Fly fishing becomes, in many cases, an obsession. Fly fisherman develop and attention to detail and they develop a culture where each fishing trip is a learning opportunity. However, fly fishing is relaxing and the fly fisherman benefits from the environment in which they practice their craft. The culture of learning is something that becomes clear whenever two fly fishermen meet and share tips. In this article, I will share with you some of the tips that have been shared with me.
1. Start with an easy venue
When you first begin fly fishing, it is best to start at an easy venue. Small still waters that are well stocked are a great place to begin, as there is no particular need to cast a great distance. Fishing will also be consistent. Once you have mastered these “starter venues” you can progress to more challenging ones. These well-stocked still waters are your classroom, where you can hone your skills.
2. Dap a Dry
As a novice, if you find yourself fishing in a location where there is limited room to cast, there is a technique that is sometimes sneered at by experts but is very effective. With this approach, you will imitate the way an egg-laying caddis or mayfly would act. Quite simply, you position yourself a rod’s length from the riverbank. With just the leader through the rod tip, you bring the fly to the surface, let it run with the current a short while, then pick it up and repeat. You are simply “dapping” or “patting” the fly onto the surface,
3. Choose the right kit
It is important to choose the right fly fishing complete kit. It does not need to cost a fortune but try and choose a known make. You don’t need to take out a second mortgage to obtain a good kit.
4. Hand tie your leaders
I know that machine tapered knotless leaders are convenient but as a beginner, paying $10 to $20 for a twin pack of leaders, that may well not last long, can soon add up to a large amount. Instead, go for the more traditional “old school” type. Just learn how to tie a blood knot, and buy spools of Tippet material. If you bring this topic up with fellow fisherman, you will be swamped with suggestions on how they operate. Start with a nine-foot 4X as the basis for further alterations over time. The process is really quite simple and after a short time, you should be able to put together a hand-tied leader in a couple of minutes.
5. A little courtesy goes a long way
An increasing number of fly fishers are starting every day and more fishermen are sharing the same number of steams. Give other anglers space. Take a moment to check which direction he is fishing and then position yourself some way behind him. Keep your distance. If you are concerned that you might be encroaching on his space, then you probably are. Never, ever, steal another fisherman’s water by positioning yourself ahead of him. If you cross paths with another angler, then the one moving downstream will give way to the one working upstream. Just leave the water, walk past him, and then continue fishing.
6. The Water Haul
These days there is a lot of concentration on “big”. Big water and big casts. Sometimes this is not the case and you find yourself confined by low hanging foliage. In this scenario, you allow the flow of water to carry the line downstream. Position your rod so that it is pointing 45 degrees downstream, then using a combined flick of the wrist and short arm motion you sweep the rod upstream. Ensure that you keep the tip of the rod low, and the same distance from the surface, and you will be able to squeeze under the overhanging foliage.
7. Sound and Vision
My final collection of tips for new Fly fisherman may appear to be obvious, but they are still worth restating. First of all, keep the noise down. If you must wade then do so gently as you can as sound travels faster in the water. Secondly, a good pair of polarized sunglasses and hat will make it much easier to see the fish. Finally, check for bugs on the water and see what the fish are eating and where they are eating.