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Getting Into Fly-Fishing

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had more and more people talk to me about getting into fly-fishing, and it certainly appears that it is growing in popularity.

One of the concerns that I hear from those who want to start fly-fishing involves the difficulty in learning to properly cast a fly. There is no doubt that casting a fly with a fly-rod requires more practice and takes a bit longer to master than the simple flip of a lure with an open-faced spinning outfit. The two procedures are exactly opposite in their presentations.

Spinning and casting outfits utilize light line with a lure of sufficient weight to pull the line off the reel when the weighted lure is cast.

In fly-casting, the opposite is true; it’s the weight of the line that pulls and pushes the nearly weightless fly out into the water. Admittedly, the fly-casting procedure is a little more difficult to learn, but with a little help, anyone can learn the technique.

One of the first things I tell people who want to get into fly-fishing is to go with someone who already knows what they are doing with a fly-outfit. Most experienced fly-fishermen will have an extra fly-outfit for you to use, and they can provide the necessary instruction to help you get started. The first outing or two may not go as planned but hang in there.

I remember my first outing with a fly-rod; my buddy caught a good number of trout, and I caught one. I also got hung up in several trees and bushes and scared plenty of trout when my fly slapped the water too hard. Once you become reasonably proficient, there’s nothing like setting the hook on a large trout that just sucked in your floating fly.

Some other information that I also like to pass along to someone just getting into fly-fishing is when it’s time to go out and buy your own fly-fishing equipment, talk with someone who already knows what it’s all about. Don’t just walk into a local department store and buy the first fly outfit you see on the rack.

Fly-fishing is like all other types of fishing in that different lengths, weights, sizes, and other factors will vary according to where and what type of water you plan to fish.

Generally speaking, a medium-sized rig is a good place to start but check with an experienced fly angler to determine the specific length, weight, line size type, and other factors.

Something else I like to bring up with beginning fly fishermen is the cost factor. All fishing equipment costs money, but it seems like fly-fishing gear can often be at the top of the list.

I think there is sometimes a misconception that to get into fly-fishing, you have to spend $500-$1,000 to get a fly-rod, line, and a reel — not so! Like everything else you buy, you can do that if you want to, but it isn’t necessary. The truth is you can get a very acceptable outfit for a couple hundred dollars, and it will get the job done just fine. I’ve been out on more than one occasion when my “cheap” fly outfit outproduced the high-end, top-of-the-line rig next to me on the stream; more often, it’s not how expensive the rig is but rather how well you utilize whatever rig you have.

Again, my advice is to take an experienced fly fisherman with you when you make that first purchase and go to a fishing specialty store that will have a wide range of rods, reels, and line to choose from.