Many folks have set New Year's Resolutions, and perhaps a few have established one of their goals as learning to fly fish. This phenomenal sport has an allure that may draw you to a lifetime of fishing fulfillment, and perhaps even more, a better connection to the environment where their quarry resides. Learning to fly fish will even make you a better all around fisherman as you better learn the habits and diet of the fish you pursue. This little guide will get you started, as well as point you to additional resources to continue your journey.
Things You Will Need1. Fly Rod and Reel Combination Setup
2. Backing, Fly Line (probably floating), Tapered Leader, and Tippet
3. Selection of Flies for your Area
4. Strike Indicators
5. Fly Fishing Vest
6. Fly Box
7. Multi-Tool (Containing nail-knot tool and nippers as a minimum)
8. Retractor Tool for Attaching Multi-Tool to Vest
9. Fly Fishing Net
Step 1Obtaining gear is the first step in the process and requires identifying the waters and species of fish you will target. A common beginning setup is a 5-wt rod and reel combo with matching backing, fly line, tapered leader, and tippet material. This setup can be used for anything from small stream trout to medium size bass and small catfish. It is a good starting outfit. The rod/reel combo for a beginner should not be a high dollar setup. It is a commonly accepted addage that a basic setup will exceed the fisherman's skill set for several years or longer.
We have provided some additional guidance on gear selection at basic fly fishing gear.
Step 2Learning to cast is the second step of the process. There are two basic casts you should learn at least at a basic level. The traditional cast is one. The roll cast is the other.
The traditional cast will often be used and is practical when plenty of room is available for the back cast. Start by feeding out small lengths of line. You will read various things on the range of motion of the cast, such as eleven to one or ten to two. I have found that whatever you choose will likely work for you if you consistently practice. The most common errors are not allowing the loop to roll out completely behind and trying to gain power in the cast with wrist motion. The wrist should remain fairly rigid. The motion of swinging a hatchet replicates the fly casting motion with the caveat that you will not extend through nearly the same range of motion.
The roll cast is a cast needed for close quarters fishing. There is not a great way to verbally describe the roll cast. I will instead refer the reader to part of a tutorial on fly fishing entitled learning to fly cast, stage one. The first page here will be on basic casting. The second page is a vdeo tutorial on the roll cast.
Step 3Before hitting the water, I strongly suggest a trip to the local fly shop. There is simply no way you can gain the information you will get at a local shop, over the internet or in a book. These guys and gals are a wealth of great information and all they ask in return is that you purchase a few of their flies. They bank on the premise that their good advice will make you a valuable long term sutomer.
When you have your gear, have practiced your casting, and made a trip to the local fly shop, you are ready to get out and fish. You will likely find that regardless of fishing "success" the art and beauty of fly fishing will draw you closer to the heart of what the outdoor experience entails. We hope our little introduction, as well as our additional resources will facilitate this endeavor.