I have dabbled in fly fishing for most of my fishing life, well since I was about 18 anyway. But in the last few years, more and more of my fishing clients seem to be fly fishermen. I figured if I was going to be able to guide these clients and help them catch shoal bass on the fly rod, I had better get a little more serious about using them. I made a New Year’s resolution that I would use only a fly rod for the whole year of 2011. That is one of the best resolutions I have ever made and probably the only one I have kept.
To be honest, I figured I would be little handicapped. I knew I was not a good caster, I don’t tie flies (yet), and everybody knows big fish eat big baits not little pieces of feather and fur. I was wrong. I did cheat a little some this year throwing plastics on the fly rod (see last Blog) but I also caught some good fish on feathers and fur. I did, however, learn that the long rod is not a handicap. In fact, there were many days when I caught more and bigger fish than some of the people I was fishing with. I also learned how to cast a fly rod pretty good, a difficult task sitting in a kayak or standing in a canoe.
Another lesson learned is a good rod and reel does make a difference. I updated my rods and reels to some better equipment. I am not saying you need to spend huge amounts of money on fly rods and reels for bass fishing but I know, for me, better equipment seemed to improve my casting. If nothing else I had more confidence in the better equipment. My favorite rods that I tried this year were the TFO BVK and a new rod by Sage called the ONE. There is a huge price difference between these rods but honestly not a huge performance difference. Either will improve you casting especially with heavier bass flies and the “not fly fishing” plastics I am throwing.
If you haven’t tried fly fishing for bass, or any other fish for that matter, you should give it a try. Not only is it a lot of fun, it really is a very effective way to catch fish. There are real advantages like faster and more accurate presentations, stealthier (is that a word?), and with lighter lures, even longer casts. In fact, it is just awesome. So awesome in fact that I intend to fish with a fly rod only again for 2012, heck maybe forever. I have attached a few pictures of some of my better catches this past year on the long rod. I think you will agree it is just awesome.