fly fishing beginning

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing' started by beast759, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. beast759

    beast759 Well-Known Member

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    i have had some esperience fly fishing and i can cast a 5 weight and work a dry fly but i am thinking of getting my own this winter for trout and later on for other fresh water species. but is there anything i should know going into this or any thing i should know.
     
  2. toddamus

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    There is a lot to know, much of it you'll learn from experience. When you say what is there to know, do you mean like kit, technique, flies, how to use flies?
     
  3. Neuroshima

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    A 6wt will cover all your fresh and salt water needs.
     
  4. Fishtricks

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    I agree with the 6wt. I started with a 9wt and it was appropriate for everything from tiny creek fish to a 400lb sea turtle

    One of the best features of fly fishing is the to me, is the range your rod has. All you have to do is change the leader(or the line). When I travel or fish in a new area, I take my 9wt and a fanny pack full of flies and leaders, and i'm ready for anything.
     
  5. beast759

    beast759 Well-Known Member

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    yes i do mean that
     
  6. toddamus

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    Ok so lets start with rod weight, most people start off with a 5wt but you have a huge range there, you can go with a 9 or a 1, what you want depends on you. Fly line, lots of options, weight forward, sinking tip, sinking line; what grain of sinking tip or sinking line, also brand makes a difference too and makes a big difference in terms of fishing, be careful. Reel, not all that different but pick one you want to last, lots of guys are brand loyal so picking a reel is kinda up to your preferences and what company you associate with, lots of them out there, one local on here in SD but they're kinda premium. Leader, leader is a real concern, do you go with flouro or mono? Flouro sinks but mono doesn't, so which do you use when? What do you want the end X tippet to be? This'll screw you if you're not careful. How do you know when to use what tippet when? How long do you want the leader to be? How long the leader is really depends on what type of fishing you're planning on doing.

    In terms of flies, there're books out on that for a reason, I'd keep patronizing you, but honestly, picking out flies is a historied art that has a lot of things going on. Lets start with the basics though, dries, nymphs, streamers, start looking into those and go from there. That'll take you a while.

    Kit: Waders and wading boots, wear what works. I can't tell you what that is but there are tons of brands out there and I'd like to list them but I don't want to come off as endorsing one over the other despite not being a sponsored fly fisher, I wish I was. With boots, do you want felt soled, rubber, or rubber with cleats? I'd like to tell you whats best but it depends on what you're doing and where you are. Waders, go with what works, some are better than others, have to try them on.

    .......

    So yes, you do mean that, and I didn't even come close to asking all the questions that can be asked, I was just posing the basics that any fly fisher asks themself on the fly when they're out on the water.


    And exta kit: How do you manage all your flies, do you use fly boxes? Which ones? How many? How many flies of each type do you need? What flies work where? That last one may be the most important.

    ....
    I forgot about casting, how you cast what fly, how you get appropriate distance with what fly will make or break your day. Least of all, tying knots. If you can't tie a good knot your day is screwed from the start. How do you know how to tie a good knot? Which one to use? When to use it? There are books on this stuff and I can't distill all this into one post, you're going to have to go out try, fail and see what works.

    ....
    And I forgot the most basic question, where to fish what to use. Thats all up to you going out, trying, seeing what works, talking to people and going from there.
     
    #6 toddamus, Oct 22, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  7. beast759

    beast759 Well-Known Member

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    thanks ill lok into this and commeback when i know my prefences
     
  8. CON KSO

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    All really good info above but I would add a little of my personal opinion on where to prioritize your money as a beginner. I've only been fly fishing now for about four years (?) so take my advice here with a grain of salt.

    1. Prioritize the least amount of money to your reel. It really is just a line storage device most of the time. You will rarely, if ever, go to your drag with a fish you catch in the bay or when fishing trout. If you do happen to need some kind of drag on a bat ray or some big trout or bass somewhere you can do something called "palming" the reel - which is basically adding drag with your hand.

    2. Moderate amount of money to your rod.
    The most I've spent on a rod was close to $200 (TFO 8wt BVK) - I love the rod but I've also spent $120 on a rod that has done everything I could ask of it (Fenwick Aetos 5wt and 3wt)... my brother bought a Chinese rod that was so cheap he was embarrassed to tell me what it cost... guess what? They all landed fish, were fine for our early stages of casting and were cheap enough so that when they got banged around in the bottom of kayaks and pangas we didn't worry too much. For a good starter/middle of the road brand I like Temple Fork Outfitters - especially since they are very easy to deal with when you return your rod because you slammed it in a car door.

    3. A bit more money on your fly line(s). To me, this is where you get the most return on your investment. I spend money on the right type of line for the area that I'm fishing - I've got full sinkers, sink tips, intermediates and floaters and I interchange with them quite a bit depending on what I'm fishing for and where I'm fishing. In my opinion, this is not the place to cheap out.

    4. Spend the biggest part of your budget on a guide.
    THIS is how you get better quickly - these guys/gals will show you the right way to do things from the start. Spend most of your money here and it won't matter if you spent $800 on a fly rod or $100...

    Now all that being said, it does feel nice to have really high quality stuff in your hands.... but I'd rather spend that dough on gas, burritos and beer.
     
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  9. toddamus

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    Good points and I was thinking about this earlier. My post wasn't the most helpful. If there's one thing I wish someone told me more, or maybe I listened more to, it'd be the importance of the fly line. Fly line makes a difference and when I started up I didn't know how much that difference was.

    And reels, a good reel is a nice bit of kit and machining, in terms of how important it is to catching a fish, not so much.
     
  10. Nick Arevalo

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    Try not to get tangled. I rarely do anymore, but when I do, I question why I even started flyfishing. Some of those knots are a pain to get undone.:emoji_joy:
     
    #10 Nick Arevalo, Oct 24, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  11. flyfishinsteve64

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    To teach yourself patience
     
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  12. CON KSO

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    hahaha that's funny man... honestly I say to myself, "Fly fishing teaches me patience." over and over again while I'm out there - typically when I've just tied on a two fly rig, make my first cast, swing it and bring it up all snarled and missing the point fly. Or when the first cast ends up in a tree behind you 20' up. It's like a mantra, I mumble it over and over, "fly fishing teaches me patience, fly fishing teaches me patience..."
     
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  13. flyfishinsteve64

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    Exactly
     
  14. CraigSmith

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    Reposted here from an earlier thread (with some modifications specific to this thread). Others have already made some excellent comments, especially with regards to fly lines quality being important.

    My comments here are based on having handled hundreds of rods/reels/flylines over the last 3 decades - my gear, friends gear, gear we sell in the shop, and gear people have brought into the shop.

    Fly gear costs more than other types to lesser volume of sales. No way around the economics. Minimum prices for a decent new rod today is around $80 and for a reel $50 and $40 for a floating fly line.


    The most common starting outfit for freshwater fishing is a 9 foot 5 weight fly rod and line. It may be the case that more 9 foot 5 weight fly rods are sold than all others.

    You won't find any decent cheap "Walmart Specials". The cheap combos you will find at Walmart and other stores usually start at 5 weight generally have poor quality fly lines.

    Best closest thing that is a good deal is the Scientific Anglers Trout or Panfish combos. These are listed as 5/6 weight rods and retail for $120 for a 4 pc rod, decent low cost Scientific Anglers AirCel floating line, and a composite (plastic/graphite) reel. The reel is actually decent enough. You can sometimes fine these combos online for as low as $75.

    All rods and reels less than around $250 are made in china or South Korea. A small number of rods are made in Mexico. Chinese made gear from reputable US or European base companies will be of good quality or better. These brands have a reputation to maintain and have quality programs that the factories need to meet and good quality inspection. If you look at fly shop websites online to see what they have you will get a good idea of good brands that are out there.

    Common examples of rod brands are Redington, Echo, Orvis, Scott, Thomas & Thomas, Sage, Beaulah, Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO), Hardy, St. Croix, Loop, Douglass, Winston, Adams Built and others.

    Common examples of reel brands are Redington, Echo, Orvis, TFO, Hardy, Loop, Scientific Anglers (no longer new reels products but lots of used out there), Ross, Abel, Hatch, Aspen, Tibor, Sage, Lamson-Waterworks, Galvan, NuCast, some Pflueger models, Cheeky, 3-Tand, and others.

    Bass Pro, Cabelas, and LL Bean have some decent products, though the best ones start at the same prices as products from companies I just listed in last paragraph.

    A good rod brand not usually carried in fly shops is Fenwick.

    Cortland only has some specialty competition nymphing rods now but there are lot of older models floating around on the used market for inexpensive prices and even a few fly shops may have some unused rods tucked away that they sell at a good rate.

    There are a number of companies that have an online presence only that sell good gear such as Allen Fly Fishing. Products are made in China but are of good to excellent quality. NuCast has some decent reels

    Piscifun products are available from their website as well as Amazon and eBay. Low price. Variable quality

    There is a lot of cheap gear available from Chinese souces on eBay and Amazon. Some examples are Aventik, MaxCatch, Anglers Dream, Sougayilang, NetAnglers, KastKing, Wakeman, Plusinno, and a host of others. Quality ranges from poor to fair, to occasionally decent. The combos usually have poor quality fly lines and variable quality reels. I have seen a lot of products from these companies. Miss-aligned guides and reels with uneven drags and low quality bearings are common. But I have seen some examples from these companies that are of decent quality. Quality control is just inconsistent. In most cases the rods to not cast as well as rods from established fly fishing companies, which spend the R&D money on designing tapers and engineering stronger and lighter materials. Many people are happy with products from these inexpensive Chinese sources, but many are disappointed. With regards to saltwater, many of the reels have components that corrode quickly - like overnight if not cleaned throughly and dried out.

    For fly lines, look for Cortland, Scientific Anglers, Rio, Royal Wulff, Teeny, Airflo, and Orvis. Most of the lines available from Cabelas or Bass Pro that retail for more than $35 are made by Cortland or Scientific Anglers and are also good.

    There is a company called Wild Water that seems to sell mostly through Amazon. Their combo kits are at around $100 or a bit less. The weak point in these is the reel. I have seen several malfunctioning reels brought into the shop but people hoping we can fix them. Some we could and some we can't. The rods are ok but heavy. One 5/6 9ft rod that I weighed was heavier than some of my 9wt rods. The kit comes with a fly box in addition to rod, reel, line , and rod/reel case but I still think the Scientific Anglers Combos are a better purchase quality wise.

    Some of the Bass Pro and Cabelas products are pretty good once the combo price gets above about $140.

    Aside from the Scientific Anglers combo I mentioned up top, there are some good combos with 4 section rods that start new at about $170-$200) from Redington (Crosswater and Path) and Echo (Base) and Orvis (Encounter). Purchasing the elements of the combos separately would cost about $50 more. You can sometimes find these used for about half that.

    Summary:

    If brand can be found in a fly shop then it is good.
    Fenwick, though not usually found in fly shops is good.
    Cabelas/Bass Pro costing >$140 usually good. If < $140 ok starter for freshwater.
    Allen Fly Fishing direct from them good. There are some other online only sellers that I don't have experience with.

    Piscifun fair too good. Uneven quality control but getting better every year it seems.

    Cheap stuff from Amazon and eBay that you won't see in a fly shop catalog will be of variable quality, even for the examples of the product (two people can order the same thing and get different quality gear)

    The comment about investing in a guided trip is spot one. If you can do that you will greatly speed up you're learning.

    Get Free casting instruction from the free classes Sundays at Lake Murry put on by the San Diego Fly Fishers club from 0900-1100.

    For books, The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide (Revised 2017) by Tom Rosenbauer is good. Older versions used to mention a lot of Orvis product but this version less so. Another good book is "Fly Fishing: First Cast to First Fish" by Joseph Petralia. It is almost 25 years old so some stuff is a bit dated in that it doesn't cover the newest techniques but it is a great basic book.
     
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  15. Neuroshima

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    All great advice, but perhaps a little too in depth for a total beginner. My advice would be to get a 9ft 6wt Redington combo from Stroud's and some flies; San Juan worms, wooly buggers, and clousers minnows. Ask Rick to put on a welded loop if your stock flyline doesn't have it.
    You can buy 9 ft tapered leaders, or just make them from your conventional monofilament line. Say, 4ft of 8lb tied to 5ft of 4lb with a triple surgeon, or blodd knot. Start practicing at
    your closest body of water that has sunfish and bass. If there is a green sunfish, it will eat your SJ worm, guaranteed.

    As you get the hang of it, upgrade in the manner as ConKSO suggested... Line, rod, reel.
     
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