View Full Version : Fly Fishing vs other fishing: better, worse or just a different way to catch fish?

Brett in K-Town
06-21-2004, 12:50 PM
I've been out fly fishing about 4 or 5 times now and have yet to catch a fish! I'm panfishing with a 4/5 wt outfit and have had no luck with a fly. My daughters, who are using bobbers and worms are reeling them in and I'm stuck waving my rod in the air without so much as a strike. I've tried surface flies, nymphs, small poppers etc. I've read the book flyfishing for panfish and feel my presentation is correct. So the question is this: is fly fishing better, worse or just another way to fish? I've been fishing most of my life and have never been skunked this bad! Would a day with a guide help me out? I'm self taught. I'm ready to bag the whole thing and go back to my spinning rod and reel!! Any suggestions would be welcome.

John J
06-22-2004, 10:09 AM
hello brett,

skunked huh and on panfish shame on You!!! only kidding welcome to fly fishing!

My nephew always out fishes me when fishing for panfish when hes dunking worms and Thats ok with me! but what joy you can have when you get a fish on.

1st if your only worried about the body count then stick with worms, worm dunkers usually win the head count game but not always.

next are you fishing in lots of cover/shallow water or deeper water??

also for pan fish in ponds and such I use only a few types flies

#1 choice small olive wooly bugger (baby buggers) if you can get them, I tie my own

size 12 ,14 , 16 or a wooly worm (Bugger without a long tail.) size 10 will work and should be easy to purchase

foam body poppers usually do well or dry flies in very shallow water when its hot.

ants ,beatles , and the likes.

my favorite is the olive bugger no formal presentation is needed just cast out and retrieve in small strips with a lift of your rod tip once in a while just like retieving a spinner.

one thing to remember is that worm fishing puts the real thing in front of their nose and they often cant see you ! with fly fishing esp with surface flies fish will often break off the fly if they see you and they often do as fish will follow and size up a fly before taking it.

the whole Idea of fly fishing is the fishing itself

1) for trout in fast streams ... its often a more productrive method of fishing as trout are finiky animals and much of the time big fish eat only very tiny insects that cant be presented on spin gear.

BTW when you fished with spin gear did you bait fish or were you a lure guy?? if you used spinners, plugs ... its similar to fly fishing

2) one of the fun things is getting a fish on deception and impersonation rather than throwing a prime rib under their nose. anyone can fish with bait thats why kids use worms.

one of my fishing buddies is a die hard worm dunking meat fisherman he always catches the big one for the day but , I have more fun as fly fishing is a thinking mans activity ya have to coax , convince, piss off , dazzle figure out what their eating that day (or hour ) and think where they are hiding holding etc...... esp with trout.

fly fishing is a visual game (night fly fishing is the exception ) a fish has to see and believe that what your offering is yummy or a possable threat as in bass and late season trout. bait is 80% smell and thats easy.

again a fish has to see a fly and believe its real and is a suitable meal snack thats the fun of it ,the skill, the magic ......

with worms ,well they know its real cuz they can smell it!! even though fish have pea size brains there is no dought about a worm, or live minnow untill they taste a hook and by then there hooked deep or gut hooked "YUK".

anyway there is hope. get some wooly buggers (small) bead head olive is my favorite and black works well too. a third color is brown but being honest I catch more fish of more species on olive wooly buggers than any other fly.

keep the questions comming and take joy in the fact that your daughters are catching fish and not getting bored so you can learn a new skill!

"John" Boulder Brook Rods

Brett in K-Town
06-22-2004, 10:58 AM
Thanks for the great response! I'm not into the "body count" of fishing and have enjoyed fishing for what it is: time on the water with my family away from the insanity of life. But there is a point (at least for me) were there needs to be a payoff: ie hooking a fish. If that isn't the case, fishermen wouldn't use hooks! As I re-read my letter, I feel that maybe I need to spend time with experienced fly fishermen or find a local guide that will take me out and make sure I understand the basics. On that note, there is a flyfishing club meeting next Monday that I plan to go to. Thanks for the fly suggestions. I think I'll throw out an olive woolly bugger and see if I don't do better. Also, I think I need to lengthen my leader a bit; it's about 4 feet now.

As to were I'm fishing, it's along the bank of a large flowage in a sandy cove that gradually deepens. There are overhanging branches and shrubs, so I only roll cast. We only go during the evening when it finally cools down; I'm just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, so the days can be very hot and humid.

My background is spinners, spoons, jigs and plugs. I've only used shiners when going for Walleye or White Bass during the spawning runs (in Wisconsin). I like the idea of fly fishing simply because it seems to be a more effective way to cover the water table. When your throwing something that's heavy, not only does it tend to make a splash when it hits the water, but it's hard to control the depth that you are trying to fish. I aalso agree that it is more of a thinking man's sport. You have to know what the fish is eating and why it's eating it at that time. I also like flycasting. It really looks like art when you see someone do it well. So far my only complaints about flyfishing are the amount of room needed for the backcast, controlling the cast in the wind and stripping out the line for every roll cast. I'm sure with time and patience, the fish will come.

04-22-2010, 02:41 AM
I think that learning about fly fishing will make me a better trout fisherman overall just from learning to read the water better and analyzing the conditions.I've only used shiners when going for Walleye or White Bass during the spawning runs.I like the idea of fly fishing simply because it seems to be a more effective way to cover the water table.I fished today and found the water cold and high,not moving fish water but put the nymph on their nose water.