Count me among the many who didn’t think it could be done, at least not on a regular basis.
I’ve managed to catch hard-head catfish on a fly in the Lower Laguna Madre and in the mangrove swamps near Pine Island in Florida. The former was on crystal-clear flats and I was sight-fishing to foot-long specimens during the down time between runs of sheepshead and speckled trout. The latter? A slow-stripped Clouser through dark water. When it hit, I was sure I was into a tarpon, and the fish towed me around the marsh for a good 20 minutes before I was able to bring it hand and then unceremoniously release it.
But I’ve never caught a freshwater catfish on a fly rod while trying to do so. And I’ve certainly never dreamed of boating a catfish as big as the ones in the video above. One note: watch the “fly” the angler is using in one of the earlier casts. Maybe that’s the secret!
— Chris Hunt