Introduction to Fly Fishing
Fly fishing is a fantastic sport to take up. It is a relaxing but also challenging activity that offers rewards that you can find in no other sport. It gets you out of your comfort zone and pushes you beyond the boundaries of what you thought was possible. It also takes you to places that are extraordinary and fantastic. But to the novice, it may seem like a complicated sport to get into for the first time. Maybe you're a first-timer looking to go on the adventure of fly-fishing solo or with a friend. This guide will tell you how to get into fly fishing and how to prepare for your next expedition into the wild. Here are the ways of learning how to get into it.
1. Go to your local fly shop and take a class
2. Join a local Outdoor Club
3. Strike out on your own
The first thing you need to do to prepare to fly fish is to find a class where you can get the basics down of what you need to do. The course will provide you with valuable information regarding fly fishing, tying knots, selecting bait, casting, as well as all the gear necessary to go on a fly-fishing adventure. Excellent classes will give you real-life experience so that you can practice casting your rod. Perhaps, you have friends or family who are experts in fly fishing. It is still a good idea to sign up for a class, so you can learn all the basics to get you started.
4. Choose what style of fly fishing you want to do
Next, you should determine what kind of fly fishing you want to do because each type uses a different type of gear or method. Decide if you're going to fish in fresh water or salt water. Then, you should think about if you're going to target a specific type of fish so you can get the right gear for that. (Cohen, 2015)
5. Purchase a rod and reel
After you have chosen what type of fishing you want to do, go out and buy a rod and reel. This purchase will be one of the most vital steps of your journey to fly fishing. You will need to have a proper set-up for your rod. There are different sizes to choose from. To start, you should select a rod that is 9 foot, 5. (Cohen, 2015)
6. Watch YouTube Videos featuring the Casting
Watch a bunch of instructional videos that will show you exactly how to cast your rod and give you an idea of how you should be casting your reel. You will see good demonstrations of the movements and methods that can make it clear which type of approach you want to use. For example, you can choose this video (Cohen, 2015).
7. Practice casting your rod
After you have watched videos or taken a class, you can start practicing what you have learned in the classes. The practice is going to help you to do all the things you need to do to have a successful start. Try an exercise, such as fishing in a hula hoop and trying to get your fly out of it. This method will help you to be more precise with your movements and casting. Learning to have accuracy will be immensely helpful in assisting you in this process (Cohen, 2015).
8. Wear the Right Clothes
Wearing the right clothing is essential to any sport but especially fly fishing. In this sport, you need to blend in with the environment, so wearing camouflage or earth tones will be a good choice for your clothes. You want to blend in so you won't be visible to the fish and scare them away. To prevent yourself from getting too much sun, you should wear suitable sunglasses and sunscreen (Cohen, 2015).
7. Be Equipped with the Proper Gear
Stick with the necessities that you need for fly fishing: a fly rod and reel. You shouldn't need much more than that. The thing is, many people think that fly fishing involves a lot of complex items, but it is a sport that only requires a few essential items (Cohen, 2015).
a. Fly Line and Backing
With a 9-foot, five weight rod, you need to have a 5-weight line. The backing on the reel is used to give your line more grip so it will not slip from your reel. It also permits you to have 200 extra yards in case you catch a huge fish that can cause you to go in the water, too. You should bring your reel to your local fly shop. There, you can get help in selecting your float line and backing. They can assist you in putting it on for you, too (Cohen, 2015).
b. Leader and Tippet
The leader is the part that connects your fly line to the fly. It allows your string to uncurl and become straightened so your fly will land in the right place. It is thinner than the fly line and is also clear, so it is not easily visible to the fish. You should try a size like 7.5 to a 9-foot leader. The tippet is the part that will make your leader longer. This is necessary whenever you lose part of the length of your leader because of a break in the line (Cohen, 2015).
This is the next thing you need to add to your gear. There are a lot of different kinds of flies, including dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. Dry flies float on top of the water and are a type that is hardest to catch a fish on because fish typically don't reach up for the surface of the water. Nymphs sink underneath the surface and thus are in the area of the water where there are more fish. Streamers look like small fish and are large and bright. You should purchase several different ones and get them from your local fly shop (Cohen, 2015).
Nippers are a tool that is useful, because they let you snip the line, almost like nail clippers. You want to have some on you.
You will also want to have some vest or pouch to put all the essential gear that you can store and have access to, whenever you want. This will have your flies, sunglasses, cell phone, snacks, etc. In short, you need something to store your essentials. Go to an outdoor supplies store to get your own vest or pouch.
The right type of shoe is an essential investment to your fly-fishing gear. You could get some functional hiking boots, but also you can use flip flops if you want.
If you're in shallow waters in the heat of summer, these won't be that necessary. But if you are in the depths of colder water and you want to get deeper in the water, then you will need some waders. They are helpful because they help you to stay dry and warm. But if you're doing it in the summer, then wear your tank or tee-shirt and shorts, because there's nothing like feeling free with loose-fitting clothing in the heat of the summer.
h. Learn How to Read the River
You also need to figure out how to read the river and know the mind of the fish. Understand that the fish like to stay well under the surface of the water and won't be easily visible. They also want to spend more time in slower water, which requires them to swim less.
i. Find an Expert and Hire them as Your Guide
Basic Fly-Fishing Equipment
So, you're ready to fly fishing, but you're unsure how to get into it? Don't be dismayed. You need to follow the basic guidelines to help you get ready for your first adventure out in nature.
The first thing you need to do is get your necessary equipment for fly fishing. The gear is the essential part of fly fishing. There are lots of things that you will see at fly fishing shops, but many of the items there are not necessary. Here are the things that you absolutely must have when you go fly fishing: a fly rod, a fly reel, a fly-fishing line (backing, fly line, a leader, and a tippet), and a few flies.
Here, we are going to go through the details of what type of equipment you need to look for as you’re shopping and preparing to go on your fishing trip.
Fly Rod and Reel
You can get fly rods for anywhere between $50 and $1000. The price of the rod usually depends on the materials that are used in the construction of the rod. Each fly rod has its own weight and length. You should choose your rod and reel based on the type of fly fishing you’re planning on doing (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing).
Fly rods also have different prices. The cheaper reels are made of plastic, but they should be avoided because they break easily and are not durable. Instead, you should purchase a metal fly reel (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing).
One thing you should note is that you need to purchase the rod and reel together. They should not be shopped for separately. Usually, they will be sold in combinations by the manufacturer. Often, you can get a discount for buying them together.
Fly Line, Backing, Tippet, and Leader
Fly fishing is a sport that is about concealing the line so that the fish doesn’t recognize that it is attached to the bait. This is where you have a leader and tippet to help (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing).
Fly Line is usually heavy and bright in color and gives the weight to the rod.
Fly Backing fills up the reel and provides extra length. It is often thick and bright in color, as well.
The Leader is the part that connects the thick fly line to the tippet. It helps to keep the fly line from slamming down into the water and then causing the fish to swim away. They usually run about 9 to 10 feet.
Finally, the tippet is the part that goes from the fly to the leader. It allows the fly to be on the rod without any line being visible to the fish.
You will find that these items come in all different sizes. The suitable size will depend on the type of rod you’re using (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing).
The next item on your to-buy list is the fly. There are different kinds that you want to buy, including dry flies, nymphs, and streamers (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing).
Dry flies look like flying insects, and they land and float on the surface of the water. Nymphs look like aquatic creatures, such as larvae, and they appear below the surface of the water. Finally, the streamers look like marine life, but they are more like insects such as leeches (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing).
Other Items You Might Need
• Fly Fishing Net- This item makes it easier to snatch the fish from the water.
• Fly Fishing Vest- This item is ideal for keeping your gear safe from the elements and makes it easier to access everything.
Putting Your Gear Together: The Set-Up
Putting it all together requires some practice and basic training in how to tie knots. If you have already bought a package with rod and reel, most everything will have been done for you. Here are some basics on how to put your rod, reel, and backing and line together (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing).
That's the whole thing that you need to get set-up. It may seem like it's a lot to do. You won't have to do this frequently. If you don't change the line weights, you will only need to change your leader to replace the flies (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing). However, if you fish for different fish frequently, you should get some new rods and reels.
Basic Fly Fishing: The Cast
There are different casts that you will use if you are doing fly fishing and each one has its own characteristics that are dependent on four factors: location, the type of fish, the distance that you want to cast, and personal preference. But because you are a beginner, we should talk about the most basic type of cast: the overhead cast.
After you have mastered the overhead cast, you will have a solid foundation for learning other types of casts. Here is a guide to helping you do the overhead cast.
The best way to learn how to do this cast is to watch someone do it, so you should go to an instructor of a fly-fishing course or a friend, who knows a lot about fly fishing. Watch how they do it and then follow their lead.
Some problems you may encounter along the way
One problem you might encounter is not stopping or starting quickly. You should remember to load the rod and fast start and stop doing this. You may also run into problems with timing. You should wait until the line comes around behind you. Many beginners are too eager and impatient to wait for this to happen. Finally, another problem you might encounter is excessive wrist motion. If you use your wrist too much, the line will not stay horizontal. You should also avoid making tight loops that put force into the cast (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing).
Find the Ideal Place to Fish and Other Tips
Now that you have got your gear and have learned how to set-up your equipment and cast, you are ready to find the ideal place to fish. Not any fisherman is going to share their secret place with you, because they don't want a bunch of fishermen to come to join them. But if you go to a local fly-fishing shop, you can ask them for recommendations on where you can fish (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing).
Where can you find the ideal place to fish?
You should find a spot that is within proximity to where you live so that you can get there after school or work, or whenever is convenient for you. Also, you should choose several unique areas to fish to avoid a lot of competition with other fishermen. Also, the perfect place has good scenery in nature and is in a wide, open place, where you can avoid having your rod or string get stuck in trees or underbrush (Blue Ridge Fly Fishing).
Final Tips for Fly Fishing
There is a lot to learn, including the different casts and how to catch the different kinds of fish. So, what are some final words to help you get ready to go fly fishing?
We would recommend that you dedicate a good amount of time to go fly fishing. You will need to be relaxed as you do this because you don't want to rush the process. Fishing is about patience and perseverance. Moreover, you want to spend as much time as possible to do it. Next, you should bring a friend with you. Many fishermen choose to do the activity solo, but if you have a friend with you, then you can have more fun while talking and helping one another out. It makes the experience more enjoyable. You should bear in mind that fly fishing takes a while to master completely. You should be patient with yourself and not rush yourself into getting into it. Instead, you should enjoy being out in nature and learning how to fish. It's all about the journey of getting where you want to be. Lastly, you should not spend too much money on gear initially. Fly fishing gear can cost an arm and a leg for the most expensive equipment. Especially when you're starting, you should stick to your budget and only buy the necessities that you must have and buy as you go the other supplies.
We hope this starter guide has given you the steps that you need to take to begin your journey in fly fishing. We must emphasize that it is a journey, not a destination. You will learn a lot about fly fishing during your time, but you have to be patient with yourself and understand that it will take some time for you to determine the tricks of the trade. But with more time and experience, you will get the hang of it and feel more confident. It may take a year or several years, but once you have mastered the art of fly fishing, you will want to continue the hobby for the rest of your life. It is a lifelong skill that will follow you through life and help you to enjoy being on the river. You will find meaning in listening to the still waters as you fish for trout or salmon. What are you waiting for? Ready to get started with fly fishing? Get your gear, take a class, prepare your cast and set-up, and get out in the great outdoors, where you can enjoy the open water, fresh, clean air, and the beauty of the natural surroundings. Prepare to be amazed by the fun and relaxation of fly fishing.
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