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  1. #1

    Default Fly fishing progression

    How has your approach to catching trout on a the fly changed since you first began? Did you start out exclusively fishing dry flies say and then discover streamer fishing and that's how you primarily fish? What type of fly fisher are you, dries, nymphs, streamers, tubes, flymphs or do you do it all fairly equal?

    I had no clue what I was doing when I first cast a fly and got my first bite on a nymph.

    The next day I was gearing up to fish and a couple guys pulled in next to me. Asked which way I was going, up or downstream. I said up. He then asked what I was using. I told him, a green wooly bugger. Right then he new I was pretty green to fly fishing.

    Long story short the guy was a board member of the FFF and handed me a dry fly, royal coachman and within just a few minutes I landed my first trout(brookie) on a fly.

    I was hooked on dry fly fishing. Exciting to watch the fish take off the surface of the water.

    That's where I've been mainly in my fly fishing endeavor. Mainly dries, I use nymphs sometimes as a dropper mostly and I'll swing flymphs occasionally.

    Last year I tied up a couple nice streamers but never worked them. I have something of an aversion to using streamers. I have done some smallmouth fishing with them. I kinda feel like if I'm using something big like that, I might as well pull out the spinning rod and tie on one of my custom made spinners. I'll probably upset somebody here, but tube flies to me are lures. Part of it also is they just don't cast like the other stuff I use.

    How would you break down the flies you use?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    City of Angels, CA
    Posts
    945

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    I'm a nympher by heart. I guess because fish are hardly looking up every time I fish and our local waters don't have prolific hatches that you can set your clock to, it's hard to rely on them to catch fish on dries.

    I've graduated to throwing larger sized flies, like Wooly Buggers and have had some decent success on them. The feeling of swinging them and stripping them in and getting hung onto a nice fish is an awesome feeling.

    I do fish dry droppers a lot and have had success with the fish eating the dry and that is a feeling that you cannot get over. Nothing like seeing a head pop up and inhaling it.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    south of Joplin
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    Nothing beats a wet fly- nymphs and streamers are just variants of wet flies. Dry flies are for those poor guys and gals that can't roll cast well. I fished all kinds of wets for about 30 years before I ever made a serious attempt to fish a dry all day; ~20 years later I still have not managed to fish a dry all day. I keep trying and the fish keep begging for a wet.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    clinch river regular
    Posts
    805

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    I began fishing dries. With my first actual fly rod, I started my journey tossing big bushy renegades to bluegills in a farm pond until I got used to the basic cast, presentation, and hook setting. Once I felt pretty confident, after a couple of farm pond sessions, I ventured out to a lower lying, somewhat canopied freestone and caught my first flyrod trout, a stocked 10” brookie on a store bought Dave’s hopper sz 10. That was when I knew that this was the way I wanted to fish! Living in North Central Pa. afforded me many opportunities to throw dries in season. It wasn’t until a few years later, when I moved to East Tennessee, that I realized if I wanted to catch trout on a regular basis, I was going to have to learn nymphing tactics! Streamer fishing was already part of my repertoire for when dries were not an option. Somewhere in my first few seasons I also learned the value of swinging soft hackles and when best to use those tactics. I enjoy all methods for pursuing trout and really do not have a favorite method. I fish nymphs the most because of their effectiveness and my confidence with our local methods and flies.


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  7. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    L'Étoile du Nord
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    Just thinking, I started out Dry/wet, Nymph and streamer fishing, and I still fish all of them. My favorite is dry fly fishing, I doubt that ever changes. Fly fishing the driftless it pays to be flexible, If not there might not be any fish catching, not that its a bad thing unless you really want to catch a trout bad.

    Ive come to realize that all the forms of fly fishing can be equally effective depending on conditions and that I do enjoy all of it. I really enjoyed Indi nymping tiny zebras and catching some really nice trout a couple weekends ago. Swung streamers for a number of hours moving down river casting and there were no takers, so I changed it up.

    I know there is a lot of bravado in writings of only swinging or only dry fly action, but I just fly fish, I really don't care what is the latest fashion.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    9,819

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    When I was just a kid, my grandfather taught me to fish wet flies. Traditional winged wets like coachmens, cow dungs and march browns
    I'll still tie on a wet fly first thing now, but it's more likely a softhackle.. or two.

    If there's any top water action, well there's nothing like fishing on top. I'm re-rigging before you can say Rat Faced McDougall

    In the salt, I very often fish a pair of streamers.
    A smallish one being chased by a larger one, and that's rolled over into my trout fishing too.
    Try it sometime.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

  10. #7

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    Quote Originally Posted by trev View Post
    Nothing beats a wet fly- nymphs and streamers are just variants of wet flies. Dry flies are for those poor guys and gals that can't roll cast well. I fished all kinds of wets for about 30 years before I ever made a serious attempt to fish a dry all day; ~20 years later I still have not managed to fish a dry all day. I keep trying and the fish keep begging for a wet.
    Lol, I can probably roll cast better than I can cast regular.

    Come to Michigan and you'll understand. Roll casting is a way of life for a trout fisher here.




    I'm gonna make an effort to put in some time throwing streamers this year.

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  12. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Truckee, CA.
    Posts
    2,819
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    I started out fishing a dry because that's what we do......
    Now, it's kinda funny, I listen and the water tells me how to fish.
    I find this very satisfying....and effective.
    It's what I teach....

    Jim
    The bar isn't set by the fish we catch, but by the one's we don't.

    Bigfly

  13. #9

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    Due to my location I only fish for browns and rainbows one day a year. I travel from Cleveland to the Shenandoah Valley to fish a spring creek. I try to go late August, early September so I can fish hoppers. I've had some bad weather trips where I fished streamers in high water. It doesn't bother me to have to fish streamers. In fact, I'd rather fish streamers than nymph.

    The rest of the year I fish for smallies (topwater poppers and streamers) and steelhead (streamers).

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  15. #10

    Default Re: Fly fishing progression

    It honestly started out as more of a novelty outside of the spin/baitcast fishing I had grown up on. I ordered a basic outfit from Cabela’s and screwed around a bit but nothing serious. We took a family trip to Wyoming/Idaho and I had a blast catching my first “fly fishing” rainbows in a stocked pond on any color of wooly bugger I threw. Dad and I also walked one of the streams up there and I caught a beautiful cutthroat on a hopper. As I got more serious, and found some guys at work that were into it, I graduated up to nymphs in addition to dries.

    As far as flies go, I treat it as a fun little research project. I get a general idea of what batches are happening, put the matching flies in my box and hit the water. I put in quite a bit of frustrating time to learn the small streams around the area and share that info when we go hit those spots. Others have learned the other places we fish and feed that information to the unfamiliar ones. I don’t really have a “go to” fly because I enjoy figuring out the puzzle. For entertainment purposes, nothing beats a savage streamer strike from a hungry fish.

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