May 10, 2018

Fly into Spring

By: Lee Schuhart

Flies are a hot item in spring or fall. Whether casting from shore or jigging and trolling from a boat, you can quickly fill up your live well. During spring, many fish including bass, walleye and perch move up the Fox River to spawn. When they do, the bite is on! One of the best ways to catch these fish is with a fly. The colors of flies are endless.

Shore fishing

Casting from shore with a fly harness is the way to go. Use a three-way swivel with a 12-inch leader and a sinker, a 5- to 6-foot leader with a fly on the second swivel, the third to your pole. Cast out and bring in slowly, making sure to keep contact with the bottom. Soon you will be bringing in the fish.

Fishing from the boat

When trolling the boat with a double-fly harness with two flies, a 2-ounce sinker is usually the key. Troll at 0.9 to 1.1 miles per hour with the current. You can troll both ways, but with the current is the best. There are two runs of fish each year from March through the end of May and once again in October and November. The run is usually very good for both walleye and white bass.

Lake fishing

When fishing the lake, structure is best. Find it and troll back and forth and you will find fish. Use a bottom bouncer with a 6-foot leader. Many use a harness and a nighter. I use a brown fly because it looks like a crawler. I’m not one for live bait, but that’s just me. Fish with what makes you feel best.

After the fly bite is over, crank baits turn on. You just have to find the right color for that day. Most fishermen know that. They change colors all the time until they find the right one.

One more thing …

Flies are good 24/7 – all year long. All new is the all-metallic ice fishing fly. It can be seen better by fish in dark and stained water – a must-try fly.

Have fun and enjoy the day, sometimes that’s all you get. Good luck.


Lee Schuhart is a Ripon, Wis. resident who makes and retails his own fishing flies. For more information or to see the flies he’s created, call Schuhart at 920.688.2815.