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SpeyDoctor
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Discussion Starter #1
I have the need to ask. Of course, this question will be answered differently by all but, there should be some consensus.
What is fly fishing?
To some it is just the use of a fly. To others, a fly used with fly rod and reel or, a fly used on a fly rod and fly reel with fly line. But, is it just that?
What makes us want to be “fly fishermen” (& women)?
There has always been a certain mystique about fly fishing. The allure of the casting style is probably the #1 thing that comes to mind. Why did so many people become “fly fishermen” after the movie “A River Runs Through It”? Probably the shadow casting sequence. This wasn’t just plunking something in front of a fish and having it eat it. It was…”poetry in motion”, as once stated by Bamboo Fred about Bobby’s casting to a fish on the Delaware River.
“Poetry in Motion.”
So much poetry has been taken out of our lives. Everything is fast, fast, faster and we never seem to be out of touch from anyone, anymore. Fly fishing used to be relaxing…poetic.
Now, fly fishing seems to be nothing more than bobbers and weights thrown into the water like we did as children when we were taught to fish with spinning rods and reels. When did fly fishing just become another way to catch fish? When did it lose its’ poetry? Is this why so many started Spey fishing? Now, this too is becoming just another way to throw a bobber and weights.:tsk_tsk:
Do we need to catch fish any way possible to inflate our egos?
It seems that many do. In a world of Extreme Sport “Everything” fly fishing should be a refuge for all of us. Even on crowded streams fly fishermen should be stewards of the fishery and of fishermen. A peaceful and enjoyable experience that isn’t just about catching fish but also about how you catch fish.
Everyone needs to decide for themselves where fly fishing ends and spin fishing with fly fishing equipment begins. As for me and what I sell in my fly fishing store, I have decided to throw out all split shot over a size 3/0 and all larger sized “strike indicators” and all “bobber” style indicators. I hope this will get others to realize what they are missing by using these devices and also create a movement toward more people learning to fish effectively without them.

“Fly fishing is not an extreme sport. It is a Labor of Love.”​
Is this topic past due for a new discussion?

written by:
Malinda Barna:)
Owner
Malinda’s Fly & Tackle Shop
Altmar, New York

© Copyright 2015 by Malinda Barna. All Rights Reserved.
 

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Lip Ripper
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324 Posts
I disagree.

For the simple reason that how I define Fly Fishing should not be subjected to others. Fly Fishing is an individual experience and is not defined by someone else.

There is joy in the individual experience that does not need to be explained or justified to others.

I am a guide who fishes with all types and levels of fly fishermen. Should I tell the new beginner that just caught her first steelhead that she is not a fly fisherman because she didn't do it right. Should the spey snob that catches a 20" steelhead and says "I won't count that one cause it is so small" be praised because he can cast a spey rod? I think not!

If I want to alienate people from our sport I certainly could. But I want to bring more people into our sport so I will help them enjoy our sport as much as possible.
 

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I disagree.

For the simple reason that how I define Fly Fishing should not be subjected to others. Fly Fishing is an individual experience and is not defined by someone else.

There is joy in the individual experience that does not need to be explained or justified to others.
BINGO. You hit the nail on the head with your reply.
 

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Banned
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973 Posts
Fly fishing could be anything but fly casting uses the line as the major weight component. We cast the line, we don't cast the fly. Flies can be cast on any type of equipment but fly casting is the only one that uses the weight of the line as the primary casting weight.

How do we vote in this thread? I agree to fly casting but don't see anything to agree or disagree too in the poll?
 

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I only have 2 hands
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What is elitism? Is this about conservation ethics or pure snobbery? What is long lining? What is trawling,purse seineing,gill netting? I am done with boobers and gaff and beads they bore me for sure.... just like elitist snobs. But I will never judge another angler for sport fishing methods when there is such rampant abuse of the resource happening at such a deeper level. Purists look equally ridiculous and futile in their beliefs when one steps back to look at the bigger picture. Our oceans and rivers are dying because of industrialization not bobber nymphing. Next time that jealous judgmental feeling hits when a bobber angler is outfishing me I will be glad I am not getting low holed by a gill net........or dynamite. I can understand one wanting to belong to an exclusive club. I wonder what the forum creator/s think? Was speypages started for purists only? Or just like in life will evolution create new forms ?
 

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registered text offender
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i think when you tell someone that throwing a boober and bead over the side of the boat, and steering the boat into fishy water is flyfishing, you are telling them that flyfishing is about shortcuts and catching fish the easiest way. that is quickly becoming the norm for guides these days. it is sad what new "anglers" think flyfishing is all about. just check out the bobber section in most fly shops these days. should we keep trying to find ways to make it easier to catch fish, than the way we learned ? or should we find ways to make catching fewer fish more fun ?
 

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Very simple..

In conventional fishing the weight of the lure,bait or other attachments propel the cast.

In fly fishing the propulsion of the cast is generated by the weight of the line.
Also because it's fly fishing a tied fly must be used.. That is to say. Stuff lashed to a hook with thread.
 

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Dedicated Fisherman
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3,306 Posts
Me, I was fishing the river before there was a shop where you are now. I was swinging streamers while all the shops were dealing slinkies and Amnesia to spool to a fly reel. Everywhere I looked fly fishing was lining steelhead on size 14 black stones on light tippets held down by the slinky. There were always the chuck and duck types who got good at having the weight on their side and a hook wound with blaze orange on the other side of a fish. If you talked to one of them, they would tell you how many they got on the fly that day.

Then came the bobbers now known as indicators with a plastic bead and weights floating under them.............. I can't begin to write an essay on what I do or what influenced me to where I am at today but I've been running away from some of what others have called fly fishing for a long time.

Ard
 

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There is no debate as to what defines fly fishing in BC.
This was lifted from the 2015 BC fishing synopsis.
I agree with the definition. You can disagree if you like, but better do so outside of BC if you don't want to run afoul of the law.

"fly fishing ... angling with a line to which only
an artificial fly is attached (floats, sinkers, or attracting devices may not be attached to the line when fishing is restricted to "fly fishing only”)."

I sure like Ards take on the topic.... Flyfishing isn't about taking the most fish, it's about flyfishing.
 

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Funny I find myself agreeing with the majority of statements made by everyone so far. I think fly fishing is NOT about numbers, or ego, shortcuts, etc etc. It's all about aesthetics, to me. It's not about "proving" anything to anyone, just enjoying a special place, and they focus and the calm that fly fishing provides me.

By that exact same logic, I feel equally strongly that it is NOT about what is "cool", propper, tradition, etc. I certainly couldn't care less about some hollywood movie, or it's "influence" on what flyfishing means to others. It has nothing to do at all with what others are doing, they are all having fun their own way; though I have full confidence no one is enjoying themselves more than I am when I'm standing in good water swinging flies. It's about a personal experience with the water, and I have to wonder about anyones need to judge or label it one way or another. Enjoy the peace and serenity, and the satisfaction and excitement too. Learn and master the form and function of your pleasure and enjoy... let others call it what they wish, and let them all their own fishing what they wish. Who cares?

One thing I see a lot of here that is very erroneous, is the concept that all anglers fishing bobbers are doing so because they are ego driven, and numbers oriented. That may well be true for some, but I know for absolute fact that it definitely is NOT the case for some. They have their own reasons for fishing the way they do, more power to them as long as they are respectful (to the stream/ecosystem, the fish, and to other anglers, in that order). I will not be one to judge how or why others choose to angle, provided that it is ethical and legal.

If I were inclined to define "flyfishing" purely, by excluding any tackle/methods that start resemble more "conventional" tackle/methods, I think all split shot would have to go, and sink tips too, which makes me question bead heads, lead free wire wraps and the like... etc etc etc. In the end about all that I think would be left would be dry fly fishing, which I love, but am unwilling to limit myself to. Thankfully I'm not really that inclined to define it narrowly at all, in fact I don't really feel inclined to try and define it to anyone I just fish how I enjoy the most.
JB
 

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Very simple..

In conventional fishing the weight of the lure,bait or other attachments propel the cast.

In fly fishing the propulsion of the cast is generated by the weight of the line.
Also because it's fly fishing a tied fly must be used.. That is to say. Stuff lashed to a hook with thread.
This. Everything else is just opinion of preferred methods...
 

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This. Everything else is just opinion of preferred methods...
I sure didn't read anything here about "preferred methods". Maybe you missed the points that were being made, as I don't think that any of them were arguing or suggesting any particular methods.


Rynchus brings in a whole other point about regulations. Imo, that completely changes the discussion and likely a lot of opinions. Regulating specific tackle and methods, relative to actual impact on specific fisheries is something that I think most of us agree with completely (in concept at least, if not always the specifics).
JB
 

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Dedicated Fisherman
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Perhaps I came off a bit harsh last night, sorry if it seemed so. After sleeping on this I have a second comment, I believe that those who are fly fishing, really fly fishing, they know exactly what it is.

Further; I think this is a strange question to poll a Spey casting forum on.

Ard
 

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Perhaps I came off a bit harsh last night, sorry if it seemed so. After sleeping on this I have a second comment, I believe that those who are fly fishing, really fly fishing, they know exactly what it is.
Ard
Haha. Ard, I don't think your comment came off as harsh at all. See you in a couple of months! :smokin:
 

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Very simple..

In conventional fishing the weight of the lure,bait or other attachments propel the cast.

In fly fishing the propulsion of the cast is generated by the weight of the line.
Also because it's fly fishing a tied fly must be used.. That is to say. Stuff lashed to a hook with thread.
I guess fishing with a tube isn't fly fishing now.
 

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Released to spawn
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Right on, Ard! agree 100%:

& I also think it's a rather bizarre question/poll to raise on such a forum as this; however, it does raise the question of education of either novices or those who wish to start fly fishing.

Unfortunately, quoting fishing regulations (including restrictions) for wherever doesn't necessarily define "fly fishing" as those regulations are likely to be different between BC, Ontario, Newfoundland, the Gaspe peninsula, Washington state, Oregon, Michigan, Iceland, Russia, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, and may certainly lead to some confusion. On certain parts of the Test river in southern England, "fly fishing" is only with a dry fly.

We certainly can't rely upon what tackle is available in the fly fishing section in retail outlets, and the information on the internet as regards fishing with a fly to define what is considered fly fishing.

I think it is up to us long-toothed dinosaurs to educate and induct the up-and-coming fishermen into the world of fly fishing, and that probably should be from father to son/daughter/grandson/granddaughter, and from us to others on the water by example.

That in no way should impact on others who chose to fish with a fly and rod in ways other than with a fly rod, fly line, leader & fly and nil added; within the rules & regulations of the water, each to his own definition and enjoyment of the sport, with respect for the water, environs, fish & other anglers.


Mike
 

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Funny I find myself agreeing with the majority of statements made by everyone so far. I think fly fishing is NOT about numbers, or ego, shortcuts, etc etc.
I'd say fly fishing to some is about ego.
Ask any elitist and they will tell you how superior they are cause they fly fish.

Fish the way you want and don't worry about others, as long as they are following the law let it go.
 

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As for me and what I sell in my fly fishing store, I have decided to throw out all split shot over a size 3/0 and all larger sized “strike indicators” and all “bobber” style indicators.

“Fly fishing is not an extreme sport. It is a Labor of Love.”​


written by:
Malinda Barna:)
Owner
Malinda’s Fly & Tackle Shop
Altmar, New York

© Copyright 2015 by Malinda Barna. All Rights Reserved.
The presentation of fly fishing as some sort extreme sport or romanticizing it as "poetry in motion" or some sort of "Labor of Love" are equally ridiculous.

So according to Malinda this is the arbitrary line in the sand she's drawn in her shop.


I don't care much for nymphing to steelhead, so I don't do it. I also don't concern myself with defining what someone else's tactics may or may not be. When communicating (face to face or online) with other anglers my main objective is trying to understand them. If someone on a flyfishing forum is discussing the use of indicators/bobbers/beads/nymphs/split shot or whatever I have a general understanding of what they're trying to communicate so I don't see the need for further defining whatever it is they're doing.

If fly fishing isn't about ego it seems most might not be so worried about defining it in any particular way so long as we all understand each other.
 
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