Fish Challenge: 2005

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to fly fish in exotic locations like Russia, Mongolia, or even Alaska, I feel that I am still fortunate enough to have grown up fishing some of the best rivers in Montana, Wyoming and Utah. However, lately I’ve come to the realization that I am simply a trout fisherman. I have never fished for permit, tarpon, or anything other than trout on a fly. I’ve listened to Al tell stories of fly fishing for tarpon and bonefish down in Androse Island, and read Marshall’s adventures with permit in the Florida keys, but have never had the chance to fish for anything comparable.

This last year I decided to make an honest effort at catching different fish species on a fly, and I think I did rather well. In one trip that started in Washington state and ended on the Big Hole River, I caught large-mouth bass, small-mouth bass, and an arctic grayling. Sure, catching trout on a fly will always be my favorite, but catching bass on a fly is nothing short of exciting.

I think this year I’ll go a bit further. Here’s my list:

Large-mouth bass
Small-mouth bass
Striped bass

If you have a list, I’d like to see it.


  1. And my dream is to go to Montana and fish 🙂

  2. When it comes to warm water, Buggerman is very partial to smallmouth. Largemouth are a kick when they are slurping poppers off the surface, but up in Vermont on Lake Champlain, nothing beats whipping pumpkin buggers for big smallmouth.

    On a side note, I’ve always wondered why some of these warm water guys never did more fly fishing. It is a thousand cast fishery, around structure, prone to hang-ups. Perfect for fly fishing. I can cover 5 times as much water with my fly-rod when up against my father-in-law’s Cabella’s BASS special. Plus, I get fewer snags (and I don’t loose $6 lures, although AL would like to charge the tourists that for his P’buggers).

    Good luck on the Carp. I’ve been chasing them for a few years with no luck. Still looking for the bologna sandwich fly. I did read an article in the Wall Street Journal last month about the national Carp Anglers Fishing Society, or something like that. They number 600 members total.

    Crapie are just about that. They will chase a fly the size of a jawbreaker, with a mouth that couldn’t bite an altoid.

    As for salt, I’ve never chased Tarpon or Permit, but there is little to rival even a small striper slamming a 2/0 Clauser when they chase the herring up the river in the spring and early summer. I’ve heard they have some good runs on the west coast around Coos Bay, OR. Quit your job and do it.

    Okay, I’ve got to go back to work.


  3. Buggerman,

    I too have wondered why there aren’t more fly fishermen in the warm water regions. Of course, it’s almost impossible to fly fish with a can of beer in your hand, so that might be the deterrent.

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