In today’s episode, the Dude Jeff Liskay chats with one of the best shallow-water fly anglers, Dave Hurley. They connected because of their love for the freshwater Drum. They think it’s a cool fish but interestingly enough, some people call it “trash fish”. Now Dave joins our show today to talk about why these fish are great to target.

Dave is a skinny water specialist that runs skinny water safari guide service. Dave roams the backwater of the Great Lakes based on the Lower Peninsula, Michigan where he pulls his way through the miles of skinny water flats, sight-fishing for a wide variety of warm water species out of his towee boat.

Skinny Water Fishing with Dave Hurley. Hit play below!

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Show Notes with Dave Hurley on Skinny Water Fishing

04:00 – Dave joined a community of fly fishermen who fished in the surf along the Pacific where they fished for Corbina, Surfperch, and Croaker species. Dave got really into fishing for Spotfin Croaker.

06:00 – Dave found out that a stonefly nymph pattern works great for Spotfin Croakers.

09:00 – Dave talks about getting his first boat.

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17:50 – He talks about the time when he and his best friend fished sight fished for musky on the flats.

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18:40 – His go-to is a 6-wt rod and occasional 7-wt.

19:30 – Dave now focuses on carp fishing and goes up to 10-wt. For leader, he goes up to 15-pound test, and sometimes 12 or 10-pound.

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27:25 – Dave doesn’t really pay attention to water temperatures. He and his team are mostly sight fishing.

35:55 – We talk about casting. “Your short game is just as important as your long game”, Dave says.

39:25 – Dave’s favorite line is the SA Bass Bug Fly Line.

42:25 – Dave talks about how he improvises when he ties his flies, tying them differently each time. He also talks about the common materials he uses.

47:40 – Jeff’s go-to flies always have rubber.

49:00 – Dave talks about how being an artist affects his creativity in fishing.

51:00 – Dave talks about how he practices handling fish in a way that doesn’t hurt the fish. And also talks about how he tries in his own little ways to protect the waters he fishes.

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You can find Dave on Instagram @davehurl

Related Podcast Episodes

A Roadmap to Great Lakes Steelhead Fishing (Part 2) – Great Lakes Fly Fishing #3 with Jeff Liskay


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

Conclusion with Dave Hurley on Skinny Water Fishing

In conclusion, Dave’s fly fishing journey has taught us some valuable lessons. He discovered the importance of community, adaptation, and balance. Dave’s respect for nature and his artistic approach to fishing reminds us to handle fish responsibly and protect our waters. His story shows that fishing is not just a hobby but a way to connect, grow, and find creative expression. So, let’s embrace these lessons and enjoy the beauty of fly fishing while taking care of the environment we love.