Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by shadowcast, Jun 18, 2013.
I've got more gear outfits than flyrods....but my fly rods get used way more.
I enjoy swinging a fly more, but I'll bring a gear rod if the kids are coming.
I spent the first half of my life fishing with bait and lures, in every kind of water, for every kind of fish that I could find, back in New York and New England. Once the salt water fisheries collapsed I was kind if fed up with killing fish. Funny how you have to lose something to appreciate what you have. I took up fly fishing shortly after that, mostly for trout in the Catskill and Adirondack rivers. Over the ensuing 33+ years I have proceeded, mostly on my own, with varying degrees of adventure and success. I have always loved the lore and history and artful culture of fly fishing. So it was easy for me to see it all as a huge challenge, compared to some of the more invasive and aggressive forms of conventional fishing. I no longer needed a guarantee. I wanted that challenge. And I knew I wasn't going to be killing many fish anymore. This is a game that one can grow in, and improve upon their skills with, for as long as they can still stand by a river and cast a fly rod. A life's study and work. I never felt like I was a better person than anyone else, those using bait and lures etc., simply because I am a fly fisherman. But I have often felt that fly fishing has offered a window into a deeper state of mind, and a way of life and art that those other methods had not provided me with. So in this I can say that fly fishing has lead me to my better self. "Practice to be quiet". http://olympicpeninsulaflyfishing.blogspot.com
A couple summers ago on Rufus Woods had kids along and fished spinning rods with Kastmasters (effectively). It was the only time in the last 20 years I've pulled out the spinning rods I've had since I was a kid. It was a blast... hucking a Kastmaster over 200 feet is, um, easy and fun!
I began fishing with spinning and casting gear, but after I got into fly fishing I really got into it, to the point of exclusivity. I've mellowed in recent years, and in the interest of becoming a more "compleat (sic) angler" I bought a bunch of salmon gear and kicker motor for my boat and enjoy chasing salmon a few days each year. I'll always spend most of my time fly fishing until I'm so old and decrepit that I take up plunking.
Fly only now. I left the west for a 10y stint in Arkansas and took up bass fishing with a buddy who had a boat. The three spinning rods I used for bass have not been touched since I moved back to the PNW about 10y ago.
I'm not yet ready for plunking, but I like to troll herring for salmon out in the salt, cast & retrieve jigs for Black Rockfish and Lings with spinning gear, drift and jig vertically for Lings and Cabezon, hurl bait out over the waves with a 3 oz pyramid sinker for surf perch, and ... I just might bait fish for white sturgeon this year, since its the last year we can keep 'em here on the coast. I also know a shallow mudflat where I could probably swing a scented sturgeon fly to rest just upstream from a basking sturgeon, and then hope it homes in on the scent. They aren't always there, though, and it take great effort just to check and see.
A surfer I know who just moved to the beach is an upper Satsop River gear-fishing hillbilly who claims absurd numbers of coho landed, and used to fish sturgeon in the Chehalis. He's got the know-how and I've got the boat. I'm liable to become more corrupted than I already am, no doubt. I won't show him any of my more sensitive cutthroat spots, though. He's no fly angler.
But I fish flies for trout and most fresh water species. I will twitch jigs and fling metal for Coho in the lower rivers, though. And also for Kings!
I do notice that I had always resisted becoming a gear whore until I got back into fly fishing. Didn't take long before I caved in.
I do a bit of both. If I go out with my dad, I will bring the coffee grinder and sling crawlers or spinners.
If I am on a driftboat, I do both. I will fly fish when I can, or sit and pull a plug and eat a sammich. Also will throw a jig and bobber if the water looks good and I havent gotten anything with a fly.
I grew up on gear also, but once I picked a fly rod I was hooked! Since than the only gear in my house is for my wife. I have been out on a friends boat with a down rigger though. I kinda put that in a different classification even though I know its gear
I fish fly about 95% of the time. I have nothing against picking up a bait caster and tossing hardware at 'em. I rarely fish with bait if at all.
Fun topic. Me, I just like to go fishin', however that's accomplished. Where there's a reasonable chance, I'll opt for fly gear, because it really is my favorite. In recent years, I have taken to the practice of bringing a long spinning rod along for steelhead, and it's my go-to for salmon. I agree with the sentiment that "the tug is the drug," but I believe a spoon or spinner can sometimes coax fish that watched your beautiful fly swing by numerous times without so much as a second look into aggressive eats. The opposite sometimes holds true as well, in my experience. When I'm really serious about steelhead fishing in the winter, I bring a Spey rod, a one-handed nymph setup, and a spinning rod along. I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing I'm making good presentations in all the likely holding water, and I enjoy catching fish on all three outfits. Walking up and down to retrieve the rods I'm NOT fishing at any given time does tend to get old, though.
As for salmon, well, I've figured out that there are very few reliable places around where I live to catch coho on flies. Thinking about the glory hole i lost when they brought in a bunch of rip rap to protect the pump house on the lower Satsop a few years back still hurts. I used to outfish all other types of gear on a fly rod in that run, but now, it's a deep, roily mess. I try a bug rod most trips, and I occasionally get lucky, but for the most part, the Lower Chehalis, Satsop, and Wynoochee have very little good fly water that holds table quality fish, especially as the fall progresses and the water rises. A guy fishing from a drifting boat could probably do well stripping and bouncing barbell-eyed flies through certain spots, but I've yet to have that luxury, so I generally stick with the stuff that gets me in the zone while stationary. Coho will give you all the fun you can stand fishing large spinners and twitching jigs off a spinning rod (when you find them, that is).
When whoring boat rides, the when in Rome principle applies. Even trolling bait and back-bouncing are good fun with friends and a cold beer or three. Watching a bite materialize in a rod holder is pretty good stuff, in my opinion. I recently took a trip out of Westport with three buddies to target rockfish and lings. Sunshine, flat seas, plus limits of lingcod and rockfish in 30 feet of water made for a pretty great day. I was also reminded on that day what an idiot I am with a bait caster. I can't find a way to hold one of those so it's comfortable, and thumbing a spool while casting takes a good deal of finesse I haven't yet mastered.
Anyway, I'm a fly flinger at heart, but I love to go fishing, and I rarely miss a chance.
I don't discriminate and will fish any way any how depending on what else I'm doing. I've got a lot of hobbies so don't get to fish as often as I'd like and will take it anyway I can. My fly fishing is typically done in tandem with some sort of hike/camping trip. When the summer surf is small I fish the salt quite a bit via kayak and not on the fly, unless you count a tandem shrimp fly setup for black rockfish. Hell, I'll even combat fish the Puyallup in pink season just for the experience.
I've done it all ,But since about 1990 its been 75% fly gear & 25% of the time Plunking gear (yes I'll admit I love to go Plunking with the Mrs.) other sins I will admit to include from 1978 to 1989 I was a gillnetter in S.E. alaska & a berring sea joint venture trawler which I would consider gear fishing...
So how many of the younger peeps get the reference to "Dupont spinner"?
As for me, I spent my career in the south Puget Sound sportfishing industry by managing a marina. It was all gear-fishing so that's what I did too.
For a few years (back in the '70s) I got into backpacking into alpine lakes and tossing a few flies around. I had an Eagle Claw Trailmaster spin/fly combo and took both flies and metal. Kinda gave up the backpacking pursuit when I got more into climbing and bc telemark skiing but still did some PS salmon fishing, either mooching or "meat lining".
Retired in 2009 and just last year got back into the fly game and am really enjoying it. But I still toss gear or bait now-and-again, both in the salt and fresh.
OTOH, I think I agree with Bob Triggs when he said: "I have often felt that fly fishing has offered a window into a deeper state of mind, and a way of life and art that those other methods had not provided me with. So in this I can say that fly fishing has lead me to my better self. "Practice to be quiet"."
In fly fishing, I find myself more into researching the fish: their behaviors, their histories, their habitat, their feeding patterns,....
Just my 2¢!
Flyfisher at 13 , last time I plunked bait was with my daughter and her
Significant and the grand kids, I like the challenge of Fly fishing and love fly tying and catching them on my own creation. There are a lot of
Good fisherman out there regardless of the way they fish!