Walleye on Fly at Wilderness North - Wilderness North

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Walleye on Fly at Wilderness North

Up for a new adventure? Try walleye on fly. For the 2017 season Wilderness North has purchased new fly rods for all of our lodges. Guests will have access to rods and flies to try a new technique on your quest for walleye.

Print this guide if you are up for an adventure on fly during your Wilderness North visit!

Fishing Guide:Walleye on Fly

Where you choose to target these fish will dictate what presentation tactics you will use, and of course what fly you will choose. Lets take a look at 3 different presentations for 3 different kinds of water conditions.

Moving water such as a river or high current area.

For this situation, consider swinging your flies through the current. Swinging means letting the fly drift across the current on a tight line. The hits are unmistakable and often, the fish will hook themselves. To swing, start upstream of the desired location and with a full sinking line, or split shot weighted sinking tip, cast down and across the current, (think 45 degrees) with enough of a belly in your line to allow your fly to sink into the strike zone (close to bottom) as it swings. If the current is moving fast, consider adding more weight to get the fly down faster, if it’s slower, either remove weight, or angle your cast more downstream. Make your initial cast, allow it to swing downstream then simply add a few inches of fly line and repeat until you’ve swung the entire stretch of moving water you’re fishing. Consider flies that look like what a walleye would eat such as egg-sucking leeches, leech patterns or small streamers (minnow patterns) – natural colors could produce best results so consider black, brown or olive for leeches and silvery flash for streamers.

Egg-Sucking Leech
Perch Streamer






Windy days on the lake

This is one of my favorite ways to fish walleye on fly, under an indicator (small float).  Depending on the depth of the body of water you’re fishing will dictate how deep you will need to present your fly.  Walleye generally like to stick to the bottom or near bottom. The trick to this technique is the fly you choose to use.  When fishing walleye under an indicator, consider experimenting with balanced leech patterns.  A balanced leech fly doesn’t find the eye of the hook at its traditional location at the end of the shank. Here, we find the eye set back from the end of the shank more toward the bend of the hook. This allows the fly to have a horizontal presentation vs a traditional fly which tends to hang vertically.  The movement of the waves caused by the wind raise and lower the float conversely moving the fly suspended below it. That adds a natural action to the suspended fly and will, more often than not, drive walleye crazy – it’s really a perfect leech presentation.

Balanced Leech
Traditional Leech






The third technique discussed here is using floatant on your big profile fly with a full sinking line. Floatant is a gel type substance that doesn’t allow flies to get soaked with water and sink. It actually allows for flies to float. With a short leader (18 inches or so) allow your fly line to sink to the bottom. The floatant on the fly will suspend your offering just above bottom. Walleye will readily take this presentation. Add a bit of movement by slowly retrieving the fly back to the boat once you’ve let it settle. Flies considered for this are big bunny leeches or muddler minnows.

Bunny Leeches
Muddler Minnow






Fly fishing technology, and creative presentations have proven now to allow fly anglers the opportunity to target any fish that swims (filter feeders aside). Don’t be afraid to try something you might think works. The walleye fishing at Wilderness North lodges and outpost camps is so good, you can afford to experiment. Fly Fishing for walleye is an engaging and exciting way to target this species. Simply get your presentation to the bottom and you’ll be soon cracking the code of the Wilderness North walleye.


Wilderness North has purchased brand new fly rods for the 2017 season! But just in case you want your own here are some tips. First and foremost, you need the right gear to target these fish. 5 or 6 weight fly rods with matching full sinking lines are a must. If you don’t have a spool of sinking line, invest in a sink tip for your floating line and a tube of split shot. Leader and tippet material can be either monofilament or fluorocarbon in the 6-10 lb test range.

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