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Me being new to fly fishing myself I don't have much to add but I know some tips explaining the differances between dry flys wet flys emergers nymphs and streamers and how to rig them would be the best advice I could hear right now, and I'm sure that may be the same for other beginners too

Ben
 

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Well...Dries as the name suggests are meant to stay dry i.e fished on top, these flies are identified by their stiff hackles, bushey wings or foam bodies. Wet's..well they're wet, a lot of old school flies fall into this catagory, coachmans, partridge and orange ect. This type of fly is usually fished by casting across the current and letting it swing through its drift. Emergers..These flies can be fished throughout the water column with or without weight. These flies represent the transition stage of the insects lifecycle as they become adults. An emerger is a VERY effective fly to fish throughout a hatch. Nymphs..year round go to flies..they are always there. As a rule of thumb you should fish these on or near the bottom but, they will work near the top too. Finally , Streamers..This is the meat of the fly world..Big, Bad and Ugly.. These flies represent baitfish , crayfish or anything that might generally piss off another fish...These fish best on overcast days or when fish are in bad moods i.e pre spawn.
As far as rigging is concerned, try multi fly rigs to search the water columns. This time of year a fun way to fish is with a big dry ( stimulator) on top, take 18-24" of tippet and tie it to the bend of the hook, to the other end tie on an emerger ( RS2) now tie to the eye of that hook another 18-24" of tippet and finish that off with a nymph (bead head phesant tail). Now if your not a good caster be careful because you will spending your time un doing tangles..Also get out on the water watch people and ask questions.
Hope this helps
 

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Very much a newbie here and I really can't offer any suggestions but I can add that after lurking here for a couple of months I have taken a great amount of experience and knowledge from here and look forward to more. I am two months into fly fishing here in CO and to date have been very lucky/effective so far.

One thing I have found is that there is no shortage to free help both online and for me, on the water.

Got started out with a Wright McGill Plunge 5 wt combo that for $160 seems to be working pretty well for me. Not having anything to compare it to I can say it was easy to learn basic casting and catches fish assuming I apply the fundementals.

Thanks to all of you....you are more help than you know.
 

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All the advice a new fly fisher needs.......
WOW! :eek:
I'll put my ego up against anyone here but to sum up fly fishing in a blog is well beyond my talent so here's my contribution.

I’ve been a salesman and teacher for almost twenty years. There isn’t one secret to being a successful salesman. There is not a single technique to close every sale, there’s no perfect presentation, killer closing line or way to elicit a yes response out of every prospect you pitch to. In sales, there is no big thing. What made me successful as a salesman are ten thousand little things. Day by day, I found a principle that appealed to me. I recognized that principle, related it to my circumstance, assimilated it into a plan and set a date to apply that plan (action). The principle is called R2A2 (Recognize, Relate, Assimilate, and Action).
“What does this have to do with fly fishing?” you ask?

If you’re new to fly fishing it’s worth your while to hire a guide or find a mentor or study the wealth of online information. You can learn in your first day on the water the basics of casting a fly rod and how to catch fish. From then on fish as much as you can and take one success or failure from each day. Go home and Recognize, Relate and Assimilate one thing from that day and make a plan how repeat the success or change your behavior to correct a failing. Practice that technique, perfect it and then put your personality into it. Set a goal just a little higher than the last. Achieve it and immediately set a new one. A goal once achieved no longer motivates.

Day by day you’ll become a better fisherman. To me, as I learn new things the best thing is the daily progression I see in myself. The fish get bigger and the numbers grow. But the most important thing is the knowledge that in this sport, I can never stop learning, I’ll never be omnipotent and there is always a way to improve yourself. At the same time enjoy your environment. Remember why your there. And have fun.

This sport saved my life. Before I discovered a fly rod my identity was my career. The only thing that got me out of bed in a random hotel room was the next sale, conference call or trainee who depended on me to teach them as much as I could before the next one came down the pipeline. Now I’m a trout bum. I earn half what I used to but I am more content than I ever have been.

So in closing... Have fun, apply these principles and take one lesson a day and R2A2 it.
 

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Take a look at the Irideus 11.6 foot Switch rod. You may find two handed casting to be a real enjoyment for you. The rod makes casting like a pro easy and makes even a small trout fun to have on the end of the line. To save money make your own leaders from spools of regular floro carbon line 8 lb to 6 lb then add tippet. it will save you the cost of a new rod during the next few years.
 

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Here's my $0.02. to anyone starting out. Start off slowly with basic gear and have fun. Time on the water and catching fish will take care of the rest. You don't need to be a millionaire to fly fish, some basic gear and the desire to learn will get you off to a good start. I got my start watching Gadabout Gaddis on TV Saturday mornings as a kid, and by using the most basic (inexpensive) of gear. Back then my waders were probably my most expensive piece of equipment, a pair of sneakers! Having fun is the name of the game. I mean If it isn't fun why bother?
Funny. Looking back I can't for the life of me understand how wading streams in the ice cold water of April here in the Northeast could be fun but I had a blast! The fun hasn't stopped, the sneakers have l o n g since been retired!
 

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I read the entire thread this evening, and even though I have fly fished for about 45 years, I still find something new to try or new info. The only thing I can really add to this, is learn your knots, and as soon as you can, begin building your own leaders. Every one has their own special recipe, but a simple 4ft., 3ft., 2ft. will do for starters. I'm sure others will chime in with their favorite formula. Maybe it's my being feeble and infirm, but I always have been able to turn over a well built leader/tippet more easily than a store bought tapered leader.
 

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Great stuff in here!

Novice, here. My rod is a cheap-O, my reel is a low-end Ross. After using this rod for 4 years I finally learned I need to see what size it is. Turns out it's a 6/7, where I really need a 5-weight. However, I can't think of a time I lost a fish due to my rod weight.

I like the car analogy -- only I have a rebuttal. I learned to drive in a VW Bug. Had I had the option of learning to drive in a Lambo, my dad would still have insisted I learn in the Bug. My analogy is I'll buy a
$2500 Gretch hollow body guitar after I learn to shred. Meanwhile I'll learn my chops on a a $325 Mexican Stratocaster.

When I can afford a $700 rod AND learn to feel the difference then I'll buy one. Until then I can only afford my cheap-O and I'm not letting my KMart equipment embarrass me away from my passion.

What's more awkward -- catching fish on discount tackle or having all the best gear but no clue how to use it?
 

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14 said:
What's more awkward -- catching fish on discount tackle or having all the best gear but no clue how to use it?
Most definitely the latter. I think its hilarious when these rich clowns get on the river, bought top of the line gear, and then get outfished by some 15 yr old local with a Sports Authority fly fishing outfit.
 

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Eastcoastangler said:
14 said:
What's more awkward -- catching fish on discount tackle or having all the best gear but no clue how to use it?
Most definitely the latter. I think its hilarious when these rich clowns get on the river, bought top of the line gear, and then get outfished by some 15 yr old local with a Sports Authority fly fishing outfit.
Over the past 15 years, I have only been the one with 1k in equipment catching the fish watching you walmart boys watch with your mouths open.

To me the biggest key not mentioned is confidence in whatever your fishing. I have my dozen or so flies that I always go to and have great success. Not to say others wont work, but my confidence in these allows me to focus on presention and reading my surroundings more than if I was wondering about what fly I should be fishing.
 

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New to fly fishing here! Is there a good "starter set" of flies that a newbie should purchase? Basically, I don't own any flies and not sure what I should go for. I am using a 5wt rod/line if that helps. I appreciate any advice.
 

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I appreciate the link. I am happy to have something to start with and am sure I will figure it out as I go along too just like I did with baitcaster/spinning reel fishing!
 

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EyeEyeCaptain said:
I appreciate the link. I am happy to have something to start with and am sure I will figure it out as I go along too just like I did with baitcaster/spinning reel fishing!
Try to get familiar with those bugs that those patterns represent, and you'll be able to start recognizing them on all bodies of water you fish.
 

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Re: All the advice a new fly fisher

Great thread and great advice. I just picked up an orvis beginners fly fishing set up and I'm excited and eager to try fly fishing for the first time next week. Thank you guys.
 

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OK - this is fun reading all the post. So i'm going to cast in some advice from another direction. First off, 57 years old and fly fishing for 37 years. My bit of advice to go along with all the other good advice is to read books about how trout feed - below surface and on the surface. Dave Whitlock wrote a book called 'Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods' in 1982. It really opened my eyes to how trout feed and what they feed on. Also would suggest getting one of the pocket guides to aquatic insects (western US) to learn about the bugs. Every time I hit a new stretch of water, I put my rod down and wade in and flip rocks to see what kind of insects are present.
 

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My 2¢

Rods
+$700 rod? Like buying a warranty? Do you buy the extended warranty packages from
let's say BestBuy or the dealership? In days past, more than two decades ago, I would actually say there was a difference in high versus low end rods. Today you would have to go to Walmart to find a POS fly rod. As R&D has progressed substantially in graphite rods, the actual "recipe" has become common place. So, if you are prone to breaking rods, buy a warranty, if not, buy two rods and IF one breaks you have another. The only rod that I have ever broke was the result of being on the Taylor in -30 degrees. You can get outstanding rods in the $150-$400 range with acceptable "I broke it" coverage.

Reels
For the beginner it's called a line holder. As you progress, your reel will become an integral part of your setup. Learning how to "palm" your reel will become an important factor and best learned on reels with crappy drag systems. You don't need to spend +$200 on a reel as a beginner. Although, in time and IMO, the reel will make or break netting a large fish more than the rod. I own many reels but now days my rods are equiped with Ross. I rely on consistent drags and low start up intertia when fishing 6x and 7x tippets, but you will always see me compliment my drag with my hands. As a fish can flee from a lazy pool to heavy run so fast, you will have no time to adjust drag on the reel!

Waders
Buy what you can afford. They'll ALL leak someday.

Shoes
Buy what you can afford. They will ALL fall a part. I however recommend studs as they grip ice and add more traction on slimy rocks. You will not wade many rivers safely without them. Once you've used them, you will never go without.

Eyewear
Critical piece of equipment that is overlooked by even the "veterans". Seeing a fish before they see you, sight fishing for the big boys. Good pair of polarized glasses will not cost under $150. My day to day sunglasses cost under $40. I scratch them. I lose them and then find them with my butt. My fishing glasses are expensive but I rely on them all day and wear them ONLY on the water. No eye fatigue after sun up to dark. Big, BIG, fish on my line is the result of seeing them. The fish won't thank you, your wallet will scream, but your eyes will love you!

Reading water
You are severely handicapped if you have no idea what the water is doing subsurface. Any person can see what happens behind a rock, but what happens in front? You know...that place where big fish sit. A rapid is a giant riffle? An eddy is a specialized pool? Riffles, runs, and pools...know what creates them and understand their characteristics.

Did you know you can practice reading water movement from your window? In Colorado we have very windy days. Watch the litter in the city or the leaves around your houses blow, lift, and pile up. Fluid dynamics, for our purposes, it's the same for air and water(negligible compression in water, this is intrical for understanding water behavior). Reading books and on the water EXPERIENCE to overcome the handicap.

Fish migration
Fish will move through the year. Some water will not hold the numbers or quality of fish in the winter as it did in the summer. Some winter water will be vacated come summer. Fish move! My winter philosophy; 10% of the water will hold 90% of the fish. Summer philosophy; fish anything that has cover and/or depth. The best fishing can be 20 minutes before dark. Then continue to "Braille" fish into the dark.

Hatches
Probably the easiest thing to figure out. Got a net? Go buy a paint strainer bag for paint sprayers. Cheap, light, and will fit around most nets with a little ingenuity. The difficulty resides in what stage of morphology the fish is actually feeding on. I have watched guys throw dries for hours at "rising" fish with minimal success. But they are hitting the surface! They "appear" to be hitting the surface when in fact they are focused on an emerger struggling to break surface tension. Not the same as a dry! My beginner advice, throw combinations. Nymph-emerger, dry-dropper, ham and eggs, and for the lazy I don't care to learn but want to disgrace a fish.....spaghetti and meatballs; aka. the guides "tip jar" as any fish, any way, will pay.lol. By the way, this is a San Juan worm and egg combination.


One last piece...Don't be a hand switcher. Cast right handed then you reel left handed, cast left handed then you reel right handed. A good friend lost what would have been a 30" brown after he slacked his line changing his rod from right to left hand because he reels "better" with his right. He has not switched rod hand since that day.
 

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Only a tiny simple thing, but was one of the first things I was shown when taking up flyfishing & imo could save beginners a lot of angst at sometime or another if they got into the habit of doing likewise.

As everyone knows flyrods are made up of a various number join together sections. Sooner or later unless lubricant of some sort is used it is inevitable the sections will be very difficult to pull apart or often steadfastly refuse to do so & can often end up broken or shattering as more force is applied.

As mentioned this can be avoided by carrying some wax or suchlike to apply to the joins however there is a much simpler way by using a method that you will ALWAYS have readily at hand .... or more correctly "at nose".

Before joining the sections place the male section in the groove where your nostrils join your face then rotate. We all harbour a natural lube or grease in that area which applies itself in just the right amount of coating to ensure the sections will remain secure in use, yet never fail to come apart when breaking down the sections providing the aforementioned ritual is followed each time before putting them together.
 
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