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  1. #11

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    I am a total dry fly guy. Unfortunately if you want to catch fish, sometimes one must go downunder to where the fish are feeding and offer them something that appears like that which they are targeting. This is particularly the case if one loves to catch trout in stillwaters. So while I would trade 3 wet fly caught trout for 1 on a floating fly, I still do enjoy solving the underwater puzzles on both rivers and lakes. Often in lakes one can catch very sizable trout when they are targeting chironomids (wet fly nymphs). So wet fly fishing can be super exciting, too. But my heart is a Halford devotee
    finem respice
    Tom Morgan :::
    "I would say there is quite a bit of crossover in that a good rod is a good rod is a good rod. What you are really looking at are attributes and characteristics.... I have really strong convictions that you need to make a rod that is going to fish for Trout in the 20 to 55 foot range. If it doesn't really bend or flex for that, then you have got the wrong rod. So with any one of the materials the characteristics of the rod in my opinion should still be the same."

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  3. #12

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    If they are looking up and playing, I like dries;if they're not, then I swing wets. I don't care much for indicator nymphs and I'm too lazy for streamers.

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  5. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
    Posts
    3,352

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    About the only thing that has changed for me is I don't have the same attitude about "catching" as I did when I was young. That was the priority then, and with that desire I would try anything.

    For the most part, since I didn't fish for trout as often as I might have liked, I still use the same types of flies now as I always have, which would be nymphs, wet flies, streamers and terrestrial patterns. If I did find a hatch it was usually Caddis, so when I fished a dry fly it was an Elk or Deer Hair Caddis.

    This is how I would likely approach any trout fishing now, and would give a try to these same flies and possibly in the order that I just wrote them unless there was something that indicated otherwise.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

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  7. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Waterloo, IL.
    Posts
    199

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    I started fly fishing about age 14 with a 9 ft fiberglass Garcia rod and a south bend oreno matic fly reel with level line. Back then, all fly line to me was the same. This was 55 years ago. I fished entirely for panfish and bass with poppers and top water bugs and did not use any wet or nymph flies then. Not until age 36 did I purchase my first “good” fly rod which was a Orvis green mountain, 8ft 4 wt. It was a nice rod with a battenkill reel that I still have. A friend lost the rod when he flipped my canoe in the Pere Marquette River, MI years ago. I started to fish a lot more for trout in the Wisconsin Driftless area with wet flies and nymphs primarily and began to experiment with dry flies. By age 42 my rod collection had expanded to include several 8 wts for fishing steelhead and salmon in the upper Midwest for several years. After the salmon and steelhead era, I moved on to fish primarily trout in Midwest streams, as well as some streams out west and continue this till today. I have a cabin in N. Wisconsin and now like to fish for native brook trout in N. WI and the Michigan UP. I also trout fish various streams and Parks in Missouri and a few lakes in S. Illinois. I am planning to fish more for smallmouth with my fly rods along with musky. If I could do one last major trout fishing trip it would be to the Sutton River for trophy brook trout till my arm got sore. I guess my progression led me to be more eclectic regarding techniques, equipment and fish I fish for. Best SR

  8. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Waterloo, IL.
    Posts
    199

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    One other irony I forgot to mention. I began fly fishing as a youngster with a soft slow rod (fiberglass). I progressed to very fast stiff rods in middle age (Sage SP+ and Sage RPLís) and in my aging years, I went back to slower, softer rods, such as Winston WT and orvis superfine. Thus, I sort of end where I began. Interesting. SR

  9. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    L'…toile du Nord
    Posts
    2,821

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    Srock I don't think we had any good fly gear in the north back then. I started out on Fenwick glass, which as it turns out lasted the test of time. South bend, Heddon, Martin, Eagle claw, old cheap bamboo, which I did not like. Zero fly selection, I was lucky that the old neighbor guy had a Martin rig and fished Montana. Read a lot of books and my neighbors field and stream subscriptions.

  10. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
    Posts
    3,352

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    srock, I was 12 when I got my first outfit, Cortland 8 wt fiberglass that came with a level line. My father, who didn't fly fish, ordered two of them from one of the mail order houses back then. The second outfit ended up with my one brother. That was in '67 and I didn't know any better about line weights. I read everything that I could about fishing for trout, but went more towards bass, panfish and Striped Bass fishing than trout because that's what was most available to me. That followed me most of my adult life.

    I would travel a little across the state (MD) when I was younger to do some trout fishing, and went to PA a few times, but wasn't something I was able to do a lot. When I got my first graphite rod, it was in '89, one of the older IM6 type rods and frankly still prefer them. I still have that rod, and reel too.

    I haven't really ventured back towards the softer actions or glass, but can't say I won't. Where I now live in SC, is again more access to LM bass, panfish and Striped Bass with the occasional foray to the coast. Trout are fine to target, but if I never go again, I'm fine with that.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

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  12. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    2,398

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    My grandfather was from Scotland, and he was the one who taught me to fish. I grew up fishing the styles he fished, which was dries and wets, in the ways he was taught, by casting upstream with dries, and with the wets either upstream, or up & across. Never to let the fly swing below you because it just wasn't the way a real bug travels through the water. Besides, you lose more fish that way in our opinion. Been there and done it. My grandfather would always say that dry fly fishing is the civilized man's way or the gentleman's way to catch trout.
    I can't remember which.

    I have fished with dries most of my life, and to this day it's still my favorite way to fish, and I do it about 90% of the time. Even though I wet fly fished in the past, I left it because I got more enjoyment from dry flies because I was able to see the takes and watch the fly. Watching a large brown come up slowly in a small plunge pool, then in the last few inches it comes quickly and snatches your fly and turns to go deep, then you set the hook. Who doesn't like to see that? That never gets old. But recently I have gotten back into the wet fly scene, and I now know what I have been missing all these years. It's been a hoot fishing this style and I will continue on with it, but dry fly is where my heart is and will always be, though wet flies are a close second.

    I do fish nymphs once in a great while. Even though nymph fishing is very effective, it never tugged at my heart strings like dry fly fishing does. I do tight line with nymphs, but mostly I use a lightly weighted nymph trailing behind a dry fly, again casting upstream. I fish faster currents, and generally the dry fly is the one that gets taken 9 out of 10 times because the fish won't let food get by if they can help it.

    Streamers, I tried once and under the circumstances I didn't do well. But I would like to give it another try where I can cast effectively. I do want to fish for pike with bigger flies, so I think streamer fishing is a good way to learn and then step up to the bigger stuff. Will it replace dry fly fishing? No, I can't see that happening.

    I started out dry fly fishing, and that's how I plan to finish.
    The only thing human kind ever learned through history, is that through history, human kind has learned nothing.

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  14. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon
    Posts
    1,710

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    I have a passion for native and wild trouts.

    I have progressed to the point where, in a perfect world I would only match the hatch with dry flies for large wild trout and skate dry flies constructed with feathers and fur for native Summer Steelhead Trout.

    But, since my world isn’t always perfect, I’ve been known to do some other things...

    When the time comes, that I have to lay down my rod. I will progress to pursuing my passion, politically, to protect and restore their habitats.

    Is there a more ultimate progression in our sport?
    Last edited by dillon; 02-09-2020 at 10:19 PM.

  15. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Hudsonville, Michigan
    Posts
    2,278
    Blog Entries
    22

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    I began with rubber legged spiders and mosquito patterns with my Dad Bluegill fishing. He had me fly casting and catching 'Gills at the age of 5. That excitement has never left me! To rank my fishing styles it would be:

    1) Dry flies & terrestrials

    2) Streamers

    3) nymphing & wet flies - I'll quite often use a small nymph as a dropper for the wet fly. As far as takes with this combo I'll say 50/50.

    When the bugs aren't on top of the water I really like the excitement of streamer fishing. Most of the time I can see the fish chase the streamer down and strike, the trick is don't get trigger happy. I have yet to try a tube fly, but am looking forward to the opportunity. There are a couple good spots I'd like to swing them for Steelhead with a single hand rod. Haven't quite got the bug to get into the spey style of fishing as of yet, but would like to try it sometime.

    Denny

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