hipkvw

Who will put down the fly rod to catch? Who will not?

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I wont. I love catching fish on the fly and using other gear is not as rewarding. Ive caught plenty of fish over the years so this is what I prefer even if I go without catching. I do Flounder/Tog fish with conventional gear so I am not 100% fly all the time on the water but most of the time I have a fly rod in hand....even in poor conditions. I was Albie fishing from land and did not catch one while I watched probably 30+ get caught on spin tackle and metals. I could not get into the area they were coming in close because of the amount of people. I still enjoyed being out there and hoping for a shot off to the side. I have boats but I like my feet in the sand as well. So what do you guys do in situations where you know you COULD catch with conventional gear if you used it?  

crunch likes this

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I use both. When by myself i like the Fly Rod.  When with friends on a boat,  I like to fish with light tackle, when the fish are on top and boat rods to get down under when trolling.  I' happy as long as I am fishing.

hipkvw likes this

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I wont, there was a time with a boat I used a spinning reel when it was difficult, but it never gave me the same feeling so now its fly only.  Not a purist or snob, just enjoy it more even if it means less fish.  I will say though, on a hot day on the beach, a cooler, some beer and a surf rod planted in the sand is pretty much the best thing you can do if youre not gonna FF for me.

hipkvw likes this

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23 mins ago, ccb said:

I use both. When by myself i like the Fly Rod.  When with friends on a boat,  I like to fish with light tackle, when the fish are on top and boat rods to get down under when trolling.  I' happy as long as I am fishing.

That's a good point too. Everybody should do what they enjoy. Life is too hard not to. I should add I am happy just to be on the water period. 

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2 mins ago, scooleen74 said:

I wont, there was a time with a boat I used a spinning reel when it was difficult, but it never gave me the same feeling so now its fly only.  Not a purist or snob, just enjoy it more even if it means less fish.  I will say though, on a hot day on the beach, a cooler, some beer and a surf rod planted in the sand is pretty much the best thing you can do if youre not gonna FF for me.

Heck yeah. Sounds good to me! 

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I use both. If  car is close to where I'm fishing I'll leave the spinning gear in car. If it's a walk to spot I'll take both hoping to use the fly rod but will switch to spinner  if it's too windy for my limited casting ability. I probably would stick with the fly as long as I can handle the wind but might go to the spinner pending frustration level or if I saw large stripers being caught. I guess for me  "it depends".

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I do it all and not always just to "catch"! That's always the intent, but not necessary for me to enjoy it. When I do catch fish, that's the icing on the cake.

 

I enjoy using fly tackle the most, but do fish with other methods. Sometimes fly tackle is not practical, other times using other methods is just to be fishing & doing something different. IMO, there's a time & place for all methods, and I enjoy them all, as has already been said, because it gets me out there. Primarily I use flies or lures, regardless of method, but I'll even dunk some bait sometimes, especially for catfish. 

 

My other endeavors, tying flies & making lures, also adds to my enjoyment of using whatever tackle I choose. All parts of the same process, and all because it's fun to me and what I like to do. :) 

hipkvw and Ladyfish like this

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I'm most like scooleen74. Fly only for me. I promised myself this year I'd master the fly rod and only use it, and so far I've had no slip ups. I can't imagine using gear again. 

 

I'm either too passionate about fly or way too stupid and stubborn to swap to spin tackle to catch if I'm not catching on fly tackle. Just means I have to work harder, I love the challenge!

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4 mins ago, RedGreen said:

I'm most like scooleen74. Fly only for me. I promised myself this year I'd master the fly rod and only use it, and so far I've had no slip ups. I can't imagine using gear again. 

 

I'm either too passionate about fly or way too stupid and stubborn to swap to spin tackle to catch if I'm not catching on fly tackle. Just means I have to work harder, I love the challenge!

Thats how you get better. Dont even bring other gear. I can cast(Not always pretty) in anything. The only time its bad if your on a spot where you have to cast right into the wind and it goes 10 feet. hahaha

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Just now, ccb said:

I think most guys that fish with a boat fish both ways.  Unless you and your partner both fish Fly rods.

I boat fish and only use fly for most species except flounder, wreck fishing, etc. My wife fishes light tackle. If you go with a few people fly fishing is not easy depending on size of boat , type, etc. 

 

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I posted this as advice on how to target large striped bass in another thread:

My first shocking statement is you should use surfcasting as your method for scouting areas for big fish. When developing a new area for big striped bass on fly rod I will fish it exclusively with an appropriate surfcasting setup for the first 3 weeks (Mon, Wed, Fri from 3:30-6 am before work). Fish one area until you have hit it 15 trips before trying a new area. It takes a lot of time to develop big fish patterns thoroughly. I apply topwater, plugging and jigging/bucktailing to cover the three major areas of water column quickly which I find allows me to fish 1 mile of water per hour a rate that is impossible on a fly rod. Once I have identified specific areas with those methods that are producing keeper bass I then go in and hit those areas with live eels to figure out which spots hold true trophy fish (Got this method from John Skinner's Striper Pursuit book). Once I identify the good areas I then set about figuring out how I can make that pattern to work on fly fishing gear (Example: 10" herring flies worked waking under surface during nights of in migration by herring early season).

 

 

Here is what I base that advice on:

Other than the spring herring runs coming into to 2017 I had no reliable patterns or areas for catching striped bass over 30 inches consistently and had never caught one over 40 inches in my life.  I decided to get into surfcasting heavy that year and so my split was 49 days surfcasting and 10 days fly fishing (2016 it was reverse with vast majority of my days being fly fishing).  By the end of that year I had developed three areas that produced consistently for 30 inch plus fish and 3 fish over 40 inches all on surfcasting gear.  I can tell you that if you want to find consistent big fish locations on your own then utilizing surfcasting gear is 100% the way to go as you can cover water faster and more efficiently in particular fishing deep current near the bottom at inlets.

 

This year 2018 I tried to convert all of the areas I discovered surfcasting into successful fly fishing spots.  There were a lot of challenges as it required long casts with large flies and consistently getting deep from 10 to 25 feet in fast current.  I was able to convert these spots/patterns to fly fishing success and I caught two fish over 40 inches on fly rod this year as well as double digits numbers of fish over 30 inches on the fly.  I still surfcast in particular at the Cape Cod Canal when conditions are too crowded with people to employ the long drifts needed to get  a fly on sinking line  down to 25 feet in 4kts of current.  I also used surfcasting focused on two new areas to scout for more productive ares this season and both areas yielded new patterns including a big surf pattern that had two good trips and one lights out trip over Columbus day weekend where I landed 5 fish over 40 inches on my surfcasting gear in very rough conditions.  Now that I am starting to get big surf patterns figured out in my local areas next year I will try to convert this to fly fishing success during big surf via the @Mike Oliver route of TH rods and heavy custom lines.

 

So once I have established fly patterns that produce big fish and i know the peak windows of opportunity for 40 inch fish I can look at tide calendar and I have already blocked all those key windows off on my calendar for 2019.  Those targeted days will be fly fishing only and continue to refine my big fish strategies (Which are all at night by the way).  The space in between I will primarily surfcast and I will identify one new area that I want to learn.  So outside of those peak windows I will hammer the new area two to three mornings per week on surfcasting gear for 6 months and at the end of the year I will have identified very specific locations in that new area that have big fish patterns.  So right now my 2019 split is looking if I somehow manage to balance work and family with these graveyard shift fishing trips as such 38 days fly fishing peak windows of opportunity and 28 days scouting the new targeted area.  I am hoping at some point I will have so many know pattern windows that i will run out of time for scouting, but that will probably take several years.  

 

I work a 60 hour a week job and have two children under 5 years old so my time is limited.  I am able to fish by focusing on either 10pm-1am or 3am-6am as my fishing windows and I keep all my logistics simple so all spots are 30 minutes or less from my house and most of them are within 5 minute drive of a commuter train or ferry so i can easily get into downtown boston no later than 7am every as most fishing is done Monday, Wednesday, Fridays.  Surfcasting is so much faster it allows me to cover a lot more water in those very short windows of time and that is how I find productive spots.  At the end of the day I prefer fly fishing as the final end goal, but end justifies the scouting means of spinning/surfcasting gear.

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The only thing I've used other than a fly rod was a dropline in 1966, but it's just because that's all I've ever owned. I got my son a spinning rod this summer though and watching him cast out 150-200' with no effort got my attention, even though I got the only fish on a fly lol. I admit I have been eyeing it the last few windy days out, and reading Angler's Journal has me curious about other equipment. Pretty sure I'll give it a try in surf next year. I found an old bait casting reel under my camp years ago, couldn't do much with it but I do feel an itch to diversify.

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I fish fly pretty much exclusively.  I'm not snobby about it, I just enjoy it that much more.  Fighting a fish on gear is not as fun for me, but really it's the casting.  I love to cast a fly rod - so even if I'm not catching fish (which happens too often), I will stick with the fly rod. If a species can't be caught on the fly, I don't target them.

 

The one exception is when I am fishing with my kids.  For them I put worms on toy rods, and I bring a spin outfit with some senkos.  I'll admit, it is a ton of fun.

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I grew up flyfishing for trout, so when I made the jump to salt (around 2000), a flyrod was the only way. Over the years, I have chased stripers, bluefish, anything else along the East Coast from Maine to Cape Cod and have done reasonably well. Never felt outclassed by guys' fishing by any other means. 

Having said that...

I spend a good deal of time these days on the East Cape of Baja and know from personal experience that I'd rather be catching than not. When the bite is (at times) 150-200ft from shore, just put away the flyrod, and grab the spinning gear. So for me at least, I pick the situation and fish accordingly.  

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