I really enjoy using my fiberglass fly rods for these fish and they are very forgiving to not pull the hook. Fast sinking lines are highly recommended, such as Cortland's Compact or the AirFlo Depth Finder, which have integrated sinking heads with an intermediate sink running line. Depending on flows, 300-400+ gr lines are necessary to get to down to the shad! I use a 4 to 5-foot leader with 15 lb. tippet. Shad fly patterns are a dime a dozen and the best ones are very bright whether it's hot yellow, fluorescent green, or red and even gold is good. If the pattern has more than 3 types of materials, forget it! Chain bead eyes, a body material and tail on a 2x stout hook and you're in business. My go to pattern is my Sunshine Shad fly consisting of 4, hot yellow silver lined glass beads, a chartreuse tail of some sort and large silver or gold chain bead eyes.
Pretty easy to fly fish for shad. You can either strip you line out behind the boat about 20-30 feet after the darker shooting head and let it idle in the current just off the bottom, or you can jig the fly pulling the line back and forth to provoke strikes. You can also cast towards the shoreline and hook em on the swing! This is my favorite way to catch shad on a fly, kind of like that grab from a steelhead!
Fly fishing for shad in the summer evening on the Columbia River is an awsome time that is usually fish after fish on the line! Beautiful scenery in the Columbia River Gorge is icing on the cake as you fish till the sun drops behind Beacon Rock. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on my contact page.
Tight Lines on your fly fishing pursuits!