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Convert me

2/6 14:33
From Dillsburg
Posts: 1
As much as I like the idea of A River Runs Through It, catching fish is more important than looking good trying to catch fish- and therein lies my rub. A few years back I bought an Orvis Rod with all of the fixings to make me look legit. I read some books and watched many youtube videos and set off to the Loyalsock Creek in Sullivan County. I spent 7 hours throwing flies at trout I could see with zero strikes. An older gentleman even stopped and gave me a fly that he said would work. This fella happened to have won some fly tying competition in the Catskills that year so I'm pretty sure he knew what he was talking about. Out of frustration, I threw on a spinning reel and caught 7 trout in half hour with a Panther Martin spinner. That was the last day I touched a fly rod. I love trout fishing and fishing in general. I love the idea of catching them on a fly but refuse to do so for the sake of catching less fish. Even before my Loyalsock experience, I even paid a guy that wrote a book on Fly Fishing In Maine to map out some remote wild Maine Trout fishing spots and how to catch them on a fly. I then drove to Baxter State Park and fly fished just as he prescribed and nothing. I eventually fished the rest of the week with spinning gear and did fine. Someone please convert me. Tell me I am doing it wrong and help me see the fly fishing way. There's gotta be something I'm missing. I live half hour outside of Harrisburg and know about most of the local favs- YB, LeTort, Clarks, and have traveled around PA to fish- Penns, Juniata, Potter County, limestoners in Southern PA. Somebody help because I can't keep living like this lol

Posted on: 2/6 15:06

Re: Convert me

2016/6/9 9:49
From Glenmoore
Posts: 87
Tell me more about that rod you're selling..

Posted on: 2/6 15:37

Re: Convert me

2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
Posts: 1266
Not sure if this will help, or further discourage you, but it's honest, accurate, and what you probably need to hear:

Your expectations are probably, more like definitely, unreasonable for only FFing two times. I too was (and still am) a reasonably good UL spinner angler for Trout. I fish spinners for Trout several times a year, often in high and dirty water conditions, and most of the time these outings are my best producing days of the year, numbers wise anyway. If that’s what’s most important to you in your fishing and what you get the most enjoyment from, then just keep doing it. There is nothing that “looks better” or is “cooler” superficially about FFing. It’s just a different method to catch fish, with different equipment. Some, like me, have found it enjoyable to catch fish using different methods and equipment sometimes. Everyone has their own reasons to fish the way they like though.

With that out of the way, I’ll say this…Since I’ve learned to FFish, there’s times where I can definitely catch more fish with a fly rod than a spinning rod…low/clear water, during a big hatch, or on small, steep Brookie streams where it’s hard to work a spinner effectively in a bathtub size pool. Bottom line, there’s a place for both. That being said, sometimes I just feel like spin fishing, or just feel like fly fishing, regardless of the conditions. Sometimes one just has more appeal than the other to me on a given day, so that’s what I do. Who cares.

In your case, it sounds like you're pretty effective with a spinning rod right now. You need to take the time, lower your expectations, and learn how to FFish. There’s skills that translate from one to the other, but they’re different enough that most people struggle at first with a fly rod when converting from spin fishing. That’s normal.

My guess is you were nowhere near as effective with a spinner when you first started. I’ve taken guys spinner fishing for the first time and they couldn’t keep a cast in the water, nonetheless put it in a spot where they’d likely catch a fish. It takes practice, and so does FFing. Youtube videos, guides, fishing with someone, etc will all help, but nothing beats personal experience on the stream.

If it’s something you want to do, you just gotta commit to doing it, and learning it. There's no one fly, or even one technique that is the magic ticket. For one year, I committed to not spinner fishing at all. If I was going fishing, I was FFing that year. By the end of the year, I was halfway decent at FFing, but good enough that I could catch fish most times when conditions were reasonable and other (better than me) FFers were catching fish. What I learned was that I enjoyed FFing, and learning something new. I recognized I was learning and getting better, and wanted to keep learning and getting better. So for several years I very rarely spin fished, just because I wanted to FFish instead. It's only been more recently I've been spin fishing more again.

Not that my experience was the same as everyone, but as a reasonable baseline...

It took me about 2 months and 6 or 8 outings until I caught a fish.

It took about one year until I truly had a good day FFing.

It took me 2 or 3 years until I felt like I was comfortable doing it, and could catch more fish (in the right conditions) with a fly rod than a spinning rod. Fishing warmwater streams for Bass and Sunfish helped a lot with my casting and line management, and I generally found it easier to catch fish there than Trout at first.

I'm still not very good comparatively to a lot of guys on this site.

Posted on: 2/6 15:47

Edited by Swattie87 on 2018/2/6 16:04:40

Re: Convert me

2007/1/30 10:05
From Jersey Shore, PA
Posts: 92
Please don't take this the wrong way. If you are not willing to invest time and effort to learn something new that says a lot. I don't know if you're a hunter but I'll give you an example involving hunting. If someone hunts with a gun and they think hunting with a bow might be appealing that person must realize that there's a big difference in the two methods. It's going to take some time and effort and you can't expect the same results right out of the gate. Same with spinning and fly fishing. If you go out mainly to catch trout you obviously are reluctant to invest the time and effort to become proficient with a fly rod and flies. Spin fishing is a bit more straight-forward: you cast a spinner and you can vary the speed and depth of retrieve. You can vary the angle of the cast/retrieve and there's not much else you can do other than change size, shape and color of your spinner. I know because in my early days I did it a lot.

With fly fishing there's a lot more to it. You've got to accept that you're unlikely to catch a lot of trout at the beginner level. It is totally unrealistic to expect to go out as someone new to fly fishing and experience results equivalent to those you had with a spinning rod. If you're not willing to change your perspective no one, no matter what they say, is going to convert you. YOU are the sole source for that process to begin. You have to want it AND you have to be willing to work for it.

I've been fly fishing for over 50 years and I still have a lot to learn. That is one thing that holds me. i can't say the same for spin fishing. To me, there's so much more in the form of rewards to me as a fly angler.

Under no circumstances should what I'm saying be construed to mean I'm demeaning any form of fishing, I'd never do that. Fly fishers should never come across as snobbish. The bottom line is that we should all enjoy fishing no matter what method we employ. I do believe it is highly important to practice catch-and-release and take care to handle trout properly to ensure minimal risk of harming them.

Hope I've stimulated your thinking.

Posted on: 2/6 15:58

Re: Convert me

2006/9/9 8:53
From York
Posts: 120
If you can catch them with spin gear and know how to read water then that is a good head start. You know how to catch fish.

When I started fly fishing I told myself "I'm not going to catch as many fish until I learn but I'm going to stick with it....done with the spinning rod" That was it. If catching a lot of fish is your highest priority then maybe you have to wait a bit to get into it. You gotta have the determination to do it.

Tie on a woolly bugger and kind of think how you catch fish with a panther martin.

Looking good doesn't matter. Relaxing and having fun does. Best of luck!

Posted on: 2/6 16:00

Re: Convert me

2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 1738
Spinfishing is inherently a more efficient way to catch trout than flyfishing. Overall, skilled spinfishers will catch more fish than skilled fly fishers, and by a substantial margin.

The reason to take up flyfishing is not to catch more fish, or to look good, be stylish etc.

The reason to flyfish is if you find it fun and interesting. I think that it does have interesting, fun aspects of it that are different from spinfishing.

And you can catch a lot of trout flyfishing. But it's something that you need to learn. And it is not easy or quick to learn on your own.

If you can find a mentor who is a skilled flyfisher and a good teacher, they can help you develop the skills much faster than doing it on your own.

Posted on: 2/6 17:36

Re: Convert me

2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1526
This reminds me alot of a conversation I had with a good friend about learning to fly fish, he is a golf pro.
Him: Man, I went out and didn't catch a thing with that stupid fly rod.
Me: It just takes time, it's like any other difficult skill.
Him: Yeah but I watched how to do it on youtube, I used the fly you gave me and nothing....
Me: Imagine, a student comes up to you and says I watched a youtube video on how to hit a golf ball and I used the club you gave me and I didn't shoot par......kind of dumb right?

I don't say this to embarass you but fly fishing is really, really difficult, spin fishing is alot easier. Treat fly fishing like learning to golf or hit an 80 mph fastball, spin fishing is like putt-putt or t-ball. Most people on this board enjoy the challenge and if you don't that's ok too, maybe one day you will change your mind. When you first fly fish you will suck at it, as did I and everyone else on here, want to get better quicker? Take some lessons and stay away from youtube.....for now.

Posted on: 2/6 19:15

Re: Convert me

2013/12/7 0:10
From SE Pa
Posts: 480
My take is fly fishing is its no more difficult then spin fishing. Strictly fly fishermen make the process overly complicated because, after all, they like perpetrating the myth of the superior intellectual angler. The only difference is you grew up spin fishing and have probably spin fished for years and years before picking up a fly rod. Then you pick up a fly rod, use it a few times and then go back to your tried and true method. Basic human nature at work.

I grew slightly bored with spin fishing and picked up a fly rod. It made me feel like I was ten years old again. For about a year I used my fly rod 80% of the time. I'm probably 50/50 now and frequently take both out on the boat. Sometimes I just take one or the other but I like having the choice. Sometimes the fly rod produces and sometimes the spinning gear produces more. I like the options.

My recommendation is to not take the spin gear out for three or four months. You'll get it. It's not that difficult since you already know how and where to fish. Then you will be proficient with both and you will have another arrow in the quiver to better your odds. It's still just fishing.

Posted on: 2/6 20:56

Re: Convert me

2014/2/19 19:02
From Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 93
If fly fishing requires me to look good, I'm in trouble. I haven't washed my vest since I brought it. My fly rods have been taken for spinning rods, by folks who looked good. One of the casting instructors at the fly shop I frequent used me as an example of how not to cast. You might see me standing on the bank of Valley Creek with my BDUs tucked in rubber boots that were once part of boot foot waders trying to keep a tree between me and the trout I can see or sitting on the big rock that sticks out in the riffle section below the bridge pool on Ridley Creek. I think I lucked out and caught a couple of stockers from the Wissahickon the second or third time but I still carried my UL gear with me for year. The only time I've had the level of frustration you're expressing is when I started fly fishing salt water. I used to carry a spinning rod with me and a box of lures, then I built a 7 inch fighting butt which fit into my 8 wgt and a spinning reel that was snug in the reel seat. After a couple more trips, I realized I would never learn how to catch a fish in salt water with a fly if I didn't leave my spinning gear at home. Went through the same process in fresh water, but the frustration level wasn't near as high because I was catching, not just trout, but sunfish, the occasional bass. They liked the same flies that the trout liked. You like to fish, I assume for more than just trout. Step away from the trout. Find a pond, a lake, a warm water stream. Buy or tie some poppers, pick up some woolly buggers. Go catch some pan fish and bass. I fished spinning gear for 45 years worked my way down to ultralight gear. The next step was fly fishing. It's not going to happen overnight or in one or two trips. Keep with it. Figure out how to tie a fly that mimics a Panther Martin spinner. Relax and enjoy the fishing whether it's with spinning gear or a fly rod.

Posted on: 2/6 21:06

Re: Convert me

2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 922
Two questions:

How long have you been spin fishing?

With all the knowledge you acquired over that time, learning to catch trout spinning, what makes you think you can just "catch trout" using a completely new and unfamiliar method in a few hours.

Posted on: 2/6 23:04

Re: Convert me

2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1526

troutbert wrote:
Overall, skilled spinfishers will catch more fish than skilled fly fishers, and by a substantial margin.

I disagree with this statement as far as trout are concerned. A fly rod gives one the ability to control drifts of small flies, something a spin rig cannot. I will take a skilled fly fisherman over a spin fisherman(assuming neither is using bait) on a trout stream any day.

Posted on: 2/6 23:09

Re: Convert me

2009/11/5 1:46
Posts: 308

ryansheehan wrote:

troutbert wrote:
Overall, skilled spinfishers will catch more fish than skilled fly fishers, and by a substantial margin.

I disagree with this statement as far as trout are concerned. A fly rod gives one the ability to control drifts of small flies, something a spin rig cannot. I will take a skilled fly fisherman over a spin fisherman(assuming neither is using bait) on a trout stream any day.

I agree with Ryan. Fly fishing evolved over the years as an effective way of catching trout in moving water. Spin fishing isn't near as versatile for that purpose. If you want to mimic what a spin fisherman is doing under those conditions, just throw an appropriately shiny streamer and strip. That's a spin fisher's one trick and fly fishing can do it (because when I took it up back in the 60's that was how I made the transition.) However, fly fishing can do so much more, and will catch fish under conditions when spinning won't.

Fishing for other species, or in stillwaters, fly fishing's only advantage is that it can be more fun.

(I suppose spin fishing has one more trick in that it take less effort to learn.)

Posted on: 2/7 1:18

Re: Convert me
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2888

Things would come easier if you fished with a guide (a good teaching guide) or an experienced FFer willing to help you out.

I suggest you practice your casting a bit in the yard at home and take a trip when the water warms this spring, to a local lake to fish for panfish or bass.

If you are looking to fish for trout, try FFing a recently stocked stream this spring. Tie on a wooly bugger and fish it like you would your panther martin spinner. Try casting it at different angles, let it drift, try swinging it in the current, try stripping it, etc. If the trout are there, you should catch a few.

Another easy way for a beginner to get started is to use and indicator, which is essentially the same as using a bobber with a spin rod. Use one of the popular nymph patterns (pheasant tail, hares ear, prince, etc.) with a bead for weight and cast it upstream and work to let it drift down without dragging.

I taught my nephew to spin fish when he was 7, 8 and 9 years old. When he turned 10, I taught him to fly fish. We worked a bit on casting in the yard and headed off to a local lake. He ending up catching quite a few panish and small bass on a fly rod.

Later we fished a stocked trout stream and he had a ball catching trout. In fact many of the spin fishers around us weren't having much luck, yet he managed to catch a few on wooly bugger and later with a nymph and indy rig.

I've taught many people to fly fish in the FF201 classes that Orvis runs every spring. Just about everyone has a good time and catches fish at one of the local lakes.

Stick with it, it's really not that hard.

Posted on: 2/7 9:50

Re: Convert me

2013/3/28 20:10
From Poconos
Posts: 128
Find a stretch of water with nobody else fishing that you know has trout (preferably in the spring). That way you can focus on what you're doing 100% and not worry that the guy downstream is catching fish after fish because that will make you want to throw your fly rod away.

A natural drift and learning to mend your line are the first things you need to learn. If you can do that, you'll catch trout and then the rest will come over the years.

Posted on: 2/7 10:08

Re: Convert me

2011/7/27 22:21
From Peasant Gap
Posts: 37
I don't think I can say much more than what was covered already. But basically is boils down to fishing the way you enjoy. Don't fly fish because you will catch more numbers (most of the time you won't, but sometimes you can) or because you think it "looks cool". I fly fish because its complexity, versatility, and ever changing conditions make it fascinating for me. There is so much more to it and that's why I like it better than spin fishing.

The best analogy from above is what Old Lefty said comparing it to bowhunting. People take up bowhunting because the process of bowhunting is so much more interesting and challenging than gun hunting. But there is a huge learning curve for new bowhunters.

I've beeN fly fishing for over 30 years and I'm still trying to figure out how to fish nymphs and streamers successfully. I have terrible luck with both methods, but I stick with them because I KNOW THEY WORK and more importantly I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO DO THEM.

If you want to ease the transition, consider doing a couple of things. First, you can purchase small spinner blades with a clip on the back that you can add a fly to. Consider getting some of these and fishing them on your fly rod as you would a spinner. This is a cross over method that may help you transition with more confidence. Second, you can do what I've done occasionally and take a spinning rod with you and switch to it if you are getting skunked on the fly gear. I will still sometime take a UL rod and spinners on longer trips. It can be fun after a long day of tough fly fishing. I know some folks will disagree with me on this, as the best way to learn something is to commit to it. But I think it will ease your frustration to transition over slowly.

Basically it comes down to you have to know why it is you fish. If it's about success, stick to spin fishing. If it's because fly fishing interests you, then keep at it. Eventually you may become as obsessed as the rest of us.

Posted on: 2/7 10:27

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