Flies vs Lures

jaredoconnor

New Member
Years ago, back home in Australia, I tried saltwater fly fishing for a few weeks. I bought an 8wt, a bunch of Clousers and hit the beach. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that this was not an effective way to fish and that the flies were so big I might as well have just been using lures. After all, the whole point of fly line is that the flies don't have much weight and the line needs to be weighted instead.

Since moving to Seattle and having access to amazing salmon waters, I've wondered if I should reconsider this. I think we would all agree fly fishing is the most fun way to fish, but are there any practical benefits to fly fishing once the flies become lure sized?
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
Years ago, back home in Australia, I tried saltwater fly fishing for a few weeks. I bought an 8wt, a bunch of Clousers and hit the beach. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that this was not an effective way to fish and that the flies were so big I might as well have just been using lures. After all, the whole point of fly line is that the flies don't have much weight and the line needs to be weighted instead.

Since moving to Seattle and having access to amazing salmon waters, I've wondered if I should reconsider this. I think we would all agree fly fishing is the most fun way to fish, but are there any practical benefits to fly fishing once the flies become lure sized?
That's how i feel about bass fishing. Yeah i can do it with flies and i do at times. But most presentations are just more fun fishing conventionally. But everyone should do whats fun to them
 

SilverFly

Active Member
Years ago, back home in Australia, I tried saltwater fly fishing for a few weeks. I bought an 8wt, a bunch of Clousers and hit the beach. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that this was not an effective way to fish and that the flies were so big I might as well have just been using lures. After all, the whole point of fly line is that the flies don't have much weight and the line needs to be weighted instead.

Since moving to Seattle and having access to amazing salmon waters, I've wondered if I should reconsider this. I think we would all agree fly fishing is the most fun way to fish, but are there any practical benefits to fly fishing once the flies become lure sized?
Good question. One I've given plenty of thought to. The key point you hit is that the line is what is delivering the fly. With modern tungsten weighted lines, there's no real reason flies need to be massively weighted. At least other than enough to impart vertical action or deliberately plant a fly on the bottom like with flats fishing.

Big flies don't need to be heavy, so taking weight out of the equation, it really comes down to a matter of scale. For me throwing an 8" baitfish or squid pattern on a 13wt (like I should be right now :( ) feels like "normal" fly fishing. Functionally it is.
 

Jake

(not really a sea otter)
Years ago, back home in Australia, I tried saltwater fly fishing for a few weeks. I bought an 8wt, a bunch of Clousers and hit the beach. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that this was not an effective way to fish and that the flies were so big I might as well have just been using lures. After all, the whole point of fly line is that the flies don't have much weight and the line needs to be weighted instead.

Since moving to Seattle and having access to amazing salmon waters, I've wondered if I should reconsider this. I think we would all agree fly fishing is the most fun way to fish, but are there any practical benefits to fly fishing once the flies become lure sized?
For me, yes. Easier control of stripping speed and pattern, easier to strip set, more variety of line types, etc.
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
If you plan on eating the salmon you catch and the more the better, the use of some manner of spinning gear lure system would most likely be the way you'd want to go. But if you are just fishing for fun, as I do, and using fly gear is part of the fun, then that's what you do.
 

tallguy

Active Member
No contest.. the action that can be imparted to a fly to induce strike behaviors almost always outweighs all advantages lures can provide.

Depth is the one exception, if you need to get really deep, it gets hard..
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
With the right rod and line combo, you’d be surprised what you can chuck at the end of a fly line. Just saying.....

Hopefully my statement above doesn’t cause anyone to choke out on their ascots.
SF

This is Washington we don't wear ascots. We wear moss around our necks but only accidentally as we foolishly bushwack into a rainforest canyon, alone.

You know mountaineers say never trust the vegetation., but steelheaders say, " if you don't trust the vegetation you ain't going nowhere "
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
This is Washington we don't wear ascots. We wear moss around our necks but only accidentally as we foolishly bushwack into a rainforest canyon, alone.
Moss?? What is moss??

Rain Forest?? What is rain??

My daughter was almost two before she saw rain.....she asked me what it was. I told her GOD made it for people without irrigation systems.

But....on topic......

I could never catch fish on lures EXCEPT on off-trail lakes in Idaho in the early 70's. I found I could catch fish on flies and never looked back.
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
It's all in what you enjoy. Fly fishing is #1 for me, but I also fish with spinning gear at times. A big advantage with fly fishing is that you can pick-up your line/fly & cast to a feeding fish quickly. You can't do that with a spinning/gear outfit unless the you spot the fish while you're ready to cast. All that being said, the very act of using a fly rod is most enjoyable to me.
 

Gary Thompson

dirty dog
To fly fish or not to fly fish?
My son gave me some flies for catching trophy German Brown trout. They are big.
Big meat eating trout like big meals, so go big for big trout.
Back on topic.
Salmon are not feeding when they move into fresh water, so no reason for big flies.
In the salt, a different story.
Check with the beach fisher on what flies to use in the salt
 

wetswinger

Active Member
Years ago, back home in Australia, I tried saltwater fly fishing for a few weeks. I bought an 8wt, a bunch of Clousers and hit the beach. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that this was not an effective way to fish and that the flies were so big I might as well have just been using lures. After all, the whole point of fly line is that the flies don't have much weight and the line needs to be weighted instead.

Since moving to Seattle and having access to amazing salmon waters, I've wondered if I should reconsider this. I think we would all agree fly fishing is the most fun way to fish, but are there any practical benefits to fly fishing once the flies become lure sized?
Your question is the answer. Just asking such a question is at the heart of fly fishing for me. What bait is present? What presentation? Fast or slow, sink or float? Tying flies and the perfect cast, It's the process that brings me back...
 

jasmillo

Active Member
In the end I think it really comes down to preference. I prefer to catch salmon on a fly rod. More fun to me. As far as more effective, to a degree it is at least slightly debatable depending on the situation. All things being equal, often times you will see fly guys keep pace with or even on occasion out fish gear guys on a beach. If the fish are within casting distance of all fishing types on the beach (gear/herring/fly). The catch rate is often comparable. You can’t (at least I know I can’t :)) cast a fly 100 yards like a buzz bomb so there is a gear advantage. No scent like a herring guy...well I guess you could add some.

In general, gear is the more effective method I would say. However, unless feeding my family or myself was my only motivation for fishing salmon, i would not switch to gear - in situations where they can actually be targeted by fly gear that is. In some cases, fly gear is just not an option.
 

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