauger, and white bass all on the fly. Do yourself a favor and get out and give it a try.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Hans,

Great Blog! I'm going to add a link to it on my SDOutdoors blog at I've got your website up there too! Looking forward to the fly tying tips. I'm busy tying smallmouth flies lately. Hope all is well out west.

Buddy Seiner
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