What About The Bait?

Like my last post, this one starts with a common question in the fly shop or during an instructional.  The question is centered around how I gained an understanding of how fish behave.  “How did you learn these things?”  My answer, by fishing bait.  It is an answer that often raises eyebrows or causes a smirk. Fishing bait is an extremely successful method.  Shocking, I know.  But the more successful you are when fishing, the more opportunities there are to learn about fish behavior.  The more you know about fish behavior, the more you will be successful with other methods.

As a kid, I learned a lot about fish when using bait.   I learned where fish liked to hold in a river.  I learned where they like to sit in high water, or in low water.  I learned how bass cruise shorelines in lakes.  How pike used weed beds adjacent to deep water when they wanted to feed.  They are many tactics that I apply when fly fishing that I learned fish fishing bait, and gear for that matter.

Bait gets a bad rap in the fly fishing world.  It is often seen as the lowest level a fisherman can snoop to.  I am guessing some will probably have stopped reading this post by now because of the topic, and thats just fine.   I am not saying its the only way to learn about fish.  It can be done with any method.  But if you are struggling to crack the code on a local river or lake, don’t be afraid to grab a spinning rod and can of worms.  Red can.  Hills Brothers.

One Response to “What About The Bait?”

  1. Mike M says:

    I’ve posted a similar thought before, usually it’s not well recieved.

    While I’ve fly-fished for 60 years, I started (in 1952) fishing bait in Oregon. Then spinners, then copied my dad and started with a fly rod.

    My dad had a bad shoulder that stopped him from being able to cast his bamboo rods when he was in his 70′s…..he simply dug out my old spinning rod and continued with a sidearm cast. It’s all fishing, none more ‘right’ or superior to the other.


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