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Old 09-25-2012, 02:44 PM
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Default Frustrated... thinking about giving up fly fishing.

I've been trying to make the transition over to fly fishing for about a year and a half and I just can't quite give up my ultralight spinning setup. I am a fly-and-bubble type fishermen who was previously a worm dunker. I've had great success fishing for natural trout with the fly and bubble, but it doesn't work unless there's ripples on the waters surface. That's where the fly rod was supposed to come in. That, and a fly rod is the only thing that works in certain sections of stream.

My biggest gripe about fly fishing is that I can't feel the fish bite. I have to watch the dry flies, or use a strike indicator, but neither way is as satisfying as feeling the strong bite that my ultralight setup accentuates. That "tug" was missed in a big way as I tried to move to the fly rod exclusively. Plus, sometimes I can't see anything, so I may be getting a bite without even knowing it.

2nd, I can't cast. I've gotten some instruction, but the best I can do is 30 feet. This makes it decent for the streams, but on the lakes, I simply can't get the fly out there far enough. I'm sure my presentation is not the greatest either. This can be helped, though. I just need to get motivated again.

Here's my question.... should I look into 3wt, 2wt, 1wt, 0wt (etc) rods? I know the castability of these things won't be as good, but if I can get back the "feel" of fishing, it would be worth it. I would continue fly fishing streams, but on the lakes, I'll probably continue using my tried and true fly+bubble technique. Specifically, I've found a 2 wt 7 foot rod that I think would work well. I've always like the shorter rods, simply because I can use them in more places without having to worry about snagging tree branches. I also know of a 6'6 2wt, but that might be too short, I don't know.

Any thoughts? I'm hoping to hear from someone who can relate to my predicament. Thanks
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Frustrated... thinking about giving up fly fishing.

Get some instruction and then go out on the stream with the instructor.

Both tight line nymphing (euronymphing) and down and across wet fly fly fishing are two ways you can feel the strike. So are streamers.

I did not catch a trout until the second year of fly fishing. There is hope but you need to decide whether the method is more important than the catching. Some fishers never make the transition.

Think about how frustrating your spin fishing would be if you could not cast properly. So learn to fly cast. Without that basic skill, you will continue to be frustrated.

As to what rod to buy, that should be decided by an instructor for the waters and flies you will be using. I noticed that you posted on another thread that you have a "Trout Stalker" outfit. I have never heard of this rod. Have a qualified fly caster check out this outfit. See if there is a local TU chapter nearby and call the chapter president and ask if there is someone that can give you advice.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Frustrated... thinking about giving up fly fishing.

My advice, if it is the feeling of an aggressive bite that you miss, is to start fishing streamers. The saying "The tug is the drug" really applies to streamer fishing. It's also a very efficient way to increase the size of fish that you're catching. If you have other types of fishing available to you such as bass fishing, give that a shot. A bass or Northern Pike will absolutely hammer your fly in the right settings. They're also a lot less picky when it comes to presentation.

As far as casting futher, watch some videos on the Double Haul cast. And I know it goes without saying, but practice, practice, practice.

There's nothing wrong with using the spin gear if you do enjoy it like you seemingly do. However, the more you pick up the fly rod the better you will get with it.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Frustrated... thinking about giving up fly fishing.

Like Silver and Ted have stated, you really need to learn to cast. Get an instructor or try and join a local fly fishing club, a TU or FFF chapter and get someone to mentor you, you will be surprised that with one-on-one help your learning curve will skyrocket. Casting 30 ft is really limiting your ability. A friend of mine has a B&B and some of his guests have expressed an interest in fly fishing, so I have been volunteering and taking them out and trying to get them into Wyoming trout, the biggest issue I see is that they can't cast where the fish are. They struggle to get a line out to 30 ft, the presentation sucks so catching anything is pretty limited at best. Like the others have stated, if you really miss the tug, then learn to streamer fish, but do yourself a favor and really learn to cast first. Most guys that love streamer fishing get a high off the big tug when a fish hits the fly. Get on YouTube and search for fly casting instruction, there are lots of great videos that teach the basics. Good luck.

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Old 09-25-2012, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Frustrated... thinking about giving up fly fishing.

Fly fishing may not be your thing. That's alright, sounds like you enjoy other types of fishing.

The advice you've been given is solid. Might be worth another shot.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Frustrated... thinking about giving up fly fishing.

I wouldn't give up just yet. If going out with a guide/instructor isn't your thing, try to find some more experienced peers to go out with. You'd be amazed at what you can learn from a friend.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Frustrated... thinking about giving up fly fishing.

My .02
I have not been fly fishing very long. When I started I was frustrated but my son decided to try it also and so we made it a team effort. Like the others have said, try to find someone to fish with, join a club, etc. I have also told a lot of people that I can see why someone would quit trying to learn. My advice is to stick with it. Once you get past the curve it just starts clicking. The main thing I had to learn was to relax and the hardest part of all was to break my "casting" habit. I have to be conscious about that because 45 years of spin casting has really left some crazy muscle memory in my arm and wrist.
I will say that I now catch more fish, i fish "longer" and I release fish in much better shape than I did with spinning tackle. I am no slouch by any means with spinning equipment. Once I started catching fish by fly fishing there has been no turning back. It is much more exciting and rewarding, at least to me. Good luck.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Frustrated... thinking about giving up fly fishing.

2 years ago my wife wanted to start fly fishing with me. i told her that would be great, but casting a fly rod was a far cry from chuckin nightcrawlers on a spinning rig.
so long story short, a short series of failed attempts and lots of frustration in the back yard followed by a couple hours of "useful" practice at casting, she was hooked(pun intended).

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Old 09-25-2012, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Frustrated... thinking about giving up fly fishing.

All the advice is solid. Try streamer fishing for monster wild brown trout, that will cure the "not feeling the take."


Fly fishing was frustrating for me at first but after awhile it became the most satisfying type of fishing I have ever done. Its honestly more fun than my spin fishing or bait fishing days.

Stick with it. Find someone who knows what they are doing and FISH with them. Instruction only goes so far when you are off the water.


Most of this advice has been given, but its just my 2 cents
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Frustrated... thinking about giving up fly fishing.

Don't give up. Fly fishing is an art which takes years to become a good angler. Anyone can chuck and duck, whereas fly fishing is elegant and graceful. Stick with it, get a bit of instruction. Also, for me....fly fishing is more about being out in nature, walking a river, enjoying God's country. Sure, I love catching fish, but its so much more than that.
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