Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fly-Fishing for Gar

Gar have been on my list of fish I want to catch on fly-fishing gear for a couple years now.  I have caught them on spinning gear in the past.  Last year I made 4 trips to a lake that has gar, but I wasn't successful in getting any strikes, or seeing any gar.
Turns out I was fishing the wrong side of the lake!  Ben and his friend Ted have been having some success catching gar out of this lake this year on flies.  So the trip was planned to meet out there on 7-26-2010, and go after gar!

Ben took his belly boat, Ted arrived later in his inflatable pontoon.  I took my kayak.  The day we fished wasn't typical of the previous trips, according to Ben.  We spotted very few gar near the surface that day.

We didn't cast until we saw fish, so it was really a lot of HUNTING before we could do the FISHING.
Still, it was fun.  Most fish hit within' 9'-15' from my kayak, so you could totally watch the follows and strikes.  We just cast slightly ahead and beyond cruising fish, and brought the "rope flies" across in front of them.  They nearly ALWAYS followed or hit it if it was close enough to their mouth.  The nylon "rope flies" aren't designed to hook the fish (since it is difficult to sink a hook into their bony jaws), but to get tangled in their teeth.  Sometimes it worked well, other times it didn't.  I singed the ends of some of my rope flies to melt the ends together.  I think this helped prevent the fly from slipping out of their jaws sometimes.

Anyway, enough of that.  Gotta get to the pictures.  Also want to sent out a big THANK YOU to Ben for getting me on some fly rod gar action!
By the way, we caught Shortnose Gar, which don't get as big as some other gar species.
This one was about 25" long.  The 2nd one I caught was probably a couple inches longer.

Gator Head!

Rope Fly in the teeth.

Check out those wicked teeth!

Here's Ben with a rather cute little gar:


  1. I don't have to tell you, but those dudes can tear a hand to pieces--how do I know I have had the top of hand cut with those sharp teeth--but it was worth the pain to get to catch those teeth hungry animals on the fly. I know how much you enjoyed this trip. Really enjoyed the post!!

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  3. Great post, and awesome head shots of the gar! Hey, you did all the work for those fish, I just gave you the location which I wish would have been a lot hotter. Regardless, it was a great time!

  4. that might be the creepiest looking fish ever!!!! but really cool, looks like you had fun!!