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06/20/2024 12:47PM  
Here are some nice pictures from the first half of June in Quetico. A bunch of bass but some other trip pictures as well. Flies don't not work as well as gear but they have their moments and it is fun when you can get them to work. You really need the fish to be on the shoreline and in less than 10 feet of water. Once they get out deeper than that you can get flies down to them but it takes time to let it sink and it is generally a lot of work for not too many fish. Clousers sink well and the bass like them stripped fast in shallow water but if they are willing to come to the surface deer hair divers are the way to go. Pike grab flies pretty well also when they are in the shallows and you do catch some while searching for the bass. About once a week a walleye will bite and about every 10 years a laker will bite. That is the story on fishing flies in canoe country as I know it.

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06/20/2024 05:54PM  
Those are some fantastic fish! Well done.

Question for you - any advice for smallmouth on a fly a couple of weeks earlier? Have a group of friends going next May (in on Labor Day) and they are targeting smallies.

Related question - what would you recommend in terms of the gear? I'm inclined to say 9' or 9.5', 8 wt, given that pike are inevitably going to be part of the equation. Several of the guys already have Musky setups...

Appreciate your wisdom!
06/20/2024 11:34PM  
We went in June 1. That is usually pretty good time. They might have to find the warm areas of the lakes if it is a cool year. You kind of need to know where they like to spawn because most of the big ones will be in that area.

I like taking two 8 weight rods. One with a floating line and one with an intermediate sinking line. I also take a fist sinking line but don’t use it much. I have 8 foot rods but 9 foot is fine. I use Rio wire bite tippet to avoid losing flies to pike.
06/21/2024 06:32AM  
Dude, those are some lunkers for the fly. I bet you had a blast. Thanks for sharing.
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06/21/2024 08:15AM  
Awesome fish and great pics. Are those glass rods?
06/21/2024 03:45PM  
Those rods are graphite from about 2010. I think Sage made them that color to look like old glass rods. They don’t make them anymore so I have be sure not to break them.
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07/06/2024 10:12AM  
That Northern is a hog
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07/06/2024 03:20PM  
I'm interested in this. A friend and I have been talking about getting 8 weights and trying the river here near St. Cloud. Fun post.
07/06/2024 05:03PM  
J - Smallmouth are a great fly rod fish especially if they get a little size. They bite pretty aggressively, pull hard, hit the topwater and are numerous. Some people would say too numerous. Walleye on the other hand are a very popular fish but not a great fly rod fish. Give it a go if you can.

IA - That pike was around 38” or 39”. It was a thick one. He caught it standing on a rock at the bottom of Chatterton falls. We were not having much of a day prior to that. It was a good set up for a picture so I convinced him to take off his shoes and get in the water. We used an 18 mm lens which is kind of a wide angle lens and makes the fish look big but not ridiculously big like a GoPro or a fisheye lens.
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