Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Fly fishing etiquette

Red_green_hSeptember 13th, 2019, 7:36 am
New Mexico

Posts: 53
Maybe this is a question for the beginners area, but...I'm mostly self taught with the help of some YouTube videos. I'm fairly new to this style of fishing, but I've been fishing my entire life. I'm an old fashioned country hick from Iowa. Some of my best days as a youth were spent with my Zebco and can of corn or with some worms. One of my best days with a fly rod was up on a small mountain stream that rarely gets fished and nothing was working. I eventually kicked over a cow pattie and saw some worms. I put on a small hook and a worm and my first cast I had a fish. I caught and released so many trout it was amazing. My question is...does using worms break some type of fly fishing etiquette? The purpose is to catch fish and if they are biting on worms does that take away style points? Are there purist out there that would frown upon using a good old fashioned hook and worm on a fly rod and reel? I ask this on this forum because there is all this discussion about bugs, terrestrials, and the like and we devote so much time to figure out what trout go for which is great and I'm very interested in these topics but when I throw a worm in it just seems to work. Will someone let me know if I'm breaking the "rules" by using worms.
TaxonSeptember 13th, 2019, 8:19 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1308
Hi Red_green_h-

Re: My question is...does using worms break some type of fly fishing etiquette?

Fly fishing involves using a tied artificial imitation, as opposed to using live bait. So when one uses live bait, even if it is cast with a fly rod, it is not fly fishing.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
TroutnutSeptember 14th, 2019, 6:09 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2565
Yeah, Taxon got it right.

If you tried to fly cast with a live worm, it would go flying off the hook before it even reaches the water. It's only fly fishing if you're using an artificial fly. However, if the artificial "fly" is made of a little strip of rubber or chenille in the shape and color of a worm, then it's still fly fishing.

That doesn't mean it's wrong to worm dunk, but it's generally not as challenging as fly fishing and therefore doesn't earn as many style points.

Also, trout are biting on worms most of the time, but that doesn't mean worms are the main things trout eat in the stream. Far from it. As far as I know, only once have I ever caught a trout that was actually stuffed full of earthworms. They just aren't drifting loose in the water all that often, but a worm is such a tempting morsel that a trout will rarely pass one up unless it's extremely keyed in on a particular abundant insect at that moment.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Red_green_hSeptember 16th, 2019, 7:50 am
New Mexico

Posts: 53
Got it, well I went out this last weekend and got skunked. I resisted the urge to throw a worm on. I was trying to identify the right insect but was unsuccessful. They were rising all over the place even right next to my fly I just couldn't find the right one. I got a nibble or 2 from darker colored nymphs but still nothing. My buddy out of frustration threw a hopper pattern on even though there were none visible and caught 4 fish one right after the other. I don't know. I was perplexed to say the least.
PartsmanSeptember 16th, 2019, 11:18 am
bancroft michigan

Posts: 302
Go to your local flyshop and get some info on hatches in your area, typically this time of year terrestials are common, hence your partner doing well with that pattern. You can also find hatch charts online, there very helpful. I know nothing about N.M., but im sure if you do some searching you can find some helpful info. Don't give up, that's part of the fun of flyfishing, being more in tune with your environment.

Red_green_hSeptember 16th, 2019, 11:35 am
New Mexico

Posts: 53
Thanks Mike, I did do that right before I left and I got a dozen flies that they helped me pick out. Where I go there is a fishing report that gets updated weekly. Just wasn't my day. Which is fine. Did some 4 wheeling and just getting out is worth it even if I don't catch anything. Catching fish is just an added bonus! I won't give up, just makes me want to go back up there asap.
Jmd123September 16th, 2019, 11:41 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2457
"My buddy out of frustration threw a hopper pattern on even though there were none visible and caught 4 fish one right after the other. I don't know. I was perplexed to say the least."

Hoppers are DEADLY at this time of the year, whether you actually see any or not! Dead drifted or twitched, depending on your situation - I twitch them on lakes and ponds and do more dead-drifting on streams, though I will twitch them too. Also - try an all-black hopper with grey wings, you have a cricket and they are just as deadly at this time of the season.

Tight lines and better luck next time out!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Please ID
In the Identify This! Board by FISHN50
5Aug 25, 2011
by Oldredbarn
Re: Unleaded or Hi-octane?
In Fly Tying by Martinlf
4Apr 14, 2008
by Martinlf
specimin trout on live daddies
In General Discussion by Jodea
They're STILL eating my hoppers! Plus, a very large minnow...
(1 more)

In the Photography Board by Jmd123
Re: I lost a MONSTER trout!
In Fishing Reports by Mcflyangler
2Dec 26, 2016
by Falsifly
Re: Steelhead
In General Discussion by Wbranch
6Mar 27, 2013
by Adirman
Re: Grasshoppers--Pheasa nt or Plastic?
In General Discussion by CaseyP
6Mar 24, 2018
by Strmanglr
Re: Dry fly help
In Beginner Help by Tshowa04
3Jun 29, 2012
by Gutcutter
Re: Louie's Hairy Honeybug
In Fly Tying by Martinlf
11Jul 2, 2010
by Shawnny3
Re: White intestin worms in brook trout?
In General Discussion by Wayupnorth6
2Jun 7, 2008
by Wayupnorth6
Most Recent Posts
Re: The Boys Were Back in Town Chapter 5, part 2 of "Town and Country"
In the Photography Board by Jmd123
Re: When the hatch don't match
In General Discussion by Red_green_h (Jmd123 replied)
Re: Glossosoma intermedium or nigrior
In the Saddle-case Maker Genus Glossosoma by Wiflyfisher
Re: MIDGES: who's got a good pattern that works consistently?
In General Discussion by Jmd123
The Boys Were Back in Town, Chapter 5: "Town and Country"
In the Photography Board by Jmd123
Re: Paraleptophlebia mollis spinner
In General Discussion by Martinlf
Ephemerella dorothea dorothea (PED)
In the Identify This! Board by Wiflyfisher
Re: Trip report from my Idaho mule deer hunt in 2019
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Re: 2015 Caribou Hunt
In Site Updates by Troutnut
Re: Long-time reader, never-time poster? Start here!
In General Discussion by Troutnut (Joakim replied)