The adventurous realm of fly fishing lies in the wild heart of the great outdoors, where rushing rivers carve their way through rugged landscapes. With a glint of excitement in their eyes, the intrepid angler stands amidst the untamed beauty, bracing against the current and the challenge that awaits. The fly line whizzes through the air like a daring acrobat, and the fly, a tiny, alluring temptress, lures the elusive fish from their secret lairs. Each cast is a daring expedition, every strike a rush of adrenaline. In this captivating dance between man and nature, the fly fisherman embraces the wilderness, ready to create unforgettable tales of triumph.
Sounds terrific. Anyone can get to that adventure; you have to begin. I wrote this to help on starting fly fishing.
Fly fishing is more active and strategic than your typical fishing. You use a pole and line with a fly on the end to entice the fish floating down the river and its food. We will go through and learn what you need for the basics of fly fishing and how easy it is to get into. We review the required gear, what locations you are looking for, and some differences between fishing a lake and a river.
Some of the reasons you want to know how to fish in general are to provide food for your family and to provide memories with your family. Fly fishing is helpful in understanding that when bait and lure fishing are not working, you have another form of fishing to try. Knowing if you are very fidgety like I am is also beneficial because you are constantly moving, trying to get the fly in the right spot, and finding the right flies.
Here is a list of the different gear you will need when you begin to fly fish.
- Fly Rod
- Fly Reel
- Fly Line and Backing
- Leader Line
- Polarized Sunglasses
- Fishing Net
Here are some of the items you need to begin; you don’t need wading boots at the beginning of a fly box, but I do like a fly box makes it easier to carry and go through what flies you have already.
When choosing a fly fishing rod, you have a couple of different options in sizes; there are 7-foot, 8-foot, or 9-foot poles to choose from. I recommend using an 8-foot rod with a 5 to 6 weight; learning how to cast it on is more manageable. This rod will hold against a good-sized trout or bass. The 9-foot pole is even easier to cast, but you will have a lot of rods to watch out for, while a 7-foot pole is harder to cast, as in more work, but there is fewer pole you will have to watch as you fish or cast. That is just a couple of the lengths you can choose from; each size pole does have there own uses for different circumstances. There is also a ranged “weight” to a fly rod, which is how much tension that fly fishing rod can take. When choosing lines and poles, ensure all the weight is the same; otherwise, you could have different parts of your fly fishing setup break.
An expensive fly reel is optional when you begin your fly fishing adventure. As you progress, having a click-and-drag system as you fish for the bigger fish will be more critical. For now, you can go for a cheaper option that will work for you to learn the basics of how to cast, pull the line out, and reel the fish in. Most kits come with a good reel, but you must upgrade later in your adventure.
When you choose your fly fishing line, you will want to select a line equal in weight to your fly rod. You will break different parts of your fly fishing setup if you decide not to match the weight. You will choose between other fly lines; there is a floated line that keeps the fly on top of the water, then there are sinking lines that are good for getting the flies down to the deeper feeding areas like lakes and ponds. Then there is the all arounder and what beginners should mainly focus on, the weighted forward floating line, which allows the line to float but sink after a while. It is also easier casting because it puts more weight up front on the rod to help get your line out in the water.
The leader line is the bit of the line that is clear and connects to the fly line and the actual fly. This line is tapered; it starts thick and becomes very thin. The thick line is the side that ties to the fly line, while the narrow side ties to the fly. These lines are also weight recommended and must match the fly line’s weight. When picking out a leader line, there are several options. You have sinking lines; there are tippets and floating lines. I recommend using the floating line; it works great for starting with trout and bass.
Now for the exciting put about fly fishing, you get to choose from all the different types of flies. Selecting a fly can be extremely exciting and confusing, not knowing what a nymph is, what the heck is an emerger, what wet flies, dry flies, and streamer flies. It is straightforward; they are all a bug going through their lifecycle. For beginners, I recommend using a nymph simply because it could be weight or unweight so that you can see both and that there are multiple options on what type of bug to use.
These flies are at the beginning of the life cycle; these hooks can be weighted or unweighted, and they tend to sink and get deeper into the water. It is intended to match that of a larva that has been caught in the current and is being swept under the water.
These flies are exactly how it sounds; they are emerging from their larva state and moving to the next stage of life. These flies are made to float along the current effortlessly, just below the surface.
This type of fly is used to mimic either an emerging insect or a dead insect that is floating down the current. These are fished the same way nymphs are used, as they are fished under the water. Usually cast up steam and allowed to float down to where the trout are at relaxing.
This type of fly is what people think of when they think of fly fishing, an angler casting out into a river, fly landing perfectly on the water, floating on top, and then suddenly a massive trout comes jumping out of the water to get the fly and bam fish is on the line! Dry flies are the adult in an insect’s lifecycle; they usually have wings and stay floating on the water. These flies have several different types of insects, which all depends on what you see around you.
Streamer flies are used mainly with a bigger fly fishing rod and reel combo designed to look like bait fish. They are primarily used in saltwater fly fishing but can be used in a lake or river. These require a more extended cast and the stripped back in towards the angler, it is not recommended for beginners to use this type of fly, but they can use them in a current and let them be pulled along quickly down the river to see what they can catch.
Sunglasses while fly fishing is quite essential, especially polarized sunglasses. Regular sunglasses will eliminate the glare on the water, and polarized sunglasses allow you to see clearer into the water, allowing you to see all the different fish in the water and place your fly in the best possible position.
There are a couple of different types of casts to do when you go fly fishing, the overhead cast, the roll cast, and the reach cast. All of these cast are very useful, but for now, we will focus and work on the overhead cast. With the overhead cast, you start with the rod new the water and only about 3-6 feet of line out of the water. Start with a back cast, bring the rod up, and stop abruptly at your eat, causing the rod to flick, Now wait for the line to unwind behind you, as just as it’s about to, bring the rod forward and abruptly stop again. I use the 10 and 2 method, where you stop your hand abruptly at 10 and 2, keeping your wrist locked. As you practice, you will see the” C” line, where you bring it back and forth. By practicing this method, you can get your fly out in the water.
Ready to go fly fishing but when you get out to the river, where do you cast, where are the fish, how do you read the water? Here are a couple of tricks I have learned, while I have been learning and still have been learning. Fish are a lot like any other type of animal. They don’t want to work hard. They want the easy life when it’s hot out; they will be lower in colder water in the shade, and if it’s cold well, they are usually lower in the water but more in the open. They are typically facing upstream and in slower waters. So when you are out in the water looking where to place your flies, is it warmer or cooler, then look for water that is slower or even has a slow spot tucked away under a bank with a current going directly by it. Remember, fish want an easy life. If food comes up to them, they will generally take it. Look for slower spots that need to be corrected in the current and under places to hide; not too difficult to do; the next trick is learning where to place your fly.
When it comes to rivers, they are easier to fish on with fly fishing, in my opinion, to get your flies moving where you want them and to let the current take your line at times. Lakes, on the other, are a different strategy; on lakes, you will usually have to pull them towards you and where you want to go, and a lot of it is based on a presentation to a fish. There are multiple different things you can do. You can use a wolly bugger and lead the fish towards you more, which is all about presentation.
When you are getting your fly fishing set up ready, remember not to skimp out on some of the more expensive stuff completely, it may be costly, but it will last you a long while before you have to get more equipment. Also, learn all the types of knots you can; one will mainly help you. I do a knot that is like a box knot, but you wrap it around several times, and when you pull tight, you bring the end of the line through the first loop it makes. Find one that fits and works well with you!
When you are out fishing, start practicing all the different casting methods, don’t just use the overhand cast; use the rolling cast, and reach cast. Also, start learning all about the various flies and the categories and subcategories of flies, which ones will do good in the summer or what would do better in the winter. Start experimenting and learning what works best.
We went over what fly fishing line and rod you should use, what category fly you should use, and how to read the water better to understand where to put your fly. It is all about getting out on the water and practicing your casting and where you put your fly. You will get better with time; keep going. You are going to break your rod and line, you are going to lose flies, and you are going to lose out on fish. That is what learning is; we all go through it, and I still do; we should always strive to make ourselves better than yesterday! We even offer different blogs to help you learn more like how to pack a backpack for camping or how to choose a correct hinking boot for yourself. If you have any questions or if there is anything we can help you with, please fill free to contact us!