I registered on this forum 40 minutes ago and already found a whole lot of useful information. Thanks for creating this topic, OP.Silent_Light, Kimo, can we make this a sticky topic?
So you want to learn how to flyfish, eh? This question comes up often around here and while we have many great forum members that are willing to chime in and offer up advice on where to start, I myself find that all too ften I don't have time to chime in with a couple of paragraphs of solid advice. There are plenty of ways to get started in fly fishing whether your on a tight budget or have loads of money or your self taught, book learning, hiring a guide or taking a class, no one method is the most correct way to learn. So I figured rather than being the sterotypical forum(not just this one) member and telling you to use the search button, I'll put my 2 cents in here and let the other forum members put their advice.
I don't have answers to all the questions but the question of what type of rod should I get is one of the questions that I feel strongest about. So what do I use.
A fly rod, fly reel and fly line. The rod does all the casting work, and the reel is nothing more than a fancy line holder. All to often I've heard folks getting setup with a $500 outfits and they don't know what they got or why they got it, nor do they know what they are doing with it. My recommendation is to get a starter kit that includes a rod, reel, and line already setup. A 5 weight or 6 weight setup will do nicely for most situations that you will encounter in colorado with some larger fish requiring heavier gear. My reason behind the in-expensive gear suggestion is that as a begginner, you don't know the difference between that $70 setup and the $500 setup. The inexpensive setup will allow you time to learn the craft before spending money on an expensive rod, and you will know what you are looking for when that time comes rather than jumping head first and not knowing what your $500 is buying. I still barely have $100 in any rod and reel and line that I have and I've been fly fishing for 13 years.
You'll see loops on the end of every line type for loop to loop connections, I've never used them and I always clip them off. I use 4 knots when fly fishing.
For backing to flyline and flyline to leader I use the nail knot, this one took a few tries to get it right, but I've never had it come undone on me ever.
For leader to tippet I always use the blood knot, this is a difficult knot to tie, esspecially with cold hands. I've heard of some type of jig tool to help with this but have never seen one.
For all flies and small streamers I use the improved cinch.....and I'll use this for attaching a dropper fly.
Improved Clinch Knot
For larger streamers I use the trilene knot.