Perch Flies! (by Montana Grant)
By angelamontana

Posted: April 18, 2020

Fly fishing extends way beyond trout. Even though a River Runs Through it, that often has trout, other freshwater species abound. Many are great sport on a fly rod. 

A fly rod gives the angler advantages. The longer the rod, or lever, the further you can cast, and easier you can tire out a bigger fish. The longer rod also helps you set the hook faster. You can add a spinning reel to a fly rod or simply use a traditional fly reel. 

Montana has become a destination for catching Carp on a fly. Canyon Ferry, and other Missouri River areas are full of fat and strong carp. While carping, you may also discover a school of yellow perch or other panfish.

Yellow perch, bluegills, crappies, and other fish readily will take a fly, but what fly? Carp like crayfish, crablike, bread like tied flies. Once hooked the carp often make a huge run like Bonefish. They are often released and offer great sport. 

Perch, and other panfish prefer small jigs, spoons, or spinners. The smaller sizes work well on a fly rod. Hooks tipped with a bit of worm or bait can excite the fish to strike.

Recently, I saw this Perch Fly and tied a few dozen up. I mailed them to a Buddy in Maryland, to use during the Spring Perch Run. Perch migrate up the rivers and channels to spawn in the brackish headwaters. Skeins of eggs attach to branches and the bucks, or males, fertilize them. 

During this process, perch stack up in pools. Once located, a fisherman can spend the day in one spot. That is exactly what happened. This silly looking fly was magic. He cast it across the pool and let a pair of these flies’ sink. A small split shot between the two flies helped. Every cast produced a strike. He came home with a limit of HUGE roe perch, all caught on the fly!

Challenging ourselves to try out something new allows us to grow as a fisherman. Once the ice is off of Montana s lakes, locating a school of perch will allow a fly fisherman to test these flies out. Fly fishing is simply another way to celebrate our sport of fishing. 

Tight lines!

Montana Grant

For more Montana Grant, catch him at

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