Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Catfish on Fly.

I am sure you have all seen "River Monsters," on Animal Planet. A "biologist" heads out into some remote areas to catch some of the largest and dangerous freshwater fish in the world. Many of them are catfish and they get absolutely huge. Many of them are more than just scavengers and attack other fish with reckless abandon. I keenly remember one episode where two men are floating down a blown out river tossing huge plugs near the banks. As the plugs hit the water, 3-4 foot catfish are exploding on them instantly and they are the babies. Why the hell aren't fly fishermen taking advantage of that? I have seen some pictures of fly fishermen holding up huge Wels catfish on their pontoon boats and recently a few South American catfish from the "lucky" guys guiding around the Amazon. I would be all over that if I had the opportunity.


More Company.

Walked To The End of the Canal.
No Ghosts.

Meanwhile, here in Pennsylvania I can only dream of far off locales and gigantic "killer" catfish to catch on the fly. On a recent hunting excursion on a new canal I was out looking for some new carping water. The temperature is in the 90s and after walking two miles I hadn't seen a single glimpse of the golden ghost. It was getting hot so I started looking for other quarry to make the trip a little more worthwhile. I found a lone catfish going to town digging a new burrow and placed a damsel on her noise. She attacked and after a spirited battle I brought the largest cat I have ever caught on the fly to hand. Food for anything in Europe, Asia, or South America. I can only imagine a two hundred pound Wels catfish tearing up a 12-weight and dragging me around a lake. For those lucky enough to live near their territory, what are you waiting for?

A Spirited Fight. 

Damsel For the Win.

My Largest Yet on the Fly. So Small.

On Day a Wels Will Be Mine.


All about the grab said...

Great post......paste this to see some insane catfish on the fly footage from Spain.

Bigerrfish said...

frickin wild, You must know how to get under there skin, make them irritated, and punnish them for being curious.
You are one hellava fly angler.

Mark said...

Thanks Guys!

Pike- I knew there had to be some crazy dudes in Spain catching these guys on fly. Absolutely ridiculous. I can only imagine.

Unknown said...

The only way I've ever stuck a cat was with worms or stink bait on the old Mississippi. Great post man. I never contemplated hooking cats with a fly. Adding it to my list.

Unknown said...


Douglas Kretzmann said...

Neat, always fun to get a new species on the fly. I caught about a 5lb catfish in the Potomac once, trying for smallmouth in a flood..

otherwise lots of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus, which has lungs as well as gills.. In S. Africa, using big streamers on 10wt - got them up to 20lb or so but never got a truly big one. The legendary ones live in the plunge pools below dams, feeding on the chopped-up fish from the turbines; they scare the divers going down to do maintenance, 6-7ft long..
not sure you could get those on a fly though. I never could ;-(

Unknown said...

thats a brown bullhead, haha i dont know if i would call that a catfish. there are channel cats that get up to 30 pounds where i live. though bullhead are quite fun to catch and would love to try for them on the fly!