Saltwater Fly Fishing Vacation

Now that winter has hit in most of the northern states and the rivers and streams are frozen or starting to freeze, many of us have to look elsewhere for our fishing pleasures. If you happen to have time to take a vaction over the upcoming holiday seasons or perhaps during spring break you might consider a saltwater fly fishing vacation. I've never personally done any saltwater fishing and can't give you much advice in respects to the equipment needed or the locations to take your saltwater fly fishing trip but if you are interested in saltwater fishing florida you might check out this new blog. I hear fly fishing for bonefish can be seriously addicting, so make sure to plan your fly fishing vacation for several trips out on the flats.

Another alternative would be to take a fly fishing vacation cruise to the tropics, where you can do some fly fishing at the ports instead of just laying on the beach getting skin cancer. I've considered this as an option but my wife seems to think if we take a cruise there is not place in it for fly fishing. I just have to do some more work on getting her to enjoy a day in the water fishing as much as I do.

Fly Fishing Gadgets The Dirty Secret

I'm going to let you in on a dirty little secret about fly fisherman, they love gadgets. The worst part is no matter what type of dirty blue widgets are being advertised most fly fisherman will end up buying it and they usually dont work. There are just tons of fly fishing gadgets, gizmos and thingamabob that are supposed to help you catch fish by the dozens and few if any will ever actually deliver. I for one am a believer in keeping it simple. A fly rod and reel, waders,flies, and a nice stretch of water is all you need to get the job done. Perhaps I'll throw in a fly vest as they are nice to keep things organized but definitely not a necessity. Christmas time is especially rough on those of us that live in the north and the steams are froze over.

There is nothing worse than not being able to get out in the stream and fish so often we spend our winter months browsing fishing catalogues, fishing equipment websites and reading about all the new types of fly fishing gadgets that will be coming in for the next season. Word of warning dont keep your credit card close to the computer while browsing or you'll find yourself buying lots of those useless fly fishing widgets, trinkets and gadgets just because your bored. That's not to say that you can add some much needed fly fishing gear to your Christmas list for other to buy you, but dont waste your own money :) I always try to advise my kids and family what type of fishing stuff to avoid and give them a list of gear I'll be needing in the spring in case they feel they have to buy me fly fishing equipment for Christmas.

Free Fly Tying Materials

Do you know where you can get free fly tying materials? Probably the biggest complaint I hear from fly tying beginners is the cost of materials and fly tying tools. They read the books, watch the videos and are given a list items that they must have to start tying flies.

Fly tying has been done for hundreds of years, do you think the first person to create his own flies went down to the local fly shop and bought everything he needed to tie that perfect nymph, caddis or wolly bugger? No, the first fisherman had to rely on nature to provide many of the materials needed to tie his flies. He didn’t go buy a brand new rotary vice or flashy box set of fly tying tools. He made the tools he needed and improvised with what he had on hand.

Nothing has changed in the world of fly tying. You can still do this today. Have you looked at how basic most of the fly tying tools are made? Many if not all of them can be produced with a little thinking outside of the box for far less than the highly expensive name brand fly tying tools sold in most shops and magazines.

Now back to the original question. Do you know where to get free fly tying materials? Guess what its hunting season. If you’re not an avid hunter yourself go to your local pub and hook up with someone who is. Most hunters will be happy to give you squirrel tails, deer tails and feathers from all types of game birds. Hmm, maybe that’s how the fishermen got started tying flies in the first place. There was a time in history where sportsmen didn’t want to waste any part of a kill so they found ways to utilized fur, feathers, and antlers. Fly tiers wanting free fly tying materials should take this same approach and utilize what is already wasted in many cases.

Ok, the hair, fur, feathers and other materials might not be an exact match to what the fly tying book tells you to use, but with a little dye, trimming and creative thinking you can make them work fairly easily. So next time you head out to the store to buy an expensive pack of fly tying materials think twice, because there are plenty of free alternatives lying around being wasted.

Fly Fishing Equipment Clearance Everywhere

I spent yesterday afternoon running around town doing a bit of shopping to replace some of my older fly fishing equipment. I couldn't believe the amount of fly fishing rods and reels I found already marked down on clearance. I ended up buying two new fly rods, a fly reel and a new pair of wading shoes. I looks like the stores are marking down fly fishing equipment early this year and getting ready for the hunting season. If you are a fly fishing beginner looking for bargins this is a good time of year to snatch up some really cheap fly fishing rods and reels.

In my area the bargins were especailly prevelant as the stores have started stocking more fly fishing gear during the spring. It seems fly fishng in my town has started gaining popularity. The number of fly fishing items on clearance means they were either over priced early in the season or that they overestimated the numbers when they placed their fly fishing equipment orders. Either way it really paid off for me. I'm not much for buying new fly fishing gear every year but I always take advantage of clearance prices to replace fly line, leaders, tippets and other regular fly fishing equipment. Check your local shops you might find some real bargins too.

Dont over look the tying supplies if you think you'd like to get started tying flies over the winter or need to replace existing equipment.

Fly Tying For Beginners | Fly Tying Video

I know ive neglected to cover much about fly tying and learning how to tie flies in the developement of this blog. But I do have a full time job and keeping regular posts that have some value to both the fly fishing beginner and fly tier has been difficult. In previous posts I discussed the various tools required for fly tying and a list of basic fly tying materials. Over the last few weeks I've been looking for ways to bring more fly tying for beginner related material into my fly fishing for beginners coverage. I have been fortunate enought to find a whole series of free fly tying video lessons that anyone can follow along and master fly tying.
This first video is about tying a "Buzzer" Tying the Buzzer requires a fly tying vise, fly hook sz 10-12, scissors, bobbin holder, black fly tying thread , medium silver wire, fly tying varnish, and a needle or bodkin to apply the fly tying varnish. I hope you enjoy the video and learn as much as I did. This is one of the easiest flies to start with as a beginning fly tier.

Most all of the components required for this fly tying lesson are available in most beginner fly tying kits, including the fly vise, scissors, fly tying materials and hooks. If you don't already have the necessary fly tying materials you might consider shopping ebay for a nice used fly tying kit or inexpensive beginners fly tying kit.

Fly Fishing Gear | Father's Day

Father's Day is another of those wonderful holiday's all beginning fly fisherman should look forward too. Sorry Ladies you had your day already. Now is the time to fill all your fly fishing equipment dreams. Shoot for the moon. Do you want a new top of the line Orvis fly fishing rod and reel? Perhaps your in need of a new pair of lightweight waders for the summer fishing. For me its a time to upgrade my fly tying vice and get a few more fly fishing and tying tools I don't have. Next to Christmas, Father's day is the second best day of the year for Dads. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask for a fly fishing combo, wading shoe, or fillet knife, no gift is too large or small. :)

Now in return for this day of gratitude from your kids you must return the favor and pass on your love and knowledge of the timeless sport of fly fishing. If you haven't already taken the time to teach your children how to fly fish, Father's Day is the perfect time to introduce them to the wonderful pastime. Heck if the wife or girl friend hasn't learned the art of fly fishing take them along too. Fly fishing isn't just about conquering that huge brown trout with your high tech fly fishing equipment, It's about sharing and enjoying the experience that fly fishing brings.

Here's hoping that on June 15th not only do you dads get all the fly fishing gear you have been lacking, but also that you pass along your love for the sport. If fly fishing isn't your Father's thing you can't go wrong buying something for the grill. The Grill Daddy For a unique Fathers Day gift seems to be a hot item.

Fly Fishing For Beginners | What Is The Best Bait To Use

Many people visiting this site are looking for tips on the best bait to use to catch a trout. Well many fly-fishing purists wont like this but good old worms and night crawlers have passed the test of time to be the best bait for trout, bass and all sorts of pan fish. Yeah I know we have all spent tons of money on fancy dry and wet flies, and lures of various types but sometimes we would be better of just throwing a worm on a hook. I’ve often seen guys fishing for trout using canned corn and they swear by it. I’m not sure if the corn is an imitation of a natural bait or if trout farms have conditioned fish to look for corn.

The best answer for this question though is the bait that catches the fish. I don’t care what you use if your catching fish you have the right bait. Taking time to scout the stream or lake for signs of insects, minnows and other living trout or bass prey is your best bet in deciding which fly to use. If your not seeing any top water activity why would you tie on a popper or dry fly? Learning to read the signs nature gives you is one of the key ingredients in choosing the right fly or bait for your fly fishing trip. Learning how to match your flies to what nature is offering the fish is one of the fun parts about fly-fishing in my opinion. I like to think of it as a chess match with the trout. Can I outwit my opponent and fool him into taking an artificial fly instead of natural bait? When you do finally find the right combination of fly and presentation the satisfaction you get from landing that trout will make the whole game worth it.
fly fishing vacation

Fly Fishing For Beginners | Common Fly Fishing Questions

Fly Fishing For Beginners has been receiving several questions from fly fishing beginners. Last week I listed some common fly fishing mistakes, today I'll cover a couple of the most common fly fishing questions I've been getting.

1. What is the best fly fishing combo. I've discussed in several of my initial articles that it's not the equipment that makes the fisherman its the technique. If you spend time to learn the basics correctly you will be able to use any fly fishing equipment effectively. Some companies that make decent starter fly rods and reels are Martin, Shakespeare, Crystal Creek. These can usually be purchased at local retail stores and tackle shops. If you have the money and want to purchase a more durable fly fishing combo, Cabelas and Orvis both make excellent beginner fly fishing combos for around $100.00.

2. Do i need waders? - No, waders are not an absolute necessity but if you plan on fishing in streams and rivers with colder water I would highly recommend them. Make sure and get a pair the fit properly. Waders that don't fit properly will create trip hazards, cause rubbing, blisters and fatigue. You want to enjoy your time on the stream not feel like you ran a marathon.

3. Can I fly fish from a boat? Absolutely, I often take my Jon boat out to local lakes and ponds for a day of fishing. Fishing from a boat requires good casting skills to keep everyone safe. Fly fishing a lake or pond also requires learning to read the water to determine where the fish are hiding. This will all depend upon what type of fish your after, read up on the habitat your particular prey likes.

4. What time of day is best? First, fly fishing can be done at anytime of day if you know what type of cover the fish your after likes. Most will have the best luck fishing in early to mid morning and late afternoon to dusk. Another key factor in when to fly fish is the hatch. Learn your area and when the types of insects hatch. Matching your fly to the current hatch will result in much better fly fishing results. Another good time to fly fish is right before or after a weather change like a thunderstorm.

I hope this answers some of Fly Fishing For Beginners questions and I'll be happy to answer others as they come up. Now its time to go fishing. I'll catch you all later.

Fly Fishing For Beginners | Common Fly Fishing Mistakes

Learning from your mistakes will only make you a better fly fisherman. Far too often I've stood along side a steam watching a beginner fly fisherman creating so many mistakes they have no chance of catching a fish. You can have the best fly fishing gear in the world but if you don't know how and where to fish your just kidding yourself.

Common fly fishing mistakes:

1. Standing where you should be fishing- many beginners at the art of fly fishing think they need to wade deep into a stream to catch a trout. I cringe every time I see a fly fisherman enter a stream without looking first. My son was guilty of this the first time I took him out. I told him to wait for me and I would show him how to read the stream and locate prime fishing spots. Did he wait? Heck no he plunged into the water in his new waders cut across stream thinking he had to get out into the middle. Little did he know he pretty much ruined that spot I saw several skittish trout dart for cover never to be seen again. Take your time on the banks scouting the stream before you jump in and scare every living thing away.

2. Forcing the cast. Casting a fly rod takes finesse not brute strength. You cant force a fly cast. You have to lift the line , let the rod load , begin your forward cast and the line will carry the proper distance. Trying to gain distance in a cast by brute strength is just going to cause you frustration. Take the time necessary to practice proper casting techniques in your back yard before wasting your time in a stream.

3. Beating the water into a froth. Have you ever seen a fly or other insect fall into the water from a tree or the air. Usually once they hit the water they freeze for a second, flutter lightly and then drift away with the current. Many times I watch new fly fisherman so excited they learned to cast that they never give the fly time to attract a fish. Its funny sometimes you see a trout rise to take their fly and before it can get there they rip their line back out of the water to cast again. Fly fishing takes patience and observation. Take some time to observe how insects and other prey react in the water. You want your fly presentation to imitate life as much as possible.

4. Not fishing area thorough enough. Many times a beginning fly-fisherman will make just one or two casts to an area that looks prime for holding fish. Reading a stream and spotting trout takes experience. If your instincts are right chances are you picked a spot holding fish. Make sure to take enough time to completely cover the area. I'm not talking about beating the hole to death with your fly and scaring everything, but make several well placed casts not just one or two. If this doesn't result in a fish, pick another area and come back to that spot a bit later. It will really make you mad if you leave a hole and another fly fisherman comes in right behind you and lands a nice 19" brown trout. I must admit Its happened to me more than once.

I know this post was a bit long, but I was out this weekend scouting out a new stream and watching a few new fly fisherman. As I watch I just kept wondering to myself if they realized they were pretty much wasting their time, unless their goal was a good workout for their arm. Anyway hope you beginner fly fisherman find this helpful.

Fly Fishing Gear | Best Time To Buy

If you are looking to add more to your fly fishing gear collection. Now is a great time to start thinking about it. Anytime the economy is taking a down turn, retail outlets start trying to drive business by having sales, marking down prices on less popular items, and adding high margin items to clearance.

In addition to retail companies marking down prices on fly fishing gear, this is a great time to start shopping garage sales and auctions. Anytime the gas prices sky rocket and economy gets weak there are people stuck in a position to sell off their unnecessary hobby items. I know its terrible that someone should get in this type of position but it happens everyday. Take this opportunity to help them out and buy their used fly fishing gear or fly tying equipment from eBay, local auctions or garage sales. I'm not telling you to go in and haggle with the guy to the point your ripping him off but if you can get a good piece of fly fishing equipment at a nice discount take the opportunity and buy it.

With spring weather slowly starting to show up, garage sales will become more and more common. Check out your local newspaper for any listing fishing or fly fishing equipment. I've bought plenty of fly rods and reel not to mention complete fly tying kits at garage sales that were like brand new. Many people take up fly tying and fly fishing and realize it's not for them and eventually sell off their equipment. Higher dollar items like fishing boats are often easy to find at huge discounts anytime the economy gets weak like this, so keep your eyes peeled for those bargains.

Used Compound Bows

Fly Fishing For Beginners | Fly Tying Kits And Supplies

In the previous post I discussed several different types of tool every fly tying beginner will need to get started. In addition to the tools you will need some materials to make your flies. The basic fly tying materials include:

1. Hooks - You'll need an assortment of hooks designed for tying wet, dry, nymph, and streamer flies. The general size range will be from size 10-16 depending on what you will be tying. Mustard makes a good quality hook and they can be found at most quality sporting goods or tackle stores. In this category I'll include bead heads and head cement as well.

2. Hackle - These are long narrow feathers usually from the neck or saddle area of a rooster or chicken. Hackle is often died and usually available in a wide range of assortments, various hades of browns, blacks and tan will be the most common.

3. Dubbing - This is the material used for making fly bodies and you will want an assortment of colors in this as well.

4. Thread - Here you want to look for colors generally in shades of brown, black , tan an olive. they come in various sizes but 3/0 and 6/0 will be the ones you'll use the most often.

5. Fur and hair - squirrel tail, deer fur, fox fur, calf tail are all common in fly tying. The squirrel tail will be the one you definitely need to have on hand. All of these can be found online fairly inexpensive at eBay.

This is a basic list of the types of materials that the beginner at fly tying will need. Often the easiest thing to do is purchase kit with an assortment of all of these items. Before you go out and purchase a bunch of materials read some books, look online , rent some videos about fly tying to give you a better idea of what types of flies you want to start out making. You don't want to buy a fly tying kit or materials and get them home and find out you don't have what you need to make the fly you want. If there is a local fly tying club in your area I highly recommend joining and teaming up with an experienced fly fisherman to help instruct you.

Fly Tying For Beginners | Intro To Fly Tying Tools

As a beginning fly fisherman you may decide to take up the age-old art of fly tying. Fly tying is a wonderful hobby that date back to the 1800's. It is the process of creating artificial baits " the fly" that imitates the natural food that fish eat. Flies can be made to catch almost any fish from trout, salmon, pan fish, bass and many species of saltwater fish. If you’re a fly fishing beginner you might also find that you will enjoy tying flies when you cant make it out to your favorite fishing hole. I'll start at the beginning by showing you the basic tools involved in fly tying.

1. The Fly Vice - The key component required to hold the hook for tying the fly. Fly vices come in many differnt styles. Some vices are made to mount on a bench or table. They also come in pedestal models that stand on a heavy base to keep them from tipping. Portable fly tying vices are also available for tying flies streamside when necessary. Choosing the right fly vice is very important I'll get into the details in a later post.

2. The Bobbin- If you have ever used a sewing machine you should know what a bobbin is. Bobbins are used to hold the thread, yarn, or wire necessary for tying flies. Most likely you'll want a couple of these.

3. Hackle Pliers - these are a spring-loaded type of pliers used to hold hackle. Hackle usually refers to feathers, hair or fur used in creating flies.

4. Hair Stacker - This device allows you to stack the various types of hair you will be using so that the ends are even.

5. Scissors- you'll need a small pair of sharp scissors on hand any time you working on your flies. You may find it best to have a couple pair of different sizes. Main thing is to choose good quality pair that fit you well.

5. Bodkin- this is basically a long needle with a handle useful when adding glue to the fly, picking out hairs or other delicate type work. You can probably make one if you’re resourceful.

6. Whip Finishers- these are tools designed to help you tie the finishing knots necessary when creating your fly.

This a pretty good overview of the basic tools the fly tying beginner will want to have on hand. Many of these items can be purchased in beginners tying kit or second hand though online auctions. I'd suggest online auctions as they can often be bought at a big discount form a person that decided fly tying wasn’t for them. Your better sporting goods stores and tackle shops will also carry basic fly tying tools. In my next fly tying post I'll discuss the various materials you be needing including hooks, hackle, bead heads, etc....

Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners | Ways to learn and Improve

I began this site with the idea in mind that everyone think a lot like I do. Guess what! I was wrong. In some of my earlier Fly Fishing For Beginner articles, I mentioned my distaste for reading directions and prefer to learn as I go. Many beginners don't necessarily like this Idea so here are some suggestions on other ways to learn and improve upon your fly fishing.

1. Join a club. In every area where you can fly fish there is almost always a local fly fishing or fly tying club that offers beginner classes. Most of these clubs meet once a month to discuss various fly fishing gear and techniques. They will also usually hold several group fly fishing outings. These fly fishing trips are an excellent place to learn from more experienced fishermen, that have a desire to share their knowledge. I learned from my father, sort of a 1 man club :)

2. Hire a guide. Most fishing guides offer both instructional sessions and guided fly fishing trips that are bound to be successful. Depending on your area the prices will vary greatly. If you are fortunate to live in an area where fly fishing streams and lakes are plentiful then chances are you can find a guide for a fairly inexpensive price. Before booking a lesson check to see if they provide the gear or if you need to bring your own.

3. Plan a vacation. There are hordes of fly fishing lodges, camps and vacation destinations throughout the US and Canada. If you are planning a vacation why not make it one where you can both learn the art of fly fishing and get some quality time away from work. If you plan a fly fishing vacation several lodges and resorts offer not only fly fishing lessons but the use of their gear as well. This might be an expensive way to learn but I guarantee you'll enjoy the memories for years to come. There's nothing quite like fly fishing in Canada or taking a Smoky Mountain vacation.

However you decide to learn or improve your fly fishing is up to you. The main goal is to enjoy the sport. Don't get so wrapped up in technique and results like many golfers that your ruin the experience. Fly fishing is a time to relax, enjoy nature and share time with fellow fisherman. Hopefully, someday you will have learned enough you can teach the next fly fishing beginner.

Fly Fishing For Beginners | Fly Fishing Legally

I have discussed several different fly fishing gear related topics. Today, I'll shift gears just a bit and cover the legal necessities of fly fishing. Those of you visiting the site that are experienced fly fisherman will probably find this a waste of time, however the focus of this site is for the beginning fly fisherman. Many that visit this site have probably never fished a day in their life, let alone try fly fishing.
OK, enough of the chit chat, back to my topic fishing legal requirements.

The first thing you will need to purchase before fishing for the first time is a fishing license. The penalties for getting caught fishing without one are costly. Much like hunting without a license, it is considered a form of poaching and can result in fines or jail time depending on the severity of the offense, and how stringent the laws are in your area. In addition to a typical fishing license, most states, maybe all of them I'm not sure, will require you to purchase a trout stamp if you plan on fishing for trout. Some national parks, private lands and possibly state run facilities may not require the trout stamp. Before fishing please read all the rules and regulations for the area you will be fishing.

In these rules and regulations you will find other requirements that must also be followed. Usually there are limits on the size, number and types of fish you can keep. These limits are often statewide but each individual stream, river or lake you fish may have additional size and catch limits for that particular location. In my area there are also time restrictions as well. There is an opening day for all trout fishing and further restrictions on certain stream and lakes involved in restocking programs. Fishing in general on some of the streams I fish are restricted during certain hunting season and other times of the year. Again read the rules and regulations for your area.

Trespassing is another legal concern you should be consider. Never cross into private waters or land without the owners permission. I personally have the owners sign a permission slip so that if stopped by the DRN I have proof that I'm allowed to fish that particular location. DNR officers can often times be worse than regular law enforcement officers, I'm not sure why this is. If you happen to be a DNR officer please don't take offense. I have just seen my fair share of nasty ones. :) Fortunately for me every time I have been asked I have all the required licenses. Hopefully I have got my point across, I would hate for anyone new to the sport of fly fishing to violate the rules and ruin their fishing experience. If you take care to fish legally and teach others the same your new hobby will be a great enjoyment for you.

Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners| Fly Fishing Gear Overlooked

In several of my previous post I have mentioned various types of fly fishing gear that are a must for the beginner. In my haste to create a valuable list of this gear, I overlooked two very important pieces of gear that are essential for all fly fisherman.

1. The fly-fishing vest- Why is this so important do you ask?

Answer: fly fishing in a stream often requires wading from hole to another in search of that trophy trout. You can’t very well do this if you keep running back to
shore to grab your tackle box. Having a fly vest allows you the ability to carry all the necessities on your person to keep you mobile. Extra leader, tippets, net, fly box stocked with the appropriate assortment of flies, pliers, etc.... You get the picture.

2. A wading belt - Why do I need a belt if I have shoulder straps?

Answer: Have you ever tried to fetch your pliers from the foot of your waders after you carelessly dropped them inside your waders? I know this sounds crazy but anyone who has been fly fishing for long has dropped something down his or her waders. If you had your wading belt on it would prevent this from happening. In addition to this nice convenience this often overlooked piece of fly fishing gear can save your life. How is that possible you ask? It will help to keep air trapped inside and water out for that occasion where you step without looking and plunge in over your head. It helps keep you floating instead of sinking like a rock. Nothing ruins a good day of fishing like drowning!!!

Like many of the different types of fly fishing gear I have discussed on this site, these too can be purchased second hand via eBay or garage sales, often on clearance at local shops, or if you feel froggy from a high priced fly fishing shop. In closing let me apologize for not mentioning these often overlooked pieces of fly fishing gear in my earlier fly fishing tips for beginners.

Fly Fishing Gear | Prepare For Spring

If you’re like me you cant wait till the winter weather breaks so you can get back to your fly-fishing. During these colder weather periods is the ideal time to gather up your fly fishing gear and get it ready to go for spring. This is the time your can identify if you need to replace anything or need to buy something extra. Before you go out and buy expensive fly fishing gear from Orvis, Bass Pro Shops or some other high end bait and tackle shop, give eBay a try. In most area's this is the off-season and there are many eBay sellers out there that bought up clearance items and off loading them on eBay. This is the time to get some great bargains on your fly lines, flies, waders etc. I ran across this fly fishing supply site the other day while I was doing my shopping. Its nothing fancy but the guy has several custom eBay searches specifically targeting fly-fishing. Check it out if you like. Don’t forget to check your local sporting goods stores for bargains as well. This is the time of year they are setting up their new selection of fly fishing gear for the up coming season. You can get excellent buys on last years model fly rods and reels. Don’t wait until spring to prepare for the season, that's when you should be on the river not in the store.

Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners | Fly Fishing Safety

Here are a few fly fishing tips on safety. Fly fishing beginners, as well as, the experienced fly fisherman needs to be concerned with safety. Besides the possibility of hooking yourself or another member of your party, fishing in rivers and streams can be quite dangerous at times and caution should always be taken. Any time you enter a stream be on the lookout for sudden drop offs or deep pockets of water. During spring fishing and when the water is muddy often these hazards are hard to locate. Underwater structure, slippery rocks, submerged logs and many other types of hidden trip hazards can easily ruin what might have otherwise been a wonderful day of fly fishing.

High water conditions and stream currents are often very deceiving. When first entering a stream you should pick an area where you can see the bottom and the water level is not above the knees. I have seen way to many beginning fly fisherman step right off the bank into swift current or water deeper than they expected only to see them face first in the water. Usually those watching just chuckle and poke fun of you for the day, but if you were to hit your head, break a leg.... the fun is over before it starts.
Fatigue is another safety concern that needs to be kept in mind when fishing streams and rivers. It is amazing how much force a rivers current puts on your legs over the course of a day's fishing. Anytime you feel fatigued take a few minutes and head to shore. Accidents happen much more often when your muscles are sore and tired. I personally wear a back support when I fish as the river can take a toll on my lower back. Event the most physically fit fly fisherman can wear out when standing thigh high in fast running water.

Hypothermia is another nasty hazard that can creep up on you, especially if you have a leak in your waders. It doesn’t take long in early spring or late fall, depending on the climate in your area, for your body temperature to start dropping drastically. Always bring a dry set of clothes, blanket and extra towels when fishing during these periods of time when the water is colder.

I didn’t write this to scare the beginning fly fishermen. I just wanted to provide a few fly fishing tips on safety to help ensure your fishing experience is a good one.

Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners | Valentines Day

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. All you fly fishermen out there dont forget to pick up something for that someone special. While your at it dont forget to mention to your loved one a few ideas you would like to get. This is an excellent time for the beginner fly fisherman to fill out their collection of fly fishing equipment. I know it doesnt sound like a very Valentine's Day type thing to ask for, but what would you rather have a chocolate heart or a new fly reel. :) I definately would not suggest buying your mate a new fly reel for Valentine's Day unless they are also an avid fly fisherman. Doing that will probably get you lots of free time for fly fishing, since she'll probably slam the door on way out and never come back. I know this isnt very instructional for the beginner fly fisherman but thought I would break up the posts with something a little different.

Fly Fishing For Beginners | Where To Fish

All fly fishing beginners need to know where to look for the fish. There are three key places to look for fish in a stream.

1. Undercut banks - This is where the water has worn away the underside of the bank leaving an area out of the current and sun where the fish can hide. Often these undercut banks create very deep pockets and can hold some big fish.

2. Behind large rocks, logs or other objects in the water. The current will wrap around the sides of these objects and create a deep pocket behind the rock or log. This creates a place where the fish can wait in ambush of prey floating past without having to fight against the current.

3. Just outside of the main current. Look at the flow of the stream and river and you can easily spot the path of the main current. Fish will hold up just outside this main flow in little pockets or pools. This also provides a nice ambush location for the fish as well as a deeper area for them to hide.

Make sure you wear some polarized glasses when you go out to the stream and try to locate fish in these areas. Then cast you fly just upstream of these locations and let them float into the key area just like natural prey would. Often times a single hole or pocket will hold several fish so even if you land one don’t abandon the location until you've fully fished it. Even though you’re a beginner at fly fishing you shouldn’t have much trouble if you fish these types of areas.

Fly Fishing Waders Choosing The Right Kind

Do I need Waders? Simple and direct answer to that is Yes unless you want to get your feet wet. As a beginner at fly fishing, once you get past the stage of practicing at farm ponds and, are ready to tackle a river or stream, waders become a necessity. Most of the time the banks along streams, creeks and rivers are too overgrown with brush to allow for bank casting.

This is another category of fly-fishing equipment that you can start out with something inexpensive from your local retailer. Most of them light weight vinyl waders you can use with an old pair of boots or tennis shoes. These typically cost less than $15.00. They definitely aren’t much to look at and wont do much to keep you warm, but they will keep you dry. My suggestion is if you have the money buy a pair of neoprene fly fishing chest waders, usually can be found for around $50.00. If its off-season most retail stores will have them on clearance.

Most of the time while you are wading you will only be knee deep in water. However, there is the occasional deep area you may need to cross to get to that sweet spot in the stream. Definitely don’t waste your money on hip waders if your fishing in deeper streams. Invest in a quality pair of fishing waders that are chest high.

Make sure when you buy a set of waders to pay special attention to the care and cleaning of them. The manufacture should have full instructions on the proper way to store and care for them. A common mistake many begginer fly fishermen make is to throw them in the back of the storage shed and forget about them until its time to use them again. That's a sure way to guarantee you'll get wet next time you take them out to the stream.

Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners| The Fly

Ok now that you have the basic fly rod and reel for the beginner, you need to find something to fish with. There are two basic types of flies and each has multiple sub categories. I'll leave all the sub categories of flies for you to discover on your own or I'll post about them late. The two basic types are Dry flies and wet flies. The dry fly is designed for top water fishing. Wet flies are flies that sink to the bottom at various different rates. Knowing which fly to use is going to take some trial and error on your part, but careful observation at your fishing hole will make your choice easier. The typical fly fishing beginner will just grab a fly, tie it on and go at it. While this is great for practicing we do want to eventually catch some fish. As I stated in previous articles try starting at your local farm pond fishing for pan fish and small bass. During early morning and late evening these can be easily caught using the dry fly. During warmer parts of the day or during bad weather you might want to try using a dry fly. Your local retail store is a good place to start for finding the right flies for beginners. They will typically have a couple types of dial-a-fly packs to choose from. Grab one with dry flies and one with wet flies. Also grab a few pan fish poppers these can be great fun to fish with as you will get to see some bass and larger gills hit the top water in frenzy. Experiment with all the various types and see what works best in your location. You will find that gills and small bass arent all that picky about what they eat and you should be landing fish in no time. In additon to your local Wal-mart, you can find good prices on bulk quantities of flies through eBay. So you beginners at fly fishing get out there and catch a few. Remember catch and release will provide great fishing for generations to come.

Fly Fishing Combo | Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners

As mentioned in my previous post for the beginner fly fisherman I suggest starting with purchasing a fly rod and reel combo available at most big box retailers.There are several companies that make these and I have used just about all of them. While you can buy expensive combos from Orvis, and other big name sporting goods dealers I still prefer the less expensive combos made by Martin and Shakespeare.They are usually available in several different sizes, and weights. We will discuss the specifics to fly rod weight and size in later posts. Typically the fly fishing combo available at your local retailer will be stocked based on the most common size and weight used by fly fishermen in your area so you really can’t go wrong. These rods make it easy for the beginner by using fly line matched to the rod; include the leader and tippet necessary to get started. The fly fishing novice shouldn’t have to be concerned with all the little details involved in getting the correct fly fishing gear but should rather focus on practicing his casting. These types of setups are designed for the starter and are very forgiving to the little mistakes you’ll make when first starting.

There are some disadvantages of using these less expensive fly rods, durability being the biggest. They typically aren’t made as strong or with as high a quality of components as the more expensive brands. So take care to be gentle with your rod when you do get snagged in a tree or weed bed. When your finished flishing with one of these less expensive or used fly rod combos make sure to take the time and clean the rod, reel and line according to the manufactures recommendations. Pay special attention to the reel, as they are the most likely to fail when abused or not kept clean. Don’t just throw your fly rod and reel in the trunk of the car or bed of the truck and forget about it. Inevitability someone will throw something on top of it and crack the rod or damage the eyes.
Well that’s enough about the basic care of your new fly fishing combo for now. I’ll continue posting more little tidbits for the fly fishing beginner as we go on. Next post will focus on the basics of fly-casting to help you avoid making too many bad habits.

FLy Fishing For Beginners|Getting Started On The Fly

Getting started on something is always the hardest part, even for the beginning fly fisherman. Before you run out and purchase all kinds of expensive gear you need to ask yourself "why exactly do you want to learn fly fishing?” For me it was a natural progression from bass fishing in streams as a young boy with my father. Nothing can beat the feeling you get from spending an early morning or late afternoon fishing your favorite stream surrounded by all that nature has to offer. Except of course, that sudden burst of adrenaline you get when you spot that big trout raising to your fly. So take a minute to reflect on why you want to learn to fly fish and what you expect to gain from it.

Now that you’re in the right frame of mind there are several things to consider before getting started. Before you can start you need to have the proper gear. There are many different rod types, reels, flies, lines, and waders to choose from, so where do you start. If your like me you don’t want to spend tons of money and countless hours deciding on the perfect fly fishing equipment, you just want to get out there and do it. I suggest hitting up your local big box retailer and purchasing one of the rod and reel combos they offer. These usually are under $50.00; include a basic rod, reel, line and sometimes a selection of flies to get you started. In addition, they usually have some basic casting; knot tying and fishing tips to help you get started. My first fly rod was bought for $5.00 at a local garage sale. Expensive gear doesn’t make you a good fly fisherman, practice does.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to practice, once you have your basic gear in hand. Spend some time in the back yard practicing casting. Stick with the basics and soon you will be casting like a pro. The worst things you can do are rush out to a stream, strip out some line and fling it around like some crazy man swatting at bugs. You'll just end up spending your afternoon getting fly caught in trees, brush and maybe even your buddy’s ear. I suggest starting at a local farm pond with plenty of clear bank. It is a good way to get used to the how the line and fly react on the water without getting all snagged in bushes. Heck you might even catch a few gills or a small bass to break in your new rod.

As a beginner at fly fishing if you take the time to practice, read a few books on fly fishing, understand the basic mechanics you'll be well on your way to being hooked for life like me. I know this article wasn’t exactly the how to manual on fly-fishing, but hopefully it will nudge you in the right direction. I'll get into more detail on specifics as I continue this series of tips for the beginning fly fisherman.

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