What are the advantages and disadvantages of spinning and fly fishing for trout?

4 Responses to “What are the advantages and disadvantages of spinning and fly fishing for trout?”

  1. Chadd says:

    The main advantage of fly fishing for trout is versatility. You can fish multiple depths, multiple waterbodies, and multiple forage. Fly fishing for trout has been evolving since the 1400s and has become very well suited to that purpose. Most trout eat a lot of aquatic insects, and fly fishing tackle is better at mimicking and presenting that food base.

    You can effectively fish for trout with a spinning outfit, but you will eventually have to find workarounds and make sacrifices. With a spinning outfit you will have scores of lures to choose from, but most of them are geared to imitate a small range of a trout’s diet — mostly baitfish, worms, and larger aquatic creatures like crawdads and frogs. Spincasting tackle sort of ignores insects on the surface of the water, and it has trouble imitating very small forage items (like aquatic insect larvae). You CAN fish flies with a spinning outfit, but you’ll need some form of jury rig (water-filled bobber, leader, and a lot of luck, for example). Fly fishing tackle can imitate all those bigger prey items along with the tiny prey and it can present all of them convincingly.

    One big reason fly fishing is better for trout is that trout often demand a sly and delicate presentation, and much smaller lures. Another reason fly fishing is more effective is that trout are often found in small streams — you may have to present to a trout in a pocket of water 3 feet across and 3 inches deep. If you effectively cast a mayfly pattern to that pocket water, you’ll likely be scooping up a trout within a minute or two. If you splashdown a spinner or jig (or a worm and bobber) into that same water, the trout will be gone before you get your bail closed.

    All of this assumes that you’re fishing with lures, not bait. If you want to fish for trout with bait (worms, Powerbait, salmon eggs, etc.), you’re limited to a spinning or baitcasting outfit — you could fish bait with a fly outfit, but it wouldn’t be terribly fun.

    There are two advantages to fishing for trout with spinning gear. First, it’s simple. A 10-year-old kid, for instance, can pick up a spincasting outfit for the first time on a Friday and be catching fish by Saturday evening. Fly fishing is much more complicated. Secondly, spin casting in a deep lake for trout is just as good and sometimes better than fly fishing — you can go deep with fly fishing gear, but there are some limits and it’s more time consuming. Fishing deep with spinning gear is much easier and more efficient.

  2. Mr Fixit says:

    fly fishing is more fun. Spin casting is easier. I spin cast very successfully in fresh and salt water for dolly varden….Kodiak

  3. The Wormist says:

    l can’t see any advantages that one method might have over the other except in waters listed as fly fishing only.
    either can be fished stealthily and effectively. depth can be fished accurately with either. whichever a person is most comfortable with. flies CAN be used with a spinning outfit. efficient presentations CAN be made.
    a spinning rod is actually much more effective and efficient in casting spinners and spoons than is a fly rod so l would give the overall advantage to the spinning rod.
    no fishing outfit is more versatile than a good spinning outfit.
    and false casting a nightcrawler with a fly rod is a real b***h!

  4. patregan says:

    “What are the advantages and disadvantages of spinning and fly fishing for trout?”

    Spinning will catch trout in very flooded conditions when the fly may seem hopeless. It will also catch uneducated stocked fish.The treble hooks however used in spinning may not be very good when one wishes to unhook and return small specimens. Spinning in low clear waters will often scare the hell out of spooky trout.

    Fly fishing for trout has very few disadvantages and will frequently catch more fish than the spinning method. However, throwing large lines and wet flies into thin streams can scare trout as much as the spinner can. This is why I prefer the light line, dry fly technique when circumstances permit. Imitating insects is the ultimate way to go and beats lure fishing hands down when perusing wild trout.

    Hope this helps.

    Pat Regan

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