With about 30 million people going bass fishing in America each year, it’s the most common form of fishing in the country.
It’s no secret that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson likes to fish. He frequently posts on social media about the meticulously managed pond on his property in Virginia and the monster bass that call it home.
It looks like The Rock has traded in his big bass pond for the solitude of a small trout stream though, at least temporarily.
Trout fishing, mostly done with a fly-rod, is another extremely popular form of fishing. Ask any fly fishing enthusiast what the best part about trout fishing is, and they’re bound to tell you that trout don’t live ugly places.
They inhabit some of the most picturesque mountain streams in the world, and it looks like this little honey hole that The Rock found is no exception.
“Learning the precision, patience and mastery of fly fishing in the Rocky Mountains.
Caught a few, missed a few, but man these mountains give me energy, clarity and balance.
As many of you know, I’m a bass angler at heart, but I’ve got a new found respect for fly fishing… it’s a real art form.”
As the Rock explained, fly fishing really is an art form compared to traditional fishing methods. Though not as common as bass fishing, it’s still an extremely popular way to enjoy the great outdoors. Roughly 7 million people fly fish each year, and it’s the preferred method for trout, especially in the Rocky Mountain west.
Traditional fishing methods use what is known as spin fishing gear. While spin fishing and fly fishing are somewhat common in that the intention of both is to hook fish by the lip and pull them out of the water, each method requires very different techniques and gear. Each method also works best for targeting different species of fish. Bass fishing, for example, is almost overwhelmingly done through spin fishing.
There are a few key facts that highlight the primary differences between spin fishing and fly fishing.
Fly fishing is done with artificial lures, called flies, that are typically hand tied and made of materials like animal hair, feathers, foam, or cloth and made to imitate aquatic invertebrates or baitfish. Most flies are essentially weightless, so to cast them you have to rely on specialized weighted lines and casting technique that requires a more refined series of steps.
Fly rods must be casted by sweeping them back and forth to build up kinetic energy in the end of the line. As long as the fly line stays in motion, you can unspool more and more line from the reel to cast further distances. That is the art form that the Rock was talking about.
Spinning lures, or lines with weights or sinkers on them, are heavier than flies so you can rely on their weight when casting instead of relying so much on the technique. You can basically just rear back and fling it if you want to throw a casting line as far as possible. Not as much of an art form, but it is a more efficient way of casting and catching fish.
The actual fishing rods themselves are very similar, but fly rods are typically longer than spinning rods. The appearance and mechanisms of a fly reel and spinning reel are very different though.
At the center of a spinning reel is a cylinder that the line wraps around. By spinning a handle attached to that cylinder, line is spooled up around it perpendicular to the rod. There is a metal ring that halfway loop around the outside reel to keep the line tight and a mechanical drag system provides resistance against fighting fish.
Fly reels are are made up of two disks that hold the line around a cylinder and a small nob that winds line around the cylinder in a parallel direction to the fishing rod. Most fly fisherman don’t even use the reel though, most of the time they strip the heavier line into shore by hand as it’s more effective.
You use very different lures for the two types of fishing as well. Spin fishing is mostly done with live bait or with large and heavy plastic or rubber lures that can be fished in deeper and more open water and along structures like logs and aquatic vegetation with more durability.
Fly fishing used lures that replicate flies, bugs, crustaceans, and bait fish but they are often time made out of super lightweight materials like fur, feathers, foam, or felt. Many of them are made to be fished on top of the water or in shallower, faster moving streams. The difference in lures is what makes fly fishing the preferred technique for trout.
Please keep in mind that you do need to purchase a fishing license no matter if you’re fly fishing or spin fishing.
The sale of fishing licenses directly funds the protection and enhancement of public boat ramps, aquatic environments, and fish populations in all 50 states.
It also protects you from potentially being fined, having your gear confiscated, and/or losing your fishing privileges. It’s important to remember that just because you have a fishing license in one state, that does not mean it is valid in another state.
If you need some new fly or spinning tackle to your fishing collection, than be sure to check out expansive number of options that our friends at Bass Pro Shops offer.
And remember, please fish responsibly and always save the whiskey for the dock… or in The Rock’s case… the tequila.