Is it Really Flyfishing?

wetswinger

Active Member
My stepson Jeff and I had a conversation yesterday about fishing. He is an excellent gear fisherman in the local rivers and rarely comes home without his limit. I was telling him about some luck I've had recently from the saltwater beach use a fly and bubble setup on my spin casting rod. I've been meat fishing lately, and have been starting out with flies, but if its slow I turn to throwing twitching jigs. Taking both rods and a casting basket just turned into a hassle, so the spin rod it is. Well I told him I was fly fishing and he called bullshit. He says using a fly with a spin rod is spin fishing. I say using a fly is fly fishing. So around we went. He said casting with the fly rod is the essence of the sport. I countered with the example of trolling (bucktailing) with a fly rod. Is that flyfishing or just fishing with a fly rod? Well we both laughed and got me wondering, what really is flyfishing?
 

pigburner

Active Member
Per WDFW rules, it isn't flyfishing...

"Fly Fishing Only In “Fly Fishing Only” waters, anglers may use only the following gear: up to 2 flies, each with a barbless single-point hook, not to exceed ½" from point to shank, knotless nets, and conventional fly line or a conventional “Tenkara” fly line. Other line can be used for backing or leader if attached to conventional “Tenkara” fly line or at least 25 feet of conventional fly line. Anglers may not use: fixed spool reels, bait, or weights."

But it's a great way to "fly fish" high lakes when fish aren't cruising the shallows, and a good way to teach/transition people to flies. And I don't really care what the definition is if it is catching fish...
 

Salmo_g

WFF Premium
what really is flyfishing?
For fvck sakes man, how many times does this need to be explained? Fly fishing means casting a rod fashioned from Tonkin cane or greenheart if you're poor, a tapered silk fly line, a fly reel made in England, and flies tied only with natural materials, no mylar, polypro, or foam. Oh, and gut leaders, no nylon or god forbid, flourocarbon. Anything else and you're just another bait goober.
 

up2nogood

Active Member
No idea of the definition , but its a blast casting a light spinning rod with fly, and a bubble in the high mountain lakes for brooks ,and cuts. Thats how I started fly fishing if you will. I still enjoy fishing the small lakes that way, and will if given the chance. Especially from shore , if its in a float tube or pontoon boat I go with a fly rod on those small lakes, or any lake for that matter .

But yes I call it ALL fly fishing :)
 

Rocking Chair Fan

No more hot spotting
For fvck sakes man, how many times does this need to be explained? Fly fishing means casting a rod fashioned from Tonkin cane or greenheart if you're poor, a tapered silk fly line, a fly reel made in England, and flies tied only with natural materials, no mylar, polypro, or foam. Oh, and gut leaders, no nylon or god forbid, flourocarbon. Anything else and you're just another bait goober.

You forgot indicators...
 

wanative

Retired, gone fishin'
For fvck sakes man, how many times does this need to be explained? Fly fishing means casting a rod fashioned from Tonkin cane or greenheart if you're poor, a tapered silk fly line, a fly reel made in England, and flies tied only with natural materials, no mylar, polypro, or foam. Oh, and gut leaders, no nylon or god forbid, flourocarbon. Anything else and you're just another bait goober.
Don't forget the knickers, tweed suit and ghillie.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
Ehhhh I’d say that by using a spin rod and a bubble, you’re spin fishing with a tied fly instead of a cricket. Your stepson has won the debate to my ears.

As long as you’re casting a fly line (aerial or waterborne/touch-and-go), you’re in the neighborhood.

The only exception I’m willing to make for trolling with a fly rod and line is if it’s human-powered from a small craft. You still gotta be able to cast the fly and line together.

Bucktailing with motor assistance is gear fishing in my book. The type of rod in the holder doesn’t matter at that point.

Cone heads and dumbbells are still fly gear so long as the line is what casts the fly instead of the other way around. I’m sure a 14’ 10wt would move a chinook jig no problem. The same jig on a 8.5’ 4wt would be gear fishing and a death sentence to the 4wt.
 
Per WDFW rules, it isn't flyfishing...

"Fly Fishing Only In “Fly Fishing Only” waters, anglers may use only the following gear: up to 2 flies, each with a barbless single-point hook, not to exceed ½" from point to shank, knotless nets, and conventional fly line or a conventional “Tenkara” fly line. Other line can be used for backing or leader if attached to conventional “Tenkara” fly line or at least 25 feet of conventional fly line. Anglers may not use: fixed spool reels, bait, or weights."

But it's a great way to "fly fish" high lakes when fish aren't cruising the shallows, and a good way to teach/transition people to flies. And I don't really care what the definition is if it is catching fish...
According to the WDFW rules, the OPST shooting heads don’t qualify as fly fishing.

when I was a young man, we used to catch trout in Colorado Wilderness Areas with a clear bobber and flies and we never gave a thought about whether we were “fly fishing “. When I was a young man, I used to hook a large shiner through the back and fish it with a fly rod and fly line for large pickerel. The minnow looked very injured trying to pull the fly line around.
so don’t over think it and do whatever you’d like so long as it’s legal. My personal opinion is if you’re using a fly rod then you’re fly fishing, otherwise not.
 

Rocking Chair Fan

No more hot spotting
<snip>

a good way to teach/transition people to flies.

That is how I transitioned into fly fishing. On Fish Lake near L in late 70's. Several others I have helped using the same methodology. They are now fly rod only after seeing their catch rate improve on lakes.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Premium
Per WDFW rules, it isn't flyfishing...
But it's a great way to "fly fish" high lakes when fish aren't cruising the shallows, and a good way to teach/transition people to flies. And I don't really care what the definition is if it is catching fish...
When my son was in Cub Scouts he wasn't one of the most skilled kids in his den but on a trip to a small OP river he caught fish using his spincast rod & reel with a Double X (formerly Rainbow Plastics) 1/8th oz transparent green Torpedo Float. They are smaller and more durable than the hollow floats that can be filled with water, and think they cast and fish better when fishing flies near the surface.
1630956386866.png
All the other boys were skunked fishing bait.
No idea of the definition , but its a blast casting a light spinning rod with fly, and a bubble in the high mountain lakes for brooks ,and cuts. Thats how I started fly fishing if you will. I still enjoy fishing the small lakes that way, and will if given the chance. Especially from shore , if its in a float tube or pontoon boat I go with a fly rod on those small lakes, or any lake for that matter .
Backcast room and a fly line splashing down on crystal clear shallow water are problems fly fishing from shore in high lakes. Mrs Brian (who doesn't fish) gave me a stack of books she won at the raffle table when we were volunteering at a FFI fair one year. One of the books was "Fish Don't Think" by Bob Kayne.
1630959020629.png
The author likes to fish flies with a spinning reel on a "slow action" (glass) 8'-9' fly rod that he rebuilt with ceramic guides. He uses one of those water-fillable floats rigged like this that can cast a fly a long ways and get it down to the fish.
Bubble Rig004.jpg
When fishing high lakes I usually use a 7 piece 9' - 4-weight medium fast action fly rod and a WL Bp Pro float tube, pump, Redball coated waders, fins, and PFD. The total fishing kit weighs 10 lbs, and fits in-on a 1500 cu. in. Fishpond Tundra combo chest-backpack with other day hike gear, food & water. If I want to fish several lakes in a day that are in close proximity and wish to avoid the hassle of carrying an inflated tube or taking the time for deflate-inflate-deflate I won't bring the tube, pump etc. After reading the book I just bring a spinning reel, Torpedo Float, and a couple of lures along to use instead of a second spinning rod saving just over 6lbs and about 800 cu. in. I haven't done it enough to cause any wear to the snake guides, can cast a lot farther from shore when there is no back cast room, and can also fish lures.
 
Last edited:

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts

Top