Catching Flathead on the Fly
Flathead are bottom dwelling ambush predators, plain and simple! They are generally not fussy about what they eat, inhabit shallow water and are widely available, making them a perfect target on the fly.
You will be occasionally be casting heavy flies in unprotected, open water, with this a 6-7 weight outfit is ideal. You will need to choose a line to suit the job at hand, but a full float will cover most scenarios. If you want to know more about line selection be sure to give us a call at FlyWorld and we can chat it through.
Leader and Tippet
Leader choice can be kept simple with a 9 foot 12lb tapered leader down to 2 foot of 16lb-20lb tippet. Longer leader systems will however be an asset when getting flies deeper on a full floating line. Flathead have raspy teeth that will “saw” through light tippets with big head shakes as they broach the surface. Remember this and keep your rod low as you bring them in. Fluorocarbon Tippet will be a better choice over monofilament for flathead as it has a superior abrasion resistance.
With flies, your main consideration is that they must get down close to the bottom, so have a handful of flies of varying weights. Any baitfish pattern will do, however it is hard to go past the versatility of a clouser for this job. Flathead also love crabs and prawns, so in pays to keep a couple of these patterns handy.
Keep moving, Flathead won’t come to you, so you must keep searching. Look for drop-offs and weed edges, these are perfect ambush positions. Keep the retrieve at a slow pace with the fly “hoping” across the bottom.
Now go get them!!