Are you new to fly fishing? There are many things to learn, but this does not mean that will be hard to understand the basics. This guide is created to help you through the first steps of determining how to fly fish, and offer you some reliable information that will help you make the best out of the techniques that will be described below.
A short description of fly fishing
Before getting down to business and learning what kind of equipment you need and what techniques to employ, let’s see what fly fishing is. The term is used to describe a fishing technique that involves the use of a lure or bait that resembles a fly. Many types of fish are drawn to this type of bait, and that is why fly fishing can be very successful when performed correctly.
Fly fishing may be a real challenge to master, especially since a high degree of skill is needed for guaranteed results every time. However, it is also a lot of fun and, for anglers looking to push their boundaries, there is hardly another fishing method that can compete with this one.
Fly fishing depends on a few critical aspects
Is fly fishing a good option for you? You may be well aware of the broad range of fly fishing for beginners tips, as well as other information on the topic, that is available online. However, if this fishing style is not a good fit for you, it doesn’t matter how well-informed you become. In the end, if you don’t manage to bring home a lot of fish, you will be disappointed.
That is why, in this section, we will address a few aspects that must be considered before taking up fly fishing. The first piece of advice that any seasoned angler will give you is to learn from experience, as well as from books on fly fishing for beginners. A lot of knowledge is required to be proficient in this fishing technique.
It will not serve to do things halfway. Make sure to combine the information you read online or in books with proper real-life experience. This way, you will be able to master the technique and call yourself good enough.
You might have heard about the fact that there are different fishing styles recommended for different fishing environments. Nothing could be truer. There is no point in using one type of bait or lure, or a particular rig if the fishing environment works against you. The most terrific thing about fly fishing is that it is an adaptable fishing technique.
Whether you prefer freshwater fishing or saltwater species are more up your alley when it comes to what kind of fish you like to catch, this technique will prove efficient and dependable. Also, inclement weather will not stop you from fly fishing. On sunny days, as well as stormy weather, you will be able to fly fish and enjoy the results of your hard work.
What kind of fish can you catch this way? This is an essential question, and you must be sure that you know firsthand what you are after. Species such as salmon and trout can be caught using fly fishing techniques, but they are not the only ones.
If you are not very clear about what fish you want to catch, and the fishing destination you visit has more than one in its waters, you may use fly fishing just to see what nice surprises your technique can bring.
Let’s talk about equipment
Like any other fishing technique, fly fishing requires a certain type of gear. From fly fishing knots for beginners to safety equipment, you must learn all the small aspects that can turn your fishing trip into a successful one.
Having the right tools can make or break the outcome of your fishing experience. That is why you need to pay proper attention to the following information that will guide you through all the basics you have to know to ensure that you are well aware of all the aspects of fly fishing that can make you an accomplished fisherman.
If you take up fly fishing, the chances are that you will spend quite a bit of time with your feet in the water, casting your line and waiting for fish to bite. You must be properly attired if you want to catch plenty of fish in this manner, and that without putting your health and your comfort at risk.
Proper footwear is essential for a good fishing trip. Your boots should be at least calf high, if not higher, and adequately sealed against cold and water. Seeing that you can go fly fishing in any weather, you must be prepared for everything. Furthermore, your boots should come with non-slip soles, so you don’t end up hurting yourself.
Your entire getup should be well proofed against water. Your jacket should keep you warm enough in cold weather, and your fishing pants should also be resistant to weather elements. For those who fish in sunny weather, a pair of fishing glasses and a hat complete the wardrobe. Don’t forget about gloves. You will have to protect your hands from cold, too.
There can be a lot of debris in the water, and the water bottom can be tough to navigate. These are just a couple of things you should bear in mind when you go shopping for fishing clothes you can use for your next trip.
A tackle box
If you are serious about taking up fly fishing, you should purchase a tackle box. When talking about fly fishing tackle for beginners, we need to start with this first. A good box should have proper compartmentalization so that you can keep all your baits, lures, and other small equipment well organized.
Even larger items can be stored on the bottom of a large enough tackle box. It depends on how long your trip will be and what kind of equipment you will use, but, in the end, a well-stocked tackle box is a necessity. All the backup you need, in case the equipment you rely on breaks, can be carried around in a kit. As long as you can carry it in the trunk of your car, you should be fine.
Your fishing rod is one of the most important things for successful fly fishing. There are quite a few important things to take into consideration at this point. For starters, smooth casting is essential. Fish can be easily spooked by jerky movements, which is exactly what you don’t want to happen. Another thing to remember is that smooth casting will land the fly where you want it to be.
The proper rod should give you enough line control. Many anglers struggle to do this right, which is why it might not sound like something you can do just by choosing the right rod. However, there are aspects on which you can express your opinion, so you will have something to build on.
If a topic like the perfect fly fishing rod length for beginners comes up, the answer is quite simple. You should go for a rod that is as long as you can manage. One of the essential advantages of fly fishing is that you can cast your line at quite a distance from where you’re standing, thus avoiding to scare off the fish.
A rod that is on the shorter side will not be able to do that, no matter how skillful you are at fly fishing. That is why, beginner or not, you will be better off with a rod that has a longer length. Also, the rod has to be flexible, for the same reason as explained earlier. A long flexible rod is an optimal choice for any beginner.
Of course, you should not forget that different fish species and various fishing locations may require certain characteristics in a fly fishing rod. Make sure to take everything into consideration before making a purchasing decision.
You may be a little surprised to learn that there is quite a bit of a debate regarding the importance of the reel when it comes to fly fishing. Some say that it doesn’t matter what sort of reel you choose, as long as it is something of decent quality, while others argue that you should pay just as much attention to selecting the reel as you pay when choosing the rod.
You need to make sure that the reel can hold the desired line weight. All you fishing equipment must work together to offer you the ideal conditions for performing the activity you like best. That means that you should not purchase fishing gear haphazardly, without any consideration for the compatibility that should exist between them.
The reel should allow enough backing, as you may not know how far you are going to cast the line. Another thing to pay attention to is the drag. Don’t be surprised to see that the cheapest reels on the market do not do a fine job when it comes to chasing a fast moving fish; that happens because they don’t ensure proper drag.
There may be products on the market that comply with your requirements, without demanding a premium price tag. You should know that most trout species, for instance, do not require a model with an expensive drag system.
Don’t forget that the reel should adequately balance the rod, or, otherwise; you will end up straining your hands when casting repeatedly. All in all, you should balance your budget with your ambitions, and you will get a decent reel for the money.
Here, things are pretty straightforward. There are a few types of line you can choose from, and they differ depending on how they weigh against the rod. Some can be floating, others sinking, and others have a sinking tip. Beginners will work in the best manner possible with a weight forward line; this type of line will allow you to cast with ease, which is exactly what you need when starting out.
Make sure to have enough backing when you purchase line fly fishing line. When you cast, the line will extend, and you should have plenty of it wrapped around the reel so that you don’t run out of it. While this may sound like a small detail, it is paramount to the success of any fly fishing trip.
The weight of the line is the next aspect to consider. The one thing to bear in mind, as a beginner, is that you need your line to have the appropriate weight for the fish you intend to catch. It does not serve to use a line with an inferior weight when fishing species that are heavy and also like to struggle a lot. By choosing the right line, you prevent small accidents such as the line snapping, due to the sheer force of the fish.
About the leader
This term describes the small piece of equipment that links the fly to the line. You will find plenty of things online about choosing the right kind of leader and so on. We want to help you by providing you with actionable information that will help you pick the best option, without too much headache.
As a beginner, you should pick a lightweight leader, because, this way, you will make sure that the leader does not add drag and does not make the fly heavier than it should be. The energy from the line will be transferred through the leader to the fly when you cast the line, and that is why such aspects are so important.
Various types of flies
For anyone passionate about fly fishing, picking what flies to use is as close to a stand-alone science as it can be. As a general rule, flies are not different from other lures, in the sense of the purpose they have to serve: to attract the fish and make them think that a tasty treat waits for them. That being said, flies must look like natural fish food and behave accordingly.
However, as already mentioned, this is not all there is to this type of lure. Some flies, indeed, do nothing special, and they are just a look-alike of real-life flies that fish love to it. However, others are designed specifically to trigger fish instincts. A combination of fur, feathers, and thread make some of the most appealing flies you can find.
There are also various categories of flies you should know about. There are dry flies that float just above the surface of the water, and they can be quite successful. Another category is represented by mergers that partially immerse in water, and there are also wet flies that sink and float right under the surface.
Fish species that are usually caught with this technique can be picky about what kind of flies they like and what they don’t like at all. That means that you should have an assortment of lures in your tackle box, to counterattack such issues.
Fly fishing – a short step-by-step guide
So far, you have learned general information on fly fishing and what kind of equipment you should purchase. Now it is the right time to introduce you to how to perform this fishing technique to be successful.
Choose the flies wisely
As mentioned a bit earlier, each fish species that can be caught with this particular fishing style has its preferences when it comes to bait. Make sure that you know what sort of natural food the fish you are after prefer, and choose the flies that mimic that kind of prey. You can even make your flies, but there are so many types of lures available from commercial manufacturers, that it might be a waste of time, mainly if you are a beginner.
Put the leader first
The reason why the leader is so important is its role in connecting the fly to the line. Some fish species can be very cautious, and if you move the line, even just slightly, they will run away. Connect the leader first to the line and then attach the fly. This way, you will have better control over everything that’s going on.
Pick the right location
There is no point to fish in an area where fish are scarce. So, one of the most challenging parts of applying this technique the right way is to find that perfect spot where there are plenty of fish to catch. Be aware that most species can easily get frightened by the noise made by a motor boat. You should approach the fish carefully, without making a sound, as this technique will require you to do so.
You should be aware of the most crucial casting methods if you want to be successful when you go fly fishing. The forward casting method involves letting a bit of line in front so you can feel the load and control it. A flexible rod will help with this method. Throw the line back and cast it forward, aiming to reach the destination from where you stand.
The roll cast method is the second you can try. If you don’t have enough space to apply the first method, it is your best bet. Without manipulating the line to go backward, just throw the line forward. You will sense that the movement is slower this way, but, when the conditions are less than ideal, it is a reliable choice.
Pulling the fish out of the water
Maintain your position and control the rod as you wait for a fish to bite. Once that happens, make sure to reel the line back as slowly as you can so that the fish doesn’t struggle too much. That can end up snapping the line. Use a fishing net to grab the fish as soon as it is out of the water.
It is fairly easy to learn fly fishing basics. Mastering the technique, however, can take a lot of practice. Make sure you use any opportunity to apply what you learned, here, or elsewhere, and you will be able to catch a lot of fish using this method.