Most folks fish for perch with traditional rods, reels and casting techniques, but you can fly fish for perch. Bait-stealing perch inspire many fishermen to fly fish because these rods enable them to feel subtle hits from the fish.
Fly fishing involves dragging light artificial flies over the water to entice fish to pop to the surface and grab the bait. Fly fishing does not use weights to carry the bait under water -- it stays on top.
So what will you need? An inexpensive fly-fishing rod and reel will work. Consider a lightweight fiberglass or graphite rod that's 7 to 8 feet (2.1 to 2.4 meters) in length [source: McNair]. Fly rods have a single line guide at the base with several smaller loop guides along the length to help control the line. Fly reels have a distinctive look, usually a metal circle punctuated with evenly spaced holes.
Fly-fishing line is heavier than other types of line but still comes in a variety of weights. Lighter line is recommended for fly fishing for perch and other pan fish. Plastic-coated fly fishing line is short. Fly fishermen use a longer monofilament line to attach it to the reel; the fly is attached to the fly fishing line. One caveat: The weight of the rod and the weight of the line should match [source: Fly Anglers Online].
Poppers and flies are the lures of choice for fly fishing. These colorful lures are designed to resemble insects that skip across the water's surface. A simple rule of fishing is to "match the hatch" -- use lures that resemble the insects where you're fishing. However, as mentioned earlier, perch aren't picky, so any fly or popper will do.
Once you have the equipment, it's time to practice your technique. Fly fishing requires the use of both hands. Hold the rod in your dominant hand and use the other hand to slowly let out small amounts of line as you flick the rod back and forth. You can start the cast from a variety of positions: forward, right in front of you, or from the back. Try them out and see what's most comfortable.
That's all there is to it! Like most pan fish, perch aren't a big mystery, but they can make for some fun fishing when they come biting.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Ask Crappie Fishing. 11 Nov. 2008http://www.askcrappiefishing.com/editorials/7_perch_fishing_secrets.html
- Fichter, George S. and Edward C Migdalski. The Fresh & Salt Water Fishes of the World. New York: Greenwich House, 1976.
- "Fly Fishing 101 for Beginners." Fly Anglers Online. 11 Nov. 2008http://www.flyanglersonline.com/begin/101/
- Hocutt, Charles H. "Perch." World Book Online Reference Center. 11 Nov. 2008http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/Article?id=ar422820
- Mayhew, J. Iowa Fish and Fishing. Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa: 1987. 11 Nov. 2008http://www.iowadnr.com/fish/iafish/ylp-fish.html
- McNair, Doug. "Fly Fishing with Doug Macnair: Assembling the System Part 5: Panfish 'n Perch." Active Angler.com. 11 Nov. 2008http://www.activeangler.com/flyfishing-articles/macnair-assembly5.shtml
- "Perch Fishing." Ultimate Fishing Site. 11 Nov. 2008http://www.ultimatefishingsite.net/types_of_fish/perch_basic_techniques.html
- Take Me Fishing http://www.takemefishing.org/fishing