Fly fishing is an Advantage or Disadvantage?

Fly fishing, advantage or handicap?


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mikechell

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Mostly.
The way I view this topic is, if I needed to put food on the table. By FAR, I can catch more fish with a fly rod than with any other method of fishing.

Bass, I'm going with a baitcaster and soft plastics. If I don't catch anything, then I always go to a fly rod and save the day catching whatever hits. And that's the key. Fly fishing ... I WILL catch something. Any other method of rod/reel fishing is 50/50 whether I catch anything or not.
 

smoke33

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As a new fly fisherman in my infancy I would have to reflect what others have said, it depends on your skill level. Practicing in my backyard and a session with a coach gave me some confidence in my ability. Until....I actually got out on a stream and I caught more trees and limbs than anything else. I was really wishing I hadn’t left my spinning gear back at the camper!
After that experience I can’t help but wonder”how in the hell do you fish a stream with a 9 ft fly rod where you not only need open area in front of you to cast, but you also need that same space behind and above you!
Fly Fishing for me is definitely a disadvantage!


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karstopo

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As a new fly fisherman in my infancy I would have to reflect what others have said, it depends on your skill level. Practicing in my backyard and a session with a coach gave me some confidence in my ability. Until....I actually got out on a stream and I caught more trees and limbs than anything else. I was really wishing I hadn’t left my spinning gear back at the camper!
After that experience I can’t help but wonder”how in the hell do you fish a stream with a 9 ft fly rod where you not only need open area in front of you to cast, but you also need that same space behind and above you!
Fly Fishing for me is definitely a disadvantage!


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9’ rods are a pain when there’s no space. Get you a glass 7 footer or so and it will make fly fishing in tight conditions a lot more enjoyable.
 

bumble54

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In my case?, definitely an advantage, not because of numbers of fish caught but rather for my sense of well being.
With a fly rod in my hand, and on auto pilot, I'm on another plane of consciousness altogether. In the moment, the world seems to slow down and yet the day is gone all too quickly. Even after 50 years of fishing there is nothing that can compare, and the excitement and anticipation before a day on the water never fades.
 

flytie09

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A biased question for sure on a fly fishing forum. In the hands of the right person.....it is a deadly tactic. However, I still feel that on most days a good spin fishermen can out fish a good fly fisherman and can catch larger fish on most days. Fly fishing has its advantages in certain perspectives....but not overall.

There are some pretty large differences that if you combine them all up....and sway the pendulum away from fly fishing winning the "best method" trophy in my opinion.

Fly fishing..........

- a basic fly fishing setup is more expensive than a spinning rod setup.....although this is debatable
- requires more practice to be proficient than a spinning rod setup
- can't cast as far as with a spinning rod
- requires more effort during a days trip w/ casting
- requires more room
- is more complex with rigging (backing/lines/leaders/tippet), techniques (tight line, swinging, indy, dry fly, stripping, etc), flies
- requires a more thorough understanding of various insects/bait fish
- more knots must be learned
- drifts are shorter and not as drag free
- can't fish windy conditions as effective
- can't fish deep as effective as with a spinning rod

These rules are not all encompassing across all species.......but hold true for trout, steelhead, Salmon, bass, carp, muskies and other warm water species in my experience. Saltwater.....I'll have to defer to the experts. But it seems to me the learning curve with a spinning rod vs. fly rod are not equal either.

Hank Patterson sums it all up:

YouTube
YouTube
 
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karstopo

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Yes, there’s nothing scientific about this poll. I was just looking for people’s perceptions.

I know I’m biased towards fly fishing, at least fishing in shallow water. I do have a lot of experience casting lures with low profile baitcasting gear. One trouble with those is the lure can only get so light before it becomes too light to cast. There’s an inherent lack of finesse in that and it works against getting takes at least some of the time. It’s really easy to buy or tie a shrimp fly that’s 1.5 or 2 inches long to mimic the actual forage but it’s real tough or impossible to find one that size that can be cast well and presents well using a baitcasting or spinning set up.

Just like cold-water trout of all sizes often key on midges and other tiny insects, the same is true for redfish and others in that they focus on relatively tiny crustaceans and fin fish because those are often the most available food sources. Nothing else comes close to a fly rod in all its sizes and forms for the potential of presenting lifelike little forage species in a manner that most resembles life and ultimately deceives the predator fish to eat.
 

rando

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Toss up. I fish mostly smallies and some pike. Beginning of the season when the fish are near the bottom and not super active spinning gear wins by far. I can get the lure low and keep it there as long as i need. Once they become more active and eat in the mid/upper column both methods are very effective, but fly has an edge. I do not have to reel in line to recast which I think is a great advantage. Im talking stricktly moving water. On lakes I rarely use fly gear, but i also rarely fish lakes.
 

PASTERCASTER

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As posed, it's an apples to fast food comparison. Most fish will actively seek out a worm, if they see it/smell it, not so much with a fly IMO. A stealthy Quiet (if done right) & overall better presentation would go to the fly fisherman, which "generally" will be older & have more skills/knowledge than Opie Taylor with a worm. Hand Opie a fly rod & he will likely catch only trees, until the skill is learned. OVERALL ADVANTAGE, OPIES WORM.
 

gpwhitejr

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This thread got me thinking about competitive tournament fishing. Are there "open" tournaments where anglers can use whatever tackle they want? Do any fly-fishers do Bassmasters or that sort of thing?
 

PASTERCASTER

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A ROLL CAST is your friend. When it's that bad, letting line out by hand & fishing downstream may be about an only choice. You may have to hold the reel low & down by your hip???
 

hokiehunter07

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I wrote mostly a disadvantage but for very specific reasons. If you're basis is simply number of fish caught then it's a disadvantage. In almost every situation bait, especially live bait will outfish everything else. Find you a big live stonefly or hellgramite and drift that next time if you don't believe me. The trout meat fishermen don't use fly rods for a reason. If they do it's to dangle bait better.

In terms of number of casts, depth of water column covered, and ground covered, a fly rod cannot hope to match conventional tackle. However in terms of presentation and options, traditional gear cannot stand up to the fly. I think my fish per cast rate is much higher with fly gear. I think my number of fish caught is higher with conventional. This doesn't even account for tricky casts, skipping lures off the surface, etc.

I enjoy fly fishing much more. If I poured my own soft plastics or carved my own lures maybe I'd like conventional as much. That said I haven't picked up my spinning or bait-casting gear in years.

Hokie.
 

tex68w

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I fish mostly on the coast in the flats and back lakes. I would not say that fly fishing is neither an advantage nor disadvantage, merely an alternative approach. I enjoy crank baits, spoons, jigs, and corkies on the bait caster almost as much as I do the fly rod, but I don't see the bait caster (we don't fish those silly, underpowered, spinning reel monstrosities here in Texas) nearly as technical or graceful as the fly rod. If forced to pick one for sheer enjoyment I would choose the fly rod, but if forced to choose in order to catch the most amount of fish or to feed myself, then it'd be conventional tackle without question.
 
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