Introduction to fly fishing
Fly fishing for those starting out
If you want to try your hand at fly fishing, you've come to the right place. We'll tell you everything you need to know about getting started in this great sport.
Fact is, fly fisherman are a different breed. Their obsessive behavior, their attention to detail, and their willingness to learn from each visit to the water is what makes them stand out. From mastering fly casting to practicing fly tying, there’s plenty to occupy the fly fisherman whether as a beginner or seasoned veteran of the water.
Fly fishing is relaxing and often takes place in some of the most beautiful surroundings, so who wouldn’t enjoythat?
Fly fishing uses artificial flies attached to a rod and usually coated line to catch its intended target. Artificial flies are intended to mimic a fly or other insect and are presented on the water, either to sit on the surface or sink. They are made by fastening materials like hair, fur, feathers or even synthetic materials to a hook.
Fly fishing can be done in fresh or salt water — essentially anywhere that the fish can be tempted to go for an artificial fly. In North America, the distinction in freshwater fishing is usually made between coldwater species (such as trout and salmon) and warmwater species, especially bass. In the UK, where there is less variation in water temperature, fly fishermen usually concentrate on trout or salmon, although other species such as pike, barbel, grayling and chub have become popular sport for the fly fisherman. Trout and salmon also provide great sport in other parts of the world and are the most-prized catch of the fly fisherman.
Larger predatory species have also become fair game for saltwater fly fishermen who, due to technological advances in equipment, are able to tackle saltwater species such as wahoo, tuna, and marlin. Realistically any fish can be targeted provided it can be tempted by the fly on offer.
As anyone who has observed a fly fisherman in full flow, it’s not a sport you’re going to get the hang of just by turning up and waving your rod around like a magician. Fly fishing is a craft that takes time to master.
The best place to start is with some instruction. Try a fly fishing club or take lessons from a professional instructor so that you get a grasp of the basics and start to learn about technique, both with dry land and on stream instruction. You can even practice your fly casting drills in the back yard.
Don’t go overboard on buying all the fancy gear that you can lay your hands on.
There is entry-level equipment as well as high-end equipment, but you don’t need to spend a fortune — start out with entry-level equipment and slowly improve your gear at a pace to match your skill level. There are many starter kits out there that include all the essential gear and these are usually decent enough for those starting out.