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Great Lakes
Fly Shop

4426 Regent Street
Duluth, MN 55804
218-740-3040

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9 am- 5:30pm
Wed: ON THE WATER
Thurs: 9 am - 5:30pm
Friday: 9 am - 6:00pm
Sat: 9 am - 5:30pm

Sunday: ON THE WATER

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Yea it’s not fancy stuff, delicate presentations, 15’ leaders, Gink what?. But what it makes up in finaze it go’s balls to walls in fierce attacks and torn up gear. There are no words in ancient fly fishing books or star studded movies that spell out what’s awaiting those who take up fly fishing for Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass. Heavy stiff 8wts (those that survive), burned finger parts and humiliating refusals.  BASS Fly FISHING!! What can I say.  Green trout (Mainers) Bronze Backs, Bodashis Warriors, and Bucket Mouths. Call them what you want they are the bad ass of the freshwater world.  Hidden in knotted up weed jungles, lying beside rocks in tumbling rivers ready to pounce on top as well as sucking it down below the surface and almost jarring the rod out of your hands.  Dahlberg divers, strip leeches, foam concoctions and streamers resembling anything from baitfish to crayfish the list goes on. When pursuing these beast short stout leaders and boss ass bass taper fly lines are the weapons of choice to launch these insane hunks of fur and deer hair. Mostly to keep the runner in the game these lines can launch on a minuets notice so no need to keep false casting. Get in quick, short strips and pick up and try another spot. Sounds easy? It’s not!!  Just be prepared to pursue them in all different kinds of habitat. We are definitely blessed here in Minnesota to have them in so many different places. With 6 fish being the keep limit in most waters and some areas catch and release it shows that this state cares about our bass fishery. I just hope that same attitude goes for some of our fishing people who tend to think of our bass fishery as a trash fish. You can’t tell me when you lay a perfect cast under a low hanging tree and pop the fly once and then all hell breaks lose you don’t get all crazy like a kid again. Let alone the fight that can wear you down after two to three minutes. The traditional flies you cast are like the stories that come with them, Spider Grubs, Fat Mama’s, Bad Ass Frogs, Lip rippers, Dr. Tattoo, The ear piercer, it gets crazy. Beauty of course is in the eyes of the beholder, or the tyer. Some of the fly’s look like the local cat got ahold of them, others are works of art which you don’t want to use it due to a fear of losing it on a log or worst yet, Mr. Northern!  Minnesota has put into law many river and lake management regulations that keep us that are crazy about reaping the benefits and keep pursuing these beautiful fish.  There are some lakes and rivers out there where catching a 5 to 6 lb. and some places in the 7 to 8lb range makes it worth getting into that canoe, kayak or drift boat and keep going after them to way after dark. A passion for that elusive “Tank” or “Hoag” that got away. Reckless crazy shit is the best word to describe the fight of the bass! They don’t stop. Trout and Steelhead prefer to run away from you, bass come at you, making you strip line in and get the familiar index finger burn.  All said and done after a long float on the river or kickin around a lake all day, nothing beats getting back to the launch and crackin a cold one with good friends and talking crap about the one that kicked your ass, this is what makes the day so much fun. The added benefit also is no pressure from other anglers, most lakes and rivers that have bass are pretty much void of other people. Tim Holschlag writes in his book “Smallmouth Fly Fishing” “Barreling downstream, then just as quickly upriver, staging a spectacular leap, then another, followed by more finger burning runs back and forth across the flow”. I could not describe it any better!

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