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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