A while back, we asked April Vokey what her biggest pet peeve was. His thoughts went like this: “The dramas between gear anglers and fly anglers. It’s unnecessary. Besides, some of the best fly anglers started out being great anglers. equipment.”
That, from one of the world’s premier fly fishing ambassadors, rings true. There is no reason for conventional anglers and fly anglers to argue, as long as they do so by the rules and with proper etiquette.
I feel like I’m not the only one who enjoys targeting cold water species, but fly fishing is just part of my angling experience, not the main way I target trout . Conventional fishing techniques certainly work for me, but there are times when it doesn’t. And can you guess when those times are usually? They are during an outbreak, and I can see it happening in front of me. It may seem like the only real way to target Rainbow Trout or Brown Trout during a hatch is to use fly fishing techniques, but all you really need is the right fly. . “Match the hatch”, isn’t that what they usually say?
If you thought this was all going to lead to a big admission, well, here it is: I use a fly with my spinning rod and reel, and you can too.
Make your spinning combo work for you
For one thing, I’ve already stopped feeling awkward casting a fly while using a spin combo. Yes, even if there are other fishermen on the water. You will feel it too, but the sooner you get over it, the better.
There are many ways to do this, but here is my method. You will need a good quality, lightweight fluorocarbon line, a spinning floata range of small split shots and the right dry fly, nymph or other fly depending on the conditions.
Depending on the fish and its general size, an ultralight setup will likely be best. Remember that this technique will require casting extremely light lures. It can even be used in very small streams while targeting smaller fish like brook trout.
Remember, presentation is key, so you’ll want to use gear that’s completely stealthy and tiny.
Tips for rigging
While some spin floats (or casting bubbles, as some anglers like to call them) can be separated to attach the line, others have to run the line through before attaching your bait. If you’re like many conventional anglers and like to fully gear up before you even start the truck, you might want to take another page from the fly fisherman’s book.
Fitting can (and probably should) be done on site to ensure your depth control is set correctly. You will save time in the long run.
It’s not just the fly either. Taking more fly fishing techniques from the conventional rod and reel playbook, I also learned how to thread my line through a foam float, add a very small octopus circle hook , then placing a small lunge over the float which stops the bait and allows it to float in the current to the desired depth.
Drifting flies or dead eggs with spinning gear is easy because the small diameter line I use doesn’t create the same amount of drag in the water that fly line sometimes does. This way it’s easier to let my offering travel at the same speed as water for a more natural presentation. It’s a critical part of the dead drift, and I’ve reached a point where I can remove it easily.
So let my experience at least serve as a lesson: when a hatch is open and the fish wants nothing else, sometimes a fly is the best solution. If you don’t have a fly rod handy, well, you don’t have to give up. Trout are always greedy feeders, and they certainly don’t care whether you have a reel or not. With the right presentation, you can always walk away with success.