December 22nd, 2008|
Fly Fishing and Fishing with Flies
By James Castwell
Is there a difference? Some say there is. I do. But when I said
that, or realized the difference I was remembering the times I
would strip the material from a dry fly and poke the little hook
thru some part of a live grasshopper. Or a worm. When I just
couldn't interest things I would resort to going over 'to the dark
But the feeling is different for me. There is some mysterious feeling
of being in tune with all of my surroundings when I am fishing with a
fly in the normally accepted (for me) way. That would be mostly
upstream and dry. If the stream is exactly the perfect width I can
work my way downstream while still making my casts to each stream
edge while working my way down the middle of the stream. Turning
and casting a bit upstream and throwing a fast upstream mend in the
line you can sometimes get away with fishing upstream and dry while
actually working your way down stream.
One thing about going upstream and dry, it's work. Depending
on the speed of the flow, it can be a lot of work and my main
problem is that I do not cover enough territory to give my a
good number of shots at fish. I can increase my percentages
when I am ambling down the middle of the waters. Actually, I
would be prone to consider it fly fishing if you used a spinning
rod with a bubble and a dry fly. I guess legally it's not but the
feelings of the person fishing would be much the same as when
using an actual fly rod.
So, for many years I have differentiated between the two.
Between actually casting a fly rod with a dry fly on the end
of a leader (preferably tapered) or delivering flies of whatever
type with some other method. In other words, fishing with flies.
The foremost object of the event is to capture fish. Fly fishing
encompasses far more. Not only the hunt but the stalk, the
presentation, the follow-thru, the mending and controlling of
the slack line, setting the hook or deciding to pick up the spent
cast. Essential elements and then some which help make up the
whole event we call fly fishing.
True enough that standing in the middle of the same stream I
just described and flipping a wet fly, nymph, streamer or an
attractor pattern will undoubtedly produce fine results, often
way more than pounding along with a dry fly, there is a bit of
something missing. And I have noticed another place where is
seems to be gone too. Please don't take this the wrong way.
Some of you will think I am putting you down. I am not.
This past fall I had the fortune to watch for a long time, a fellow
using a 'switch rod.' We were both casting for salmon and it took
a long cast to cover the water well and that was necessary to
improve the success rate. I was using an eight weight graphite
rod, nine feet long. He was using a (probably) twelve foot rod
with a section of cork above the handle and an extension on the
butt. His casts were standard spey and he was very good at it.
He could get his line out after just two moves with the rod, I needed
a few false casts, some double-haul stuff added and a hard stop to
get out about the same distance. I am sure had he wanted to, he
could have easily cast much farther. He was just 'cruising,' I was
working. But, for some reason, I felt like I was more in tune with
the fishing. Not sure at all why I felt that way, just did. Still do in
fact. Maybe it's like hunting. I know I can shoot farther and more
accurately with a gun but I still like to bow hunt. Maybe that is why
I am stuck in the past with a one-handed mentality in a two handed
present. Could be. For me, it's just not the same. One is fly fishing.
The other one is fishing with flies. I am not saying that I am right. I
am saying I am right, for me. ~ James Castwell
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