Complete Guide to Fly Fishing for Chub

Updated on August 13, 2019
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Marin Brouwers, a programmer, writes about fly fishing from Belgium.

Fly fisherman standing in the water.
Fly fisherman standing in the water. | Source

When one thinks about fly fishing they think of trout or salmon in the world’s most famous rivers. You think about 6-pound predator fish in Scotland or Slovenia.

But what about lesser known countries? How about fly fishing in Belgium, where you can fish for rudd, roach, chub, barbel, carp, pike and even river trout. When you come fly fishing in Belgium, preferably in the Ardennes, the chub will be one of your first fish on the fly rod. They can grow fairly big, they are fun to catch, and there’s enough in the rivers.

Welcome to this complete guide on fly fishing for chub (kopvoorn in Dutch)!


The Chub

The chub has large scales and a huge wide mouth. Young fish are easily recognized as they have a net-shaped pattern around the scales. The adult fish have a spherical anal fin and are recognizable thanks to their large scales and spindle-shaped body. Chub like slow to fairly quick waters; they mainly thrive in the shallow parts of rivers.

Caught the chub in the Ardennes.
Caught the chub in the Ardennes. | Source

Equipment for Fly Fishing for Chub

A fly fishing rod AFTMA #5 – #3 is more than enough to handle fish up to 30 centimeters. You might catch a larger chub but even a #3 should still be able to handle it. I recommend the classic 9-foot rod as it offers smooth casting without being too long. The fly line should of course match the rod AFTMA weight. A 5X, or even 6X, 9-ft tapered leader is the perfect setup, but not required. I have caught a ton of chub on a short non-tapered leader.

And you should never go out without polaroid sunglasses; they are the perfect tool to discover some chub in the rivers. Also it helps you look around on a sunny day and protects your eyes from any fly fishing hooks.

Make sure to bring along a pair of wading boots and wading pants because chub love to stay in the middle of the river when the water level is low.

Man wearing fly fishing gear.
Man wearing fly fishing gear. | Source
Fly fishing gear.
Fly fishing gear. | Source

Flies for Chub

Dry flies are perfect for chub. You don’t need a large number of flies or complicated patterns. Some of my best dry flies when fishing for chub would be the Beetle, Sedge, Palmers and Red Tag.

After some rain I have found that red or black ants work great! I could conclude that red or black colored dry flies are a chub's favorite.

Catching chub on nymphs will be a bit harder as they don’t bite nymphs that often. Some of the best patterns to try would be gold-headed nymphs, or maybe try a Pheasant tail.

A large number of fly fishing flies.
A large number of fly fishing flies. | Source

When to Fish for Chub

Pick a warm summer evening to go fishing for chub.When it’s warm the chub will be more active at the surface of the water so that will make dry fly fishing a lot easier. Be careful when fishing for chub because the chub is a shy fish. So try to stand at least 10 feet away from where you think the fish is hiding. Don’t try to cast your dry fly on top of the fish, but instead throw it a bit in front and use the current to get your fly closer to the chub.

Man fly fishing on a warm summer evening.
Man fly fishing on a warm summer evening. | Source

Try It Yourself

Hopefully you have learned something about the chub and how to catch it on the fly. It’s a very fun fish to catch if you are used to catching for example trout. I hope that I have made you enthusiastic to try it yourself. Spend your hours in the water hunting for that chub and don’t hesitate to share some pictures if you caught that trophy chub. Thanks for reading this complete guide on fly fishing for chub (kopvoorn in Dutch).


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