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Is It Worth It To Learn To Fly Fish?

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Would it be worth the investment to start fly fishing if I want to pursue trout more?

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Interesting question. I learned to fly fish when I was young, but I really haven't persued it heavily up until the last 7 years when I found out you can fly fish for trout all winter long. It acts as a filler for me as my Spring through Fall are in search of Smallmouth, Musky, and sometime Largemouth. I am sure there are guys who catch a lot of trout on spinners and jigs, but to me there is just something about having a fly rod in your hand while standing in the middle of water running around you. To make a long story short, if you think that by learning fly fishing will catch you more trout than with a spinning rod, I am not sure that is true. If you are looking to really expand your fishing repertoire, then get into fly fishing and you may find you really enjoy it. If you are looking at just catching more trout, look into perfecting at what you are already familiar with.

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   There are times when a fly rod will outfish a spinning rod, and vice-versa, it is nice to know how to do both, but you need to be skilled at both to get the job done, mediocre fly fishing wont do you any good if you are best with a spinning rod.

   If you fish mainly wild trout, fly fishing can be very good during the warmer months when the trout feed higher in the water column and flows are lower (when it's cold you end up using heavy nymphs/streamers and lots of split shot, I think this is very stupid and not interesting). If you mainly fish stocked trout, spinning gear is usually best unless you are dealing with very pressured fish where a #16-#20 fly will work since it is something they haven't seen. Also, stocked trout that have been in the creek for a while will start to feed on insects like a wild fish would, in which case a fly rod is a good tool since the trout get very accustomed to seeing dough baits, spinners, small jigs, etc. and those baits will become less effective.

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Absolutely worth it.  I can't fly fish like I used with my shoulder problems, still do it on occasion.  Down here fly fishing is popular for snook, bonefish, tarpon, spinner shark and permit, IMO this is as good as it gets.  One of my good buds, actually a few years older than me fishes these species and does the amazon trips for black bar peacocks on fly.  The fly boys I know don't fish anything but fly rods.

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I do most of my fly fishing from late November through early March, after tournament season ends/before it begins.  I can still get my boat out most of the winter, but I enjoy the change up.  It will never overtake bass fishing for me, but a nice hike through the woods and some good looking trout is a great way to spend a day in the winter...Especially since in the winter time I'm often the only person out there.  

 

I fly fish because most of the better trout streams in my area are designated as fly fishing only and catch and release only...Most of these are managed this way because they actually support wild trout and are either not stocked at all or stocked very minimally.  I rarely fish the put-and-take streams around here so I don't really get the chance to use spinning tackle anyway.  

 

It doesn't have to take a big investment either, there are some entry level setups that are very good for the money.  In my eyes, fly fishing rods/reels are much less important than in bass fishing...You can have a good combo for $100 or less that will last you years (check out the Dogwood Canyon by BPS, I've had one for 10 years).  

 

Whether it's worth it or not is up to you.  Personally, I enjoy the scenery, hiking, and catching wild trout like this one :).

 

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yes, just something about it that seperates it over traditional fishing methods.

 

You get more of a fight from a fish, sometimes it will just dominate the fish and others it will not as mentioned above.

 

I am getting back into fly fishing and missed it so much, you will enjoy fly fishing.

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I do most of my fly fishing from late November through early March, after tournament season ends/before it begins.  I can still get my boat out most of the winter, but I enjoy the change up.  It will never overtake bass fishing for me, but a nice hike through the woods and some good looking trout is a great way to spend a day in the winter...Especially since in the winter time I'm often the only person out there.  
 
I fly fish because most of the better trout streams in my area are designated as fly fishing only and catch and release only...Most of these are managed this way because they actually support wild trout and are either not stocked at all or stocked very minimally.  I rarely fish the put-and-take streams around here so I don't really get the chance to use spinning tackle anyway.  
 
It doesn't have to take a big investment either, there are some entry level setups that are very good for the money.  In my eyes, fly fishing rods/reels are much less important than in bass fishing...You can have a good combo for $100 or less that will last you years (check out the Dogwood Canyon by BPS, I've had one for 10 years).  
 
Whether it's worth it or not is up to you.  Personally, I enjoy the scenery, hiking, and catching wild trout like this one :).
 

 

That brown come from the Gunpowder?

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Yes - It is Definitely worth it.  It's very satisfying and a ton of fun.

 

That being said like other areas of fishing you'll get out of it exactly what you put into it. 

You can take it a long way if you chose to.

I also believe that it has helped round me out as an angler & improved other areas of my bass fishing too.

 

And if you've ever taken a healthy smallmouth on dry fly with a 5 wt, you'd know exactly what I'm talking about.

 

Go For it.

 

A-Jay

 

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That brown come from the Gunpowder?

No, Big Hunting Creek a couple weeks ago.  It's closer to my house, also my favorite stream...The Gunpowder is really the prime trout water unless you get all the way out to western MD, I'd go there more if it were closer.  Hunting Creek is close by and offers consistent fishing, fish don't get much bigger than that one I posted though.  

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Nice one A-Jay!  Especially on a fly!

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Absolutely, I used orvis 3 weight rod and reel, my target were Bluegill and Trout trips to Tennesee.. Very, very joyful.. Loved it... Highly recommend you give it a whirl.

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Fly fishing for salmon and great lakes browns this fall was some of the most fun I've had fishing.

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Trout are always hungry. Even in 25 F water..

  I never eat them. Hate the taste of all those small bugs in the fillets.  :)

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Mastering various forms of tackle opens options and enhances the overall fishing experience imo. In fly fishing it's the line you're casting so don't skimp on that. The reel just holds the line so no need to break the bank there. I suggest a reel with changeable cartridges though so you can change lines. As for the rod, a well built 5wt is a good multi purpose.

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I enjoy it, even though I'm not very good at it. Not many chances to fly fish for trout around here, but bluegills and bass are a hoot on a fly rod. Flyfishing for Kansas bonefish (carp), is gaining somewhat of a cult following too. 

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Fly fishing is almost a different sport. You have to enjoy the challenges using a fly rod presents. Getting a fly to lay out perfectly is a skill more difficult to learn than casting a baitcaster. Everything about it is more challenging. Many guys I know, like tying the flies almost more than fishing them.

I learned to fly fish for smallmouth as a kid. We only used poppers back then. When I joined the Smallmouth Alliance, a lot of our members were fly fishermen and showed me a lot more about fly fishing. It was actually because of them that I gave up fishing the "long rod". At this point in my life, I'm looking for less challenges than more. Fly fishing to me is just a much harder way to catch fish than is required. If you are looking to learn a new skill that can be personally rewarding and have the time and money to invest, give it a go.

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I've not learned how to fly fish yet because I'm new at bait cast reels (2 years).  I don't see a reason NOT to take up fly fishing.  It can't hurt anything other than your checkbook to learn another way to catch fish.  What's the worst that can happen: take trips you normally wouldn't, and catch more fish....

 

I'm sure I'm going to dabble with it at some point.  Best of luck if you do.

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 A flyrod with worms / small spinner & worms is great with small kids or seniors with arthritis. They swing it out & swing them in. No casting is needed & the body count goes up. 15 minutes later They are experts. I ask them. As I keep attracting more fish to right in front of them

 

Life is good.

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Absolutely worth it!!!!!  There are times when fishing with a fly rod will outfish any other method, same with lures vs. bait!!  Also helps like here in Vermont where they've put stretch's of rivers fly fish only!!!  which I feel is a rip off to the rest of us as we all pay for licenses that help with wildlife in the first place!!!!!  

 

It takes practice to learn how to do it!!!!! just like anything else.  You can tie your own flies or you can buy them - tying flies is another whole hobby and more money for fly tying materials.  

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Mastering various forms of tackle opens options and enhances the overall fishing experience imo. In fly fishing it's the line you're casting so don't skimp on that. The reel just holds the line so no need to break the bank there. I suggest a reel with changeable cartridges though so you can change lines. As for the rod, a well built 5wt is a good multi purpose.

 

This is exactly what I was going to try to say: Mastering various forms of tackle opens options and enhances the overall fishing experience imo."

 

Fly fishing changed my entire fishing life.  I was interested in learning it when I was a young teenager.  Advice from local "experts" left me with mismatched tackle, misinformation and poor casting skills.  It proved to be nothing but frustrating for me and I quickly put it aside.

 

Just a few years down the road, the interest rekindled.  This time, I bought some good books and videos and decided to go at it solo, teaching myself.  The results were that for many years, I rarely touched conventional fishing gear at all; fly fishing became my absolute favorite way to fish.  I eventually got involved in saltwater inshore fly fishing and enjoyed that very much, too.

 

Since then, the only time I fished with conventional gear was when the conditions made it almost a must, so I occasionally used spinning gear on the saltwater fly fishing trips.

 

This summer found me curious about bass fishing and I started outfitting myself with bait casting gear.  I'm really enjoying it a lot, too. 

 

I would whole-heartedly encourage to try fly fishing.  You have everything to gain, and nothing but a little bit of money to lose if you decide it's not for you.  Just make sure you learn the basics before you even buy any gear, and that you find someone with good knowledge of the sport to help you get started.  One of the best introductory books regarding the sport used to "The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide" by Tom Rosenbauer.  I highly recommend it as your very first fly fishing purchase.

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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Fly fishing is almost a different sport. You have to enjoy the challenges using a fly rod presents. Getting a fly to lay out perfectly is a skill more difficult to learn than casting a baitcaster. Everything about it is more challenging. Many guys I know, like tying the flies almost more than fishing them.

I learned to fly fish for smallmouth as a kid. We only used poppers back then. When I joined the Smallmouth Alliance, a lot of our members were fly fishermen and showed me a lot more about fly fishing. It was actually because of them that I gave up fishing the "long rod". At this point in my life, I'm looking for less challenges than more. Fly fishing to me is just a much harder way to catch fish than is required. If you are looking to learn a new skill that can be personally rewarding and have the time and money to invest, give it a go.

But don't you wanna go drag huge globs of fur, hair, and lead behind a 6wt full sinking line for a smallie that would hit a senko or tube?  :laugh5:

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But don't you wanna go drag huge globs of fur, hair, and lead behind a 6wt full sinking line for a smallie that would hit a senko or tube?  :laugh5:

 

When one fishes for smallmouth long enough, those days the bite is "off" start to add up.

 

But when the guy with the fly rod discovers that the only thing they'll eat is a Bug, it's a game changer.

 

A-Jay

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When one fishes for smallmouth long enough, those days the bite is "off" start to add up.

 

But when the guy with the fly rod discovers that the only thing they'll eat is a Bug, it's a game changer.

 

A-Jay

I definitely would use fly gear if it put me at an advantage (and there are times when it is advantageous). I just get tired of seeing guys around here who trout fish most of the time and think anything other than fly fishing is a sin. In summer so they target smallies---they like when the fish will eat on top but most of the time they are dragging stuff on sinking lines, and to me that just feels like pulling a rope through the water. I love to fly fish but I don't limit myself to it...We had a 17yr cicada hatch two years ago and it was epic, I tied up some cicada patterns and went to work on every species imaginable for those three weeks of fury.

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I rarely use a sinking line in all my fishing here on the east coast.  Unless you are fishing still water, a sink tip is all you need at most and even then that is rare.  Weighted flies do just fine.

Fishing for trout, i have never seen conventional out fish fly rods.  Fishing for bass, i enjoy it more with a fly rod but it is completely different and for the most part, fly fishing is easier and more productive where there is current involved, although nothing is better than a frog bite on a fly rod :)  Smallmouth fishing to me is about the same fly or conventional unless they are really deep then there are better ways to fish.

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