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Thread: How much credit should the fly get?

  1. #1
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    Default How much credit should the fly get?

    How much does the success of fly fishing actually depend on the fly? My personal opinion, is that technique is by far the greater influencing factor when it comes to fly fishing. People with a poor technique , very often don't realise that they are fishing badly, and will very often opt for regular fly changes, thinking that the fly is the problem. When people report on a good days fishing, more often than not, the question asked of them, is, "what fly did you use?", instead of the technique of the tactics.
    It would be interesting to hear from some experienced trout fishermen about technique versus fly.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    How much does the success of fly fishing actually depend on the fly? My personal opinion, is that technique is by far the greater influencing factor when it comes to fly fishing. People with a poor technique , very often don't realise that they are fishing badly, and will very often opt for regular fly changes, thinking that the fly is the problem. When people report on a good days fishing, more often than not, the question asked of them, is, "what fly did you use?", instead of the technique of the tactics.
    It would be interesting to hear from some experienced trout fishermen about technique versus fly.
    Got nothing to do with the fly...it is all about the rod "fishing" well...
    Bubble, Bubble, Bubble and Squeak...I think this mixture is too weak!!!???" (Wrex Tarr)

  3. #3
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    Czech fly fisher motto " it is not the fly that catches the fish, but your hands and your brains"
    French fly fisher motto " there is no magic fly, it is all in the drift"
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  4. Default

    All things being equal, I think a good fly will still outfish a bad fly. I'd like to think I have a holistic approach to fishing, so for me personally I would not like to separate fly, technique, presentation etc.
    Mario Geldenhuys
    Smallstream fanatic, plus I do some other things that I can't tell you about

    "All the tips or magical insights in the world can't replace devotion, dedication, commitment, and gumption - and there is not secret in that" - Glenn Brackett

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Korrie View Post
    Czech fly fisher motto " it is not the fly that catches the fish, but your hands and your brains"
    French fly fisher motto " there is no magic fly, it is all in the drift"
    SA fisher motto "you still need the fly, period"
    Mario Geldenhuys
    Smallstream fanatic, plus I do some other things that I can't tell you about

    "All the tips or magical insights in the world can't replace devotion, dedication, commitment, and gumption - and there is not secret in that" - Glenn Brackett

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallstreams.co.za View Post
    SA fisher motto "you still need the fly, period"
    You beat me to it!! :-)
    *** TO RIDE, SHOOT STRAIGHT AND SPEAK THE TRUTH ***

    Some people are like Slinkies.... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. - Hunter S. Thompson

  7. #7
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    Very relevant and interesting subject. I tend to agree that more often than not, the fly selection is not the biggest factor.

    Yes ......there are occasions when fish are very preoccupied with feeding on something very specific. And especially when it is a hatch of very small insects, you either match the hatch or fail. But in such a case you need to match BOTH the appearance AND the behaviour of the insects. And sometimes it is close to impossible.

    But, I believe for the most part fish are opportunists who will eat most things they identify as a potential meal. They are creatures of instinct. If you manage to trigger the feeding response, that is it, fish on. But nature has built some defensive mechanisms into the feeding instinct, that protects the fish from expending energy in pursuing a meal that is not really a meal, or may in fact be dangerous. And these defensive mechanisms is what we need to overcome.

    Also there is the matter of the location of the fish. Sight-fishing solves the location problem. And that is one of the reasons why sight-fishing is so enticing. But sometimes we cannot sight-fish. Then we need to assess conditions to work out where the fish may be located. The bigger the body of water being fished, the more relevant this becomes. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is really hard. And I believe that when fishing "blind", quite a lot of energy is expended dragging a fly through waters where there are just no fish. Experience plays a huge role here.

    I firmly believe that if our flies are:

    1. Within feeding range
    2. Very roughly approximates the appearance of a probable meal
    3. Closely approximates the behaviour of a probable meal.
    4. The fish is not scared, uncomfortable or "spooked" in any way

    The fish will eat the fly in the vast majority of cases.

    One thing to keep in mind is that "spooking" can take many forms. Just because a fish is not bolting in a cloud of mud, it does not always follow that the fish is in a feeding mood. It may be nervous or "apprehensive" even if it still hanging around.

    So, yeah in my humble opinion, presentation and technique far outweighs the appearance of the fly. And even knowing this, I still probably change flies too often.
    Last edited by Vicus; 14-10-14 at 02:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    Yes... but you also still need the right technique... period.
    If all things being equal, (as you put it), what is more important? Will a bad fly with a good technique, outfish a good fly with a poor technique?
    Quote Originally Posted by smallstreams.co.za View Post
    SA fisher motto "you still need the fly, period"
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  9. #9
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    I dont believe its either or all the time. It changes from day to day. I have watched my fiance drag a sunken RAB across the surface and catch a ton of fish with no help from. I have had flies rejected on good drifts and flies eaten on bad drifts. I have watched complete amateurs on the streams and stillwaters have great success not knowing what the hell they were doing. Opposed to me, who likes to think he knows what he's doing, not catching anything at all. The only thing I am sure of, is that I am not sure of anything. The one thing I do know though, is flyfisherman love discussing this stuff! Ha ha ha ha

    There are two things I always mention when people ask, what flies should they use for the NEC? I fish certain flies there because of the flies qualities and not because of their fish catching abilities. Hoppers, ants and beetles, because there are so many fish hitting dries I hate having to redress and dry the flies all the time and foam its much more practical. Nymphs are mostly the same with different colour dubbing, some with flash some without and then cdc collars. Maybe a few bombs like the gun to get down if the water is pumping. But otherwise, nothing fancy, because I mostly tie them while drinking in the evening around the fire talking crap with friends. The other thing is there are so many fish in Rhodes and they have to eat or someone else will so they wont be incredibly picky I have found, maybe the one hog who wont eat, but you will always catch fish. NZ would be a totally different story though.
    Check out some of my FF pics - http://www.flickr.com/photos/30562135@N07/

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    Yes... but you also still need the right technique... period.
    That's why I said you can't have one without the other (holistic, look it up).

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    If all things being equal, (as you put it), what is more important? Will a bad fly with a good technique, outfish a good fly with a poor technique?
    Well, in the context of all things other than the fly being equal I am fully confident that a good fly (size, colour, proportion, weight etc) will outfish a bad fly.
    Mario Geldenhuys
    Smallstream fanatic, plus I do some other things that I can't tell you about

    "All the tips or magical insights in the world can't replace devotion, dedication, commitment, and gumption - and there is not secret in that" - Glenn Brackett

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