Of the many trout fly categories available nymphs are one of my favorites. They come in many shapes, styles and colors but they are mostly fished as a wet fly sinking the nymph down to the feeding fish.
Nymphs are used to mimic the natural waterborne nymph creatures that are available to trout in rivers and lakes. Nymphs usually resemble the water bound stage of a flying insect like mayflies and can be found in the water for up to 2 years. These nymphs like stone flies and mayfly nymphs hide under stones and scoot around near the river or lake bed. Then when the time comes to hatch they form cocoons and transform into winged creatures. They then take to the air and do their respective mating dance before dying and the cycle continues year on year. This transformation normally happens just under or out of the water like on a stalk of vegetation. (more…)
So you are new to fly fishing or thinking about taking up fly fishing. You have looked at magazines and seen the mountain of gear available and are completely baffled by what you should get. After all you don’t want to spent a lot of money on equipment only to find out you are not cut out to fly fish and want to give up.
Well you are in luck as we will check out what you need to start fly fishing and show the bare minimum to get you started and not break the bank. One option in starting is to look at fly fishing kits for beginners These kits have all of the equipment that is required to get you started. Before exploring what kits are available lets look at the equipment you will need.
A fly fishing outfit comprises of a fly rod, a fly reel, a fly line, backing line, leader material and flies. This is the bare minimum required, on top of that a cap or hat and a pair of sunglasses or eye protection is essential for your safety. Items of clothing and waders I would forget about for now as these are not essential and can be purchased when you feel you are prepared to take the sport to the next level. (more…)
Polyleaders were developed originally by Airflo UK to help with casting turnover. Before they were developed hand made tapered leaders was probably the best way to get the energy from the cast to slow down to present the fly gently on the water.
However homemade tied tapered leaders don’t start with the same profile as the end of the fly line and can hinge when casting which is disastrous to your cast. That and the addition of extra knots into the fly leader setup makes for more problems that can occur. For a cast to be presented well you want it to unfold in the air and straighten out into a nice line as it lands on the water so the fly normally at the end of the leader lands with a gentle plop and not a smash as most often happens. With this you are presenting your fly in a way that will not spook timid trout and will increase your catch rate which is what we all want.
Polyleaders were designed on the same principle as fly lines consisting of a poly outer layer and a nylon core. They then measure at the thick end the same size diameter as the end of your fly line so the transfer of energy is smooth and the addition of ready attached loops makes the job of switching them a breeze. (more…)
Flambeau Outdoors is a subsidiary of Flambeau Inc who first started out in 1947 when they built the Halik Frog a fishing lure that has been used throughout the world. After WWII the owners bought new plastic injection equipment and went on to form one of the best plastic molding companies in the United States and their Flambeau fishing tackle boxes are simply well made and a pleasure to own.
If you are a fly fisherman who has ventured out on the lake or lough in a boat you will know that from time to time you will get caught in a deluge of rain with little or no protection. This is why most experienced anglers will purchase good quality waterproof clothing.
These can come as a bib and brace set, a waterproof jacket and a hat. Another addition to these items is the need for good quality footwear as getting about in a boat can be tricky especially if there is chop on the water. It is for this reason this post is written to talk about flat boots for boat fishing.
Breathable waders for boat fishing are you sure?
As part of the waterproof clothing setup a lot of fly fishermen have gone for wearing a pair of waders which are waterproof and can keep you comfortable during cold wet days. There are many options in waders and a pair or breathable chest waders are ideal. The pros and cons for wearing breathable waders can be found here.
There are many fly fishing lines on the market today made by many different manufacturers. If you do a search on Google you will come up with hundreds if not thousands of lines. For a beginner this is an overload of information and can lead to the incorrect purchase. Here we will consider the options available and show you how to choose a fly line suited to your needs.
If you have not already purchased a single handed trout fly fishing rod then you would need to consider that first as the line needs to match the rod and reel setup. In that instance you can purchase a ready made kit from a reputable dealer which can include all the items required to start out.
These are all made to match and balance the setup and are ideal for someone on a low budget. However if you can afford a little more I would recommend buying the items individually as you can still get bargains but items with more strength and options than in a basic kit.
The first important aspect is to match you line rating to the rod you have or are considering. Each rod now has a line rating stamped on the butt section usually above the cork handle on the first few inches of the rod itself.
This figure is put there by the rod manufacturer and is a guide as to which line the rod has been made to make it a balanced setup. (more…)
When fly fishing you will need to build up over time a selection of trout flies. There are many types, sizes and colours to choose from so it can become fairly expensive to build a large collection.
If you target different species of trout you will also have to buy specifically for those species some can crossover but many are designed solely for the trout they are made for.
This along with trout damaging them with their teeth and you loosing them to bank side vegetation can all add to the cost. This is where it is beneficial to find a trout flies sale.
While fishing especially fly fishing it is always a good idea to wade in the water. This does come with the responsibility to check if the water is wadeable, for instance the bottom is within reach and not too rocky to make it dangerous. If the conditions are safe then wading does a number of things to help with your fly fishing and in this post we will discuss the benefits of breathable chest waders as well as other types of waders.
So why do we need waders anyway?
When fly fishing there are numerous hazards on the banking when casting therefore entering the water gives the angler the ability to avoid these. Waders will allow you to follow the river downstream through a pool or beat without having to move around trees or other hazards which takes time and can affect your catch rates.
The other benefit is that while fly fishing you need to cover trout to induce a take. Wading allows you to move about to cover these trout better especially in rivers where
wading out into the middle of the river will allow the fly to swim around in the current and sit on the dangle better for trout sitting mid stream.
The dangle is when the cast has completely swum around in the current to its holding position before the retrieve. This is only relevant in rivers because in still waters the cast will be straight out where you placed it and will not move very much.
Some people think wading will disturb trout and this is true if you are like a bull in the china shop but if you are careful and move stealthily trout will pass by very close to you. I have on many occasions been soaked by a trout that has jumped feet from me when I was in stealth mode. (more…)
Before we consider what is the best fluorocarbon fishing line let us discuss the properties and characteristics of this leader material.
When it comes to fly fishing the introduction of fluorocarbon may be one of the most outstanding developments since the creation of fly fishing itself. I joke, but it really has made a large difference to fly fishing catch rates and fun to be had by anglers of all ages and skill level.
Fluorocarbon has many properties but the one that makes it ideal for fishing is that light refracts through it the same way as water and so the fish (or so it is believed) can’t see it. This is especially evident in still water fisheries as trout are usually leader shy and will move away from traditional mono filament lines. This is were the fluorocarbon has helped get extra takes.
In river fishing especially fast water the light passing through it is refracted and distorted in numerous was and the trout can’t see you or the line as easily as in calm still water so it is not that important but the other benefits make it ideal in these conditions also.
A tendency to be brittle!
Some fluorocarbon lines are very brittle but his can be compensated by getting the diameter that is correct for your type of fishing. There are many brands and breaking strains so it may be a bit of testing to see what is ideally suited but we will discuss that later.
Fluorocarbon is usually a lot stiffer than mono and is great for turnover on casts which helps in reduction of wind knots, tangles and bad casting. This makes it good for a beginner who is trying to learn and also very good on weighted flies that have a tenancy to drop on the forward cast and catch the loop.
When starting out in fly fishing finding good quality fly fishing tackle can be difficult. However, it really is all down to how much you want to spend on the tackle as your hobby can grow into a monster if your not careful. That’s not a problem if you have the financial backing to cover this but if you are working on a basic living then stretching your self too much can be silly.
What is the most important piece of equipment?
Of all of the items for fishing I would generally spend the most on the rod and line as the fly fishing reel is just a container and hence not that important. However with all things in life if you spend a bit more you will get extra features and be able to fish a little bit more comfortably than with a basic setup.
What do I mean then? Well as you go up the price bracket the materials to make the reels can become very expensive as all sorts of alloys are being used. These are stronger and usually lighter than the basic reels. When fishing all day it can become very tiring with a heavy rod and reel and will end your day sooner.
So it all comes down to this really…… spend as much as you can possibly afford without over stretching. That way you will get the best you possibly can. As a newbie fly fishing angler you will probably want to aim for something between £60-£100, this should get a reasonable reel for your hard earned cash. There are lots of cheaper ones between £20-£40 but they are not really built to last and as mentioned can be fairly heavy.
The Airflo Airtec Nano trout fly rod is a real winner in modern trout rod manufacturing. Nano technology is an equal balancing of the resin use to cover the carbon fibers. This balancing creates a rod of extra strength up to 25% stronger than conventional production methods. This not only gives it more power but also protects the rods from knocks and bumps as in when your gold head fly hits the tip when wind sends it off cast. It also produces a 50% flexural curve so you can feel every bite and knock on the rod when fishing your flies.
The casting action is suburb with the mid to tip action providing neat loops to get good distance on the cast. These rods are very light which is a real advantage when fishing for long periods and with the extra strength you can easily land trout 10lb plus with ease. The Airtec nano is not only a powerful rod but a beautiful looking rod with single leg chrome rings and high grade cork handle. It comes complete with cordura travel case. All rods in the range are three piece perfect to break down to fit into the car boot.
- Single leg chrome rings
- Lined stripper rings
- Custom reel seat
- Cordura Travel tube
- High grade cork handle
The Fly Fishing Line is a lot thicker than traditional monofilament fishing line. To get your fly out into the water in an attractive gentle method takes practice and some skill.
These can be learned but the fly fishing line is critical to the cast, get it wrong and you may as well not bother fishing at all.
A bad cast will collapse and crash onto the water surface spooking any fish that are in the close proximity, this is not a good thing as once spooked it’s very hard to get them back.
There are many variations of fly line however the options we will be concerned with here are weight, density, taper and color.
Fly Fishing Line Weight
AFTM or the Association of Fishing Tackle Manufacturers came up with a standard to measure all fly fishing tackle including the line ratings.
This scale means if you buy a seven weight line from any manufacturer it will fit any seven weight rod and reel from any other manufacturers…cool right! That being said there are always exceptions to the rule but we will not concern ourselves with this now.
The line rating is worked out on the first 10 yards of line or 30ft which is about what you would use to load the rod to make a cast on the old traditional lines.
Loading the rod means flex it enough to perform a cast. Your rod needs a certain amount of weight outside the tip ring to allow it to throw a line. As the line rating number gets higher the line weight gets higher and will require a larger stiffer rod to cast it properly.
As a beginner we have been working on the 10ft 7 AFTM rated setup.
The fly fishing reel is more or less a container for your fly line to keep it off the ground when playing a fish. Unlike conventional bait rods the line will have to be retrieved in by hand to entice the trout to take your fly and as this happens the line will be increasingly lying at your feet.
This is not so bad when you are on a sandy beach or clay bank side but if there is a lot of under growth then the line will get caught up on the vegetation and when that trout of a lifetime decides to take your fly you don’t want to be trying to pull the line free to play it in. Many a prize trout was lost this way believe me.
The reel is therefore to reel up the line before you try to play the trout. This can be done with ease with a bit of practice as you hold the line tight to keep tension on the trout as you reel up the line with your other hand. This may sound difficult but it is not.
You can play a trout without reeling in first but this is only advisable when on a snag free environment, even sitting in a boat is not the place as oars, bags your partner can all get tangled up with your fly line very easily.
Once you have the line on the reel you can let the trout fight and take line and reel it back on with the knowledge that you are free to move in any direction it decides to go.
When I was a young lad aged ten years old I was given my first fly rod for my birthday. I was so excited I had always wanted to learn to fly fish and now I had the chance. I took out all the pieces and put them together in the back garden very carefully and loaded the reel onto the rod. I made my way to the river that ran within a few hundred meters from our house with my dad.
There he instructed me for the next few hours on how to perform the overhead cast. By the end of the lesson I was able to get out about fifteen yards of line from the end of the rod which to me was a good cast. It was not long before I was able to go fishing for trout with my mates and catch brown and sea trout for my mum to cook.
At a young age I could see the potential to having loads of fun with my fly rod and getting out in the great outdoors always appealed to me so from then I was hooked, 🙂
If you have an interest to learn to fly fish then you too can be catching trout within no time as I did as a lad.
Single Handed Fly Fishing Rod
There are many types of fly rod both single handed and double handed. Single handed fly fishing rods are normally used to go trout fishing whereas double handed are usually used for salmon fishing or other fishing for other larger predator fish. I say usually as there are always situations where the rule doesn’t apply. For instance Salmon fishing in Alaska would normally be done with a single handed rod and I know a few trout rods which have fighting butts attached to the bottom to make them into double handed.
Also manufacturers are always coming up with new products to tempt anglers into purchasing their gear. For instance the Switch rod which is like a double handed salmon rod but light enough to fish with one hand.