Fly fisherman wins 180 boat bass team tournament

tcorfey

Well-known member
Messages
1,853
Reaction score
402
Location
SF Bay area California
Ryan Williams a Northern CA guide and his partner came out on top in a 180 boat field at Lake Shasta in the Wild West Bass Team event.

Ryan said "I am proud to say I used the fly rod the entire time. And yes float & fly was my go to of course. Did not set it down once. And my partner used a conventional rod up front. Overall the fly rod definately contributed 50/50 to the bag. The fly got one fish that was close to 4lbs. And my partner Logan pulled our big fish at 4.5lbs on the spinning rod. I definitely went out there and proved a point for all us fly fishers! I really hope people recognize this as a huge victory for all fly fishers."

Pretty cool.
https://www.westernbass.com/forum/2...904.html?sid=f6021a410f4cdd30caf698fcac6dc580
 

bigjim5589

Well-known member
Messages
3,664
Reaction score
303
Location
Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
That's very cool! I'm not a tournament angler, but I do follow some of the bass tournament folks since i now live close to one of the major lakes where tournaments are a big thing. I have always felt that on some waters and tournament situations, an experienced fly angler can compete with the plastic baits & hardware folks.

I'm not sure that that specific tournament has proven a lot, other than an experienced fly rodder can compete with the anglers using other gear. Here where I live that bag they won with can be accomplished with 2 fish, and dragging big bass out of these swamps is completely different type of fishing conditions. However I applaud that the one fellow was confident enough to try it with fly gear! 👍👍

From my own experience, and from discussions with folks who fish bass tournaments, many have the misconception that fly fishing can't compete with them, and is inappropriate type tackle for that type of fishing. Too many only perceive fly tackle as delicate outfits with tiny flies because they don't know any better.

I've always said, I would love to see a pro level, big time tournament where all the anglers had to use 8 to 10 wt fly gear. Then listen to all the excuses! :rolleyes: :LOL:😉
 

Flyfisher for men

Well-known member
Messages
1,582
Reaction score
97
Location
Kansas
I've always said, I would love to see a pro level, big time tournament where all the anglers had to use 8 to 10 wt fly gear. Then listen to all the excuses!
I have a similar thought: They get a v-bottom aluminum boat big enough for a 35 hp motor, a very simple depth finder and a lake contour map, two rods and a tackle box.
 

trev

Well-known member
Messages
1,780
Reaction score
770
Location
south of Joplin
I think many of the tournaments have rod length limits that would keep most fly tackle out. I recall a fellow on another forum some while back talking about a rod being made at some odd length like 7'11" so that it could be used in competition fishing.
 
Last edited:

karstopo

Well-known member
Messages
2,907
Reaction score
251
Location
Brazoria County, SE Texas
“And yes float & fly was my go to of course”. What do you think Mr. Williams meant by that? Used an indicator, I suppose? Perhaps he was using Floating line with a long leader with an indicator and sinking pattern dialed in to the depth where the fish were hanging. Balanced leeches work well in that set up, likely other patterns do too. Wonder how deep they fished? Bass can get pretty deep on these deeper lakes. The lake I live on is only 12’ deep or so, if there’s anything deeper I haven’t found it, but the bass will hang out in those deeper areas, especially in the winter here. Seems like the nature of the light has a lot to do with what depth the bass will be found. But, I’m curious about how deep they fished.

I can’t see any point in 9’ fly rods for largemouth bass anyway, especially fishing from a boat, whether they are or are not tournament legal. I do all my bass fishing with 7’ to 8’ fly rods.

I don’t see the fly tackle to be a disadvantage on the lake I live on. I seem to catch the same fish with the fly rod as the conventional tackle folks do.

Shorter distances and shallow fish, fly rod is or can be more of an advantage. No reeling in all the line between non productive casts. Bass fishing almost never seems to be about making long casts. I mean long casts can be important, but that’s not necessarily the norm in bass fishing. Flies tied with tungsten will get deep fast, faster than the same weight of lead, if the fish are deeper. Sometimes, pressured fish that might begin to shy from the bigger, noisier lures will not necessarily shy away from a well presented bass fly like a deer hair diver or woolly bugger.

Anyway, thanks for the post.
 

VaFisherman

Well-known member
Messages
119
Reaction score
80
Location
Virginia
Float and Fly is not fly fishing in the normal sense, or at least as it is used in my part of the country. The only thing fly rod about it is the rod which they use for its length and flexibility which allows them to cast a fairly light rig. Basically you have a "Fly" which may be no more than a hair jig and above it is a sliding float rig with a stop on the line at the depth they determine the fish are holding in the lake. Although some use a fly reel spooled with a running line with a leader attached most just use monofilament line on a spinning reel. The presentation is to have the fly at say 30' deep with he float on the surface bouncing in the waves of the lake which gives the action to the fly suspended below. It is used by many of the bass fishermen in East Tennessee during the winter months and is very effective when the bass are deep and the water cold, you can suspend the bait (fly) right in front of their noses.

Now the rules of this bass tournament or the California Float and Fly system may differ from what I described above and they may be more conventional in their fly tactics, what I have described is what bass fisherman call "Float and Fly".
 
Last edited:

bigjim5589

Well-known member
Messages
3,664
Reaction score
303
Location
Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
I'm very familiar with the "float n Fly" method, but not sure what that fellow meant. He could have been using jigs under a float, with the fly tackle, so not necessarily what many might consider as actually fly fishing.

As far as tournaments and fly tackle, used to be many of the pro & pro-am tournaments, such as was sponsored by BASS and FLW, excluded fly gear completely, then they made rules changes for rod length, that didn't exclude fly gear, but at the time most fly gear that might be suited for bass fishing would not meet the length requirements, so a way to exclude without specifically excluding.

Rod makers stepped up to meet the rules, so not sure if there are any pro level tournaments now that cannot be fished with fly gear. I haven't kept up with rule changes as there was a big stir up with the pro's, and new tournament leagues formed. More than I want to keep up with.

I'm not sure how many would use the fly gear, but there are now tournaments for folks who want to use fly tackle.

Here where I live, this lake is not fly rod friendly in some areas, due to a lot of over hanging cypress tree's, and various other vegetation. But there's places on the lake, that fly tackle can be used more easily. None of this would stop me from using it here, it's just the matter of figuring how the best way to do so.

I don't see rod length of any type to be any big advantage or disadvantage other than it can allow for longer casts. I'm sure they have their reasons for it, real or perceived.
 

fr8dog

Well-known member
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
186
Location
I'm OK
There’s the ‘float & fly’ technique folks use with long rods, a 1/16 oz (+/-) hair jig under a slip float. That’s common for SM, especially in winter.

Anybody use the hopper/popper/dropper? Maybe a fly under an indicator (bobber)? Pretty much the same thing.

Fly fishing is thought by many to be tweed wearing guys waving lint on hooks you need magnifiers to tie onto spiderweb lines. Nope! Not gonna happen around here.

The tournament thing is possible as this guy proved, and I believe there was another a few years ago. It would take the perfect set of conditions, time of year, and cover that would allow a fly guy to make it work. By far and away, it would be a disadvantage against folks that could switch patterns from 2’ deep flipping to 20’+ dropshotting in an instant

I’d give it a try on one of the 3hr weeknight jackpots we have on a local lake. $25 entry + $10 big bass pot. Maybe give it a shot this summer. Best 3 weighed in gets about $250 for a win. On a larger entry fee derby? Nope. Out come the casting rigs. (Only fished one since 1992).
 

LOC

Well-known member
Messages
471
Reaction score
334
Location
S. CA
Congrats to Ryan and Team!

FWIW, I won a paddle board salt water fishing tournament with a fly rod against a entire field of conventional fisherman.
I would have won by a larger margin if I was using conventional gear.

Ideally the smart bet for tournament fishing is to use the right tool for the job (within the rules) and not get fenced in by a certain technique or fishing approach.
If a fly rod works better then fish a fly rod. If your going to catch more fish on a drop shot then so be it. Being stuck in a system is how you will lose to team who does not limit themselves and opportunities!
 
Last edited:

fr8dog

Well-known member
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
186
Location
I'm OK
I have a similar thought: They get a v-bottom aluminum boat big enough for a 35 hp motor, a very simple depth finder and a lake contour map, two rods and a tackle box.
I would love to see that! My first depth finder was a steel nut on a string. Got a Super 60 on my boat in ‘84 and I was living large! (Still have both in working order). These days the guys say “I could not have caught these fish without my livescope”. They are actually moving the boat until they see fish and cast to it. Sight fishing in deeper water. God bless them and good hunting, but that takes the mystery (?) out of fishing IMHO.

Give them limited equipment and simple electronics and let’s see what happens. They’d probably kick my butt because you don’t get to that level by being dumb. Be a fun one to see.
 

bigjim5589

Well-known member
Messages
3,664
Reaction score
303
Location
Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
With these pro tournament folks, you can't always rely on what they say, when they express what they used in a tournament to catch their fish. I have a couple of customers, who, I can't say who they are, because they have sponsors, and can't promote "other" products that compete with their sponsors products. I supply some jigs to a couple of them, and our agreement prohibits me from saying who they are, and it makes no difference if they're winning tournaments on what I send them, they'll promote the sponsors, that are paying a lot of money towards these guys being able to do what they do, and no mention of my products. That's just the business of tournament fishing at that level. They can use anything they like, but they don't bite the hand that feeds them. I'm OK with that, as they pay what anyone else pays for my products.

The "better" tournament anglers are also those who are capable of using many techniques/methods well, and can fish different types of waters well. Some struggle because they have limited experience on some types of waters, which may also relate to the techniques or methods they use a lot. Certainly some are a lot more comfortable using specific techniques, which may be why many are skeptical of fly gear.

I remember a Bassmaster Classic many years ago, that was on the Upper Chesapeake Bay in MD. Those guys put up some impressive weights, which that area is capable of producing, but some of the better known anglers didn't do very well. A lot of that is brackish, tidalwater. and those that didn't do well, didn't fish that type of water often. They were guys from the south who mostly fished big lakes, and even though some have dams that affect water levels, it's not tides. A lot has changed since then and more of the pro's are more rounded in their experience, even at a very young age. Yes, electronics they use are also much more advanced than they used to be too, and always improving.

A big part of fishing, no matter how you do it, is finding the fish. Even then, they can't make them bite, but they have a lot at their disposal to try. There's a big difference when you're out there fishing for fun, or some small local tournament, than when you're doing it to make your living.

I have a lot if respect and admiration for many of those folks, as they do care about the fisheries and the sport. There's some that are selfish, and only there for the money, but that's people and happens in any sport, business or endeavor. There's some selfishness involved in fly fishing too, so it's not exclusive to bass fishing or tournaments. Most are good people even if their attitudes are not in agreement with those of us who use fly tackle.

I think this fellow winning this tournament using fly tackle, will mostly be a good thing, but it's more likely in a few weeks, most folks will have forgotten about it.
 

deceiverbob

Well-known member
Messages
1,026
Reaction score
63
Location
D'Iberville Ms
One thing live coverage has done for bass tournaments is "lift the lid" on Pros using non sponsor made lures. If they are sponsored by strike king but the jerkbait they are hitting is a megabass then that is what they will be throwing
 

bigjim5589

Well-known member
Messages
3,664
Reaction score
303
Location
Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
One thing live coverage has done for bass tournaments is "lift the lid" on Pros using non sponsor made lures. If they are sponsored by strike king but the jerkbait they are hitting is a megabass then that is what they will be throwing
Yes sir! They would be foolish to only use their sponsors products if everyone else is catching their fish on another brands lures. But you can bet, back at the weigh in, when they're talking about what they used, they'll mention it's a Strike King lure, even though some folks know that's not what they were really using. They got to keep plugging the sponsors or they won't have them. :rolleyes:

I've responded to questions in various forums from young guys who want to be pro anglers, and gain sponsors for their tournament fishing. Too many are of the opinion, it's all about how good they think they are as an angler, and who's winning. That certainly can have some impact on who gets a sponsor, but that's not what it's about.

I get requests for sponsorships, and some tell me they've been using my products, when I know they're not.
They don't seem to understand that tackle companies and other sponsors don't care about how many tournaments they've won and that sponsorships are really all about promoting a brand name and selling products! That's why these tournaments and " Pro" fishing exists. 😉
 
Top