Fly Fishing Basics And Getting Started Guide

Fly fishing basics for beginners

Chances are you have seen it on movies or maybe have watched someone do it and wished you knew how. Or perhaps you know fly fishing basics but want to learn more. Whatever the case may be and whatever your knowledge or even your fly fishing ability is, I intend to summarize what briefly fly fishing is, what is needed (cue patience) and what gear is necessary to get you on your way.

Fly fishing is so much more than just fishing, and the mechanics of the it-including technique and other aspects are pretty detailed not to mention entertaining. There is a lot that goes into it, but this is a general overview to get you on your way to fully understand fly fishing.

What is Fly Fishing?

In brief, Fly fishing is the sport of fishing using a rod and an artificial fly on your bait. Sounds easy enough but believe you me, it is pretty challenging but pretty rewarding too. Specifically, Fly fishing is an angling method (yes, still fishing) in which an artificial fly is used to catch fish. The fly is cast by using a fly rod, reel as well as a specialized weighted line.

Fly fishing can be done in either fresh or salt water. And if you know much about fishing, you will be aware that cold water species like trout, steel head and salmon and warm water species will be found. So depending on what type of fish you want to catch, you will need to go fishing in the fresh or salt water. Like I said earlier, Fly fishing can be done in either fresh or salt water.

1. Fly fishing vs. Traditional fishing

I am guessing you know that with traditional fishing, you make a cast using a sort of lure or bait attached to the end of your line with the lure or the bait being the heaviest part. Briefly, when you cast loose either your lure or bait, it will carry a certain momentum through the air. To sum up, it is the weight of the lure that is necessary for this traditional type of fishing.

Now when it comes to someone Fly fishing, you will have probably noticed that when they fly cast, it is vastly different to traditional casting. Besides, the angler will use pretty specialized equipment to achieve this particular cast. This Includes Purpose build fly rod, fly line, leader & tippet and fly fishing lures.

The main difference in casting a fly is that the artificial flies used to catch the fish (and I sincerely hope you do) will have a little weight to them. Plus, even if you fly fishing for saying bass or pike, and much larger flies are needed the weight is still going to be minimal than compared to the traditional bait.

2. Fishing Lines

The fly line is essentially the weight in the casting method and by using a casting technique that allows the fly rod and fly line to work together in perfect harmony. The weight of the line is then used to carry the fly out in front of you by then transferring the energy built up in the line and down through it and out towards the end of the line. I know it sounds hard, but with time, patience and practice you should be able to master it or at least have fun trying.

Fluorocarbon line is ideal for slow sinking and getting to the bottom and staying down. For those long casts, you need a quality reel as well, that can handle the distance. Combined you have an unbeatable team.

You can even use braided lines for the larger swimbaits, and this means you fish size can go up. However, you lose the lunge protection that lets mono filament lines bring a fish near a net. But they do have the strength to hold up to the largest fish you’ll likely encounter.

Monofilament works well with the full range of Swimbaits. You do need to have gotten your finessing skills down pat, like a trout who around know you are breaking strain better than you do and will act accordingly.

3. Fly fishing Rods

Finally, the sound that the lure makes and the responsiveness of the rod to the Angler’s hand that does the trick. Some prefer the strength and flexibility of composite rods. However, I like the spring of my old resin rod, and I feel it has more responsiveness to go with the wrist to make the Swimbait come alive. Add to all that your skill at retrieving you have the best of all worlds.

4. Fly Casting

Probably the essential part of fly fishing is learning how to fly a cast. Of course, there are specific techniques that don’t require that much casting, but for the most part, the majority of what you will be doing involves cast.

Basic Fly Casting Lessions from Peter Kutzer

I mentioned earlier the differences between traditional casting methods and fly casting. With fly fishing, it revolves around presenting an artificial lure to fish (usually an imitation of an insect). This is important because when you are fly fishing, you are trying to imitate a fish’s natural food base with imitation and wants to get them to take the fly. You seek to trick the fish-welcome to fishing.

5. Fly Fishing Flies

There are loads of imitations of insects that float on the surface including mayflies, caddis, grasshoppers or even ants. The fly fishing imitations are commonly created using both artificial and natural materials.

Materials that are typically used to create your standard flies include: Feathers from ducks (or other types of birds), fur or hairs from animals (like beavers, deer or muskrats), Glass or brass beads and wires, tinsel or, other types of ribbing materials

6. Fishing Tackle and Gear

  • 1Fly Fishing Waders
  • 2Wading Boots
  • 3Fly Fishing Hat
  • 4Fishing Sun Glasses
  • 5Clippers (for cutting the tail ends of knots)
  • 6Fly Fishing Vest (You will need those pockets- trust me. Plus, vests will let you carry any tools you may need)
  • 7Fishing Tackle Box (handy for storing artificial lures and flies)

There is a lot more to be said about fly fishing basics but just wanted to give you some necessary information. Just remember that the main idea behind fly fishing is that you are trying to imitate the type of food that the fish will eat essentially you are trying to entice or trick the fish over the other real food which is around him. You are going to want to catch your first fish on the fly, and while you will need to master knots, techniques and fishing equipment, it is critical to learning fly tying.

In Summary

That pretty much sums up fly fishing basics. It is a lot to take in but the links I have provided should get you on your way.

Let me know if you found this brief introduction to fly fishing enjoyable and please leave any comments or questions you may have. Remember this is just an essential guide. Now go out there and catch some fish! Share this article to help others and comments are welcome.

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