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Deeter: Luck Has Nothing to do With Flyfishing

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June 30, 2010

Deeter: Luck Has Nothing to do With Flyfishing

By Kirk Deeter

This is for all you out there who are thinking about dabbling in fly fishing, but need another reason to take the plunge...

Two kids are fishing from the same rowboat, one in the bow, one in the stern. They're both dunking worms. The kid in the front of the boat catches 12 fish. The kid in the back gets zip. How does that happen? Luck. It takes no skill to dangle a worm.


Six guys go on an offshore charter. Each gets assigned a rod in the spread. The same guy's rod gets lit up four times... the other five guys are 0-fer. Why? Sheer dumb luck.

Sometimes, parking my brain on hold is exactly the type of fishing I enjoy. Most often, it isn't. I like to control my fishing destiny, don't you?

Which is why I love fly fishing. Fly fishing has absolutely nothing to do with luck. At least not as much to do with luck as many other types of fishing. In fact, I'd say any other type of fishing. Some people shoot craps, some people like chess.

With all the things you have to pull together to catch fish on the fly... a cast, a drift, picking the right bug, and finding where the fish will be in the river... the luck factor is almost nil. Sure, you can be lucky and have good conditions (or not). But in the end, it's not a luck game. Two guys go for wild cutthroat trout during a mayfly hatch... one guy catches 12 fish on dry flies, the other gets blanked. Luck? Hardly.

The thing of it is, many people are under the false assumption that it's difficult to learn all those things it takes to catch fish with flies. Untrue. You can go from absolute beginner to effective angler with a fly rod in a matter of hours. Trust me.

Or you can trust your luck.

Deeter

Comments (65)

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from Skeeb wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Great looking fish! And you are too right. I'd rather 30 years of knowledge and skill over good luck any day. (unless I'm in the casino)

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Luck is still the residue of good preparation, even in fly fishing.

The preparation part Deet, is all you said it to be in the above piece; the cast, drift, right bug, read water to find fish...this is the plan, the prep.

The residue of luck from good prep is that you'll catch fish of size, not fingerlings...and this is the destiny control part. In review, it's better to trust you and the prep you mentioned with fly fishing, rather than Lady Luck.

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from MG wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

There is a tactic for every condition, and each is easily learned (if you are willing to take the time).

Alternatively, you could persist in listening to those that shoot down every method but the one they've pidgeon-holed themselves into. But be prepared to come up with excuses as to why you didn't catch anything.

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from ejunk wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

the kid in the front of the boat caught more fish because he made sure the kid in the back did all the rowing/motoring and he got the first look and first pick of fish spots. no luck about it! that kid is wise beyond his years!

yrs-
Evan!

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from babsfish4life wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

"It takes no skill to dangle a worm". Spoken by a person who has no skills when it comes to fishing with bait. No offense intended, I fish it all and there are skills to enhance every technique of fishing.

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from Joe_Cermele wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

So there's no luck involved when a fat rainbow eats a size 1,000 midge strung on 8x tippet and you get it to the net? Come, come now KD...

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from MG wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

No offense to the bait fishing set, but on any given Sunday bait significantly skews the balance of power. Maybe the bow and stern scenario wasn't the optimum example, but in the case of dragging ballyhoo around luck certainly is factor #1.

I fish with a guy who pulls bait for reds - he outfishes my fly 99 times out of a hundred. But if we switch rigs, I pummel him just the same. Put flyrods in both of our hands, and experience wins.

As for catching a fat rainbow on 8X...well getting it to eat is difficult enough, as you have to first see the fish, and then get that fly right in his face while dealing with unseeable current down below. An inexperienced angler will then pop that tippet in a heartbeat, while a seasoned fly angler will patiently play.

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Deeter,
I hope you made the appropriate sacrifices to the fishing gods before putting this one to print. Luckily if there is a god in the fishing pantheon that appreaciates hubris, it's Arrogancia the god of flyfishing.

Good luck out there.

JC

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

8x tippet?...8x tippet?!!!! At least the bait guy told the truth.
So what is the diameter of 8x tippet? What's the equation?

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

And did anyone recognize what kinda trout that was in the photo?

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from Wags wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

There are many in this world that would swear under oath that the fact that I have as many pictures of myself with trout as I do would conclusively prove that sheer dumb luck has EVERYTHING to do with fly fishing!

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from Proverbs wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Luck has much to do with every type of fishing, except for fly fishing?

Keep clicking your heels together Deeter. Maybe, someday, it will get you home.

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from Joe_Cermele wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu...Frog Hair, Orvis, and Rio are just a few companies that make 8X tippet. Look it up. Here's those diameters

Frog Hair: 0.072mm
Rio: 0.076mm
Orvis: .003"

Geez, didn't you say you were a guide for 25 years? And you've never heard of 8X tippet :)

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from vtbluegrass wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I fish with all forms of tackle which include a great deal of fly fishing but i'll take you to bat on fishing with bait is just luck. I'll give it to you that in the same boat, dropping bait straight to the bottom under the boat, the person who gets the bite is somewhat lucky. But you get in your boat and I get in my boat then it becomes a serious matter of skill. Do you know what to start looking? Can you position the boat so a proper presentation can be made? Are you using the right bait? Is the right bait rigged in the proper manner to produce a bite? The article was a bit of a swing across the bow of those who don't fly fish.

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I'm also on record saying 7X (8X) is for sissies. Small diameter is nothing a nice drift can't compensate for...
but yeah, that's all luck.

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Let the Gladiators of Print run the Gauntlet of Seven Sorrows! I got my money on Sayfu...

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from babsfish4life wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Many fishermen refer to "flyfishermen" as snobs(guys who call themselves "flyfishermen" instead of "fishermen")Websters definition of a snob: one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste. To pretty much say that flyfishing is superior because there is no luck involved seems to match the description perfectly. At the end of the day every fisherman needs the luck that the fish will decide that what you are offering is what it wants to eat, be it a fly, worm, spinner or powerbait. We all need luck, the denial of it is absurd.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Joe, 8x is a figment of some anglers imagination,,I know it is manufactured but seldom used, or even needed for the most part. Go fly first, and don't let the fish see your leader first. It is also debatable whether it should be used for sporting purposes...the fish can be tired to exhaustion, and not live to fight another day using 8x....and 8x IS .003 by definition. 11 is the whole number, and is 0X 1X is 11-1 or .010 etc. 8x would be 11 - 8, or .003

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

And no one answered the question as to the type of trout in the picture...looks like a Golden Trout to me...found only in high country waters I think.
And there is absolutely no luck to my ability to catch the big ones on the fly. One time I had to snag a branch with my cast, and dangle the fly just inches off the water jiggling the branch to get this lunker to take my fly. When he finally took he broke the branch taking at least 5 minutes for the hole to fill up where he came out of the water.

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from rob wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

On any given day, I will usually catch more fish than my dad (an excellent angler) on fly tackle. Some of it is just that I'm more persistent, and have a little more knowledge, since it really is my passion.
Put a worm and a sinker on, and he will out-fish me almost every time. Maybe make that every time. His skill with a Mepps spinner is in another league. Chunk and reel my eye, he will thoroughly embarrass you with that method.
And a bobber and a nymph - How many fish have you caught on the "swing"? Too many to mention. Where's the skill in that?
You actually have to cast to fly fish? Gee, I thought you just lobbed it out there and tried to get a good drift.

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu, a 5 minute water displacement where a fish once vacated? Now that's a fish story...

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu,

Greenback cuttie... I think.

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from shane wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I'm calling this one out. I'm a complete amateur in the world of fly fishing. I can cast, it's ugly, and that's about the end of it.

I usually out-fish myself before I picked up the fly rod or my buddies who don't. River or lake. It's because I get lucky and because fly fishing isn't nearly as difficult or complex as some will paint it...

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Greenback. Bingo buck.

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from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I don't fly fish yet, but I do know for certain that fishing with other rods requires skill to. Is it easier? Yes. Is luck the only factor for other types of fishing? Absolutely not! In other types of fishing you still need to choose the proper bait,cast accurately, entice the fish without scaring it, and learn to set the hook without yanking the hole shebang out of the fishes mouth!(my brother is especially guilty of this)Deeter makes it sound like any idiot could catch a fish with a cane pole, it's easier than flyfishing I'm sure, but it still requires skill.

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from Bookie12 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Deeter I 100% agree with this post. The luck factor in Fly Fishing is nil. BABS..to answer your question there are patterns to aquatic insect hatches. A good fly angler should be able to predict those hatches based of water temp, weather, etc. Thats not luck, thats science. I always laugh when people say "good luck" to me on the river. Sure there are definitely some variables that can be disguised as luck...or some of these knuckle head bait casters claim is luck. But what it all comes down to is ur how much you know...and that has direct correlation with days on the water. I don't think there is any luck in a monster rainbow eating a size 1,0000(or whatever Cermele says) the fact is that you were tossing what that fish is feediing on, where its feeding, and with a good enough presentation that he doesn't get spooked. That doesn't sound like luck to me. GOTTA GIVE YOURSELF MORE CREDIT CEMELE!! Anyway, the reason I love fly fishing is for this very reason. NO LUCK INVOLVED and your knowledge of everything fly fishing is what makes you succesful. Good post Deeter!!

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Geez guys! There is lots of luck in any type of fishing! I do like fly fishing, and most fly fisherman gravitated to fly fishing having learned to fish as a bait fisherman. The challenge, visible sight of fish taking the fly, need to understand the bugs to get good, adds a new challenge. And many do both. I am right now spending days dunkin a worm on a small jig hook for perch..the best eating of the freshwater fish, and then I let all trout go that I catch..just my deal. But I've caught some of the best fish of the day making a cast! One good sized brown on the SF that had a number of boats watching me play it, and then land it, was hooked when I tried to make a cast. I never saw it come up...took the fly just as I tried to lift the fly off the water to make a cast! And I consider it a real advantage of knowing where trout like to lie in a river having run plugs for steelheaders as a guide. When a rod tip goes down you know exactly where that fish was holding. And the same can be said for drift fishing bait for steelhead as well.
A lot of getting good at anything is doing it over, and over. The person that does something many, many times like fishing a worm, gets a 6th sense on how to get a bite. And we've developed that 6th sense dunking worms for perch. Now if I can get someone else to fillet them for me.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Greenback? Got me on that one. I could have lost a lot betting it was a Golden Trout. And here is a formula that I use on leader tippets since we talked about tippet size. You take the X factor, and multiply it by 3 to put you in the ball game for using the appropriate tippet size on a particular sized fly. A 4x tippet would be appropriate for a size #12 fly. Too big of fly, and too small a tippet, and the tippet doesn't support the bigger fly, and will twist, or get broken off on the cast...too big, and it is like a rope towing the fly around. You then tweek that according to the water you are fishing. Flat spooky water, and spooky fish you may choose to go an X smaller, and vice-versa. That is why I like to fish out of my driftboat. The back of the boat is like a golf bag. I have small fly rods with the appropriate tippet size, and bigger rods for bigger flies. I don't like to go from a bigger fly to a much smaller one, and have to change the tippet. And that 8x ???? times 3, and you match it with a #24 hook? I've never fished a fly that small. If they are taking flies that small, I threaten them with a big woolly bugger!!

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from babsfish4life wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Alright Brookie, if you are sight casting for a trout; you match the hatch, size, pattern and everything. Make a perfect cast to present it perfectly, everything is perfect. You are saying that there is 100% chance you will hook and land that fish, 1,000,000 out of 1,000,000 times in that one cast. If true, you are amazing and full of crap. If it is not 100% sucess from that one cast, you rely on luck, congratulations you are the same as a any other fisherman.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

babs, Tomorrow I will fish the Henry's Fork in the afternoon. I am primarily a South Fork angler...heavier, faster water, and most often throw big attractor patterns. But tomorrow the drill is multiply hatches. The Henry's Fork gets far bigger, and more diverse hatches...Flavs come off about 4 PM..there are PMD spinners that fall around 3PM, and an evening Grey Drake spinner fall. Green Drakes are also coming off in the early afternoon. You can throw in some micro caddis as well. This will be very tough for me, as I don't fish that water much, and match the hatch..multiple hatches make it especially tough to know what the fish are taking..one fish may be taking something, and a nearby fish something different as well. My point is, I guess, that flyfishing can be very difficult according to where you are fishing, and very easy in another water, and a different situation. Those that do well on the Henry's Fork, like a Mike Lawson, or a Rene' Harrop, have fished it for years, and for countless hours. They've developed that 6th sense, and yet even they get skunked on days.

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I agree that fly fishing is not as difficult as people think. It's like riding a bike. You look back after learning and can't imagine not being able to do it.

7x is for sissies?? I am very glad that spool I own is gathering dust.

When it comes to luck I like the old saying, "I'd rather be lucky than good." I'll take luck over skill any day.

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from WVOtter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I think the heart and terminology of this point is getting lost in the weeds. To cast a fly rod, drift a nymph, or strip a streamer is not that hard to learn in principal. Likewise, a bait or spinner fisherman has to make sure not to drop the lure right on the fishes head. HOWEVER, there is a steeper learning curve and larger knowledge set needed to be an effective flyfisherman. A bait fisherman can drop a worm or dough in the water and eventually, something will take it after a few drifts. Even weary natives won't ever turn down a meal worm in their hole. But with flies; pattern, drift, tippet, color, etc. all become more crutial to success. So it's not that there is no luck involved with flies, or that bait is only luck...but it's tough to argue that the gap between a novice and expert bait fisherman is smaller than that between a novice and expert fly fisherman.

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I use spinning tackle 9 days out of 10. On the tenth day I'm often in the mood for the change of pace and trying something that is still relatively novel to me. On that day I use my 5-6 weight rod, with some diameter of flaoting line and some transparent piece on the end (that I hear is called a tippet, which sounds like a drunken racing dog) and throw some bits of fuzz stuck to a hook out there and catch fish. You highly skilled gentlemen almost certainly catch bigger fish, and those more consistently than I will. However, as my fly-casting ability can be lauded only for the fact that I've yet to hook myself and my knowledge of entomology tops out at realizing that giant mosquito is really a crane fly I'm going to say that luck has a lot to do with it. Even with tackle and methods I'm very familiar with, with presentations I know are consistent winners, that big fish being at the right spot with his attention focused on the right thing and being in a mood for a snack at the time I'm on the water and deliver said presentation is entirely outside of my control. I therefore consider myself lucky at that point too. All of our knowledge and experience increase our chances, but events outside of our control lining up to make us successful still matters. Call it luck, fortune, divine benevolence, or whatever you choose, but call me grateful it happens.

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from fflutterffly wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Luck is for lazy people- they don't believe in learning.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Hard for me to understand that someone can take a float in my boat, lay out a nice cast, a dry fly, and see a fish surface and take it, land the fish, and then go back to spin tackle. Must be because I am so visual having played sports all my life, but that is a flat out adrenalin rush that I do not get cranking in a spinning lure. Casting the fly is much more enjoyable IMO. The fly goes along for the ride, you cast the line that is balanced with the flex of the rod, and it is an art form. I just luv watching good casters on the water, the flow of line, and the laying down of the fly to a target is magic. In spinning, the wt. of the lure pulls the line off the reel..far less enjoyable IMO...but I think you have to move from the notion of which method catches more fish for you, otherwise you focus on just that, and not the other pleasures of fly fishing. When I guide fly guys, they are far more in tune to their surroundings, and the pleasures of what they see that they don't see in their everyday lives..the spin guy?..much more into just catching fish. And that is OK, and can be just as fun for them in their fishing world. And that is why flyfishermen only make up less than 10% of the angling fraternity...most want to keep it that way as well.

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from aragonnapoles wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

There is only one good luck in the flyfishing world and that is to know it. Listen (or reading) the old flycasters a young one can feel the soul of that kind of fish. Then the knowledge start to compete with the luck.
different feathers,furs and synthetics appear in our lexicon.Entomological terms also appear and this is anything but good luck doesn't.

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from jerry1958 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

if fishing takes luck i only have bad luck me my brother and two of his friends were fishing an acre and a half pond and a 20 inch bass was swimming around it had to be the biggest in the pond and we tried everything to catch it but it wouldnt bite i dont think we could have caught it on a fly either

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from jerry1958 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

if fishing takes luck i only have bad luck me my brother and two of his friends were fishing an acre and a half pond and a 20 inch bass was swimming around it had to be the biggest in the pond and we tried everything to catch it but it wouldnt bite i dont think we could have caught it on a fly either

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I'm not bashing the appeal of flyfishing. I'm in awe of a group of fisherman who actually believe they have it down to such a fine art that they are entirely the master of the pursuit and the whims of neither universe nor fish factor into your day. Frankly, I'm not great at it, but at the same time it's not as difficult as all the jargon makes it out to be. The fish doesn't know the name of the fly and although it may be keyed in to a particular hatch, is not necessarily going to ignore my all purpose woolly bugger any more than a lion is going to watch a zebra limp by becuase it's been eating antelope all week. The key is to know the fish and be able to read the water, however you pursue it. (I'm mildly amused at the idea that catching fish you can see are sitting in 2' of water is considered the epitome of skill. knowing where the fish are being 90% of the battle in most fishing pursuits.)
If you'd listen to yourselves, you'd realize why often people grumble while they're doing it.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

jcarlin...Here's a fact....you have a whole lot to learn about flyfishing. To say that the fish will no longer refuse your woolly bugger than the appropriate fly to use given the situation is totally wrong.
Not only do you have to have the right fly in some situations, you have to identify what stage of the emerging insect was the fish taking...just under the surface when you saw the surface take, or was the fish feeding on the emerged adult, and took it on the top. One guy catches a bunch, and the other guy gets an exercise in futility. You can add to that difficulty by having multiple hatches of different insects!! Many accomplished fly anglers only fish in those difficult to solve situations....that is there game. Rene' Harrop, that I mentioned, does not even cast, and may not for hours. He walks the banks looking for a big fish, and determining what the fish is taking, and even understanding the rhythm of the fishes rises so that his fly will pass over the fish just as it is coming up. Some days he never casts!! His game is to stalk like a big game hunter. But he doesn't brag, or want to be placed on a pedestal. It is strictly his thing. He will even teach anglers how to do it. If someone has a problem with how he fishes, it is there problem, not his.

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from RiceJ wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

jcarlin... terrific posts! I think that there is a lot of truth to what L. Dahlberg says about fly fisherman having the tendency to view the world of angling through a drinking straw. I am 42. In my 20’s & 30’s I fished 80-90% fly fishing only. The last couple of years it has been 50-50 and I am having a lot more fun! For example, I live in OR and in the past month I have caught a steelhead on the swing with my fly rod and sucker fish w/nightcrawlers spin fishing. It’s all just fishing. I am grateful for EVERY fish I have the good FORTUNE to catch. If fishing doesn’t teach a person humility, I don’t know what will!

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from dneaster3 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

i don't know about this whole luck/no-luck argument, but that's a beautiful trout!

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Larry Dahlberg? Interesting dude. He was a guide on the Upper Mississipi I believe, and then teamed with Dave Whitlock, a famous fly fisherman, and developed a series of Dahlberg diver flies that were unique, and very popular. Dahlberg then got into tv. being identified as a guy going after huge fish of any sorts...toothy critters in Africa, you name it, and on conventional tackle I will call it. The guy found his nitch and good for him..he has been good at different types of angling. But the thing to remember, and it has been my experience over a long, long time...it is the bait guy that initiates the snob thing about fly anglers, and the fact the fly angler thinks his method is superior. That hasn't been my experience...the fly angler could care less, and just does his own thing. He's promoted catch and release in certain waters where native species can sustain themselves without a govt. subsidized planting program. Maybe that is what angers some bait fishermen.

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu,

I absolutely have a lot to learn. However, my point was that often times even an acknowledged ignoramous like myself has some level of success. Will many fish refuse my offering? Sure. Will some take even though I neither know the latin name of today's fly, nor own anything that'll match it? You bet they will and have.
My stating that there are things I don't know and that fish sometimes don't care illustrates both my points regarding LUCK and a small but vocal percentage of those that flyfish. Comparing personalities, I don't think you'll find a lot of articles disparaging flyfishing, or mister twister(tm) fans claiming that they are the only one's who enjoy being on the water and seeing nature.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Gotcha. It is just my experience, and I believe this to be true, that flyfisherman evolve from fishing in conventional ways, and there becomes that point where catching fish is not the only goal. They can alter that good day, bad day routine by fly fishing and focusing more on other things than catching fish.
One experience as an example. I guided a young fellow and his son on the Yakima River, and fishing was exceptional, one of those rare days. By noon we had caught lots of fish. I'd pull over in the boat, help his young son out, and walk him along the bank while he played a nice sized trout. After lunch we still had a long way to go to get to the takeout. The guy says, "Lets just row down river, we've had a great day fishing." The guy was done!! I didn't want to stop fishing! One of those rare days, and the guy is done! I can't imagine a lure guy having the same mindset. And that is not a rare case. Many times, when fishing gets hot, an fly angler will put the rod up, and sit and observe..sign your gettin old I guess.
Anyway, one of those trips I will never forget.

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from RiceJ wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu,

Dahlberg and Whitlock – both guys are idols of mine, but I think you got the story mixed up a little. Larry invented the Dahlberg Diver years before Whitlock made a name for himself in bass fly fishing. The Whitlock Diving Frog is basically an embellished DD – the distinction between the innovator and imitator in this instance is pretty clear cut. I seem to recall reading a while back that Dave used Larry’s help in catching a Musky on a fly rod – a specialty of Dahlberg’s. I hear what you are saying about there being a touch self-inflicted of insecurity among bait fisherman about their “place” in the angling echelon versus more upscale fly fisherman, but fly fishers have their own insecurities too. Let’s face it, once you get away from trout and shallow water panfish, it can be gnawing on a fly fisherman’s psyche just how much more effective conventional tackle is at actually catching fish. Anybody who fishes side by side with both types of anglers in steelhead and bass waters day in and day out understands this.

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu,
I certainly agree with you on one thing, but I think it applies to a larger group. Maturity and respect for the surroundings will eventually outweigh success in mind for all but the emotionally challenged. When I get out, it's just to get out and be on the water most times. I fished the creek out back and through the woods last night for 45 minutes just to enjoy such a nice evening. It wasn't unproductive, but was nothing special other than being peaceful and alone while the world went dark. I don't like to fish with people who feel they've had or are possibly about to have a bad day fishing. I've never been out with someone who got seriously hurt, so I don't think I've even had one. Tackle issues can be a bit frustrating, but are certainly avoidable. Difficult terrain, water, and boating conditions? Part of the adventure and challenge. If I wanted a controlled environment I'd never leave my office. Enjoy your pursuits whatever they are.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Good post...agree with you all the way. And everyone likes to catch fish. The fly guy that doesn't, got skunked when others caught fish, and said he didn't care, just had a good time, is probably not telling the truth. But most of them do have a good perspective on fishing. It seems to be a youth thing where the big numbers matter when it comes to having a good time...that gets adjusted as one gets older. Tight lines.

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from Bookie12 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

BABS, who's to say what a perfect cast is? You? the fish? If the fish takes it then, yea that was a perfect cast...and that one cast is 100% success rate. But unfortunatly there is no guide in FFing that says whats perfect and whats not (sure everyone likes to see Pitt false cast for hours). Again, the beauty of the sport. My point is that there are so many different variables in Fly Fishing that once you get to the level of a Rene Harrop or even our very own Kirk Deeter..luck plays a very little if not non-existent part. It becomes problems solving. If a fish doesn't take, he knows exactly why, or has some idea of what went wrong. Trout pretty much only have a few purposes on this earth. One of which is to eat...and I really highly doubt that they have much if any decision making skills to say, "oh I dont want to eat that because I dont feel like it". There is no room for thought..they either eat, or are spooked by an irregularity...such as bad cast, drift, fly, etc. That doesn't sound like luck to me!!!

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from shane wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Me and JCarlin are keepin' it real while the "serious flyfishermen" continue on their personal fable.

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from shadbuster wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

That is a golden trout, no doubt about it a beautiful fish native only to California but planted elsewhere, they live only in high country, so catching them is a real treat and challenge. And I do all type of fishing and as many guys have said skill, experience, and luck come in to play in all type of fishing. No method is better than the other, they all have their applications.

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Hmmm, healthy dissent in the ranks...always welcomed.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Shadbuster..Thanks!!! I went to bed the other nite thinking I had been wrong!..first time since '89 !! I thought it was a Golden, because of the coloration on the upper 4/5ths of the body, but wasn't sure about the spotting on the back portion. The other aspect is the small size. Golden's only get about that big. The record is bigger as they always are, but most are that sized.

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Great thread all... thanks.

My job is simply to drop the puck...

For the record, that is a greenback cutthroat. Those are my hands...

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

But Deeter!..A Golden is a type of rainbow, I think, and that fish has the rainbow stripe on it. Don't do it to me Deeter!!

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Deet / Sayfu...gorgeous cuttie, no matter what you call it. Let's, for the sake of argument, call it "put back!"

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Golden? Cuttie? I know I fished for a week last year in the Sierras and still do not know what many of the fish I caught were.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Nice fish! Too bad you guys printed the same picture of the same damn fish last year!!!! Good god man at least go out and catch a different fish each year instead of using the same old photo OVER and OVER and OVER!!! You Guys are starting to remind me of B.A.S.S. and that magazines use of old photos and ZERO work ethic!

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Jeez Walt... I'm sorry I reused a cool image of a wild, native fish. Considering the hundreds of images we post yearly, and the hundreds of thousands of words we print here (and in the magazine)... also considering the multitude of comments this post (and photo) instigated, I figured I might get a pass. My bad.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Good photo deeter! I know the problem with that picture taken thing. I woulda used photo shop, and had that thing strapped the side, and the length of my pac horse though. :)

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from MLH wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

I confess to using 7X tippet - when the trout only eyeball midges and tricos (now). It keeps the water around me clear of other fishermen and canoes. They can hear me screaming bloody murder several bends away. Canoes portage around me. Kayaks turn back upstream. Flyfishermen nod in kind understanding and wish me well.

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from Nycflyangler wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Gudbrod GX2 bead cord is .002" in diameter. That scales to a 9x AND it's 8lb test and is 7.5 times smaller than the average 8lb test mono. It's white which is hard to see. It makes a heck of a tippet.

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from Nycflyangler wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Gudbrod GX2 bead cord is .002" in diameter. That scales to a 9x AND it's 8lb test and is 7.5 times smaller than the average 8lb test mono. It's white which is hard to see. It makes a heck of a tippet.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Wonder how that ties to mono? Tying knots with very thin stuff is a problem...can be very whispy, and low light makes it tough. That's a new one, never heard of that.

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from winston wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Wow! Such Arrogance! Not what I expected from Field and Steam. Disappointing!

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from ejunk wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

the kid in the front of the boat caught more fish because he made sure the kid in the back did all the rowing/motoring and he got the first look and first pick of fish spots. no luck about it! that kid is wise beyond his years!

yrs-
Evan!

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from babsfish4life wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

"It takes no skill to dangle a worm". Spoken by a person who has no skills when it comes to fishing with bait. No offense intended, I fish it all and there are skills to enhance every technique of fishing.

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from babsfish4life wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Many fishermen refer to "flyfishermen" as snobs(guys who call themselves "flyfishermen" instead of "fishermen")Websters definition of a snob: one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste. To pretty much say that flyfishing is superior because there is no luck involved seems to match the description perfectly. At the end of the day every fisherman needs the luck that the fish will decide that what you are offering is what it wants to eat, be it a fly, worm, spinner or powerbait. We all need luck, the denial of it is absurd.

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Luck is still the residue of good preparation, even in fly fishing.

The preparation part Deet, is all you said it to be in the above piece; the cast, drift, right bug, read water to find fish...this is the plan, the prep.

The residue of luck from good prep is that you'll catch fish of size, not fingerlings...and this is the destiny control part. In review, it's better to trust you and the prep you mentioned with fly fishing, rather than Lady Luck.

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Deeter,
I hope you made the appropriate sacrifices to the fishing gods before putting this one to print. Luckily if there is a god in the fishing pantheon that appreaciates hubris, it's Arrogancia the god of flyfishing.

Good luck out there.

JC

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from Joe_Cermele wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu...Frog Hair, Orvis, and Rio are just a few companies that make 8X tippet. Look it up. Here's those diameters

Frog Hair: 0.072mm
Rio: 0.076mm
Orvis: .003"

Geez, didn't you say you were a guide for 25 years? And you've never heard of 8X tippet :)

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from fflutterffly wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Luck is for lazy people- they don't believe in learning.

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I'm not bashing the appeal of flyfishing. I'm in awe of a group of fisherman who actually believe they have it down to such a fine art that they are entirely the master of the pursuit and the whims of neither universe nor fish factor into your day. Frankly, I'm not great at it, but at the same time it's not as difficult as all the jargon makes it out to be. The fish doesn't know the name of the fly and although it may be keyed in to a particular hatch, is not necessarily going to ignore my all purpose woolly bugger any more than a lion is going to watch a zebra limp by becuase it's been eating antelope all week. The key is to know the fish and be able to read the water, however you pursue it. (I'm mildly amused at the idea that catching fish you can see are sitting in 2' of water is considered the epitome of skill. knowing where the fish are being 90% of the battle in most fishing pursuits.)
If you'd listen to yourselves, you'd realize why often people grumble while they're doing it.

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from Skeeb wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Great looking fish! And you are too right. I'd rather 30 years of knowledge and skill over good luck any day. (unless I'm in the casino)

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from MG wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

There is a tactic for every condition, and each is easily learned (if you are willing to take the time).

Alternatively, you could persist in listening to those that shoot down every method but the one they've pidgeon-holed themselves into. But be prepared to come up with excuses as to why you didn't catch anything.

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from Joe_Cermele wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

So there's no luck involved when a fat rainbow eats a size 1,000 midge strung on 8x tippet and you get it to the net? Come, come now KD...

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from MG wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

No offense to the bait fishing set, but on any given Sunday bait significantly skews the balance of power. Maybe the bow and stern scenario wasn't the optimum example, but in the case of dragging ballyhoo around luck certainly is factor #1.

I fish with a guy who pulls bait for reds - he outfishes my fly 99 times out of a hundred. But if we switch rigs, I pummel him just the same. Put flyrods in both of our hands, and experience wins.

As for catching a fat rainbow on 8X...well getting it to eat is difficult enough, as you have to first see the fish, and then get that fly right in his face while dealing with unseeable current down below. An inexperienced angler will then pop that tippet in a heartbeat, while a seasoned fly angler will patiently play.

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from Wags wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

There are many in this world that would swear under oath that the fact that I have as many pictures of myself with trout as I do would conclusively prove that sheer dumb luck has EVERYTHING to do with fly fishing!

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from Proverbs wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Luck has much to do with every type of fishing, except for fly fishing?

Keep clicking your heels together Deeter. Maybe, someday, it will get you home.

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from vtbluegrass wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I fish with all forms of tackle which include a great deal of fly fishing but i'll take you to bat on fishing with bait is just luck. I'll give it to you that in the same boat, dropping bait straight to the bottom under the boat, the person who gets the bite is somewhat lucky. But you get in your boat and I get in my boat then it becomes a serious matter of skill. Do you know what to start looking? Can you position the boat so a proper presentation can be made? Are you using the right bait? Is the right bait rigged in the proper manner to produce a bite? The article was a bit of a swing across the bow of those who don't fly fish.

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I'm also on record saying 7X (8X) is for sissies. Small diameter is nothing a nice drift can't compensate for...
but yeah, that's all luck.

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from rob wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

On any given day, I will usually catch more fish than my dad (an excellent angler) on fly tackle. Some of it is just that I'm more persistent, and have a little more knowledge, since it really is my passion.
Put a worm and a sinker on, and he will out-fish me almost every time. Maybe make that every time. His skill with a Mepps spinner is in another league. Chunk and reel my eye, he will thoroughly embarrass you with that method.
And a bobber and a nymph - How many fish have you caught on the "swing"? Too many to mention. Where's the skill in that?
You actually have to cast to fly fish? Gee, I thought you just lobbed it out there and tried to get a good drift.

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu, a 5 minute water displacement where a fish once vacated? Now that's a fish story...

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu,

Greenback cuttie... I think.

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from woodsmanj35 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I don't fly fish yet, but I do know for certain that fishing with other rods requires skill to. Is it easier? Yes. Is luck the only factor for other types of fishing? Absolutely not! In other types of fishing you still need to choose the proper bait,cast accurately, entice the fish without scaring it, and learn to set the hook without yanking the hole shebang out of the fishes mouth!(my brother is especially guilty of this)Deeter makes it sound like any idiot could catch a fish with a cane pole, it's easier than flyfishing I'm sure, but it still requires skill.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Geez guys! There is lots of luck in any type of fishing! I do like fly fishing, and most fly fisherman gravitated to fly fishing having learned to fish as a bait fisherman. The challenge, visible sight of fish taking the fly, need to understand the bugs to get good, adds a new challenge. And many do both. I am right now spending days dunkin a worm on a small jig hook for perch..the best eating of the freshwater fish, and then I let all trout go that I catch..just my deal. But I've caught some of the best fish of the day making a cast! One good sized brown on the SF that had a number of boats watching me play it, and then land it, was hooked when I tried to make a cast. I never saw it come up...took the fly just as I tried to lift the fly off the water to make a cast! And I consider it a real advantage of knowing where trout like to lie in a river having run plugs for steelheaders as a guide. When a rod tip goes down you know exactly where that fish was holding. And the same can be said for drift fishing bait for steelhead as well.
A lot of getting good at anything is doing it over, and over. The person that does something many, many times like fishing a worm, gets a 6th sense on how to get a bite. And we've developed that 6th sense dunking worms for perch. Now if I can get someone else to fillet them for me.

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from babsfish4life wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Alright Brookie, if you are sight casting for a trout; you match the hatch, size, pattern and everything. Make a perfect cast to present it perfectly, everything is perfect. You are saying that there is 100% chance you will hook and land that fish, 1,000,000 out of 1,000,000 times in that one cast. If true, you are amazing and full of crap. If it is not 100% sucess from that one cast, you rely on luck, congratulations you are the same as a any other fisherman.

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I agree that fly fishing is not as difficult as people think. It's like riding a bike. You look back after learning and can't imagine not being able to do it.

7x is for sissies?? I am very glad that spool I own is gathering dust.

When it comes to luck I like the old saying, "I'd rather be lucky than good." I'll take luck over skill any day.

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from WVOtter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I think the heart and terminology of this point is getting lost in the weeds. To cast a fly rod, drift a nymph, or strip a streamer is not that hard to learn in principal. Likewise, a bait or spinner fisherman has to make sure not to drop the lure right on the fishes head. HOWEVER, there is a steeper learning curve and larger knowledge set needed to be an effective flyfisherman. A bait fisherman can drop a worm or dough in the water and eventually, something will take it after a few drifts. Even weary natives won't ever turn down a meal worm in their hole. But with flies; pattern, drift, tippet, color, etc. all become more crutial to success. So it's not that there is no luck involved with flies, or that bait is only luck...but it's tough to argue that the gap between a novice and expert bait fisherman is smaller than that between a novice and expert fly fisherman.

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I use spinning tackle 9 days out of 10. On the tenth day I'm often in the mood for the change of pace and trying something that is still relatively novel to me. On that day I use my 5-6 weight rod, with some diameter of flaoting line and some transparent piece on the end (that I hear is called a tippet, which sounds like a drunken racing dog) and throw some bits of fuzz stuck to a hook out there and catch fish. You highly skilled gentlemen almost certainly catch bigger fish, and those more consistently than I will. However, as my fly-casting ability can be lauded only for the fact that I've yet to hook myself and my knowledge of entomology tops out at realizing that giant mosquito is really a crane fly I'm going to say that luck has a lot to do with it. Even with tackle and methods I'm very familiar with, with presentations I know are consistent winners, that big fish being at the right spot with his attention focused on the right thing and being in a mood for a snack at the time I'm on the water and deliver said presentation is entirely outside of my control. I therefore consider myself lucky at that point too. All of our knowledge and experience increase our chances, but events outside of our control lining up to make us successful still matters. Call it luck, fortune, divine benevolence, or whatever you choose, but call me grateful it happens.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Hard for me to understand that someone can take a float in my boat, lay out a nice cast, a dry fly, and see a fish surface and take it, land the fish, and then go back to spin tackle. Must be because I am so visual having played sports all my life, but that is a flat out adrenalin rush that I do not get cranking in a spinning lure. Casting the fly is much more enjoyable IMO. The fly goes along for the ride, you cast the line that is balanced with the flex of the rod, and it is an art form. I just luv watching good casters on the water, the flow of line, and the laying down of the fly to a target is magic. In spinning, the wt. of the lure pulls the line off the reel..far less enjoyable IMO...but I think you have to move from the notion of which method catches more fish for you, otherwise you focus on just that, and not the other pleasures of fly fishing. When I guide fly guys, they are far more in tune to their surroundings, and the pleasures of what they see that they don't see in their everyday lives..the spin guy?..much more into just catching fish. And that is OK, and can be just as fun for them in their fishing world. And that is why flyfishermen only make up less than 10% of the angling fraternity...most want to keep it that way as well.

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu,

I absolutely have a lot to learn. However, my point was that often times even an acknowledged ignoramous like myself has some level of success. Will many fish refuse my offering? Sure. Will some take even though I neither know the latin name of today's fly, nor own anything that'll match it? You bet they will and have.
My stating that there are things I don't know and that fish sometimes don't care illustrates both my points regarding LUCK and a small but vocal percentage of those that flyfish. Comparing personalities, I don't think you'll find a lot of articles disparaging flyfishing, or mister twister(tm) fans claiming that they are the only one's who enjoy being on the water and seeing nature.

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu,
I certainly agree with you on one thing, but I think it applies to a larger group. Maturity and respect for the surroundings will eventually outweigh success in mind for all but the emotionally challenged. When I get out, it's just to get out and be on the water most times. I fished the creek out back and through the woods last night for 45 minutes just to enjoy such a nice evening. It wasn't unproductive, but was nothing special other than being peaceful and alone while the world went dark. I don't like to fish with people who feel they've had or are possibly about to have a bad day fishing. I've never been out with someone who got seriously hurt, so I don't think I've even had one. Tackle issues can be a bit frustrating, but are certainly avoidable. Difficult terrain, water, and boating conditions? Part of the adventure and challenge. If I wanted a controlled environment I'd never leave my office. Enjoy your pursuits whatever they are.

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Great thread all... thanks.

My job is simply to drop the puck...

For the record, that is a greenback cutthroat. Those are my hands...

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Jeez Walt... I'm sorry I reused a cool image of a wild, native fish. Considering the hundreds of images we post yearly, and the hundreds of thousands of words we print here (and in the magazine)... also considering the multitude of comments this post (and photo) instigated, I figured I might get a pass. My bad.

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from Nycflyangler wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Gudbrod GX2 bead cord is .002" in diameter. That scales to a 9x AND it's 8lb test and is 7.5 times smaller than the average 8lb test mono. It's white which is hard to see. It makes a heck of a tippet.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

8x tippet?...8x tippet?!!!! At least the bait guy told the truth.
So what is the diameter of 8x tippet? What's the equation?

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

And did anyone recognize what kinda trout that was in the photo?

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Let the Gladiators of Print run the Gauntlet of Seven Sorrows! I got my money on Sayfu...

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Joe, 8x is a figment of some anglers imagination,,I know it is manufactured but seldom used, or even needed for the most part. Go fly first, and don't let the fish see your leader first. It is also debatable whether it should be used for sporting purposes...the fish can be tired to exhaustion, and not live to fight another day using 8x....and 8x IS .003 by definition. 11 is the whole number, and is 0X 1X is 11-1 or .010 etc. 8x would be 11 - 8, or .003

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

And no one answered the question as to the type of trout in the picture...looks like a Golden Trout to me...found only in high country waters I think.
And there is absolutely no luck to my ability to catch the big ones on the fly. One time I had to snag a branch with my cast, and dangle the fly just inches off the water jiggling the branch to get this lunker to take my fly. When he finally took he broke the branch taking at least 5 minutes for the hole to fill up where he came out of the water.

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from shane wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

I'm calling this one out. I'm a complete amateur in the world of fly fishing. I can cast, it's ugly, and that's about the end of it.

I usually out-fish myself before I picked up the fly rod or my buddies who don't. River or lake. It's because I get lucky and because fly fishing isn't nearly as difficult or complex as some will paint it...

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Greenback. Bingo buck.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Greenback? Got me on that one. I could have lost a lot betting it was a Golden Trout. And here is a formula that I use on leader tippets since we talked about tippet size. You take the X factor, and multiply it by 3 to put you in the ball game for using the appropriate tippet size on a particular sized fly. A 4x tippet would be appropriate for a size #12 fly. Too big of fly, and too small a tippet, and the tippet doesn't support the bigger fly, and will twist, or get broken off on the cast...too big, and it is like a rope towing the fly around. You then tweek that according to the water you are fishing. Flat spooky water, and spooky fish you may choose to go an X smaller, and vice-versa. That is why I like to fish out of my driftboat. The back of the boat is like a golf bag. I have small fly rods with the appropriate tippet size, and bigger rods for bigger flies. I don't like to go from a bigger fly to a much smaller one, and have to change the tippet. And that 8x ???? times 3, and you match it with a #24 hook? I've never fished a fly that small. If they are taking flies that small, I threaten them with a big woolly bugger!!

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

babs, Tomorrow I will fish the Henry's Fork in the afternoon. I am primarily a South Fork angler...heavier, faster water, and most often throw big attractor patterns. But tomorrow the drill is multiply hatches. The Henry's Fork gets far bigger, and more diverse hatches...Flavs come off about 4 PM..there are PMD spinners that fall around 3PM, and an evening Grey Drake spinner fall. Green Drakes are also coming off in the early afternoon. You can throw in some micro caddis as well. This will be very tough for me, as I don't fish that water much, and match the hatch..multiple hatches make it especially tough to know what the fish are taking..one fish may be taking something, and a nearby fish something different as well. My point is, I guess, that flyfishing can be very difficult according to where you are fishing, and very easy in another water, and a different situation. Those that do well on the Henry's Fork, like a Mike Lawson, or a Rene' Harrop, have fished it for years, and for countless hours. They've developed that 6th sense, and yet even they get skunked on days.

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from aragonnapoles wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

There is only one good luck in the flyfishing world and that is to know it. Listen (or reading) the old flycasters a young one can feel the soul of that kind of fish. Then the knowledge start to compete with the luck.
different feathers,furs and synthetics appear in our lexicon.Entomological terms also appear and this is anything but good luck doesn't.

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from jerry1958 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

if fishing takes luck i only have bad luck me my brother and two of his friends were fishing an acre and a half pond and a 20 inch bass was swimming around it had to be the biggest in the pond and we tried everything to catch it but it wouldnt bite i dont think we could have caught it on a fly either

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from jerry1958 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

if fishing takes luck i only have bad luck me my brother and two of his friends were fishing an acre and a half pond and a 20 inch bass was swimming around it had to be the biggest in the pond and we tried everything to catch it but it wouldnt bite i dont think we could have caught it on a fly either

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from RiceJ wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

jcarlin... terrific posts! I think that there is a lot of truth to what L. Dahlberg says about fly fisherman having the tendency to view the world of angling through a drinking straw. I am 42. In my 20’s & 30’s I fished 80-90% fly fishing only. The last couple of years it has been 50-50 and I am having a lot more fun! For example, I live in OR and in the past month I have caught a steelhead on the swing with my fly rod and sucker fish w/nightcrawlers spin fishing. It’s all just fishing. I am grateful for EVERY fish I have the good FORTUNE to catch. If fishing doesn’t teach a person humility, I don’t know what will!

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from dneaster3 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

i don't know about this whole luck/no-luck argument, but that's a beautiful trout!

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Larry Dahlberg? Interesting dude. He was a guide on the Upper Mississipi I believe, and then teamed with Dave Whitlock, a famous fly fisherman, and developed a series of Dahlberg diver flies that were unique, and very popular. Dahlberg then got into tv. being identified as a guy going after huge fish of any sorts...toothy critters in Africa, you name it, and on conventional tackle I will call it. The guy found his nitch and good for him..he has been good at different types of angling. But the thing to remember, and it has been my experience over a long, long time...it is the bait guy that initiates the snob thing about fly anglers, and the fact the fly angler thinks his method is superior. That hasn't been my experience...the fly angler could care less, and just does his own thing. He's promoted catch and release in certain waters where native species can sustain themselves without a govt. subsidized planting program. Maybe that is what angers some bait fishermen.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Gotcha. It is just my experience, and I believe this to be true, that flyfisherman evolve from fishing in conventional ways, and there becomes that point where catching fish is not the only goal. They can alter that good day, bad day routine by fly fishing and focusing more on other things than catching fish.
One experience as an example. I guided a young fellow and his son on the Yakima River, and fishing was exceptional, one of those rare days. By noon we had caught lots of fish. I'd pull over in the boat, help his young son out, and walk him along the bank while he played a nice sized trout. After lunch we still had a long way to go to get to the takeout. The guy says, "Lets just row down river, we've had a great day fishing." The guy was done!! I didn't want to stop fishing! One of those rare days, and the guy is done! I can't imagine a lure guy having the same mindset. And that is not a rare case. Many times, when fishing gets hot, an fly angler will put the rod up, and sit and observe..sign your gettin old I guess.
Anyway, one of those trips I will never forget.

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from RiceJ wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Sayfu,

Dahlberg and Whitlock – both guys are idols of mine, but I think you got the story mixed up a little. Larry invented the Dahlberg Diver years before Whitlock made a name for himself in bass fly fishing. The Whitlock Diving Frog is basically an embellished DD – the distinction between the innovator and imitator in this instance is pretty clear cut. I seem to recall reading a while back that Dave used Larry’s help in catching a Musky on a fly rod – a specialty of Dahlberg’s. I hear what you are saying about there being a touch self-inflicted of insecurity among bait fisherman about their “place” in the angling echelon versus more upscale fly fisherman, but fly fishers have their own insecurities too. Let’s face it, once you get away from trout and shallow water panfish, it can be gnawing on a fly fisherman’s psyche just how much more effective conventional tackle is at actually catching fish. Anybody who fishes side by side with both types of anglers in steelhead and bass waters day in and day out understands this.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Good post...agree with you all the way. And everyone likes to catch fish. The fly guy that doesn't, got skunked when others caught fish, and said he didn't care, just had a good time, is probably not telling the truth. But most of them do have a good perspective on fishing. It seems to be a youth thing where the big numbers matter when it comes to having a good time...that gets adjusted as one gets older. Tight lines.

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from Bookie12 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

BABS, who's to say what a perfect cast is? You? the fish? If the fish takes it then, yea that was a perfect cast...and that one cast is 100% success rate. But unfortunatly there is no guide in FFing that says whats perfect and whats not (sure everyone likes to see Pitt false cast for hours). Again, the beauty of the sport. My point is that there are so many different variables in Fly Fishing that once you get to the level of a Rene Harrop or even our very own Kirk Deeter..luck plays a very little if not non-existent part. It becomes problems solving. If a fish doesn't take, he knows exactly why, or has some idea of what went wrong. Trout pretty much only have a few purposes on this earth. One of which is to eat...and I really highly doubt that they have much if any decision making skills to say, "oh I dont want to eat that because I dont feel like it". There is no room for thought..they either eat, or are spooked by an irregularity...such as bad cast, drift, fly, etc. That doesn't sound like luck to me!!!

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from shane wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Me and JCarlin are keepin' it real while the "serious flyfishermen" continue on their personal fable.

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from shadbuster wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

That is a golden trout, no doubt about it a beautiful fish native only to California but planted elsewhere, they live only in high country, so catching them is a real treat and challenge. And I do all type of fishing and as many guys have said skill, experience, and luck come in to play in all type of fishing. No method is better than the other, they all have their applications.

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Hmmm, healthy dissent in the ranks...always welcomed.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Shadbuster..Thanks!!! I went to bed the other nite thinking I had been wrong!..first time since '89 !! I thought it was a Golden, because of the coloration on the upper 4/5ths of the body, but wasn't sure about the spotting on the back portion. The other aspect is the small size. Golden's only get about that big. The record is bigger as they always are, but most are that sized.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

But Deeter!..A Golden is a type of rainbow, I think, and that fish has the rainbow stripe on it. Don't do it to me Deeter!!

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from countitandone wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Deet / Sayfu...gorgeous cuttie, no matter what you call it. Let's, for the sake of argument, call it "put back!"

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Golden? Cuttie? I know I fished for a week last year in the Sierras and still do not know what many of the fish I caught were.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Good photo deeter! I know the problem with that picture taken thing. I woulda used photo shop, and had that thing strapped the side, and the length of my pac horse though. :)

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from MLH wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

I confess to using 7X tippet - when the trout only eyeball midges and tricos (now). It keeps the water around me clear of other fishermen and canoes. They can hear me screaming bloody murder several bends away. Canoes portage around me. Kayaks turn back upstream. Flyfishermen nod in kind understanding and wish me well.

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from Nycflyangler wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Gudbrod GX2 bead cord is .002" in diameter. That scales to a 9x AND it's 8lb test and is 7.5 times smaller than the average 8lb test mono. It's white which is hard to see. It makes a heck of a tippet.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Wonder how that ties to mono? Tying knots with very thin stuff is a problem...can be very whispy, and low light makes it tough. That's a new one, never heard of that.

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from winston wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Wow! Such Arrogance! Not what I expected from Field and Steam. Disappointing!

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

jcarlin...Here's a fact....you have a whole lot to learn about flyfishing. To say that the fish will no longer refuse your woolly bugger than the appropriate fly to use given the situation is totally wrong.
Not only do you have to have the right fly in some situations, you have to identify what stage of the emerging insect was the fish taking...just under the surface when you saw the surface take, or was the fish feeding on the emerged adult, and took it on the top. One guy catches a bunch, and the other guy gets an exercise in futility. You can add to that difficulty by having multiple hatches of different insects!! Many accomplished fly anglers only fish in those difficult to solve situations....that is there game. Rene' Harrop, that I mentioned, does not even cast, and may not for hours. He walks the banks looking for a big fish, and determining what the fish is taking, and even understanding the rhythm of the fishes rises so that his fly will pass over the fish just as it is coming up. Some days he never casts!! His game is to stalk like a big game hunter. But he doesn't brag, or want to be placed on a pedestal. It is strictly his thing. He will even teach anglers how to do it. If someone has a problem with how he fishes, it is there problem, not his.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 40 weeks ago

Nice fish! Too bad you guys printed the same picture of the same damn fish last year!!!! Good god man at least go out and catch a different fish each year instead of using the same old photo OVER and OVER and OVER!!! You Guys are starting to remind me of B.A.S.S. and that magazines use of old photos and ZERO work ethic!

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from Bookie12 wrote 3 years 41 weeks ago

Deeter I 100% agree with this post. The luck factor in Fly Fishing is nil. BABS..to answer your question there are patterns to aquatic insect hatches. A good fly angler should be able to predict those hatches based of water temp, weather, etc. Thats not luck, thats science. I always laugh when people say "good luck" to me on the river. Sure there are definitely some variables that can be disguised as luck...or some of these knuckle head bait casters claim is luck. But what it all comes down to is ur how much you know...and that has direct correlation with days on the water. I don't think there is any luck in a monster rainbow eating a size 1,0000(or whatever Cermele says) the fact is that you were tossing what that fish is feediing on, where its feeding, and with a good enough presentation that he doesn't get spooked. That doesn't sound like luck to me. GOTTA GIVE YOURSELF MORE CREDIT CEMELE!! Anyway, the reason I love fly fishing is for this very reason. NO LUCK INVOLVED and your knowledge of everything fly fishing is what makes you succesful. Good post Deeter!!

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