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 Post subject: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 9:39 am 
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Ok.....I’m most assuredly *not* trying to start WW III here.......I’m just asking.

I’m seeing guys talk ( or really write) about these Euro nymphing leaders tight lining mono leaders at 18; 20; even up to 24’. With heavy weighted Nymphs on the end of these tremendously long leaders there is no flylines out of the Rod tip.

Using Maine’s definition of fly fishing ......(I.e. the line must be propelling the fly) are these rigs legal in FFO waters? I’m thinking not. Now, I’m not a warden, so what I think doesn’t mean squat.

If it was up to me, if you’re using a fly rod, a fly reel, a fly line, and flies........You’re fly fishing, and you should be legal in FFO waters. Again......that’s my opinion only. My opinion doesn’t mean squat legally.

With these new rigs is it time to re-think the Maine definition of “ffo”? Food for thought......

Dave M

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 11:13 am 
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After trying Euro-nymphing a couple of times, I decided it felt like it would be a lot easier with a spinning rod. It’s not for me, but I have no problem with those that like it. I would like to know what the legality of it is. I like to fly fish and that’s what I have done almost exclusively for 42 years , because that’s what I like to do. That being said, I think ffo should be changed to artificial lures only with a single barbless hook. I’ve always wondered about the constitutionality of a law that excludes a large portion of the population and how we’ve gotten away with it for so long. I probably have started WW3, so let the s!#$ storm begin.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 11:28 am 
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This is from the DIFW web page titled "General Fishing Laws and Definitions":

"Fly Fishing: No more than 3 unbaited artificial flies individually attached to a line may be used. (Title 12, §12654-A). Note: It is unlawful to troll a fly in waters restricted to fly fishing only (Title 12, §12658)."

Oops, just noticed this by scrolling further down the same page on the site under the subhead "Definitions"

"Fly Fishing: Casting upon water and retrieving in a manner in which the weight of the fly line propels the fly (Title 12, §10001-27)."


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 1:03 pm 
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I fail to see how any legal definition of fly fishing requires you to actually cast, or have fly line making contact with the water. Yes, it tells you that the fly line must propel the fly, which makes weighted flies a bit of a conundrum. But I don’t interpret that as meaning you have to “cast”. I don’t cast nymphs, in the context of extending line outward. I lob my leader upstream and let it drift, lob again. It’s not a cast.
I use a tight-line method in close proximity to my physical position almost exclusively for nymph fishing, and rarely have my fly line on the water.
I also agree with above opinion that FFO should just be ALO, and a LOT more water should be ALO instead of general law.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 1:33 pm 
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I have wondered the same thing. I guess I will find out at the EO or WB this spring.....


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 2:01 pm 
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If you have a fly line that unfurls to deliver the flies (weighted or otherwise), then the fly line is propelling the flies. If you're lobbing mono/flouro without the fly line rolling out- that is to say- the leader rig is ahead of the flyline the whole time, then I'd argue it's not being propelled by the fly line and you're not fly fishing under the Maine definition. It all comes down to whether the line unfurls, pulling the leader rig forward.

As an aside, folks used to add a bubble filled with water to a regular casting rod and dangle flies below it. The weight of the casting bubble propelled the mono- not the line, resulting in many tickets written to folks trying to pass such off as fly fishing. I really don't see the difference between that and nymphing without enough fly line out of the rod to propel the leader rig.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 2:53 pm 
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Hunter wrote:
If you have a fly line that unfurls to deliver the flies (weighted or otherwise), then the fly line is propelling the flies. If you're lobbing mono/flouro without the fly line rolling out- that is to say- the leader rig is ahead of the flyline the whole time, then I'd argue it's not being propelled by the fly line and you're not fly fishing under the Maine definition. It all comes down to whether the line unfurls, pulling the leader rig forward.

As an aside, folks used to add a bubble filled with water to a regular casting rod and dangle flies below it. The weight of the casting bubble propelled the mono- not the line, resulting in many tickets written to folks trying to pass such off as fly fishing. I really don't see the difference between that and nymphing without enough fly line out of the rod to propel the leader rig.


Agree but with a clarification. Perfectly OK to use except on FFO waters.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 3:05 pm 
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The fact that fly fishermen can’t figure out or are debating the ffo law says a lot. If I chuck and duck two weighted nymphs with an indicator, am I fly fishing? Casting from a drifting boat and counting down while my fly sinks, am I trolling? What about letting my flies drift under an indicator while my boat is anchored?


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 5:20 pm 
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What Hunter said.
20' leaders with heavy split-shot and weighted nymphs is not fly fishing. I was listening to Tom Rosenbauer (a podcast) today and he suggested the guy tie a 20' leader directly to a 3-weight line or to running line.
The guy was trying to avoid the drag induced by high-sticking with a 10' rod and a 7-weight line. The guy felt the 7-weight line was heavy to hold up and the sag pulled the fly.

He cast using the "sling cast" not a back-cast/forward-cast. If I was guiding in Fly-Fishing-Only water I wouldn't let my client do it. Wouldn't risk my guide's license on it. No way.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 6:58 pm 
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Not even February yet and we’re already hitting on the legality of “FFO”. :lol:

While by definition, I agree with hunter and mike holt. There is risk, but I do think that there are much bigger fish to fry for law enforcement, and that perhaps the definition needs a refresh. I for one would prefer allowing someone to euro nymph than chuck some of these premolded fly contraptions on a perfectly unfurling loop.

Also important to note that every jurisdiction has a different definition, so we shouldn’t look down upon the method, just because it wasn’t known at the time that someone drafted this rule, ump-teen years ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 9:21 pm 
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So if I have my 5'9" 1wt with a 7'6" leader and I use a bow and arrow cast to drop a caddis dry on a trout under some overhanging brush 6' away...


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 10:49 pm 
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AusableWulff wrote:
So if I have my 5'9" 1wt with a 7'6" leader and I use a bow and arrow cast to drop a caddis dry on a trout under some overhanging brush 6' away...


Completely legal on non-FFO water. Probably not on FFO water. Neither would dapping the fly be fly fishing by the Maine definition. The line has to be drawn somewhere- and I think the state has done a decent job at that with the existing rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 10th, 2019, 11:30 pm 
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So....
How much fly line do I need to have out of the rod tip in order for it to be percieved as “propelling” the fly? Does it have to roll and unfurl? Are we now saying if your line doesn’t unfurl you’re not fly fishing?
Wow. But easy enough to remedy THAT...just roll the fly line forward, and quickly retrieve it back off the water so you’re just tight-lining the leader again. The flies are moving through the drift in exactly the same way as they do when I simply lob the leader.
But the act of the cast is what the warden is focused on? Seems absurd.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 12:04 am 
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We're out there tripping over worm containers and treble hooks on ALO and FFO waters and guys want to measure how many feet of line it takes to have the mass to achieve the velocity to propel the particular fly you have on at any given moment? Wow. Given enough skill and distance, you can propel just about anything with even heavy leader material... but then it doesn't have a coating on it... is it line?

Lock me up next time I flip my Grey Ghost behind a rock just off my rod tip... my fly line wasn't out! Oh the horror. Maybe I should have waded further back so I could extend my casting distance and unfurl my line.

I think those guys with the molded head weights on their streamers that look like fish should be ostracized from our fly fishing community. Light the torches and grab your favorite pitch fork.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 7:23 am 
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Thought I'd jump back in on this to say, I don't have a problem with anyone who wants to Euro-nymph. I've tried it (to me it felt like instead of using my fly rod I should check and see if my old spinning gear is still stored away). I wouldn't do it in FFO waters. I think it's too much of a gray area to risk the fine, possible loss of fishing and guide's licenses.

As to short casts with a 7 1/2' leader (bow and arrow) I think it's perfectly legal because the outfit is capable of completing a normal cast. A Euro rig simply can't be cast in a normal fly casting manner because the mono can't propel the fly.

It's the old thing of "if you don't like the law change it but until then - it's the law." Fishing methods other than fly casting are fine anywhere they are legal.


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