As an angler, it’s interesting to me how seemingly very different types of fishing actually have very strong connections.
An example of this connection in the saltwater fishing that I do is how in-shore calico bass fishing translates to offshore fishing for pelagic species like yellowtail, dorado, and tuna. How? Well, a key skill to in-shore calico bass fishing is learning how to flyline a sardine. Picking a good bait, properly hooking it, and becoming proficient in casting it out and away from the boat directly translate to successful offshore fishing.
Flyfishing for trout and bass fishing seem very different. Flyfishing for trout is all about stealth and finesse. Bass fishing is often noisy and flashy. In this Field & Stream article, read how a tournament bass angler gained an edge from his background growing up flyfishing for trout.
I grew up in Northeast Pennsylvania, which in many respects is far more synonymous with trout fishing than bass fishing. Some of my earliest fishing memories are actually of browns, bows, and brookies on the fly. At first glance it might seem like flyfishing for trout and conventional fishing for bass aren’t very similar. Bass often hit big, bulky, shiny things, even under some of the most pressured situations, while catching trout on the fly often requires the utmost finesse and precise presentation in order for them to even think about biting. That’s why there are probably some master trout fly tiers out there that would look at a bass guy’s well trimmed, homemade jig like a modern day surgeon being forced to evaluate a hack job civil war leg amputation. Truth is, though it took years to realize, understanding the trout fly game has made me a much better bass angler.
You sort of have to look at this through a wide-angle lens to see how these two very different methods compliment each other. For starters, bass fishing can be just as much about matching the hatch as trout fishing. I’ve had the most finite skirt modifications to a massive one-ounce spinnerbait be a game-changer during tournaments. I wouldn’t have put as much weight on little tweaks like that if I didn’t flyfish. I’ve used my past knowledge of how trout set up while feeding in current endless times in my national bass fishing pursuits. I can honestly say bass act very similar to trout in most cases, and that prior trout knowledge was extremely valuable in identifying where and how bass feed in all levels of flow.
Photos: Field & Stream (top); Bassmaster (above)