Whitefish

#1
Anyone fly-fish for these critters if so how and where do you catch them? I never have fished for them so no idea what fly to use or where to fish for them but would love to try.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#2
Lots of them in the Green river. Nymphs under an indicator will put you into fish.
A Prince nymph is a whitefish magnet but just about any stonefly or decent sized mayfly nymph will work. Copper John, Lighting bug, Pat's Stone, Girdle Bug etc will all work. SJ Worms and Egg patterns work as well.
SF
 
#3
Yes. My brother and I use to go over to the Blackfoot, and catch them by the bazillions to smoke up.

We used a Tellico nymph, bounced on the bottom. I'm sure there are many different flies that will work. Yellow (or rusty orange) color seemed to work best. The October caddis is coming off, as well as a couple other bugs that have those colors - Hares Ear, etc...

They are in spawn right now, so if you find a hole with them in there...you can literally fish the same hole for hours.
 
#4
Lots of them in the Green river. Nymphs under an indicator will put you into fish.
A Prince nymph is a whitefish magnet but just about any stonefly or decent sized mayfly nymph will work. Copper John, Lighting bug, Pat's Stone, Girdle Bug etc will all work. SJ Worms and Egg patterns work as well.
SF
I must have been typing when SF was posting... go with his picks.
 

ScottP

Active Member
#5
A beadhead anything will work; Prince, as mentioned, CJ, Hotwire caddis, etc, alone or behind a rubberlegs.

Regards,
Scott
 
#8
Oh, one other thing. Use hook sizes around 12 to 16.

You can obviously catch them on bigger and smaller flies, but we found these sizes to have the best ratio of hook ups.
 

Greg Armstrong

OldRodsHaveMoreFun
#9
Have to agree with Dave on the smoked whitefish. Excellent tasting fish that don't seem to get hardly any attention when it comes to eating them.
I never had them smoked, but the whitefish I did eat years ago on a backpacking trip up the Bogachiel R were far better than any trout I've ever eaten.

Biggest whitefish I ever caught was on a certain river in Idaho. I had just arrived after a long drive and had already been pre-rigged from a previous bass fishing trip. It was nearly dark and I was too lazy to snip the little bass popper off and re-tie. Rises and big gulps were happening, so just for fun I let fly with that popper and the biggest Mountain Whitefish I've ever seen was the surprising reward. Didn't think I'd get one on top like that - on a bass popper to boot.
 
#10
I never had them smoked, but the whitefish I did eat years ago on a backpacking trip up the Bogachiel R were far better than any trout I've ever eaten.
That is so true. A little boney, but well worth the effort. We cooked a couple up one time (after we were full from eating already), with just a little Olive oil, salt and pepper... it was delicious!
 
#11
I tied on a hopper on the Big Hole one day, well pleased that a big fly like that on the surface would mean trout only. After spotting and sight casting to a big riser a while later, I had a piggy whitefish on a big Dave's Hopper. D'oh! I've seen them get up on Tricos and Baetis as well in Montana. Crazy.

Nymphs are the way to go, though, as stated above. The whitefish seem to like the flashier stuff more... lightning bugs are great, and princes, and pheasant tails - tie the latter two with flashback and you're in the whitefish.

Have fun - and watch out for those pesky trout!
 

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
#12
I think the toughest part, at least with bigger whiteys, is the scales all over the kitchen. I took one from Rock Creek last winter, and fried it up for my girlfriend. It was delicious, though tougher cleaning than a trout. Might smoke a few of them this winter, though I prefer to give the whitey population the same respect I do trout. Are they considered overpopulated in their native waters?
 
#13
There is a major winter lake-whitefishery only minutes from my front door. I plan on figuring it out this winter when other things slow down. Most of these whitefish go four or five pounds in Banks lake. I've heard use something glow-in-the-dark at night, but we'll see.
 
#14
Btw, if you apply any pressure at all when palming under the fish to remove the hook, whitefish will flop back and forth incessantly. There is a little secret way to handle whitefish... if you can eliminate all pressure when lifting a little they'll just sit there for about 30 seconds. After the timer expires though they start to flop back and forth! Ah... whitefish... better than no-fish, but still whitefish!
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#15
Every time I did a double nymph setup I tied the red Zebra nymph on the bottom and I would get a Whitie every cast. I have since quit using the red nymphs. No more Whities.