How to Get Started Fly Fishing if You’ve Never Done it Before
There’s nothing quite like the thrill of a successful fly fishing expedition.
In order to join in this fantastic sport, as practically any novice will tell you, there are a lot of things that you must first understand before you can begin to enjoy it.
Prior to answering the apparent question of whether fly fishing is tough, let me first address the issue of whether you should feel disheartened and give up on the notion.
If you want to put it simply, yeah, fly fishing may be difficult when you first start out.
It is true that, like with any useful talent, the more you practise, the simpler it becomes to execute.
By devoting only a small amount of time and effort, you may quickly enhance your fishing talents, from setting up your rig to mastering the art of fly-casting.
And, to be quite honest, the time and work you put into it will be well worth it!
But just what you’ll need to know will be a mystery to you until you learn it.
And how tough do you believe it will be to finish the task at hand?
That is precisely what we will be talking about for the remainder of this book.
Let’s get this party started…
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Learn The Fundamentals of Fly Fishing
When learning to fly fish, it is best to start with the most basic equipment possible and not worry too much about all of the “fancy” or specialised pieces of gear.
Start with a fly rod, a fly reel, a fly line, a leader, and some flies to get you started.
That is all you will require to get started; nothing else!Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you can start thinking about how you’ll use all of the more specialised equipment on your fishing trips.
A lake or a slow-moving stream is the best place to learn how to fish because the water is less turbulent.
These areas present fewer difficulties and obstacles than, for example, a river or other fast-moving water might.
The first skill you’ll need to learn in order to fly fish is how to cast your line properly.
Imagining that you are reaching for your telephone to answer a call is an effective way to visualise your back cast.
Begin by pulling out the length of line you want to cast out with your non-dominant hand while holding the line in your dominant hand.
As you bring your cast to your ear, allow the entire back cast to be completed before quickly bringing your rod forwards to the casting position.
Upon completion of your forwards cast, you can let go of the line in your non-dominant hand and walk away.
Maintain a loose grip on the line with a few fingers to ensure that as the line is released from your hand, it does so smoothly and without forming knots in the line.
The entire motion of the cast should be fluid, and the tip of your fly rod should be able to move straight back and straight forwards at the same time.
Beginning on dry ground with a “dummy fly” may appear to be a childish way to learn, but casting without the influence of water on the line is the best way to get a clear sense of how each component of your casting system responds.
Keep in mind that the perfect cast is primarily dependent on your wrist and the entire length of the rod. While casting, you shouldn’t have to move your entire arm very much at all.
The forwards cast begins just as the leader begins to straighten out in the back cast, signalling the start of the forwards cast.
The forwards cast should have a flick to it, as if you were quickly putting your phone down after speaking on it.
Once you’ve mastered this casting technique, you can progress to casting a real fly on the water!
After mastering the overhead cast, the next step in learning the fundamentals of fly fishing is to master striking the fish and setting the hook.This requires a little more concentration and can be quite difficult in some situations.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a fish striking your fly and a snag. The best advice for beginning anglers is to simply strike frequently!
You will occasionally snag your line on a rock or a submerged log; however, if you are too cautious with your strikes, you will never know whether that small tug on your line is a twig or the monster fish you have been chasing.
There are numerous other skills that can be utilised while fly fishing; however, mastering these two are all that is required to understand the fundamentals of fly fishing (see, fly fishing is NOT as complicated as many believe!).
The few of the very Basic Equipments
The first piece of fly fishing equipment you’ll need is a simple rod and reel.
It is vital to have all of the necessary basic fly fishing equipment as a first step in the fly fishing process.
By “basic,” we are talking to the equipment you’ll need to get out on the water and start catching fish.
Countless fly fishing retailers provide a range of fly fishing equipment, and while many of these products are pretty lovely, they are completely useless in most situations.
What are the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need? You’ll need a fly rod and reel, as well as a fly fishing line that contains backing, fly line, a leader, and tippet, in order to catch fish with a fly. Never fear, we’ll explain everything in greater detail later on.
Naturally, a few of flies; it’s impossible to fly fish successfully without them!
That is all there is to it. You will be able to effectively fly fish if you have these goods with you.
I’d want to go through each piece of equipment in detail, as well as how to go about buying quality equipment. We recognise that many newbies to fly fishing are afraid to commit a significant amount of money at first, and we sympathise with them.
The problem is that when consumers acquire inexpensive fly fishing equipment, they feel dissatisfied when it fails or does not function as expected.
Fly fishing equipment may be the difference between someone continuing to fly fish and giving up.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of manufacturers that are dedicated to delivering high-quality equipment at competitive pricing.
Obtain a Fishing License from your state Authority
Obtaining a Driver’s License Ensure that you have a valid fishing licence for the state or country in which you intend to go fishing before you go out on your trip. Licenses may be purchased online, at fishing shops, and at select convenience stores, among other places.
A day fishing licence is normally affordable (less than $20), however the precise price varies by state and residence, as fishing licences are more expensive for nonresidents than for residents of the state.
Annual licences, on the other hand, are a better deal, often costing between $30 and $150 each year.
If nothing bad happens on your first visit (don’t worry, the chances of this happening are quite tiny), you may even want to come again.
Get some Fishing Gear
If you’re a novice, a spinning reel and rod combo is your most effective option. The term “combo” is important in this context since it denotes that the reel and rod are offered combined, which normally means that they are easier to set up than separate items.
This is a fantastic video that explains the core components of a spinning reel in great detail.
In terms of picking a decent starter rod that matches your unique needs, a skilled employee at your local tackle shop may steer you in the correct route.
Following the purchase of a rod and reel, you will require lures and bait.
Using live worms or PowerBait—a scented puttylike material that you shape around an untreated hook—as your first bait is a good idea, and lures, which are essentially decoys designed to attract a fish’s attention after you’ve gotten a little practise with bait, are another good option once you’ve gained some experience with it.
bobbers, which are little floating balls that sink or bob when a fish strikes your bait, will also be required for your fishing expedition.
The use of a rubber nett (which is less harsh on the fish’s skin than string or nylon nets), needle-nose pliers for removing lures from the interior of the fish’s mouth, and a compact tackle box to keep your lures and bait organised are all helpful tools.
You’ll find that your fishing requirements increase as you acquire experience; you’ll probably want to improve your equipment after a few months, and waders and boots may also be added later.
Fly Fishing Tips to Have You Beginning Like a Pro
Learn to Read a River
In the course of instructing a family member or friend on the sport of fly fishing, one of my favourite hobbies is demonstrating how to read water.
Additionally, it appears to be one of the parts of fly fishing that grabs the attention and interest of students the most frequently.
It is often known as “reading a river,” but more appropriately characterised as “reading where feeding fish can be found in a river.”
It’s almost as if you’ve been given the key to unlocking a whole new world once you understand the principles of why fish cluster and feed where and how they do — sort of like Alice Through the Looking Glass minus the creepiness.
While learning to read water may look tough at first, with a little study, practise, and experience, you’ll soon discover that it’s not quite as difficult as you thought it was.
You’ll also know you’ve passed the line into fly fishing addiction when you find yourself craning your neck to view a beautiful curve or deep run while driving along a random river at sixty miles per hour.
Learn to handle Fish
When it comes to fly fishing, handling a hooked trout — and understanding what to do with a hooked trout once you’ve caught one — may be an intimidating proposition for many beginners.
Truthfully, there are right ways to handle a trout that has been caught on a fly, as well as improper ways to avoid handling a trout.
Moreover, it is essential to understand how to do it effectively in advance of the time when you realise, “Voila, I’ve caught a fish.” What is going to happen now?
We fly fishers have a remarkable amount of similarity when it comes to our catch-and-release mindset.
Catching a fish and treating it kindly, then releasing it in such a way that it is accessible for the next person to capture, is the ultimate purpose of the sport of fly fishing.
It has even happened to me to catch the same fish in the same hole more than once during the same session, indicating that fish hooked on a fly recover swiftly when treated properly.
As a result, understanding how to catch-and-release is just as important for beginner fly fishers as understanding how to catch-and-net is for experienced fly fishermen.
In light of the fact that Fly Fishing Fix has grown to become the go-to resource for everything fly fishing (someday), we advise all fly fishing enthusiasts to read this article on how to photograph a trout.
The article’s highly skilled author also includes near-guru-level tips on how to hold them in order to take incredibly beautiful shots!
Learning Where To Fish
When it comes to figuring out where to go fishing, it is totally fine to ask for directions as long as you follow the criteria laid down in the Being a Typical Guy Manual.
Investigating new fishing techniques and spending time on the water with more experienced fishermen are both good for improving your fishing abilities in the future.
Here are some extra materials that will be useful to you as you move forwards:
Once you have gained confidence in your fishing abilities, hiring a guide will greatly assist you in your advancement.
Guidance is provided by professionals who have in-depth knowledge of the area’s rivers and lakes. They can also teach you how to read the water, pick the best lure, and find new fishing spots.
Aside from that, you may get valuable information from local fishing organisations and even your state’s forestry agency.
A variety of fishing shops are routinely offered by local organisations, and the majority of states sponsor fishing derbies, free fishing days (on which no licence is necessary), and other activities geared to connect you with other fishermen in your area.
YouTube will be your best buddy when you are a newbie. A five-minute video is often the most effective method to absorb new information while learning new skills such as how to tie knots, throw, or build your fishing rod.
Larn to hook a Fish
The two things to look out for when fishing are a fish “spitting” out your bait and the line snapping with the weight and force of a large fish you’re trying to hook.
If you want to avoid any of those two eventualities from occuring, you’ll need to correctly “set” the hook into the fish’s mouth after it has eaten your lure or bait.
You should pull back with moderate pressure when you notice your lure sinking or jerking. This will help to keep the lure in the fish’s mouth without ripping any part of its lip—good timing here will ensure that the lure is firmly set in the fish’s lip rather than being pushed further into its mouth.
Following a successful hookset, you’ll need to concentrate on maintaining the tip of your rod while “playing” the fish, which involves allowing the fish to tired itself out while attempting to keep it on your line for as long as possible.
Because the fish’s force and weight might frequently be greater than the strength of the line when you draw it in immediately after catching it, it is possible that it will break the line upon being pulled in. If you allow yourself to grow fatigued, you will gain the upper hand and will finally be able to reel in the fish you are after.
Also, remember to keep your “slack” in (that is, keep your line taut) and become familiar with the drag system on your reel.
The drag dial on every rod has an effect on how well your reel handles fish of varying sizes and strengths; less drag is required if you expect to catch small fish, while more drag (and a larger reel) may be required if you expect to catch larger or stronger species, such as largemouth bass and striped bass.
In the same way as throwing a baseball is simple and intuitive, using a spinning reel is simple and straightforward as winding it up and casting your lure as far as you can, and it is great for novices.
Prepare to cast with around six inches of line dangling from one end of your rod and the reel beneath your dominant hand as you would for a normal cast.
It is vital to put a bail on a spinning reel in order to prevent your line from falling off of the spool while you are fishing (a thin wire arm).
In order to cast, you’ll need to flip this bail, grip the line with your finger, pull the rod tip up and slightly behind you (think of the action you’d make to pick up a phone), then cast forwards with your wrist and elbow using the casting motion you learned in class.
You should let go of the line when your rod is horizontal or just slightly front of horizontal, enabling your lure to fly free of your gripping hand. Make a cast with your lure into the water and start reeling it in.
Learning How to Land a Fish
It has come within striking distance of the coastline after you have successfully hooked it, played it, and hauled it in on your first attempt.
In this circumstance, having a nett will provide you with a big edge. Once you have the fish within an arm’s length of your feet, scoop it up with the netting, being careful not to let it flop on the bank or rocks while you do so.
In addition, avoid pinching or touching the fish’s gills when handling it. If you want to release the fish back into the water, do not keep it out of the water for longer than you can hold your breath at a time, since this can do additional injury.
Direct the Fish Towards You Once you've hooked a fish
Reeling fish in can be an adrenaline rush. Make a conscious effort to stay focused on the task at hand and not on the excitement.
Once hooked, the fish will always attempt to swim away from you and in the opposite direction of the line’s pull.
Bear in mind that a fish must swim in the direction in which it is positioned.
Utilize the direction of the fish by turning it to face you, forcing the fish to swim directly towards you.
Acquiring this skill may require some practise and a few snapped lines, but once mastered, there will be no fish you cannot catch.
Always take Caution While fly fishing
Fly fishing gives you the opportunity to view portions of the river that other methods of fishing do not, but it also puts you at the whim of the river’s current.
Never walk into a river if you cannot see the river bed or if you do not have a firm stance on at least one of your feet, according to the American Red Cross.
In order to proceed upstream at an angle across a huge body of water, you must wade across it at an angle.
This permits you to cross the river without being driven too far downstream by the current.
Always remember to have a wading stick with you if you feel the need for additional balance in the water.
When fishing, the most important thing to remember is to always put your safety first. Maintain a keen awareness of your personal safety, as well as the safety of ALL members of your fishing party, in the case of a rescue operation.
Developing correct fishing etiquette from a young age is vital; remember to show respect to your fellow fishermen, to the fish you catch, as well as to the environment in which you are fishing.
I prefer to give other fishermen at least 50 to 60 feet of space on the busiest water and as much as a couple hundred yards if there are few other people around when I am fishing.
Keep no more fish than you can eat in one sitting, and always follow the leave-no-trace philosophy.
Ascertain if the part of water where you plan to fish allows solely artificial lures (no live bait), catch-and-release fishing only, or fly-only fishing.
You can’t always rely on a sign to transmit this information, so check your local regulation book or the website of your state’s forestry agency for the latest information and updates on closures and restrictions.
It appears that we have covered all of the important points. Naturally, there is much more to learn, such as how to make several casts and capture a variety of fish, as well as saltwater fly fishing, among other things.
Naturally, we’ll go over those things in greater detail in upcoming instalments. You, on the other hand, have the essentials.
Final thoughts on how to make your fly fishing journey more pleasurable are as follows:
Make a schedule for yourself to go fly fishing. When you’re in a hurry, nothing may damage your experience more than a sensation of rushedness. Allow enough of time to get to your fishing spot and to enjoy your time on the water without feeling rushed.
When you fish with a buddy, the experience is significantly more rewarding. While fishing alone might be nice, fishing with a friend is far more enjoyable.
Apart from assisting one another, having someone to converse with and joke with makes the entire experience more pleasurable.
Fly fishing is a talent that takes time to perfect, if you ever manage to do it at all.
Avoid feeling angry and speeding through the process; instead, simply enjoy the pleasure of being outside and learning to fly fish instead. There is no such thing as a final goal; what matters is the voyage itself.
Avoid taking out a loan to pay for all of your fly fishing equipment at once.
If you’re on a tight budget, all you really need is a good graphite rod and reel, some line, and a few flies to get started. That is all that you will need to get things started. You will be able to purchase more accessories at a later time.
Make the most of your time and catch some fish.