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Getting started?


nofishfisherman

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my wifes grandfather gave me his fly rod and reel this christmas. I have always wanted to fly fish but never had a rod or a clue.

Now I have a rod but still lack a clue.

The reel is one that has a trigger of sorts that when pull automatically reels in the line. It doesn't have a regular reel, is that a problem?

What do I need to get started? There are a few flies in the box the reel is in but not much.

I plan on going after some pan fish in local metro area lakes this spring just to get a feel for casting and figure things out but I would love to hit streams and rivers before to long.

Any help or recommendations would be great. Any good resources to learn to tie knots and how to cast properly?

thanks

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Wow! I just got here after many months. I am really suprised no one responded to this post.

First off let me start with "Google is your friend". There is more info accessible on the web than anywhere.

If the rod has not been used for a while check the line. Does it seem OK, not cracked or damaged?

The reel will be just fine for panfish, though you may have a problem should a bass attack depending on how good the drag is. The best way to find out is to catch a bass smile.gif

Google "beginning fly fishing" and you will have more info in the first 10 links than you could read this summer. But enough to get you on the right track.

Enjoy and tight lines.

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Thanks for the info, I was about the give up hope getting any help.

I looked at a few sites today but what I am wondering is how to set up my line for fishing. I know I need to tie a leader of some sort to my main fly line but then what else do I need to do to set up my line? Weight? Strike Indicator? Fly? ETC??? Not sure how to get everything ready to go or what it should even look like when I am done.

Will my fly be floating or will it be submerged?

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My apologies for not getting to your post earlier. Sometimes they slip through the cracks.

There's a bit of a learning curve right off the bat, but it's not so bad once you get those basics taken care of.

It would be very helpful to you if you went to the library and checked out a reference book on fly fishing to answer a lot of these questions. The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide by Tom Rosenbauer is an excellent book that covers many of the basics of the sport from insect life to casting. I also recommend reading Fly Fishing Midwestern Spring Creeks by Ross Mueller. Both are great resources.

How it all comes together from your fly line down to the fly depends on your situation. Some people are die-hard dry fly anglers, most people fish dries when applicable, but frequently nymph fish (underwater), and some people love throwing streamers (larger minnow or crawfish imitations).

I am typically throwing nymphs, but am always ready with dries if there is an insect hatch. When I nymph, I'm fishing with a 9-10 foot tapered leader. At the end of the leader is the really fine monofilament or fluorocarbon line called tippet. You tie your fly to the tippet. I typically fish with a little bit of weight crimped about 12" from the fly when I'm nymphing so the fly can get down to where the fish are feeding. If you're fishing dry flies you don't use any weight since you're fishing on the surface. While there may be some who disagree, I will say that you should use an indicator about 4-5' up from your fly depending on how deep the water is in the stream you're fishing. I find that I'm usually fishing with my indicator about that length from my fly. If you buy a 9' tapered leader from the store, it's already got that tippet at the end, and you just need to replace some of that once you've gone through enough flies to have cut off the last foot or so. You'll be able to tell when the line is getting thicker.

A priceless resource for any beginning fly angler is somebody else who is willing to help you out. I still hit my mentor up for advice on a great many questions that I have from time to time, and that's been an extreme help to me. Fly fishing can seem very daunting at first, but it's not so bad, especially if you can get some guidance. If you live near a shop that sells fly fishing equipment like Bentley's in the Twin Cities, Gander Mountain in Rochester, or Cabela's in Rogers or Owatonna, there will be someone there to lend you very helpful advice. If there is a TU chapter or a Federation of Fly Fishers near you, attend a meeting and ask someone about getting started. You will find there are people who might be willing to help you out.

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I, too, apologize for not responding more quickly. Everyone who posts to this board thinks that flyfishing is just about the finest possible way to spend leisure time(or, for that matter, work time, if you can get away with it) and that the next best thing to doing it is talking about it, so the delay is hard to explain. You do need a book. The two that WxGuy mentioned are excellent. However, if you're still at a point where you're wondering about basic things, it's hard to beat The Curtis Creek Manifesto by Sheridan Anderson. It's done in the style of a comic book and it's just as entertaining as it is informative. It's cheap, too.

There are also numerous videos by folks like Orvis, L.L. Bean and Scientific Anglers that may be useful. You might find them at your local library. Most fly shops have them for rent, too. Which brings me to my last point: If you live anywhere near a fly shop, get on down there and have a talk with the folks. They're there to help you.

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There are a number of books you can get as well as video's. Even general purpose fishing books have fly fishing information in them (like Fishing for Dummies or Freshwater Fishing Tips & Techniques). A couple of fly fishing books I like are "The Curtis Creek Manifesto", "Joe Humphreys's Trout Tacticts", and "Flyfishing". But by far the best resource is a decent fly shop. If you're around the twin cities I would recommend Bob Mitchel's Fly Shop, good stuff, great information, fair price, willing to help.

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You really need to get a basic book before you drive yourself nuts worrying. A couple of very basic things to keep in mind: in bait or spin casting the WEIGHT of the lure carries the line out; in flyfishing the weight of the LINE carries the fly out. Toss a bass plug as far as you can...then try to toss a fly any distance. And, back way off on what you THINK you need for power when you cast. If you can't cast holding the rod with three fingers you're working too hard. There is a TON of basic stuff....but you really GOTTa get a basic book before you delve too deep in here.

Have fun.

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I feel like I'm a step above totally clueless/doofus with regards to fly fishing in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The first thing I did was read a few books. There is so much to learn: knots, hatches, trout habits, fly hatches, dry or wet, weather patterns, stream conditions, upstream or down . . . . . . the list of variable are literally endless.

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Unless you are absolutely dead set on trout only, start on the warm water. There tends to be more room for working out the casting bugs, and the fish tend to be much more forgiving, making it a better experience. You don't have to worry about the exact hatch, a black wooly bugger will be close enough 9 times out of 10. As the weeds grow into the summer, gaps in lilly pads can provide great accuracy training. Or aim for a specific pad, and if you miss, you don't have to dig your fly out of the stream-side brush. You just fish it back.

I understand the lure of trout, and am feeling the pull of the challenge more and more as I learn. But I'm really glad I started on the warm water.

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My plan was to practice at a beach or somewhere with plenty of room to cast. Going for a few panfish this spring seems an easier place to start.

i will look into some books.

My buddy is starting from scratch as well so we will probably have to learn from each other as we go.

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Another good place to look for books is a used book store. You can usually find some kind of fly fishing books, they might not be the ones mentioned above, but could be helpful and in most cases will save you some money.

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  • 1 month later...

I went to half d0t c0m and got several films and books including fly fishing for dummies. This will also be my first year.

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Scott, like I mentioned to you before, I'm always available for help. And if you want to get out a couple of times this year, let me know.

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Quote:

Scott, like I mentioned to you before, I'm always available for help. And if you want to get out a couple of times this year, let me know.


Thanks JP,

I bought some small flies the other day at Scheels and WON some 7-10" on Ebay which I don't have yet. I was planning on setting the camcorder up and practicing next to the shop this weekend using the roof line as a guide to check out my loops. I'll watch those and know then if I'm ready to add the flies with hooks crazy.gif or wear a helmet. tongue.gif

How soon can a person get out? Where would you start if you wanted to stay close to Hawley for your first few times?

Knowing me, if I get hooked on this like the rest of my fishing, I'll have to hide your identity from the wife cuz she's already wondering when the 2 year old house projects are going to get done! shocked.gif

P.S. Sunday is my birthday. I'd put money on some flyfishing equipment finding it's way next to the cake from her though. wink.gif

I'll keep ya posted!

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Quote:

I'll watch those and know then if I'm ready to add the flies with hooks or wear a helmet.


a piece of yarn tied to the end of the tippet works just as well.

You're best bet for some early action would be to go out after ice out and throw some flies out to panfish. They are not picky and a sloppy cast should not affect much. It will provide good practice for casting, fly/bug presentation, stripping line, learning how to set the hook, etc. There will be instant gratification with those sunfish! When you get a little more confident in your casting, try a few different casts. You'll probably find that you'll use a roll cast on those little ponds more than any other cast. If you're gonna fish out in Hawley or further west, the wind is going to be a factor. Even here in DL, the wind can prove challenging during casting. Unless you plan on fishing upwind of your target, I reccomend practicing single and double hauls. They will prove invaluable out here! If you start to throw around those big bugs on that 8 weight, you'll learn the term 'chuck and duck' pretty quick. wink.gif

Good luck!

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