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I know this probably has been discussed, debated, and pondered numerous times before.... All flies in the spread versus anything else.

I dont know if I just dont stick to flies long enough but I caught a ton of fish off of spoons this year and my flies didnt really take off for me. I recently sat through a presentation put on by someone who I think is a very good fishermen, this guy defintely knows his stuff and he talked about running nothing but flies and maybe a spoon. I just dont get it...

This winter aside form some minor work on the boat, I plan on down sizing my lures, I have a 100+ spoons on the boat but yet the same 10 get used regularily.

I switched to big weenie flies toward the end of the year and they caught fish, but my moonshine rv wonderbread caught a helluva lot more.

Aside from the "school" effect what is the advantage to running all flies? I

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Only advantage is if you have your program dialed in for flies. I tend to run a bit too fast for flies so my fly hook up rates are lower than others. Once in a while we put the brakes on and the fly bite picks up. But I almost never catch lake Trout at higher speeds and the Steelhead bite is hot if I find them. I have taken Coho and Steelhead on bare flies as sliders and really like the BW vibrator flies as sliders.

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Matching your fly's leader length to the speed you run can have a very big effect on how well they work. Get the flasher or dodger to fly length right with non negative fish and flies can be a hot presentation. For the speed I usually run 2.2-2.5 mph on my FishHawk X4, a 23" leader for 8" flashers or a 28" for 11" flashers has been pretty good. I measure from the tip of the leader loop to the nose of the fly.

Like Jim, I too have used the BW Vibrator heads with flies as sliders off my riggers with some success -- better in 2010 and 2011 than this past season.

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I can see if your fishing really deep, to use all flies or meat for me. I usually use the 60ft rule, i usually don't run that many flashers above 60ft down and the deeper i go i run less spoons and more flashers. I like 2.0 on the dept raider, that works equally for spoons and flies and ill bump it down to 1.8-2 for all flies and meat. All flasher program works well really deep, last spring when we were fishing 100-250 down, it was a 9 flasher program, no spoons.

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I like to speed! 2.3 on the depth is where I like it. I want the bow and younger kings. They may not win a tournament but on the grill they are a helluva lot better than a greaser. On the west side guys like it 1.9 - 2.1 at the ball, that's where I differ.

To calculate this correctly the faster at the ball the longer leader length? I run mostly 8" hot spot flashers with a few spin doctors mixed in.

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I like to speed! 2.3 on the depth is where I like it. I want the bow and younger kings. They may not win a tournament but on the grill they are a helluva lot better than a greaser. On the west side guys like it 1.9 - 2.1 at the ball, that's where I differ.

To calculate this correctly the faster at the ball the longer leader length? I run mostly 8" hot spot flashers with a few spin doctors mixed in.

nothing saying you cant catch fish on flies trolling faster but you will have to make adjustments to your style. and yes, most dedicated fly fisherman will generally troll slower. I'm sure I know who you were referring to in your original post and he is one of the best. definitely knows what he's is talking about.

You got the right idea, faster = longer leads. the faster you troll the more action your attractor will have and will whip your fly more. lengthening the fly lead will slow the whip down....if that makes any sense.

nothing wrong with trolling fast and fishing mainly spoons. you can cover much more ground. on days when fishing is slow and fish are scattered, that can be more important than anything else.

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It's not somuchthe lead length matching to the speed, you have to find out what works well for you in your boat! All boats track and run differently, some will work well with a lead length of 26 and others will work well at 29. You will have to find out what works by running a specific length on all rods and see how well it puts fish in the boat.

When I was fishing with you this summer my flies and leads worked but didn't do all that great. Now on my boat they worked very well. Could be they need to be shorter on your boat. spoons have there place , but I have taken most of my bigger fish on flies.

I look forward to fishing next year, if you need a extra person to run a few more rods let me know.

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As a rule spoons work better in cold water, and flies take off good when the water is warm/hot. What works on this side of the lake may not be as hot on your side. A lot of the time when we have warm water, you have cooler water, and vise versa.

When we get warm water, I like flasher/fly on all the close lines (4 divers,2riggers), and plugs or spoon on all the long lines. I will change that if we are fishing the evening. Then The glow spoons go on after the sun sets.

BTW, I almost always run 2.8-2.9 sog wether I am fishing flasher/flies, or spoons (thats if the current is not ripping).

Edited by Nailer
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As a rule spoons work better in cold water, and flies take off good when the water is warm/hot. What works on this side of the lake may not be as hot on your side. A lot of the time when we have warm water, you have cooler water, and vise versa.

When we get warm water, I like flasher/fly on all the close lines (4 divers,2riggers), and plugs or spoon on all the long lines. I will change that if we are fishing the evening. Then The glow spoons go on after the sun sets.

This is a great point. Flashers work alot better than spoons in warm water. Also try to find 1 or 2 flashers and 1 or 2 flies that always catch fish and just run them on every rod, you will see your numbers go up. the same flashers and flies stay on my riggers and divers all year.

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This is a great point. Flashers work alot better than spoons in warm water. Also try to find 1 or 2 flashers and 1 or 2 flies that always catch fish and just run them on every rod, you will see your numbers go up. the same flashers and flies stay on my riggers and divers all year.

Hey Russ! Haven't heard from you in awhile!

I completely agree. Most good fly fisherman will not have 12 rods and 12 different setups. usually less than a handful of combos, most of the time 2-3, that are always used. I will try some of the new great things out there but i usually will only dedicate one rod and limited water time. My day in and day out setup consist of 2 or 3 attractors and 3 flys.

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Hey Russ! Haven't heard from you in awhile!

I completely agree. Most good fly fisherman will not have 12 rods and 12 different setups. usually less than a handful of combos, most of the time 2-3, that are always used. I will try some of the new great things out there but i usually will only dedicate one rod and limited water time. My day in and day out setup consist of 2 or 3 attractors and 3 flys.

Care to share your go-to setups Josh?

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the foundation of my flasher/fly program consists of aqua, green crinkle and mirage flies with basically green and white attractors, mainly spin doctors. there is a bit of variations but once something is working, i'm all in!

My number one combo without a doubt the last two seasons has been an 8'' white w/UV slick spin doctor and an aqua fly. A few close seconds would be: white w/blue bubble spin doctor and aqua, green dot spin doctor and a green crinkle fly, white paddle/spin doctor and aqua or green crinkle, and green paddle/spin doctor green crinkle. throw in some mirage flies and thats about it for me.

now I do mix in some things once in a while but they still can be traced back to the original foundation. for me these tend to not be as consistent and i end up back where i started anyways. A couple of those have been green rattlesnake spin doctor, green chrome frog paddle, white/mountain dew paddle and laser wrapped spin doctor.

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This is a great point. Flashers work alot better than spoons in warm water. Also try to find 1 or 2 flashers and 1 or 2 flies that always catch fish and just run them on every rod, you will see your numbers go up. the same flashers and flies stay on my riggers and divers all year.
Hey Russ! Haven't heard from you in awhile!

I completely agree. Most good fly fisherman will not have 12 rods and 12 different setups. usually less than a handful of combos, most of the time 2-3, that are always used. I will try some of the new great things out there but i usually will only dedicate one rod and limited water time. My day in and day out setup consist of 2 or 3 attractors and 3 flys.

I consider myself to have a good flash/fly presentation, and agree %100 with these two statements.

I happen to have my 11" paddles hanging here with me, so here's a shot of them.

White with some sorts mirage is my favorite. A few of the oddballs have there place in the day.

1D2N0563_zpsfe8f064f.jpg

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If it doesn't work for you don't force it. If your happy with your catches on Spoons stick with it! You can use lighter gear, and have more fun. Especially since your looking for the smaller fish for table fare.

If your goal is to learn how to run flashers better than stick with the hot combos, and don't experiment until you get good at getting the go to set-ups to fire.

I think some guys put too much into the specifics. If the fish are around and they are hungry then they will bite. On tough days, or mid day, leader length can help trigger a few more bites. I've fished with members of some of the best tournament team on Lake O, and I've watched them tie up leaders by just looking at it. No tape measure! Start out with a combo on your wires and spoons on your riggers.

I'll give you some of our go-to's but remember we fish a different Lake, and we are an A-TOM-MIK Prostaff Team:

Wonderbread Spin Doc/Hammer Fly or Blue Glow Hammer

Green Dot Spin Doc/Hammer Fly, Blue Glow Hammer, Hypnotist, Sweet Pea, or Ultra Green Glow

Hammertime Spin Doc/Hammer Fly, Blue Glow Hammer, Hypnotist, Ultra Green Glow, or Big Fin

Live Wire Spin Doc/Green Hammer, Ace fly, T-190

Chrome E-Chip/Mirage, Big Fin, T-190, Sweet Pea

Gator Spin Doc/Sweet Pea, Gator, Ultra Green Glow, and Hypnotist

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think the key to fishing flies successfuly day in and day out has more to do with temperature location in the water column and where your fly presentation is located in it more than anything else. When the temps are down in the 80ft depths or more, most fish are feeding in relatively low light and are keying in on fly baits using their lateral line. When the temps are higher up in the water column like 60ft or higher, the fish are feeding ,more based upon sight than vibration picked up by their lateral lines. But here is one of the keys to getting good results when fishing flies above 60ft. If you can dial in your fly presentations to run in the midst of the thermocline, you can obtain the same results as fishing in low light as seen down 80ft or more. Friends of guys who scuba dive have said that the visibility in the thermocline intersect can be very poor at times. The fish that are "called" into your spread with attractor/fly presentations via their lateral line commit to the bite as they would in deeper water when they can't see the presentation as well as in clearer water. If your flasher/fly presenation is able to be fully seen by the fish they will not commit as often with a visual triggered bite. It is my belief that this is why spoons can outfish flasher/flys higher in the water column. They are fished with lighter line and "look" more like a natural bait than a flasher/fly set-up would being "wide out in the open" to be visually seen by the fish.

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