Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My 2011 Fly-Rod "Firsts"

I caught Walleyes on fly-fishing gear in Iowa and Ontario, Canada this year.
This Northern Pike hit a Jointed Minnow pattern at Nungesser Lake, Ontario.
Every year since I started getting serious about fly-fishing, I've tried to add new species to the list of those that I have caught on fly-fishing gear.

The first year I ever tried fly-fishing, I caught Largemouth Bass, Crappies, Bluegills, Hybrid Sunfish, Smallmouth Bass, and Green Sunfish.

Ever since, I've been adding additional species to the list.

2011 was a "banner year", in that I was able to add 6 new species to this list.

This brings my total to 23 different species of freshwater fish I've caught on fly-fishing gear.  Although I've caught a lot more species on spinning gear, my Fly Rod list contains 6 species I've never caught on spinning gear!

Below is the entire list, with the top 6 being the ones I added this year.
1. Northern Pike
2. Walleye
3. Yellow Perch
4. Redear Sunfish
5. Brown Trout
6. Brook Trout
7. Largemouth Bass
8. Smallmouth Bass
9. Bluegill
10. Hybrid Sunfish
11. Green Sunfish
12. Crappie (both Black and White, but I lump them into 1 category)
13. Common Carp
14. Grass Carp
15. Channel Catfish
16. Shortnose Gar
17. Peacock Bass
18. Oscar
19. Tilapia
20. Mayan Cichlid
21. White Bass
22. Wiper (Hybrid)
23. Rainbow Trout

I'm really pretty satisfied with this list.  Where do I go from here?  What species should I add to my "fly-rod wish list" for next year?

Brook Trout from Lake Petocka, Bondurant, Iowa.

I've never caught Striped Bass.  Those could be a HOOT on fly gear.  There aren't any in Iowa, so I'd have to travel pretty far to find some.  I could try for Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, or Steelhead in the tributaries of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, maybe.  I've caught all those species on spinning gear, and they would definitely be fun to catch on fly gear...but again it would require a serious road trip.  I also haven't caught Freshwater Drum on fly-fishing gear yet.  Its just a matter of time I think, if I fish the DM River more often, with the right fly patterns.  Longnose Gar would be fun to add, but I'd probably have to find a good spot somewhere well south of Des Moines.  Flathead Catfish would also be awesome...but there population densities are low enough and they often are in water deep enough to make fly-fishing for them extremely difficult.  Not impossible, just unlikely.

18" Wiper (Hybrid) from the Des Moines River.

Honestly, what I'd like to do next year is catch even MORE of certain species that are already on my list...  especially Common Carp, Grass Carp, Channel Catfish, and Gar.  Hardly "glamour" species...but every one of those is very fun!
A Common Carp (above) and a Channel Catfish (below), both from Saylorville Lake, Iowa


  1. Its great trout waters!I really enjoyed reading the recent posts on your blog about your trip..Lovely

  2. Thank you! Iowa still manages to surprise me. :)