"Quick, Talk Me Out Of It": Angler Experiments With Fly Fishing Through Ice, Sparking Reddit Debate

Fly fishing through the ice? Yes, it's possible.

All is fair in love and war... and fishing? When an avid fly fisherman posted on the social website Reddit recently that he was considering trying out a custom technique involving a fly reel set up on a short jigging rod, he was met with mixed reactions. Anglers have strong opinions on ice fishing gear, it turns out.

"I've gotten interested in ice fishing, but as a pesudo-purist who hasn't touched spin gear in many years, I want to use flies and a fly reel," the user, who identifies on Reddit as SPURIOUSSPARROW, posted. "Tied 100ft of 12lbs Amnesia onto the fly line, then a traditional 9ft tapered leader to a tippet ring that will hold a three-nymph tandem rig. Am I insane to think it'll work just fine?"


Other anglers had opinions, which ran the gamut from encouraging to condemning.

"I'd just get ice gear dude," Big_Rig_Jig commented. "Why get so hung up on stuff that doesn't matter like being a purist (aka worrying about what others will think). The more different types of fishing I've done, the better I've gotten at everything else. Learning how fish behave and how to use different techniques and styles is very valuable to becoming an overall better fisher. I've really been wanting to get into ice fishing. If you tie your own flies, you can definitely tie up some killer ice jigs."

It ain't right but it ain't wrong, reffish801 added.

Many Reddit users, instead of leaving a comment, simply discouraged it by downvoting the post.

"Y'all downvoting this are hilarious," SPURIOUSSPARROW responded. "This is very literally a basic Euro rig on a short rod, and beyond that not noticeably dissimilar from regular still water fly fishing beyond the fact that you aren't casting (because you can't)—kinda like dapping, which is also considered legitimate fly fishing."


Despite some discouragement, SPURIOUSSPARROW went ahead and tried it out, with surprising results. In a follow-up post, he shared several photos of trout he pulled in from under the ice, enticed by his nymph set up.

"Just jigging or dead-sticking #20 nymphs under an indicator," he posted. "I was actually sort of shocked by how effective it was."

After seeing how this experiment went, many fellow anglers posted encouragement.

"Glad to see that all worked out," dhd4188 wrote. "Ice auger on a drill is the way to go. You can blast 20 holes in a matter of minutes, makes life much easier. Those nymphs seem to be pretty productive for you. Prince nymphs if I'm not mistaken? Keep ripin lips out there."

Some Redditors had some fun coming up with names for this alternative ice fishing method, including Static Euro Nymphing, Mini-Stick High-Sticking, Vertical Tight Lining, and Ice Lining.


In the end, SPURIOUSSPARROW made the point that it's okay to try doing things a different way from what you're used to seeing.

"Whatever gets you out of the house and on the water man," bannedkyle wrote. "Fly fishing, spin fishing, worm and bobber. All that matters is you're out enjoying the beautiful water."

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