Boundary Waters Fly-Fishing Equipment List

Fly rod:
An 8′-6″ to 9′ foot fly rod in a 7, 8, or 9 wt. is recommended. A rod that is any shorter makes it difficult to pick the line up off the water while seated in a canoe. A 7-wt. rod is as light as one should go when throwing large deer hair bass bugs, and weighted streamers.

Fly line:
A floating line with a weight forward or bass bug taper will be needed for fishing the surface, and a sinking tip line on an extra spool will allow flyrod anglers to reach those deeper areas where the big fish lurk.

Just as in fly fishing for trout, the smallmouth fly fishing angler also attempts to “match the hatch” by imitating the smallmouth’s preferred prey. Mature smallmouth feed mostly on minnows, young of the year game fish species, crayfish, and various invertebrates including leeches, and insect larvae. Minnow imitating patterns such as Sculpin, Black nosed Dace, Muddler Minnows, and Olive Matuka’s all work well. Crayfish imitations, Wolly Worms, and various deer hair bugs and poppers are also consistent producers.

Misc. Equipment:
Various items that are already included in the canoeist list of equipment are required for a day on the water fly fishing. Sunscreen, Polarized glasses, Rain gear, a hat with a brim, and insect repellent all help the fly rod angler cope with the elements while stalking smallmouths in the wilderness from the front of a canoe.

Bass Bugs
Hooks- Streamer
Size – 2-6
Color – natural, black & white, green & black, red & white, other favorite colors

Hooks – streamer
Size – 1-6
Color – black, olive, black & olive

Muddler Minnows
Hooks – streamer
Size – 2-6
Color – natural, black & white, chartreuse, other favorites

Hooks – popper
Size – any size to 1/0
Color – same as bass bugs

Clouser Minnows
Hooks – Streamer
Size – 2-8
Color – all varieties

Hooks – streamer
Size – 1-6
Color – red & black, chartreuse, any flashy colors