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Thread: Fly or Lure?

  1. #1


    It's the age old question but I need to ask it on this forum being as there is so much talent contributing to it - when does a fly become a lure, in the flyfishing sense of course. Can anybody give a definitive answer?

  2. #2
    Ron Clay Guest


    I don't think that's possible. There are occasions when an imitative pattern is used like a lure and when lure patterns will imitate say a small fish. Trout specifically take a fly out of hunger ie: it looks like what it is eating, and also out of aggression. Witness how a cock brown or rainbow will chase and snap at almost anything that invades their territory.

    I know what sort of fly fishing I enjoy most and that is imitating or suggesting something that the fish recognises as food. Here is where the whole fascination of fly fishing lies.

  3. #3


    I should make clear I suppose that my question doesn't come from any purist attitude. Far from it - I'd chuck car door handles at 'em if I thought they'd catch.

    But where is that line where flyfishing becomes lure fishing? Is it a simple matter of when you change from a fly reel to a fixed spool reel, from a fly rod to a spinning rod. That whatever you throw at them providing it's on the end of a fly outfit it's flyfishing?

  4. #4
    Dave Johnson Guest


    funny you say that Graham about chucking anything at em... I have seen trout on educated hardish waters take fag nub ends.........
    try tying one of them!!

  5. #5
    Ron Clay Guest


    I have known some people who have fished a fly with a spinning rod and have also fished lures or spinners with a fly rod (small ones). Neither methods are particularly efficient or entertaining. In time most anglers come round to the fact that fly fishing with fly tackle is one of the most effective ways of putting predatory and some non predatory fish on the bank. It's not that we do it because it's the proper thing, we do it because it works!
    Of course an angler who has never fly fished is going to have to learn a whole new range of skills. Some anglers are too lazy or ignorant to learn how to use a fly rod. Then they have to resort to expedients like spinning, when fly fishing would catch them more or bigger fish.

    Some years ago I fished a few bass competitions. The rule was artificials only. In addition to the usual plugs, crankbaits, plastic worms and other things I always took a fly rod. On one occasion I won the match with the fly rod. Then a mate of mine did the same. At the next committee meeting fly fishing in competitions was banned on the grounds that it was too efficient and caught too many big fish!!

  6. #6
    Rob Brownfield Guest


    Surely fishing with a fly is lure fishing? You are luring a trout to take the fly?..

  7. #7


    Flyfishing is lure fishing technically, but surely they're recognised as two different aspects of the sport. If not then I'm luring fish with a worm or maggot as well.

  8. #8
    Ron Clay Guest


    I think that LURE fishing and imitative or SUGGESTIVE fly fishing are two different things. If you use a fish imitating plug for example you are matching the hatch as it were. A LURE catches fish by utilising the natural aggression of the species. Not by imitating somethis that the fish eats.

  9. #9
    Ron Clay Guest


    Another thing of interest is the plastic worm. American tackle manufacturers have got these things so perfect these days that Large mouth bass actually eat them! I've caught so many bass over the years with bits of plastic worm being spewed out or even in their gut, to doubt this. For those of you who are not familiar with plastic worms, they are shaped not only like a worm, but aslo like frogs, lizards and salamanders. They are come in a huge variety of colours and flavours. The flavours are so tempting that you feel like having a bite yourself. The plastic used is mainly silicone but it is formulated to be incredibly soft, just like breast implants. The worms do not seem to do any harm to the fish and they pass through the body just the same as other food but without being digested.

    How would you classify these baits?

    The Americans classify them as lures, but I am not so sure.

  10. #10
    Philip Inzani Guest


    Boy I really should come on the game section more often, I like this.

    I have done a bit of fly fishing in the past but as a bit of a rookie is this definition too simplistic? …fly fishing is where you are using a pattern that is tried to immitate an insect while lure fishing is where the pattern imitates a fish or animal of some sort? I don think something like type of reel/rod etc comes into it. Actually confession time, years back the first time I ever went "fly" fishing I bought myself a really decrepid fibre glass fly rod that came with some fly line. However I could not afford a reel and could not get the fly line on my fixed spool which was too small. I did however do a bit of sea fishing and so put the line on a multiplier meant for boat fishing! Picture the scene….I was on this reservoir with a fly rod really made for a tiny brooks and this bloody great multiplier attached. I was whipping the water to foam with a lure…..thing is I ended up catching a trout that was my p.b for ages on that setup!

    Ron I have to say it, I dont care how effective you think fly fishing is, give me a float rod a gallon of maggots and catapult with several spare elastics and I am ready for a challenge on any trout reservoir you want to choose!

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