Fly Fishing for Catfish???

I don’t know about you, but catfish are not one of the ‘premier’ fish on my bucket list….but let’s just say that if they were on my list….I can now cross them off.

I got a call from my buddy Frank with an invitation to a new lake that he had secured permission for us to fish in. We met at 3pm….a few minutes after school was over and by 3:30 we were sitting on a 7 acre lake not too far away and I must say it was one beautiful piece of water. As we drove in Frank told me that the last time they were here they caught lots of catfish….but I was in bass mode and knowing I was using a fly rod….well, catfish didn’t even cross my mind; that is until the first big hit I took on my Civil War Streamer and the big fish on the other end starting rolling me. I have to admit at first I thought I had a big bass but when the fish surfaced I could see it was clearly a catfish. I had to be patient as I had 4x tippet on my 5 weight rod with type 3 sinking line but in about a minute I had the fish in my float tube. I took a few pictures and then tried to extract my streamer and in doing so this fish of 22 inches bit down hard on my thumb…no joke, it was very painful and left a skinned area!

The next hour was more of the same as I caught 3 more catfish with some bass in between for good order. I then switched to my 2 weight rod and a white bunny tail streamer to concentrate on bass….and you guessed it, I caught yet another 20 plus inch catfish.

The highlight of the night came moments later as I was casting the white streamer….stripping a couple times then allowing it to sink naturally. I casted towards a cattail area made two quick strips and waited when from below an 18 inch bass in the 4 to 5 pound range inhaled the streamer and the fight was on. My small reel on my 2 weight is a right hand retrieve and thus I just stripped the fish and fought it by hand and without much ado I had the bass landed in about 30 seconds. It capped off what was a great night of fly fishing…several catfish, all in excess of 20 inches, an 18 inch bass, a 16 inch bass and several others in the 14 inch range…and all less than 20 minutes from home!

Share This Post with Your Friends ... You May Also Like These Topics...

Fly Fishing Missouri’s Roaring River State Park

What a better way to spend a day during an epidemic than to walk a beautiful, quiet trout stream in search of a few rainbows. Missouri has four trout parks; Roaring River trout park is the farthest west, located in the southwestern corner of Missouri, near the town of Cassville. Catch and release fishing in […]

Fly Fishing the Magical Hour

Occasionally life just hits the sweet spot; such was the case on my last afternoon at Bennet Spring State Park. After lunch and little nap I decided to grab my 3 weight and hit the spring for one last hour of daylight. You never really know how things are going to go … but you […]

Streamer Tips to be a Better Fly Fisherman

Today’s blog and video come about as a result of literally dozens of questions sent to me each fly fishing season. I realize that fly fishing is hard … but so worth the time placed in getting better. So, below are some general and streamer tips that are backed up within the video. Take some […]

Fly Fishing Bennet Spring -Zone 2

Day two of my Missouri trip found me back on the spring at Bennet Spring State Park a little after 8am; this time I would be fly fishing Zone 2. While in catch & release season, Zone 2 is flies only. During the regular season (March to the end of October), Zone 2 is flies […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclosure: Some of the links on are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase we will earn a commission. For example: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Keep in mind that we link to these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission we receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you. Should you have any questions, comments or concerns or wish to ask a question prior to purchasing and product or service mentioned on this web site, you can contact us directly by e-mail at