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Is fly fishing really that great?

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  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,405 Captain
    Pilchard wrote: »
    At the end of the day, I think guys who are exclusively live bait/artificial and guys who are exclusively fly could both learn a lot from one another if either could learn to admit they don't know everything.



    I've never met anyone who's first experience fishing was drifting a fly, though I'm sure there's a few out there. The truth is, when you put a little fish in front of a big fish, it's no surprise to anyone what happens next. There's no thrill there for me. And I doubt there's a fly fisherman anywhere that cares what's in his cooler at the end of the day. The honest to god truth is that we're all on the water for different reasons, but for the most part with fly guys it's for the sole purpose of entertaining ourselves. Are there pretentious ******s with fly rods? Of course there are, and it probably bugs me more than it bugs you. But seriously, most of the fly fishermen I know we're excellent plug fishermen before we got bored with it. Honestly, how many redfish do you have to catch on a gulp shrimp before you want to stick your head in an oven?
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    I've never met anyone who's first experience fishing was drifting a fly, though I'm sure there's a few out there. The truth is, when you put a little fish in front of a big fish, it's no surprise to anyone what happens next. There's no thrill there for me. And I doubt there's a fly fisherman anywhere that cares what's in his cooler at the end of the day. The honest to god truth is that we're all on the water for different reasons, but for the most part with fly guys it's for the sole purpose of entertaining ourselves. Are there pretentious ******s with fly rods? Of course there are, and it probably bugs me more than it bugs you. But seriously, most of the fly fishermen I know we're excellent plug fishermen before we got bored with it. Honestly, how many redfish do you have to catch on a gulp shrimp before you want to stick your head in an oven?

    I believe you've just made my point with this reply. You know everything. Or at least you think you do....
  • PmckhPmckh Posts: 199 Officer
    I throw lures, live bait, and flies. It doesn't matter to me what I throw, I just choose the best weapon for that days challenge and enjoyment. I very rarely keep fish, to me it's just about the fun and the challenge whether it's a tailing red on fly, tarpon on a plug, or trying to rip a giant snook out of structure on bait.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    I've never met anyone who's first experience fishing was drifting a fly, though I'm sure there's a few out there. The truth is, when you put a little fish in front of a big fish, it's no surprise to anyone what happens next. There's no thrill there for me. And I doubt there's a fly fisherman anywhere that cares what's in his cooler at the end of the day. The honest to god truth is that we're all on the water for different reasons, but for the most part with fly guys it's for the sole purpose of entertaining ourselves. Are there pretentious ******s with fly rods? Of course there are, and it probably bugs me more than it bugs you. But seriously, most of the fly fishermen I know we're excellent plug fishermen before we got bored with it. Honestly, how many redfish do you have to catch on a gulp shrimp before you want to stick your head in an oven?


    Does stripping a popper for bass count?? :wink
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    No. But popping a stripper does.
  • RStyleRStyle Posts: 1,488 Officer
    I bought several rods and reels and took many lessons
    I took tying lessons and tied my own flies

    My personal feeling:
    I carry a fly rod on my boat and will use it only if I see fish.( tails, silhouettes, under a light). I think the thing about fly fishing is accuracy and presentation. Catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself is a big extra bonus
    I do not blind cast all along the flats or oyster bars for hours if I do not see fish or lots of active bait. I will use a spinning rod.
    I hate dealing with the fly line and the trolling motor if fishing and moving blindly along mangroves

    (best place to practice is on a golf course. LOTS of space for backcasts and all kinds of fish in the ponds)
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,190 Admiral
    Many of my practices was off of Indian Key. The bar was much longer than today.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 21,116 AG
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    Fly fishing has some applications where it is optimal...but they are few and specialized.

    Inefficient for catching dinner.

    Just thought I would restate....but add.

    If it is something you think you might like...you should do it.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • VertigoVertigo Yankeetown, FLPosts: 617 Officer
    I own four fly rigs and eight spin rigs but no bait casters.... I just don't see the point in them. As others have noted, fly fishing is more about the trip than the destination. Waving a long rod around can be tough on the shoulder, too much work on a hot day and nearly useless in any serious wind, but making that perfect long cast can be very satisfying. If harvesting fish the your true goal, use a net. If enjoying your time on the water is most important, use the rig that make you happy. Sometimes and in some conditions I like to play with a fly rod. Other times and in other conditions I like a spin rig. Sometimes I just like to drive my boat around and check out different spots.

    P.S. Tying flies on a nasty day is better than lurking on fishing websites, and catching a fish on a fly or plug you made yourself can be very satisfying.
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    I know better than to start tying my own flies, because I recognize my obsessive compulsive tendencies. :cool:
    -
    Chris
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • TXWahooTXWahoo Posts: 554 Officer
    So who are some good people in south FL to help me hone my fly skills? I have a nice 8-wt outfit and could have used it last week instead of ka-plunking my lure a few times but I just don't have the confidence to use it.
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    TXWahoo wrote: »
    So who are some good people in south FL to help me hone my fly skills? I have a nice 8-wt outfit and could have used it last week instead of ka-plunking my lure a few times but I just don't have the confidence to use it.


    This probably won't translate over the internet but....when people first start out there are typically two mistakes they make which are quite good at sabotaging your confidence right off the bat. The first is, everyone goes WAY too far back on the back-cast. Don't take it back any further than 1 o'clock position, and don't take it forward any further than 10'oclock unless you're ready to set that line on the water. The second mistake everyone does is trying to rush the process, let that line load up the rod all the way on your backcast. Once you feel the load in the rod (this will quickly become second nature) and have given the line a chance to extend fully behind you, at that point can you start to transition forward. Sometimes it's helpful to actually say "wait" and give that line an extra second on the backcast when you're first getting the muscle memory ingrained.
  • bonephishbonephish Posts: 1,488 Officer
    TXWahoo wrote: »
    So who are some good people in south FL to help me hone my fly skills? I have a nice 8-wt outfit and could have used it last week instead of ka-plunking my lure a few times but I just don't have the confidence to use it.

    I highly recommend Capt. Bob LeMay for a fly-fishing charter at Flamingo for snook and redfish.:hail
  • TXWahooTXWahoo Posts: 554 Officer
    This probably won't translate over the internet but....when people first start out there are typically two mistakes they make which are quite good at sabotaging your confidence right off the bat. The first is, everyone goes WAY too far back on the back-cast. Don't take it back any further than 1 o'clock position, and don't take it forward any further than 10'oclock unless you're ready to set that line on the water. The second mistake everyone does is trying to rush the process, let that line load up the rod all the way on your backcast. Once you feel the load in the rod (this will quickly become second nature) and have given the line a chance to extend fully behind you, at that point can you start to transition forward. Sometimes it's helpful to actually say "wait" and give that line an extra second on the backcast when you're first getting the muscle memory ingrained.

    All that makes sense and I think I have that down ok. When I place little white paper plates in the yard to practice, I have two issues:

    1. The leader never goes out as straight as the fly line. The fly line will look like it's heading to the target but the leader just remains semi-curled or goes somewhere else... like it's still has too much memory from being in the package or something. The end result is I miss the target by a good bit. I've been thinking of wetting it and pulling it tight to see if that helps but haven't done so.

    2. Are you supposed to be able to shoot line for 25ft+ cast? I cannot shoot line, I can only cast as much as I've stripped off.

    My 8-wt is pretty moderate action and is supposed to be easy to cast (TFO Mangrove). Using Rio Bonefish 8-wt line.
  • TXWahooTXWahoo Posts: 554 Officer
    bonephish wrote: »
    I highly recommend Capt. Bob LeMay for a fly-fishing charter at Flamingo for snook and redfish.:hail


    Thanks, that's the second time someone has recommended him to me. I need to get around to doing it.
  • JoeyHotFizzleJoeyHotFizzle Posts: 225 Officer
    Great tip congoman. I just received the set up I traded back. My buddy wanted my st Croix avid and ci4+ instead.

    I have a question in which in all the videos I've watched was
    Never explained. When false casting do you gradually let some line go on the forward cast, back cast, both or just that final cast? I let some line slip on both cast but sometimes my back cast will just collapse.

    Thanks gents! You're knowledge is appreciated.
  • bonephishbonephish Posts: 1,488 Officer
    TXWahoo wrote: »
    Thanks, that's the second time someone has recommended him to me. I need to get around to doing it.

    Bob's a great coach, you'll be casting like a pro in no time. And you'll have fun catching fish.
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    TXWahoo wrote: »
    All that makes sense and I think I have that down ok. When I place little white paper plates in the yard to practice, I have two issues:

    1. The leader never goes out as straight as the fly line. The fly line will look like it's heading to the target but the leader just remains semi-curled or goes somewhere else... like it's still has too much memory from being in the package or something. The end result is I miss the target by a good bit. I've been thinking of wetting it and pulling it tight to see if that helps but haven't done so.

    2. Are you supposed to be able to shoot line for 25ft+ cast? I cannot shoot line, I can only cast as much as I've stripped off.

    My 8-wt is pretty moderate action and is supposed to be easy to cast (TFO Mangrove). Using Rio Bonefish 8-wt line.

    If you’ve mastered the cadence of the your own cast you’re 70% there. It’s possible your leader (which is either monofilament or fluorocarbon) is exhibiting memory, but in my experience this will fade. If it’s really bad I might be impatient swap out the leader. Getting your leader/fly to fully extend and go consistently where you’d like it to go takes some touch and definitely starts with the backcast. Once you’ve mastered the correct amount of time to “wait” on your backcast, it’s all about getting a smooth transition forward. Typically this means a steady movement forward at the start, and then an acceleration to a “STOP” on a false cast, and a smooth/steady drop of the rod tip towards your target on a real cast. If your forward cast was too strong you might see your leader extend out and bounce backwards typically giving the line a ZigZag impression (this is desirable in some situations but unwanted in here), and if it was too soft you might not see it fully extend or hang off in a wrong direction…

    As far as shooting line goes, try practicing going your maximum accurate distance. This is different from your Maximum distance. After you’ve found your maximum distance before you start loosing accuracy start backing down the amount of line you’ve got through the guides and try to shoot a few feet of slack line from your hand. Slowly you’ll be able to increase the slack line you can shoot, and it’ll become a valuable part of your equation.

    bonephish wrote: »
    I highly recommend Capt. Bob LeMay for a fly-fishing charter at Flamingo for snook and redfish.:hail

    Absolutely concur.
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    Find a local club and go to a few meetings IMHO.

    The Joann Wulff videos can be found on Youtube and are EXCELLENT as well.

    I watched the videos, tied some hot pink paracord to the end of my leader as a visual cue, and started casting in the front yard.
    -
    Chris
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • SchmidtySchmidty Posts: 6,814 Admiral
    Guys.....

    I have yet to ever see anyone walk into a store....buy "the right" fly fishing equipment......and without any instruction.....go out...put everything together and cast and fish correctly...

    And I gotta say....on a boat is the last place you want to learn how to cast...especially with a hook on the end of your line.

    Here's a couple of novice pointers that will help you greatly..

    (1) Do not use hooks with barbs.......No! It has nothing to do with being a sportsman...it's just that they are a whole lot easier to get out of your ear, neck, head, back, leg,...etc.... and it will happen!

    (2) Make sure that your equipment matches....if it doesn't it will make things that much more difficult for you...

    (3) Keep your line clean and use a stripping basket.

    (4) Forget all the "leader" crap.......you're not going after "Ghosts" or world records starting out.....use straight leader material and do a "loop to loop" end of lighter test so that when you snag.....and you will.....you can break it off and be back in action in a minute.

    (5) Start out catching "stupid fish".......chances are you can't cast very far when you start out so catch "smart fish" is out of the question for the most part. I would suggest a 5 gallon bucket of stinking chum and target Bluefish.....they're about as dumb as a fish can be and will eat a great big deceiver without hesitation.

    (6) Ya need to learn how to cast.....and though what I do isn't always pretty.....on most days I can get all the fly line out and still be reasonably accurate ...........watch this..... and enjoy...
  • DitchratDitchrat Posts: 56 Greenhorn
    Stages of fishing
    1) You just want to catch a fish:banghead
    2) You want to catch lots of fish:dance
    3) You want to catch the big fish:willynilly
    4) You no longer care and go fishing on your own terms.:banana

    Enter the fly rod. Something new, different and somewhat of a challenge.

    Sometimes a fly catches more or bigger fish. Sometimes not so much.

    In the North East Fly rods often have the advantage because you can imitate smaller offering. I have fly fished since I was about 6, nearly 35 years. I started out striper fishing with bait, and gear until I caught enough fish and switched it up. Now I do the opposite, I fly fish until I want to change it up. With the exception of sitting on a bucket, its all fun at times.

    On my first annual month long trip to Florida I desperately wanted to catch Snook. I read what I could and found lots of fish. I casted every striper plug, jig and soft plastic I had and came up with some trout and lady fish. I almost told the wife I was going to join the family on the second trip. That would have been a mistake. My second month long trip I decided if I am not going to catch Snook I am going to do it on my terms, and fished the fly rod. Best decision I ever made.
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    Schmidty wrote: »
    (5) Start out catching "stupid fish".......chances are you can't cast very far when you start out so catch "smart fish" is out of the question for the most part. I would suggest a 5 gallon bucket of stinking chum and target Bluefish.....they're about as dumb as a fish can be and will eat a great big deceiver without hesitation.

    Throwing a clouser minnow into my favorite ladyfish honey hole was a ton of fun.

    I set up on the channel where I normally catch my cut bait and was getting hits on every cast.

    That alone was an exercise in line management.
    -
    Chris
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    My northern friend explained to me that a lot of the lure and excitement of fly fishing is "matching the hatch". He would often tie flies on the tail gate of his pickup if he did not have a pre-tied fly ready to go. Those northern streams and lakes have a lot more transient insect hatches, although at my lake in Melrose Fl, we do get a sizable Mayfly hatch.

    With salt water I guess you would match the minnow or whatever.
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    Cyclist wrote: »
    My northern friend explained to me that a lot of the lure and excitement of fly fishing is "matching the hatch". He would often tie flies on the tail gate of his pickup if he did not have a pre-tied fly ready to go. Those northern streams and lakes have a lot more transient insect hatches, although at my lake in Melrose Fl, we do get a sizable Mayfly hatch.

    With salt water I guess you would match the minnow or whatever.


    "Match the hatch" is pretty universal, but it's priority is never higher than crystal clear streams where a very slight difference in size, even between two flies in EXACTLY the same shape/color, could mean the difference between a take and a refusal from a spooky trout. For most saltwater/most bass presentations you've just gotta be in the same ballpark.
  • Net 30Net 30 Posts: 1,033 Officer
    One of the most important casts to learn in all of fly fishing is having the ability to water haul 30-40' feet of line off the water and shoot the flyline and fly to it's target with ONE backcast only.

    If you can do this, you'll be able to follow a fish and get multiple shots - hopefully ending up with an eat.
  • SchmidtySchmidty Posts: 6,814 Admiral
    Net 30 wrote: »
    One of the most important casts to learn in all of fly fishing is having the ability to water haul 30-40' feet of line off the water and shoot the flyline and fly to it's target with ONE backcast only.

    If you can do this, you'll be able to follow a fish and get multiple shots - hopefully ending up with an eat.

    How true....

    Especially when fishing the Lobsterville Jetty at the Vineyard when the Bonita are running the Bowl.....:banana
  • PmckhPmckh Posts: 199 Officer
    Another thing a lot of people first learning to fly cast do is flail their arm too much during the casting motion. The proper form makes a huge difference in learning to cast effectively. Pretend like you have a buddy there and you're going to take a $100 bill out of your wallet and pin it in your arm pit during your cast. If it falls out and hits the ground it's his. The goal is to keep the arm and elbow in tight to your side
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,190 Admiral
    Good point. Especially for distance.
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,927 Admin
    Schmidty wrote: »
    Guys.....

    I have yet to ever see anyone walk into a store....buy "the right" fly fishing equipment......and without any instruction.....go out...put everything together and cast and fish correctly...

    And I gotta say....on a boat is the last place you want to learn how to cast...especially with a hook on the end of your line.

    Here's a couple of novice pointers that will help you greatly..

    (1) Do not use hooks with barbs.......No! It has nothing to do with being a sportsman...it's just that they are a whole lot easier to get out of your ear, neck, head, back, leg,...etc.... and it will happen!

    (2) Make sure that your equipment matches....if it doesn't it will make things that much more difficult for you...

    (3) Keep your line clean and use a stripping basket.

    (4) Forget all the "leader" crap.......you're not going after "Ghosts" or world records starting out.....use straight leader material and do a "loop to loop" end of lighter test so that when you snag.....and you will.....you can break it off and be back in action in a minute.

    (5) Start out catching "stupid fish".......chances are you can't cast very far when you start out so catch "smart fish" is out of the question for the most part. I would suggest a 5 gallon bucket of stinking chum and target Bluefish.....they're about as dumb as a fish can be and will eat a great big deceiver without hesitation.

    (6) Ya need to learn how to cast.....and though what I do isn't always pretty.....on most days I can get all the fly line out and still be reasonably accurate ...........watch this..... and enjoy...


    Funny and yet so true.
    Mark P. Wilson
    Marine Surveyor, SAMS-SA, ABYC
    Wilson Yacht Survey, Inc




  • bonephishbonephish Posts: 1,488 Officer
    Schmidty wrote: »
    And I gotta say....on a boat is the last place you want to learn how to cast...especially with a hook on the end of your line.

    I have to disagree. Once you've practiced on the lawn it's time to learn how to cast and fish from a boat, either alone or with a casting coach on the poling platform. Sooner or later you'll want a casting coach.
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