Fly Fisherman, only?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by shadowcast, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,904
    Walla Walla, WA
    Ratings: +737 / 0
    Flies most of the time, spoons and drift gear as well. Lately I'm tinkering with floats more (jigs, beads, etc.).

    My angling life revolves around chasing steel, and I definitely cut my teeth using drift gear. Funny thing is that some of the best drift water is a real F****r to fish properly with a flyrod. Especially in winter. I think the ability of drift gear to slow a presentation dow to less than the speed of the current is part of it's power in cold water conditions.

    And my often mentioned "hottest steel" ever nabbed a spoon on the swing. So I have a special place in my heart for bent metal. BTW I have included a picture (1997 I think) of my hottest steel ever. Bottom fish.

    SkySpoonAug1997.jpg
    cuponoodle breakfast likes this.
  2. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,594
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,648 / 0
    Shit, I thought that you were old.:p:p
  3. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,623
    Ratings: +634 / 2
    Started fly fishing at age 12. gear fishing around age 5, ran drift-boats since age 16 or 17 and I'm 54 now. I have done both and still do, you wont here much from me during aug. through oct. because that's chinook season for me. I have fished with so many other people that only fly fishing would make me a lonely kinda guy I think. I like fishing with other people and helping them catch fish or teaching them to run rivers and the such.

    As far as surf fishing I have a 13 ft. one piece 5f lami sturgeon rod that will throw 12 ounces of lead a long,long way if you know what you doing, I used to fish a lot of bank sturgeon on the columbia and also banking it for springers with a bunch of friends sitting in our chairs smoking cigars and spitting chew - fun times I say. Kids also love the plunking on beaches because they can play all day until you yell to them "FISH-ON - GET YOUR ROD"

    Now i'm moving more to my true love that has always been fly fishing for trout. I fly fished for steel in the 70's,80's,90's and could care less about it now. also used to catch coastal chinook with a fly when not pounding qwickies, back bouncing or bobbers and eggs or cock-tail. SPRINGERS in the willy and Columbia. I used to look at the big boat fisherman anchored or trolling and say what A BUNCH OF LAZY ASSES AND SWORE i WOULD NEVER DO IT. Now most of my friends have bigger power boats and we still catch lots of fish sitting on our lazy asses and I still have a drifter for all my, or our other small fisheries. Diver and bait will show you where almost every fish in the river likes to lay but I haven't fished that way in years.

    If there is one thing I have learned it is that I will get bored with fisheries over years of the same thing and "CHANGE" what I am doing to keep it interesting. sometimes you just get somethings so dialed in that it is no longer a challenge and when that happens it's time for a change. I have caught thousands of salmon and steelhead on gear and flies and now could care less. trophy rainbows is my calling now mixed in with a few good runs of steel and salmon during the warm summer months in the Columbia. prediction of 800,000 Chinook and maybe 500,000 steelhead swimming by a few miles away from me still gets my attention from time to time.

    Learning to cast huge sturgeon rods for surf or sturgeon can be called an art just like drift fishing and fly fishing. put 10 ounces on and lay down a large piece of card board and get a running start and turn a 13 to 16 ft. one piece rod in a "U" and you will see exactly what I mean. I have a friend who is 6' 5" 400 pounds that used to throw a 16' 1 piece, old white lami custom made rod with 14 to 16 ounces a country mile, the base of the rod is as big around as your wrist - "OLD SCHOOL" sturgeon fisherman that taught me how to cast.

    I feel gear fishing is just as much an art as fly fishing when done to the extreme. just like taking fly fishing as far as you can. But it seems fly fishing with it's tying flies and entomology and harder to work the lines and casting is a lot more of a challenge so I get bored way less than with gear fishing.

    My biggest love in fishing is matching the hatch and always has been. maybe that's why I don't care to fly fish for steel and salmon much is because most of the time there is no hatch matching. it's mostly about getting your fly in the right place and right speed, and oh yeah, fishing where there is actually fish to catch!
    Irafly, dryflylarry and shadowcast like this.
  4. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 3,965
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +705 / 1
    I sin once or twice a year... still have some close friends who are gear fanatics and it's always fun to get out with them and remind myself why I love the tranquility of fly fishing (well, on most venues anyway).
  5. jeff bandy Make my day

    Posts: 2,230
    Edmonds, Wa.
    Ratings: +275 / 1
    Nothing like plugging with a spey rod. Lots of action.:)
    David Dalan and bennysbuddy like this.
  6. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,544
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +711 / 2
    If I only flyfished, my friends wouldn't have the opportunity to handle stuff like this....... :)

    IMG_7295.JPG
    Porter and Stonefish like this.
  7. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,544
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +711 / 2
    Or, even this.......

    IMG_1658.jpeg
  8. Chris Bellows The Thought Train

    Posts: 1,626
    The Salt
    Ratings: +753 / 0
    what do you mean? casting a sinking line and retrieving a fly isn't fly fishing?
  9. Chris Bellows The Thought Train

    Posts: 1,626
    The Salt
    Ratings: +753 / 0
    right now i just fly fish. i find no joy in gear fishing so i do not do it.

    i understand the "gear fishing makes you better" argument, but i think at a point it can become a crutch that possibly stops you from getting better at fly fishing. if you always bring a gear rod along just in case the fishing is slow.... will you ever take the lumps necessary to figure out tough fly fishing situations?

    i thought about this monday sitting offshore fishing for salmon. i believe that my success saltwater fly fishing for salmon came from the moment i decided that the only way to figure out tough situations and become good at catching fish on the fly was to not use gear or bastardized techniques with a fly rod (bucktailing). taking lumps and a willingness to experiment happen when you cannot fall back on "easier" ways.

    there is no sin in gear fishing or enjoying it. i just wanted to point out another opinion in the "how to get better at fly fishing" question. imo, the best way to get better at fly fishing is to just fly fish. take the lumps and skunkings with pride as they will become less numerous.

    of course i will never understand how people like certain types of gear fishing... like downriggers.
    PT, Brookie_Hunter and dryflylarry like this.
  10. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,262
    m-ville
    Ratings: +674 / 0
    What color wingbobber were you useing?
  11. nailbender Active Member

    Posts: 209
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    Light tackle Mooching for Kings is my thing, other than that mostly fly. Except the occasional Kokanee outing. I do a lot of beach fishing for Cutts and coho.
  12. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,413
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +508 / 0
    I think I have done most of it minus tenkara and noodling :eek: ...but in past 15 years 95 % is basic all form fly fishing. Do the occasional meat run from westport with gear....hey I love good salmon and halibut! ;) My new thing is grilled halibut smoothered in sweet yet spicey habanero sauce with sliced grilled zucchini covered in same habanero sauce over steamed white rice and lemon peppered garlic asparagus on the side...yum!!!
  13. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,097
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +563 / 0
    Well, I have been fly fishing now for 54 years, since about 11 years old. It’s hard to believe. I was initially turned on to fishing by reading Roderick Haig-Browns book about Chinook salmon, “Return to the River”. My early fishing was on the Hood Canal with my dad and his friends fishing for salmon there. After reading the book, I then read Roderick’s other books, and learned about fly fishing for steelhead. Through reading his stuff, I ended up selling my electric toy train that I had of course outgrew, and bought myself a J.C. Higgins fly rod and reel. I got other books and spent many hours teaching myself to cast in the backyard. I learned to keep my backcast up after hundreds of tangles in Mom’s raspberry bushes! I really haven’t touched a worm since then. I hardly remember how to use a spinning reel. It doesn’t seem like that long of time I’ve been doing this, and I always continue to learn more. I have never tired of this sport and never will. Catching fish on the surface has been a passion for quite a long time now. I love seeing the surface erupt or a bulge behind my fly in the saltwater as a fish approaches or attacks. It’s crazy isn’t it?! Hell yeah! Give me more!!!
    Irafly and David Dalan like this.
  14. jersey livin' the dream

    Posts: 219
    sonoma county
    Ratings: +68 / 0
    Both. A couple of good friends have the "ins" and they are gear guys. So when the call comes in, I go to the other side of the garage...also, the kids dig the spinning gear because its just fun to chuck something far.

    When solo, its fly only.
  15. The Duke Been around

    Posts: 256
    Des Moines, WA
    Ratings: +67 / 0
    From age 4 until I was about 17 I fished exclusively with gear, from a boat. My dad was a fisherman of all sorts, and an avid fly fisherman. He was 55 when I was born, and by the time that I was of the age to fish, his tendonitis had gotten so bad that fly fishing was no longer an option. So we gear fished, every chance that we got. We caught king salmon on the Kenai River, rooster fish and sailfish in the tropics, sturgeon in the lower Columbia, and salmon all over the place. I always had fun, but there was something missing.

    Shortly after I turned 17 I got the itch to fly fish. My dad's eyes lit up when I told him. He promptly surprised me with a full setup, waders, boots, a little advice and sent me off on a great journey. I have since almost exclusively fly fished. Not out of spite for other methods, but because the challenge that it provided was what I had always unknowingly craved.

    I'm 32 now and have only picked up a gear rod twice in 15 years. Both times during the pink run. My dad passed away 11 years ago, but every time I am standing in a river casting to these amazing fish, I think of him and that gleam in his eye.

    Yes gear fishing can be very fun and productive at times, but fly fishing is what I do and love.
  16. Lugan Joe Streamer

    Posts: 2,378
    Beautiful View, WA
    Ratings: +760 / 2
    You think a Hardy Perfect or Ross San Miguel are smooth? Dial in a nice baitcasting outfit and throw plugs all day. It's an absolute pleasure...and I miss doing it.

    I'm nearly 100% fly now because that's what works best where I fish, but I do miss fishing baitcasting gear. You can keep spinning gear though - those things just twist line and offer no casting control once you release the line from your finger. Yuck.
  17. Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

    Posts: 2,572
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Ratings: +105 / 0

    Tree point or North
  18. cuponoodle breakfast gritty

    Posts: 1,650
    Arlington
    Ratings: +303 / 0
    I never really got that. Art? Mystique? It's fishing.
    I'm not a big trout fisherman, but when I do fish trout, I use flies. Not because I think it's some kind of religious experience, but because plunking powerbait or fighting a 12" fish on pop gear seems boring. For steelhead and salmon I fish hardware over 50% of the time. I absolutely love fishing spoons.If anyone thinks throwing hardware means easy limits, they're full of shit. It takes skill and an experienced hand to really bang with spoons.
    Lugan and David Dalan like this.
  19. troutdopemagic Active Member

    Posts: 405
    Lake Stevens, Washington
    Ratings: +133 / 0
    I don't remember how spinning reels work......

    I haven't touched gear since I was like 10 years old (when I started fly fishing) and I will never touch it again.
  20. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,437
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,616 / 2
    And anyone who says they like spey because the take is so extreme has clearly never caught a steelhead on a spoon. That's some next level shit.