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I just moved to Fort Collins to start my MS at CSU. I'm originally from central Iowa and grew up fishing Rod and Reel on the rivers there, not much fly fishing to speak of. I've picked up Fly Fishing out here and am completely hooked. Been four times on the Poudre here in FoCo and caught fish every time.

I can tell I am getting better with practice but much moreso than fishing with Rod and Reel, their is a lot to learn. What advice do you have for a novice fly fishermen? What are some common mistakes new fly anglers make? In general, any advice or tips for this newb about fly fishing or fishing in Colorado in general?

Any responses appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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My advice, don't be a "see you next Tuesday" when you see a guy show up to fish the river with spin gear trying to enjoy his day just like you are!

All joking aside, welcome to the forum and Colorado.

What are you studying at CSU?
 

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My advice, don't be a "see you next Tuesday" when you see a guy show up to fish the river with spin gear trying to enjoy his day just like you are!

All joking aside, welcome to the forum and Colorado.

What are you studying at CSU?
Thanks! I'm working on my Masters in Biomedical Science. It makes me sound a lot smarter than I am.
 

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Simple advice that you probably already practice; just spend some time regularly reading up on fly fishing (techniques, flies, casting, reading the water, etc.) and make a point to practice what you're learning on each outing. A lot of good info on the internet and perhaps a few books worth purchasing as you learn techniques you want to try and master. On the water, if you see folks who are doing well pay attention to what they are doing as you can learn a lot just by watching.

And watch out for the fly fishing bug; once bitten you may find yourself not wanting to do anything except for fishing (if only we didn't have those stinkin' bills to pay). My dad used to call fly fishing a religion.

Good luck!
 

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Well, if you haven't already, this thread is a great read. http://www.coloradofisherman.com/forum/5-colorado-fly-fishing/44068-all-advice-new-fly-fisher-needs.html

Trying to give you a bunch of info here is tough... but I will give you the single best tip I ever received for fly fishing (totally applies to all types of fishing too.. lol)

Changed depth 5+ times before changing flies. If you find a way to get the flies to the depth of the fish, and put those flies in their feeding zone, they will usually eat. Depth is the most important thing in nymph fishing and the subtleties of getting flies "down" are countless.... learn them.
 

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Everyone is giving great advice. My advice is to find someone who knows what to do and where to go then, "hook up" with that person and observe and ask questions.
 

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All good advice! From another guy from central IA, welcome! Did you go to Iowa State for your bachelors? Fly fishing isn't exactly my forte, but it is fun every once and a while.

I'd suggest trying different bodies of water and different areas if you really want to become a great fly fisherman.
 

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Iswalla,

For almost 40 years, I have fished the S. Platte in Elevenmile Canyon. For every trip, I would begin my drive up the canyon by saying to myself, "today, I will do something different by starting at the lower end of the canyon and working up rather than driving to my normal starting point below the dam". Well, we're all creatures of habit and that never happened until this summer when I had two very productive days at the mouth of the canyon.

Another suggestion is to do what I told myself - start at different places.
 

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IMO the most common mistake newbies make ( myself included ) is initially thinking that casting distance is all important & the basis on which fellow anglers will judge your competence !

In reality presentation ( ie drift etc.) is FAR more important, as a long poorly presented cast or technique, reduces the chances immeasurably of success, whereas conversely a shorter distance, well presented offering will enhance your chances considerably.

Furthermore ..... once you feel you have become fairly competent regards presentation then you can work on gradually increasing distance for when it might be required. However if we initially direct our efforts towards distance casting at the expense of presentation technique then just like bad habits formed when learning to drive, they will be incredibly difficult to shake.

Even despite untold years fishing, I am still a very "average" fisherman & the one thing I could change, if it were possible to wind back to the beginning, would be to invest time into refining presentation techniques even if it meant having lessons.

How do I know all this ?????????

Well when I was starting out I opted to teach myself how to fly fish, but unfortunately I had a bad teacher & it still shows today!
 

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Don't overthink stuff. I had that problem starting out. The best thing to do is keep fishing as much as possible. I've learned a lot from both my flyfishing successes and failures.
 

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iswalla,

Bazzanz, you hit the nail squarely on the head with your advice about casting. I taught fly fishing for 7 years at Lowry Air Force Base. I told my students that if you do the worst cast anyone could do but your fly is in the right place (presentation), don't recast, fish that fly.
 

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Take advantage of the free programs offered by local shops and local fly fishing events. You can learn a lot for little or no cost. Get out as often as you can to practice what you have learned. Be patient. Every day is not a "catching day", but treat every day as a learning to fish day.
 

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iswalla,

You have some experience and seem to be doing ok; however, if you decide to pay for classes, find one that has more than just classroom work. Find one that has classroom work and takes you to a river for a day of fishing.
 

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iswalla,

Don't be afraid to ask questions of strangers on rivers or lakes but be courteous and don't invade someone's space. Wait till they walk out of the river then approach and identify yourself as a newbie.

You could start the conversation by asking how the fishing is. Be aware of anglers who are quick to say something like, "not bad, I've caught 24 so far". Most good anglers won't divulge numbers. For those who do give you a quantity, I apply what I call the "fib factor", which means I divide by two the number given.
 

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Don't be afraid to ask questions of strangers on rivers or lakes but be courteous and don't invade someone's space. Wait till they walk out of the river then approach and identify yourself as a newbie.

This. You can save a lot of time by getting someone to tell you which flies work there. I've come across a lot of guys coming off the water that'd love nothing more than to talk about how much they know about fly fishing. I just let'm talk and try to absorb as much info as I can. I've also kept a log of what did/didn't work at different places/times of year. There's so many flies it gets overwhelming for a newbie.

-Don't horse it!
-Youtube videos
-When in doubt throw a caddis here in Colo.
-Nymphing may be tedious at first but it's how you catch the big ones in my experience.
 

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iswalla,

14 has good advice. In some cases, I've had strangers give me a fly or two that will work. If the stranger tells me such and such fly works and if I don' have any, I might say, ok, I'll bring some of those next time I'm here. That will almost always get a sample or two. I've given flies to many anglers while fishing.

Visit a fly shop near where you are fishing and ask which patterns work then, even if you have some of that pattern, buy a few flies or something and make sure the person who gave you the information knows you are purchasing something.
 

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I just moved to Fort Collins to start my MS at CSU. I'm originally from central Iowa and grew up fishing Rod and Reel on the rivers there, not much fly fishing to speak of. I've picked up Fly Fishing out here and am completely hooked. Been four times on the Poudre here in FoCo and caught fish every time.

I can tell I am getting better with practice but much moreso than fishing with Rod and Reel, their is a lot to learn. What advice do you have for a novice fly fishermen? What are some common mistakes new fly anglers make? In general, any advice or tips for this newb about fly fishing or fishing in Colorado in general?

Any responses appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Best advice I have for you is to go fishing with someone that knows what they're doing. The best way to learn how to fly fish is from someone that does it well.
 
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