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Perhaps this has been asked before. Suppose you have three trout fisherman, all with the similar skills and knowledge. One fishes with natural bait, one uses spinners, and one is a fly fisherman.
Which one will consistently catch the most trout?
 

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It of course depends on the stream, conditions. Heavy hatches of course favor the fly fisher, but you don't have heavy hatches on every day or even most days. If the fly fisher is good at fishing nymphs/streamers, he or she has a better chance day in/day out to catch trout than someone who only fishes dry flies.

I would say that on average, the one who fishes spinners will catch more trout than the bait or fly fisher. I think the posts on HPA show that. Also when I was talking with guides for taking a fishing trip in the west, the guides who guide both spin and fly fishers almost all said the spinner fishers catch more fish.

Spinner fishers generally cover more water and present the lure to more fish than the bait or fly fisher. I believe spinners have a larger window of attraction due to the flash/vibration. The biggest advantage bait fishers have is the smell and feel. They are dealing with something that the trout know is food. If the trout hits and is not hooked, the trout may hit again. That doesn't generally happen with artificials.

Should be a lively discussion.
 

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I dont understand why the fly angler isnt getting any love. Yea someone like frank or trout2003 will probably out fish a fly fisherman (i know a few that it would be close with), i have also noticed that they cover a lot more ground then most fly fisherman. I can put it this way, i catch a lot and i mean a lot of fish on the fly all year long and i know a lot of other people that do as well. You put me or a few other people i know up against the average joe bait/spin fisherman and i doubt it would be as close as you think it would be.
 

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yuppp said:
Give me 2 dozen Redfin minnows and a good pair of glasses and I can catch a trout every cast all day long.
Anybody can do that!!
 

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You might well catch more than the average spin or bait fisher, but the original post question said nothing about average, it asked about <span style="font-style: italic">similar skill level</span>. I assume you are an above average fly fisher, so you would have to compare your results to above average bait or spinner fishers.

I qualified my original response, saying it depends on the day, stream, and conditions.

I have seen some fly fishers catch a lot of trout on various occasions, and not just on dries. Fly fishers who are proficient at fishing nymphs and streamers catch a lot of trout.

I have also see highly skilled bait fishers in action. I enjoy seeing highly skilled anglers at work, whatever their fishing method.

As I said in my previous post, I believe that because of the wider attraction of spinners and because spinner fishers commonly cover more ground (out of necessity), they present their spinners to more fish, I think they tend to catch more fish. I don't think they catch more than the bait and fly fishers combined, however. Frank, Trout2003, or Troutoutdoorsman might, but not the rest of us.
 

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I guess Centerpin fishermen would be considered bait, but I can tell you this, it's light-years away fro what we think of as a conventional bait fisherman, with conventional bait fishing gear. Now, a "pin" fisherman is generally on a large stream or even river, with plenty of flow and depth, but I watched a "pinner" haul in one after another while other fisherman were catching the usual onesy/twosy. It was an eye-opener to watch. Obviously not the type of fishing that can be done on a Potter Co headwater Native Brook stream.
 

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Trout Traveler said:
You might well catch more than the average spin or bait fisher, but the original post question said nothing about average, it asked about similar skill level. I assume you are an above average fly fisher, so you would have to compare your results to above average bait or spinner fishers.

I qualified my original response, saying it depends on the day, stream, and conditions.

I have seen some fly fishers catch a lot of trout on various occasions, and not just on dries. Fly fishers who are proficient at fishing nymphs and streamers catch a lot of trout.

I have also see highly skilled bait fishers in action. I enjoy seeing highly skilled anglers at work, whatever their fishing method.

As I said in my previous post, I believe that because of the wider attraction of spinners and because spinner fishers commonly cover more ground (out of necessity), they present their spinners to more fish, I think they tend to catch more fish. I don't think they catch more than the bait and fly fishers combined, however. Frank, Trout2003, or Troutoutdoorsman might, but not the rest of us.
i nymph fish about 99% of the time. i grew up bait/spin fishing and i was pretty good, not to many people could out fish me but once i started to fly fish and really learn i have caught so many more fish then i ever could believe. I also fish waters that have a lot more pressure then what those guys do. From the way i understand it is if Frank sees a boot track he leaves, i dont leave instead i say and catch all of the fish that people miss.
 

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The original question was "Which one will consistently catch the most trout?"

Note the word "consistently". My answer was based on fishing over a long period of time, such as one year, and then comparing the results.

I believe on a given day that any one of the three types of angling could outfish the other two.
 

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Im a really lazy fly fisherman, dont change weight or tippet length when needed, dont take my time walking, spook a lot of fish, fish with a lot of people and most of the time i still average right about that 10-15 trout a hour, sometimes alot more sometimes less. I know if i was to try a lot harder i would caught a lot more fish also. I know a few fly fisherman that would mop the floor with me. I know a father/son team that fish my home waters a few weeks ago and they caught around 300 trout for the day, and thats about 97% wild fish with a stockie here or their. Honestly most people that fish spinners arent putting up the numbers like frank and trout are. About 90% of a fishes diet are nymphs, why wouldnt a great nymph fisherman out fish other people.
 

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Again, similar skill levels was the question , not a great bait, spinner, or fly fisher vs. the average.

Like Frank,I leave when someone is fishing ahead of me because I know I won't catch as many fish as I will on undisturbed water.

Fly or bait fishers can linger longer, change flies or bait in areas that have been fished. It doesn't work that way with spinners. 90+% of the trout I catch on spinners hit on the first cast and almost all within three casts. Therefore it is a waste of time for spinner anglers to cast over and over to the same area. I think many non spinner anglers don't realize that.
 

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I'll vote for the bait guy - for the simple fact that fish will swing and miss at all three styles, but your odds of catching them diminish with fly or spinner on each following cast. While a fish is more likely to hit a bait on repeated casts.

Since all three anglers have the same skill set, they should also fish the same water. It's not really a fair game if the spinner guy hits 5 miles of wild trout water(hungry fish with little pressure), while the fly guy hits a mile of FFO water(well educated fish no matter how hungry) or the bait guy arrives just after the stocking truck loads up a roadside pool(stupid fish that may or may not be easy to catch).
 

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I think it depends on the stream, how long you are fishing, conditions, etc.

If you have to fish the same water, one after another, the one who fished it first will win most of the time. How is it not fair if the spinner fisher fishes unfished water? If you restrict the fishing to a short stretch, you definitely swing the advantage to the bait or fly fisher because trout (particularly browns) will not strike at a spinner typically more than once.

It doesn't really mean much. It doesn't mean that one method is better than the others. It's a matter of what the individual angler is most comfortable doing.
 

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I agree with attackone. There was a dude who used to be on here named Beardown. Man that guy could catch trout on a fly like nobody I've ever seen. So it depends on skill level. I would say your average fly guy would catch more than the average bait or spinner guy. Unless you understand spinner fishing you're not catching very many trout. Baits good for the average guy. I think spinners would produce the least for the average angler.
 

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With just a few boxes of flies, an angler using a fly rod can mimic all stages of aquatic insects, minnows, fish eggs, several terrestrial insects, crustaceans, and even small mammals.
Just taking that into account I would have to say a fly fisherman, due to the ability to mimic more food sources.
 

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What you guys are missing is the fact that spinners are often hit based on a response...they don't have to be hungry or feeding...yes trout live to eat and eat to live...but there are times they feed heavier and times they aren't feeding...(probably somewhat unpredictable...)


I've also read an article (maybe one of Frank's?) That said the attraction field of live bait is around a foot..a spinner is around 10ft...how that was determined or figured out or true is beyond me..but from a guy that was a proficient bait fishermen turned fly fisherman and now spinner fishermen I believe it holds some merit...

But...i can't be sure on the numbers...i STRUGGLED just as bad with spinners as I did learning to bait fish and fly fish..and my spinner fishing style is grossly different...i cover more water in a hour of spinner fishing than I did in several outings bait or fly fishing...


I like the "wild fish..hungry fish" comment..lol. Wild fish exsist where they do because the water is typically cleaner and more furtile and can sustain more life..turn over some rocks in a good wild trout stream...then turn over some in a typical stocked sewer Creek(as I call them) as many of them around here are... definitely less pressure for the most part...I'd also say stocked fish in a popular hole are probably harder to catch the a most wild fish..a fly fisherman or good bait fishermen there will shine IMO...


I really don't know what the outcome would be...too many factors that can't be ruled out...and even if all this G's were identical i think it would come down to factors..such ss my last example...heavily pressured fish and a good bait or fly fisherman is gunna shine IMO...


I have tried my spinner technique on pressured stockers and it done very well..fresh stockers I've absolutely slammed..


The only reason I spinner fish now is because I can go at it faster..i can cover ground much quicker and efficiently IMO...and I primarily fish for wild trout...my mortality rate with spinners is extremely low..it was low with flies as well..bait..a fair bit higher for me...



I'd say all things equal and it'd likely be pretty even..


Ive had the hardest time learning to spinner fish...and I'm still learning every trip...
 
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