fly fishing vs. just fishing
|Raiders hat + Bob Marley shirt + 50 pound braid = HUGE bass|
I always get a kick out of people who say yeah I fly fish. Well whoopty-friggin-doooo. Don't get me wrong here - I LOVE fly fishing, but when the term "fly-fishing" is thrown out there like it's some kind of status symbol I always get a bit of a chuckle. The majority of the time when I'm fishing it's with a fly, but fly fishing isn't always the most effective way to catch fish. Just to give a little bit of back-story on this - I grew up in a small town in Utah, and really didn't start fishing with anything other than a wad of velveeta cheese on a hook until I was about 21. I gradually made the change to lures, then I got a float tube, then I got introduced to fly tying and fly fishing, then I sold ALL of my non-fly fishing stuff etc. etc. you get the picture? You guys probably all know this so-called progression of fishing that we all perceive to have fly fishing at the very top. Well... In 2006 (when in my mind, I had reached the top because I could readily catch fish on a fly), I got schooled.
|This bass ate a fly in open water|
1- Gear fishing is EVERY bit as technical as fly fishing.
|This smallie crushed a tube fly|
2- Casting practice is every bit as important with conventional gear as it is with fly gear.
So you are scanning water, and there is a small opening in the snarled tree that you are looking at. The hole is about 6" in diameter and the water is shallow so you can't splash and spook the fish. If you miss your spot, you will spend the next half hour untangling your line from the snarled tree. Yeah, I spend a lot of time in the front yard flipping and pitching into small targets. Same goes for fly casting. You should spend a lot of time practicing different casting techniques so you can present your fly more effectively. Admittedly, I probably practice more with my baitcasters than my fly rods.
3- Knot strength is everything.
I used to try to learn new knots for fly fishing, but after bass fishing I realized that a standard clinch knot and a loop knot are all I need when attaching flies. When you start snapping 40 pound braid setting the hook on a 3 pound bass, you realize that you need to pay more attention to the type of knot that you use, and to make sure that it is tied perfectly every time. The amount of torque a 7'6" "flippin" stick puts on line is tremendous. I'm not downplaying the fact that that you need to tie good knots in fly fishing, but bass fishing really made me focus on knots and knot-strength much more. So far, if I need a knot that will hold as close to 100% strength as possible, I use the good old palomar knot.
4- Fly Fishing isn't always the most effective way to catch fish.
|Check out Curtis' ZAGGIN ZOOK|
5- Don't judge.
I learned a long time ago that the guy sitting on the bank hucking rapalas just might be able to teach me something. We are never done learning and if we think that fly fishing is the be-all end-all of fishing, we can miss out on opportunities to learn and become better fishers. I'm not telling you to run out and buy a can of worms and an Ugly Stik, but maybe the next time you are out fishing and you see the guy fishing with non-flyfishing gear, you will think twice before you label him as a backward-hilljack-bait-chucker (which I certainly have never done before... right?).
|Bruiser Bluegill new for 2014 Bruiser Blend Dub HERE|
It would be safe to say that I'm a very avid bass angler, and I enjoy gear fishing for bass every bit as much as I enjoy fly fishing for trout. For fly fishing, I tie flies, build rods, etc. For gear fishing, I make lures, I pour lead and do custom paint, etc. I like fly fishing because I can highly customize the say that I present my fly. I like gear fishing because I can highly customize the way that I present my lure. To me it's just fishing.