Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Year With The Long Rod

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.


  1. In Colorado the long rod is all folks want to use most of the time. I prefer the long rod action in summer where the top water bite is explosive. Great post.

  2. Great post, Randy! Hard to describe the allure of a fly rod but it's definitely some kind of primal thing that can't be denied.

    1. I enjoy all your posts and stories Pirate. Do you spend any time chasing any other species with any other presentations? Or, are you focused entirely on shoalie fly fishing? Would love to see a story on your biggest bass, or other species, caught on fly rod.

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