View Full Version : why are you passionate about flyfishing?

07-28-2006, 09:05 AM
Discussion is a beautiful thing. I think the thread that lowwall posted is one of the best that has been on this site in years. It shows how many of us are so passionate about fishing. I think the beauty of this site, at least partially, is that it is so esoteric. There are so many guys so well dialed into what they do and do best that you can find an answer to any situation on-demand. This got me thinking though, as we are all acolytes in the cult of fishing...why though are we passionate about flyfishing in particular?

Some say it is the challenge. Why is it the challenge?
Some it is that direct connection strike...how awesome is that?

For me, it is that it is the best way of immitating bait and keyed in fish. I am of the opinion that when fish are the most difficult to fool, flies are the best way of doing it. When you tie in fly-tying, a knowledge of how bait acts, what kind of materials behave a certain way, you have a style that is as cerebral and involved as there is in fishing. For me there is nothing better than fishing one day, throwing everything I have at very tough fish unsuccessfully, observing how the fish are acting, observing how the bait is acting, and coming up with a concept. Taking this concept, applying it to some materials on the vice and using the correct leader and line system, then fishing it the next day, stripping exactly the right way to get the materials to act and the fly to swim and then finally catching is what it is all about.

Why is it for you, fine folks of rt?

07-28-2006, 09:18 AM
Reasons i love to do it:

1 - casting is somewhere between an art and sport unto itself. Even if your not catching, you are casting which can be enjoyable. (unless you are busy making wind knots)

2 - tying my own flies and actually fooling fish with them is very rewarding.

3 - there is something good about feeling the strike as you pull in the line with your fingers, but i don't rate this as high as #1 and #2 above.

4 - I guess something can be said about the overall challenge of it all. Although Once you become competent at it, i don't believe you are handicaping yourself. (Unless you fishing counterparts are using bait.)


Jim Miller
07-28-2006, 09:37 AM
For me, it is that it is the best way of imitating bait and keyed in fish. I am of the opinion that when fish are the most difficult to fool, flies are the best way of doing it. When you tie in fly-tying, knowledge of how bait acts, what kind of materials behave a certain way, you have a style that is as cerebral and involved as there is in fishing. For me there is nothing better than fishing one day, throwing everything I have at very tough fish unsuccessfully, observing how the fish are acting, observing how the bait is acting, and coming up with a concept. Taking this concept, applying it to some materials on the vice and using the correct leader and line system, then fishing it the next day, stripping exactly the right way to get the materials to act and the fly to swim and then finally catching is what it is all about.

Well said JJ

For me it's the whole process....
fly tying (anticipation of bait & quarry)
actual trip:
hunting (more personal w/ a 80' radius)
the actual putting "life" into the fly (presentation)
success on your tied fly.

07-28-2006, 09:38 AM
can catch a large fish using live bait or chunking, but where's the challenge of sitting there and waiting for a fish to cruise by to pick up your offering? Not everyone can catch; then land a large fish on a fly. There are so many more elements that go into hooking and landing a large fish on the fly. If you're sight casting to them, then you need to first find them, be stealthy and lay down the perfect cast so not to spook them and add a bit of wind to this, and its a whole new challenge. It's also a lot more rewarding catching a fish on a fly that you have either tied yourself or designed, but nothing beats stalking a large fish on a flat and presenting a well placed fly, to see it suck it in and take off.

07-28-2006, 09:49 AM
Not sure too many on this board will agree with me, but here's my 2 part answer. To me flyfishing freshwater and flyfishing the salt are two different animals:
1) Flyfishing the salt -I like just plain like fishing the salt. Getting out on the water, and trying to put it all together. There's a connection to something much bigger---on the biggest scale imaginable. It's the ocean, the migration, the tides. It's the biggest sporting arena known to man. What better place to ply the craft? The same goes for throwing lures too... in this arena, finding and fooling a fish with an artificial is a noble endeavor.
2) Fresh water(the stream, to be specific) is a different deal. Similar to salt in terms of tapping into the natural rhythms, instincts and forces, but now it's more art and less science, to me at least. Standing knee deep in a trout stream, executing the perfect reach cast for a the right drift over a closely inspecting trout, anticipating the Take-- you're soaking in the perfect moment... it just all works for me. 8 hours on the stream passes in the blink of an eye, and I'm recharged, chilled out, and it's just all good.

(I'm sure this made no sense, but whatever. The important stuff is hard to explain, usually.)

Fin Addiction
07-28-2006, 09:56 AM
I'll try but surely fail in trying to convey my thoughts...

I grew up out west and dad loved to fish since he was born and raised in southern CO. Grandpa fly fished and taught my dad...They were not purists I remember...They would sling colorado spinners tipped with trout gut, use level lines and Perrine automatics....At 14 I got my first hank roberst fly tying kit....it was all downhill for me after that...I grew up watching Curt Gowdy on the American Sportsman and Curt fly fished and I dreamed of fishing the places he did. My dad always caught the biggest fish on trips on the flyrod so I always assumed it was the superior way to fish.
I guess im passionate about it cuz it's part of my history and upbringing. I also think that it's the most effective way to catch stripers 75% of the time once u master being able to throw some line.
I've also met the bulk of my friends from something associated with flyfishing....Most of us go fishing to enjoy each others company first and secondly to fish and fish hard we do....It's a BIG part of who I am no way around it.
Can't say I have met a life long friend who had a spinning rod in his hand the first time I met him even tho that has nothing to do with it at all but like I said, I have a hard time conveying my THOUGHTS!!
Fish on brothers of the long wand....:-%

07-28-2006, 10:00 AM
First if all, it's fishing, and offers many of the rewards that other techniques do.

Fly Casting is just a relaxing activity that offers its own rewards. The process of creating a good cast shares the same elements as spin casting, but with more complexity and variations. (Also, more ways to screw up) You can be aggressive or passive, but the longer time it takes to deliver a cast engages you more than other techniques, and offers subtle satisfaction even if a fish doesn't hit. I enjoy spin casting a plug right to the spot I'm aiming. With a fly, you have more adjustments to make (wind, boat motion, waves hitting you in the stomach, or worse!). Mending a fly line after it hits the water, which is more prevelant in stream fishing, offers another challenge. I've been fly fishing for over 30 years, and am still learning. It's the learning that makes it interesting.

Also, the feel of a good fish on a fly rod is unique, and can't be duplicated with any other technique. After hooking up, I've handed my rod to spin fishermen, who haven't fly fished before, and they usually get it right away.

Having said all this, I've been doing more spin fishing lately, because it works better in many conditions. After catching several big fish off the beach with live eels last weekend, I tried an eel fly dipped in slime from the bucket. They wouldn't touch it. My buddy stayed with the live eels and didn't miss a beat. I love to fly fish, but despite my handle, I'm no fool. I switched back.

07-28-2006, 10:04 AM
In all seriousness: With respect to flyfishing in general I think it is the MOST effective way to catch many species(Trout in particular). Dry fly fishing is one of the ultimate fishing rushes you can have (hell nymphing and streamer fishing are pretty darn fun too). Fishing a trout stream with a fly is more active too, moving up and down a river adapting to various water conditions or hatch conditions is fun, your are always casting, mending or retrieving and then there is the dreaded changing of the fly(you can do it dozens of times in a 50yard stretch of river but) when you find the hot fly and start kicking butt it feels pretty damn satisfying (even better if there are a few guys around you asking what you are using!)
It is a year round sport for me if you include flytying or rodbuilding. I enjoy that aspect of the sport almost as much and my trout vest shows it. Plus I love trying new unconventional or just plain wacky patterns. I love when some new materials come in to the fly shop and say to myself "this is going to make the difference on my royal hot butt hi viz hendrickson. Sometimes flytying is artistic sometimes practical sometimes desparate(I need to tye up a dozen super ants and another dozen mega beatles before I go to the Farmington next week). There is much history and lore to flyfishing which no other form of fishing equals(my bookcase has well over 100 titles on flyfishing and flytying) so you can bring the sport on a business trip or get rid of the cabin fever that sets in just after Christmas... or just chill and learn more about the sport.
When you apply it to the saltwater scene I enjoy it more that conventional tackle. I am not sure why but it seems more primitive...connect with a nice striper or bone or blue or tuna and you prettymuch get my drift...the long rod affords a bit more direct connection with the fish...I think often it is a less practical or less effective way to go saltwater fishing (wind and waves while fishing from a boat can make it tough) but I think you can do just as well if you are wade fishing from a beach or river with the long rod...
I actually never fished with conventional tackle until about 5-6 years ago. Out of necessity (fishing from a boat a lot)...it is fun(sometimes very fun) but if I had my choice I always pick the flyrod over a spinning rod especially during a monster striper blitz...

Eddy Merckx
07-28-2006, 10:05 AM
I don't think I can improve on blueYaks answers, though I might reverse 1 and 3 in his list. Feeling the strike in hand is a huge rush to me, plugging and jigging just can't compare.

Beyond that, I tend to gravitate toward sporting methods that are as simple as possible. It doesn't get much simpler than flyfishing on foot, whether it's wading the flats of the Cape or scrambling over outcroppings in southern Maine. No boat to worry about, the simplest reel imaginable, no rigging worries. It let's you concentrate on the act of fishing without being distracted by anything. (I guess I've hung up my compound bow for similar reasons, now shooting the recurve with fingers. I can concentrate on the shot without having thoughts bouncing around my head regarding cam timing, releases, rests, etc.)

An old proto-hippie once wrote "simplify, simplify, simplify." Something to be said for that.

07-28-2006, 10:11 AM
Great question. My wife I am sure wonders the same thing.

For me its about the technical part (1), the challenge of being able to take so many different species in so many different ways with a fly rod (2), and being connected to your quarry in a way that other methods just cannot compare (3), and in my opinion it just is a more eloquent way to fish (4)

(1) It's like golf...you can always get better by being better with the technical aspects of the sport (the casting technique....hauls, double hauls, water hauls, choosing the right tools for the right situation....flies, leaders, rod, lines, reel, backing, knots., adapting to wind, current, light conditions, forage, heat, contending with boulder fields, etc.

(2) I can take stripers in deep rips, in one foot of water on the flats, casting into boulder fields, casting from the beach into the surf, on the surface...all necessitating different techniques and equipment....much more of a challenge than slinging an eel.

(3) There is nothing like strip striking a 30 pound bass and then fighting it out of a boulder field before it wraps you up and rubs out the fly....or guiding 70 feet of line off the deck to get to the reel as a tuna you worked to hook up with for several hours rips line off and then tears 200 yards off the backing....any big powerful fish has a chance to beat you in a number of ways when you fight them on the fly...that's also a rush.

(4) How do you compare laying out a 90 foot cast with a perfect loop right on top of a cruising rooster fish and watching that fish light up as it inhales your fly....... with trolling a jig on wire and then reeling a striper in like it was a log.

I prefer to catch all species on the fly.....but I was at the canal during an awesome run of big stripers chasing sea herring last fall and I really enjoyed watching some really sharp surf guys work thier plugs and catch some great bass. I left my fly gear in the car and just enjoyed the show that day.

07-28-2006, 10:33 AM
Great Thread SoundkingÖ.

Itís funny how different people see things in different ways. Some view fly fishing to be the simplest form and most effective means of catching fish while others think it is more challenging and therefore get a greater thrill from the success. Some see it as a serene and pure way to connect to nature yet others get a rush.

I personally think it is a complex thing. As others have said getting the right combination of time, tide, bait and presentation can be a very difficult thing to master. Yes there are those days where it is easy and the more you fish the more you may have those easy days. But donít forget what it took to get there. Unlike some of you, this is still a relatively new passion for me. I started in 2002 with the long wand and now I donít know how I ever lived without it. Itís the cast, the intimacy of tying your own flies and feeling the strike in your hands. But it is also the cerebral aspect of analyzing a situation and finding a solution.

On the second front I think you can get both the peacefulness and a rush out of fly fishing the salt, often at the same time. How many times have you been tip toeing around the flats as the sun came up on the horizon to find a tailing striper doing her thing. At that moment your heart begins to pound with anticipation of the connection you hope to make yet you know there are very few moments in life that can compare to what you are experiencing right then.

Why fly fishing? Because its fly fishing!


07-28-2006, 10:36 AM
I fished spinning rods and conventional tackle for years before I started fly fishing. Then I saw some show where they were fly fishing for bonefish. I was in complete awe! I could feel their passion for the sport, the lifestyle, the hunt! So I went out to Natick Outdoor and bought my first fly rod the very next day. I practiced casting for about 2 days straight than drove out to Plum Island. I tied on a chartreuse/white clouser fished for about 2 hours and then it happened. I cast out about 30 feet, strip..strip..strip...WHAM! I was tight with a 24ish size schoolie. It was just awesome. I was lucky enough to catch a fish on my first outing! I never looked back from there. The feeling of planning, tying, and fishing just brings me that much more in tune with the surroundings. It's the hunt! I then got into sight casting for fish. To me, that is the ultimate high in all of fishing! I know you can do this with a spin rod, but it's just not the same. There's nothing like stalking a fish, selecting the right pattern, planning your cast, making a great cast, watching the fish show it's interest, follow it, open it's big mouth, inhale the fly..roll and see its silver belly and take off to deeper waters...Whoa, did I just see that. Yes I did...compadre...Yes I did. Since then my passion's taken me to some great places to fish. It's the whole package...the whole experience.

peter mac
07-28-2006, 10:39 AM
Outstanding question!!.........Everything about FF is what I like, the ability to fool a fish on my own creation, everything from sunnies to BFT, the complete control of the offering from cast to strip strike, feeling the take in your hands is still the most amazing rush. FF offers a truer test of skills than any other type of fishing IMO. Tying flies on a january night in anticipation of a spring striper, swapping flies that you have created with buddies all year long, and hearing about how your flies worked for them is all part of the mix. It is a passion that contiues to grow deeper every day.
Peter Mac

07-28-2006, 10:39 AM
The most exiting aspect of flyfishing for me is the top water take. If I live to be 100 I will get the same thrill each and every time it happens when the line goes tight after a topwater explosion. I think that the idea of not being in control of a big fish on a flyrod is exciting. You have to do everything right to get a large fish in and so often it doesn't happen. So many things can go wrong. I love to tie my own patterns and see them work and lastly the traditional aspect of flyfishing is rewarding. The fish really do have the advantage with a flyrod. There is no fight like that of a large fish on a flyrod. It is chaos and I can think of no other activity quite like it.

07-28-2006, 11:07 AM
I of course agree with all of the above. The take , the strike the fight ..my own flies are all an important part of what I can only call the "great buzz" that I get from fly fishing. For me though there is a level of escape from the everyday world that I can't achieve with any other activity. I think that fly fishing (in almost all its forms) requires a level of focus, concentration, and an attention to so many small details that it is almost impossible to think about anything else. I find that all the problems and conflicts of the day melt away with two or three hours on the water,fly casting, after work (whether i am catching fish or not). For me , that is an important part of the buzz.

07-28-2006, 11:15 AM
I agree with many of the responses here. I too make a large distinction between freshwater and saltwater. Freshwater is where the heart of the sport is. specifically fishing small dries (16- 24) for large rising trout or salmon..many times on 2-3 pound test. Matching the hatch on some days on others being creative. It can be less physically demanding but that depends on where you are fishing as I have done some jaunts at over 11,000 feet for cutthroats that were very taxing. The last time I fished with a spin rod was four years ago off the coast of argentina but I am not a purist who looks down on any technique..it was more of a progressive thing with me. kind of like when a guy ditches the rifle and goes bowhunting. Having said that a sportsman always likes to push the envelope and thats where saltwater comes in for me. The largest fish under (sometimes) the toughest conditions...when a 15 pounder grabs your fly you cant beat that feeling!

Frankie G
07-28-2006, 11:22 AM
Solitude, even when fishing with others. The rythm of the cast is mesmerizing, and it makes you feel like an artist in a way...I often think about things that I generally won't give time to in my normal hustle bustle....attempting a new style of cast to better cope with weather/wind conditions, tying the fly you are sure will get inhaled. And knowing that your actions caused the fish to strike...not the whiff of a fresh chunk or an umbrella rig out 300 yds on wire. Plus just the sheer simplicity of it all.

07-28-2006, 11:30 AM
I agree that fresh and salt are different. I flyfish freshwater when I want to go out and pound fish. Hard to beat the fly for catching panfish in quantity.

I fish every method and have at least average skills at every aspect of fishing--other than tossing the fly.

For me saltwater flyfishing is about skill building and catching fish on flies that I tied. It is hard to beat catching a fish with a rod and fly that you made!

Variety is what makes fishing fun for me. I fish all methods for all species. My goal is to catch at least one of everything!

07-28-2006, 11:43 AM
Much that I have to say has been said, but that's never stopped many of us before. :)

Having started fishing at about 3 years old, I started fly fishing when I was about 12 years old in PA. Why? It was total immersion in fishing as a part of life. I started with trout and now fish for pretty much everything with a fly. It's still that cycle and immersion that hold me. From tying a fly, to perfecting a cast (never), to learning hatches, it was (and is) total immersion in fishing.

Each fly that you tie is in some way unique. Its an extension of the fisherman and adds to the gratification when landing your fish. I've only fooled around with making lures, and I am sure that those who make them will derive some of the same satisfaction. Albeit, there is something really cool about fooling a saltwater fish with a fly that's made of fur and feather.

Casting is the endless search for perfection in something that cannot be perfected. While it is an art, I believe that true beauty lies in the science of the cast. The mechanics of the cast and the degrees of freedom in each aspect are unbelievable. To have something that is flowing and beautiful as well as intriguing from its mechanial apsects is wonderful. (Thank you to the late John R. Robson)

Learning baitfish and hatches becomes a quest unto itself. Year to year, stream to stream and beach to beach; things are constantly changing. But it is the compiled knowledge of generations and years on your own that help you weed out the noise and choose whats right. When you have it right, its grand. If you don't have it, you can always learn to tie it.

That brings me back to the begininning and to immersion in the cycle that is fly fishing. From crafting your flies, to making the right cast in the right situation and to learning from each and every aspect, it is a lifecycle. I fish all tackle. I fish for just about anyting. However, it is flyfishing that (to me) best replicates life's cycle of learning, discovery, loss and eventual triumph.

07-28-2006, 11:54 AM
10. You look really cool in all that Orvis gear;
9. Bluefish eat anything so even I can tie a effective pattern;
8. Thereís no end to the amount of useless tackle you MUST HAVE;
7. Tom Brokaw is a fly fisherman;
6. Thereís always SOMETHING wrong with your cast;
5. ESPN hottie flyfishes;
4. No fly fishing lodges in Middle East war zones;
3. Less environmental impact due to hapless fishing techniques;
2. You can belittle all other fisherman for their barbarism;

And, the #1 Reason Fly Fishing is Great:

1. Chicks dig the long rod.

07-28-2006, 12:02 PM
I'm really enjoying this thread, boys. I've got the jones for a week of hardcore flyfishing now!

It's interesting how our sport means so many different things to so many people. I think partially, it is a function of personality, and also that for the most part, fly fishermen (with exception of slappy, because he rocks at pretty much everything, re-defines passion and hardcore, and is a conventional dude as well) are the the most observent fishermen. Maybe it's because of necessity that we are so dialed into everything going on around us, but let me provide a pretty ideal example. The first time I met Ruge was at the Monomoy clave. We (Sam, Ray, Patrick, Shaun and myself) were walking in from a spot a way away from the group. We were cracking jokes when suddenly Ruge stops dead in his tracks, mumbles "Mummichog", poises like an egret, unsheaths an aquarium dip-net, and then bolts off across the flat chasing this 2 inch baitfish. That dude studies water and it showed. However comical or insane it was. I think that flyfishermen by nature have a greater appreciation for what is going on than others do. Sure, it's fun to throw a live mackerel in a rockpile and watch a big fish crush it, but it's not the same. I think flyfishing takes you to an ecological level that can't be experienced in any other way.

The other points made about the adrenaline and solice I find to experience a lot myself. One day I was chasing after some tuna, and I wanted to tear the hair out of my head because I couldn't buy a strike. The adrenaline had me clustering line, standing on it, diving through boxes and boxes of flies, changing leaders....when suddenly I took my head out of a fly box with 40 lb flouro hanging out both ends of my mouth....looked around...saw 100's of sheerwaters, baitfish everywhere, tuna busting, whales feeding and dolphins feeding. I put down the fly box, went back to my console, sat on the seat and just chilled and took it all in. I believe the thought was "And to think, some poor s.o.b. is wearing khakis and standing on a golf course right now". I'm sure there's guys here who have been in chile fishing for browns who have poked their heads up and said "Holy Sh*t, I am at the bottom of south america right now standing in a river" and just let it sink in. You guys are also right...the experience and joys we get from it are difficult to articulate.

07-28-2006, 12:15 PM
i moved to wyoming right after college for no other reason than to catch a bunch of trout on flies and I cant explain what it is that I like about it to other people. its just awesome. agree that fresh and salt are different, awesome in their own ways. big, picky trout on dries is an incredible thing to see. big stripers attackin a deceiver like they hate it also incredible. cant describe it, just love it.

07-28-2006, 12:35 PM
as evidenced by 15 guys who would take the time not only to post during a busy work day, but to wrack their brains to try to put some thought into it. It's a question worth trying to answer.


Joey Langan
07-28-2006, 12:39 PM
Tried it once because my father fly fished. I was instantly addicted.

07-28-2006, 12:53 PM
For me, it's all about the women.... --127-3-

Just kidding of course. Although the idea of boat loads of attactive female flyfishing groupies appearing out of the fog with pitchers of beer and breakfast sandwiches is something that does get discussed occasionally on my boat when the fishing is slow. It hasn't happened yet... but I'm stil hopefully.

The fight was what really got me excited about fly fishing. The first time I caught an albie on the fly I knew from there on out that the long wand would be my first choice in any and all fishing situations. I'm still looking for that first tuna on the fly. It'll happen soon. I'm more confident about that than I am about the boat load of beer toting babes...

07-28-2006, 01:21 PM
The constant challenge of trying to avoid driving a #02 hook into the back of your skull while casting in the prevailing 20-25mph SSW winds in Rhode Island.

Salt Water Fly Fishing is not for the faint of heart in the Ocean State.


07-28-2006, 01:56 PM
Been there done that with a Chartruese and White clouser for added effect! Felt like I got shot I suppose...SherpaT was on hand to jerk it out with pliers. We couldnt do the Boy Scout removal trick of pushing it back through and cutting off the point because I guess it was embedded deep and straight into the skull. I dont know but it took couple of hard pulls along with bracing my head with his free hand...Yeowza! So add in the danger factor, chicks dig that

Bob Parsons
07-28-2006, 03:14 PM
I enjoy it most of the time.
It is an effective tool for catching fish.
I like being able to go home make a fly to match bait I see and have it produce.
Speaking of flies, you don't hear of chunkers having a bait swap in january.

07-28-2006, 05:12 PM
For one simple reason, to test both the fish, and the fisherman.

bringing the rod tip down to touch the butt, and stressing the line all the way from fish gut- to reel knot.

so who'se gonna win?

07-28-2006, 05:26 PM
Been there done that with a Chartruese and White clouser for added effect! Felt like I got shot I suppose...SherpaT was on hand to jerk it out with pliers. We couldnt do the Boy Scout removal trick of pushing it back through and cutting off the point because I guess it was embedded deep and straight into the skull. I dont know but it took couple of hard pulls along with bracing my head with his free hand...Yeowza! So add in the danger factor, chicks dig that

My wife was on-board. She's a surgeon's kid and it made her queazy! The Doctor Slick pliers on board are now called "Dr. Slick, Medicine Woman" (BTW, Dr. Quinn is a very hot flyfisherwoman.)

07-28-2006, 05:43 PM
Because my brother is absolutely off the deep end about it.He is THE Orvis guy.I mean he shows up with two huge duffel bags of gear to wade for schoolies.He's fished all over the world,and has gotten good enough guides so that his "couldnt catch his a$$ if he was locked in a closet" meager skills have not interfered with him bagging the usual trophies,and he wont fish with anything else.So pretty much the few times our lives allow us to get together are to fish and go to funerals.Flyfishing is the better of the two.

07-28-2006, 06:38 PM
Because it is the bastion of obsessive personality types! Here is the condensed version of my flyfishing metamorphosis.
1. Older brother always talked about ffing in Alaska when he was stationed there.

2. Older brother talked about ffing for Nilr Perch while in Egypt w/ the Air force.

3. I bought a $40 setup at a hardware store and started casting in my yard.

4. One of my employees had me try his G.Loomis GLX #5

5. I bought a G.Loomis #5

6. I tried FFing at my hunting club. First cast a large rainbow on a dry.

7. Brain produced addiction chemicals.

8. Realized that the fish were too far away (5 mi.) and dug a huge trout pond.

9. Went striper fishing with a guide twice.

10. Promptly spent about 50 k on a boat and gear.

10a. Caught a tuna on my first tuna trip.

11. Spend every spare minute OTW regardless of the conditions.


Nothing like a strip strike and that direct connection. Plus all of the nifty gadgetry that only adds to the experiece.

07-28-2006, 06:42 PM
Funny thing is I want to be like Soundking When I Grow Up!

There is so much to learn, Soundking is the man when it comes to breaking it down and really getting in tune with what he is fishing for. Another angler who I met Tunna Hunter is the same way. They just take it to a different Level.

I am working towards that, fishing trips are still fun but they are also experiments where everything is noted. When I am not fishing I am thinking about these variables. There is a code , it can be cracked. The key is putting the time in and making good observations. For me Time is the problem, to collect data you need the time. It will take a while but I am getting there!

I have fished all my life with conventional gear, artificials and bait, from bacon and do balls to Poggies and ells.

7years ago I started fly fishing. Striper fishing was great and I had caught a ton so I figured I need a new challenge. I did not know anyone who fly fished so it was tough. Living in Quincy there werenít any shops around either. I learned through reading all I could and trial and error. My usual fishing buddies were not too happy with the change; they saw it is an elitist way of fishing. I just wanted a new challenge. As crazy as it sounds I have lost friends over the choice :confused:

I fished solo for a couple of years, and then started posting boat rides on Reeltime. Got some good responses and learned allot. Got a regular fly partner "Vossman" out of doing that. He left for the west Coast 2 years ago. We caught allot of fish and had some laughs. He was experience trout guy so we both learned allot together. Right when he left I was lucky enough to meet a guy who wanted to learn to fly fish. Now he is my regular partner.

Things were pretty flat in my progression in the fly fishing department until I went to the Salmon River, NY. There I learned quickly you needed to tie your own or it would cost a fortune to fish. Now I tie and love it! I am still learning, but spent last winter at the united fly tiers meetings and Mountain Road Fly Shop every Thursday night. Now I tie all my own flies. Built a desk that fits the decor of my family room so I can hang with the family and tie every Night!

I still prefer my spin and bait caster for LMB and SMB, donít really no why that is? But Fly for everything else.

To wrap it up I fly fish because:

1) It offers you so many combinations and choices as to presentation. I can fish up top, or dredge the Bottom with my 700gr. Fish can't hide.

2) Fly tying is a great hobby that can be done while the kid plays with her toys the wife reads a book and the Wood burning stove kicking, I get Family points and still get some flies out of the deal. I would not be able to get away with turning plugs in my family room!

2)Casting is really an Art, and I get satisfaction at making a well executed cast in a Pitching boat with a 15MPH in my face. I also started Spey casting. I could do that all day, knowing that I would not catch anything. Just Fun

3) I started Fly fishing in NH last year JAN1 in rivers, Went a dozen times and caught nothing. The act of fly fishing is enough for me to keep coming back, the catching is definitely secondary.

I still keep a spin rod on the boat; it may get some use when I am tired. I also bought a Centerpin rig last winter for Steelhead. Have used it on a small rig around here for stockies. So I am not 100% Fly .98% would be about right. I still do the blind date fishing trip thing, but mostly on the Fly Fishing NH Site, Try to trade trips for Trout tips. I have had no luck trout fishing. Still lots to learn!

I find my self spending less time at this site, and more on the FFNH site. That is why I brought up the forum idea.


Capt. John
07-29-2006, 07:21 PM
Grew up on the spinning reel- still love it in the light tackle sense but fly fishing is in a league of it's own and my first choice of tackle. It's more hunting than catching and the "salt" well there is nothing like it. Would never ever want to offend another fly fisherman (most have a good sense of humor) but my shirts say " Fresh water is for drinking, Salt water is for fishing."That about sums it up.

Bob Parsons
07-29-2006, 07:31 PM
John if you come across one of those shirts in XXX I like to buy one.

07-29-2006, 08:30 PM
...but my shirts say " Fresh water is for drinking, Salt water is for fishing."That about sums it up.

Try getting a 15# brown to suck down a size 28 on gossemer thin tippet. Man, I love salt, but I cannot in any way shape or form shake what a challeng it is getting browns in gin clear streams. All areas have their pinnacles.

07-29-2006, 09:59 PM
1) On days I work, I need an alarm clock to get out of bed.
On days I fish, the thought of a 40in. striper gets me out of bed (at 3:30am)

2) Sun coming up over the flats with fish bustin'

3) Sight fishing. Anywhere.

4) Surf fishing and getting scared out of my BeeJeeezus by some big seals who at first sight looked like a couple of guys in scuba gear.

5) Every day I learn something new about my quarry, my surroundings or my equipment.

6) Anything I catch and choose to eat is better than anything I can get at restaurant.

7) The biggest striper I ever saw but never caught (yet!)

07-30-2006, 07:48 AM
Many of the reasons above, plus one more: simplicity. I own the standard arsenal of fly gear, but with rod in hand, everything else I need for a morning's outing I can carry in a shirt pocket.

07-30-2006, 10:59 AM
I just plain old love fishing. I like to know anything and everything I can about the fish I target (Juvie lifestyle to adulthood, migration patterns, preferred structure, feeding habits, forage preferencesÖ), and I like all kinds of fishing Ė from bare handing flounder to trolling, but the closer I am to a more even match with the fish I target, the better.

For me, fly fishing and light spin tackle with artificials represents the best (most fun) way to stalk, entice and fight fish. Of these options, fly fishing brings us closest to the fish Ė we need to put more life and thought into the artificial and fly reels put us more directly in touch with the fish.

SherpaTís point on the difference between fresh and salt fly fishing is right on, and in an effort to further this thought, I believe the best fly-fishing is where these two meet: on the flats, around the mangroves, in the marsh/estuaries, etcÖ In these areas, we get to fight big, tough fish, while stalking/sight casting and using our often instinctive know-how (we know what to do and when to do it, but canít quite explain it to people who donít really fish). Here we become part fish :) For some of us, I believe the recent infatuation with Mr. Charles Thunnus these past few years is partly routed in trying to understand the Big Water the way we understand the back water. Whether we fly fish for them or not, the scale and difficulty keeps us coming back for more. Just a thought.

Great post JJ!

07-30-2006, 12:11 PM
Big thanks to JJ for starting this thread.
I started fly-fishing 30yrs ago. Joined UFT and was off to the races.
To me no other type of fishing puts me in touch with my maker like
fly-fishing. I fished fresh for a long time before I tried my hand at the
salt. I just invested in a TFO 10-12 Big Game rod and a Ross BG-6 with
600 and 400 gr line. Hope to hook up with my first tuna this yr.
I joined this site a yr ago and my life will never be the same again.
Thanks to all,

07-30-2006, 01:23 PM
i started fly fishing 4 years ago, when i was twelve. i thought the idea of fly fishing was kind of, well, stupid, but then a full time bait guy i knew became a flyfisherman, trading his boat and equipment in to get a center console and a load of fly gear, so i figured if he likes it there must be something to it. and sure, casting and being one with nature are great, but i love fighting fish on a fly rod.

07-30-2006, 07:50 PM
For example - I just got back from a trip to Wisconsin. Booked a morning trip for smallmouth bass on Lake Michigan. I had never fly fished for smallmouth bass so I really wanted to do it. I could not find a fly fishing guide so got some guy to bring me out who only spin fishes. Well he fished with his usual grubs, tubes, rapalas, etc while I slugged it out with a my 8 wt using a bunch of different flies that seemed to match what he was throwing. For the first few hours he was hooking up 4 to 1 to me and he kept urging me to switch. When I finally figured out the action I started to match him fish for fish and when I got a couple of big bass on poppers he started to come around and cheer me on. At the end of the trip he wrote down the rod, reel, line and flies I was using and said he was going to get his own fly rod :) . Despite equal or better success on a spinning rod he clearly realized the fun and satisfaction you can get from fly fishing. Another convert...

07-30-2006, 08:13 PM
Speaking of flies, you don't hear of chunkers having a bait swap in january.

True enough. Interesting concept though, Bob. ;)

"Say, I've got a few bags of frozen mackerel that I'd be willing to swap for your quart of frozen clams, as long as you sweeten the deal with some of those pogie pieces..."

"Toss in a couple dozen seaworms and a few fishfinder rigs and you've got yourself a deal!"

07-31-2006, 12:17 AM
Flyfishing is the most rewarding way to fish for anything. From making your own flies to then having the right presentation it is all about your skill and confidence. I first got hooked on flyfishing from my father and since then I have spent coutnless hours in the basment during long snowstorms trying to make new patters and brainstorming my next big idea (most of them start out as a good idea but seldom turn out the way I want them to ;) ).
The best part of flyfishing is the peace and quiet that comes with flyfishing when you are OTW. When you are on the flats at sunset/sunrise and the water is like glass and you are trying to get a deciever in front of that big cow fining 20 yrds off your bow it makes it all worth it. And then just as you get enough line out the wind shifts and your backcast ends up in knot around your neck and the fish swims off as if to say haha missed me again. You just have to sit there and laugh to yourself at the way nature works. Flyshing is just one of things you have to love it to do it.

07-31-2006, 07:27 AM
I have to confess that after getting skunked on the flats (saw / spooked 8 fish in 2 hours) --124-3 , I had a whole lot of fun snagging poggies and having blues tear into them. Snag one and hold on! :brow Huge schools of poggies at the entrance to Stage.

07-31-2006, 07:35 AM
" Fresh water is for drinking, Salt water is for fishing."

I like that quote, but i must confess

- I bought a 4wt rod this spring and have had a blast catching trout on dries with it.


07-31-2006, 08:30 AM
Has anyone else had to do a spastic Irish Jig to free their feet from the 100' of fly line that is screaming off the deck and then watch helplessly as your drag heats up and you approach the last few turns of backing? That sort of does it for me :)

Jim Miller
07-31-2006, 08:43 AM
then watch helplessly as your drag heats up and you approach the last few turns of backing? That sort of does it for me :)

Kind of a GOOD....BAD thing.
--127-3- :eek: --124-3

07-31-2006, 08:49 AM
Kind of the 'Oh sh*t, what did I just get myself into' feeling, isn't it?

07-31-2006, 01:17 PM
To me it's like rifle hunting vs. bow hunting.

If you really need to bring home some meat you bring the rifle.

If you want to do something special you bring the bow.

The challenge of the sport is what keeps me coming back. I would rather take the occasional skunking and still be stoked about 35+" bass on the fly. Frankly it's not that hard to do with spinning gear where I fish. Not so easy to do with the fly rod which I think is why I love it so much (#$119)

Plus nothing is cooler than sight fishing with a fly IMHO

08-01-2006, 08:44 AM

It ain't easy.

Ok, some days it's very easy- other days YOU HAVE TO WANT IT. i.e. - last year Sept off RI. ALbies were scarce when we were out. We found 1 pod that was up and down off Pt J. We left them to find others, but there were no others. So we went back and drifted between the scup fleet. After a few hours (like 3) and trying every fly and presentation known to God and man, finally got tight. I remember thinking I damn well better not drop this one. Put him in the boat and we hugged like high school girls at graduation.

It is very entertaining to catch Albie after Albie while the rest of the fleet is trolling bluefish lures around you. (Self explanatory)

Lots of different gear to play with and rig and re-rig and tweak and store and maintain and... (If you need to have this explained, you won't get it anyway)

Anticipation of the trip

When you are stuck in the middle of the freakin country, researching baitfish profiles, plotting strategy, tides, moons ,etc etc is like a vacation in itself.

Flyfishmich will tell you it's all about the steelhead out here.

And he's right.

I don't golf

08-03-2006, 11:20 PM
What's not to love? I love catching new species on flies. I love talking to the flyshop guys all over the country and exploring their local waters. I love the gear (if not the cost). I love the anticipation. I love the higher hookup rate than with other methods. I love walking out onto the beach/boat/rocks confidently with a rod and a small box of stuff I tied up in the off-season. I like hunting for fish behind rocks, in undercut banks, up in the whitewater on shore, in the seams of a good tidal rip. I love when the fly lands just where I hoped it would and learning how to put it there more consistently as my skills improve. I love timing the sink/drift and envisioning where the fly is relative to where I hope the fish are. I love the sound of the line slapping against the rod as it unfurls wishing I had stripped out more before the cast. I love that I'm constantly doing something while out there. I love the follows. I love the take--especially when you see it. I love the line pulling through my fingers as I get the fish on the reel. I love how even small fish feel big on fly rods. I love the sound of the line tearing from my reel. Trout, stripers, albies, steelhead, tuna, salmon, dorado, permit, bones, tarpon (still haven't connected with the silver king, but I will, it will happen). I love being in the moment. It's all good.