When going to fly fish for the first time what flies should you take with you? This is a question I was asked frequently while working in the tackle shop and I think it is worth answering here.
Silver Invicta Trout Fly
Trout have many variations around the world and each has its own set of flies that work well. Checking with the local tackle dealer can produce a good selection of proven patterns that have been producing results.
It is always prudent to check with them from time to time to see if new patterns are working or variations in fishing style are producing results. I would always check in with the hut before putting a fly on the water where ever I go as local knowledge is supreme when getting yourself set up.
Tip: Check the fishing forums before setting off!
If however you are going somewhere away from the beaten path then some prep beforehand can be fruitful. Fishing forums can be a good place for advice. You can usually ask the question what patterns have proved successful on this water recently or last season around the same time and someone will more than likely have been there and can tell you how they got on.
Seasonal changes in insect life and trout habits!
Note: The following is descriptive of European Brown trout and Rainbow trout but may also prove effective for trout from other areas around the world.
There are four seasons as you are aware however these can be divided into segments of smaller size frames in respect to the hatch of insects taking place at that time. Although we are taking in seasons let’s be clear that insects don’t work to the same time line as you and me. It all depends on weather conditions as to the timing of a particular hatch. (more…)
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. So let’s delve deeper and get fly fishing lines explained to us.
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 9ft 5 AFTM rated setup.
Fly fishing reels explained will show you that the reel is more than 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 unless you are using a fly line tray.
This is not so bad when you are on a sandy beach or clay bank side but if there is a lot of undergrowth 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.
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 an 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 your 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.
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. (more…)
How to make a fly fishing leader
When it comes to setting up your fly rod for fly fishing the last piece of the puzzle is how to make a fly fishing leader. As a beginner you will need to master this fairly well as you don’t want to lose caught fish due to poorly prepared leaders. Like all aspects of fly fishing it depends on the target species to what your leader will look like. As we have been on the process of learning how to trout fish we will stick to a leader for a 10ft rod of seven weight set up. How to make your own leaders for fly fishing and make them well will add to your enjoyment of the sport and get you out of difficult situations when you are having problems with your fly fishing leaders.
Generally speaking a trout leader setup is made from lighter material than the fly line. This is due to a couple of things, one we want to present our flies with a nice flutter down onto the water and not a splash and secondly we need to use something that the trout find hard to see.
You may wonder how effective a trout’s eyes really are. I can tell you they have very keen eyesight and can spot a small dark fly in the dead of night. When fishing for sea trout the darker the night the better and those trout could pick up your fly when it was difficult to see your hand in front of your face. So to try to counteract this we need to decide on line diameter and color.
How to Spool a Fly Reel in Steps.
Now that you have hopefully bought your rod, reel and line you will need to know how to set up your fly line and put it all together so you can go fly fishing.
Get Best Fly Fishing Reels Here
Fly fishing is a sport involving many skills, fly casting, river craft, entomology and knot tying among others. To be considered a proficient fly fishing angler you need to be able to be accomplish these with good precision. In this post we will walk through the task of setting up a fly rod so we can go fly fishing. (more…)
With all aspects of fly fishing there are many options with this post I hope to show you how to choose fly fishing rods you will be happy with.
Fly fishing can be done in almost anybody of water and it is imperative that you get the correct rod to fish that body of water.
Before beginners purchase a new fly rod it’s important that they decide which style of fly fishing they’re going to do the most.
Over a generation of fly fishing fly anglers will gather up many fly rods because they know that the one rod will not do all situations and its part of the fun to have different lengths and weights to try out.
As you get into the sport you will want to try different venues, different styles of fly fishing and go after different species of fish, these all require different set-ups.
These can be anything from fishing for trout in a small stream to smallmouth bass in an open lake to saltwater fishing from the shore or an estuary or fishing for tarpon off a boat. All these situations could not be covered by one fly rod.
Check our Rod List here!
Like all things in fly fishing there are many options to choose from, fly fishing combos are no exception.
Fly fishing combo setup is a full kit designed specifically by the manufacturers to encourage beginners to the sport of fly fishing.
These manufacturers have put together a fly fishing rod, fly fishing reel fully loaded with backing line, a fly fishing forward floating line and possibly accessories including flies, fly box, sunglasses and a carrying case.
How to choose a fly fishing combo for beginners knowing where to start in the sport can prove to be difficult. Some come to the sport because they have seen some of their friends try it or seen it on TV or whatever but they’re exact notion of where and when to start fishing is somewhat elusive to them. However, it’s important to know what type of fishing you want to do. If it’s because you have been watching fishing on TV or seen your mates fly fishing them you may follow them but ideally you want to know what type of fishing you want to do because the rod and reel need to match that aspect of the sport. For instance fishing for trout in a small stream will only require maybe an 8 foot or a 9-foot weight 4 or 5 fly rods.
Check our Combo List here! (more…)
With all aspects of fly fishing there are many options and fly fishing reels are no different.
First of all when deciding on a fly fishing reel it’s first good to look at what type of fishing you are planning to do.
Most of all we want a fly reel to match a rod setup and if we were fishing on a small river using an 8 foot 4 weight or 9 foot 5 weight rods then we need a fly fishing line to match and when we need the line to match we need the reel to match also this means we get a nice balanced outfit.
Check our Reels List here!
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.
“Best Fly Fishing Combos”
Can Stock Photo
As a beginner there are loads of things you need to learn to become a better fly angler. Apart from the initial setting up of your fly rod there are a list of things to consider to make your learning a bit smoother. After all what we want to do is catch fish and anything that can improve that is worth reading so here are my beginner fly fishing tips I hope you find them useful.
Above all, Learn to cast properly!
Put in some time practicing casts with the basic overhead and roll cast from the start. Perform casting drills and get accurate in your casting and you will improve your catch rate immensely. If you can afford it getting a few casting lessons from a properly credited casting instructor will speed up that process. Its very easy to take on bad habits at the beginning while trying to teach yourself from videos or books.
A casting instructor will be able to sort these out and get you on a better path to correct efficient casting a lot quicker than you can do it yourself. The better more efficient your casting the easier it becomes as you use less energy and can fish for longer without becoming fatigued. So its well worth doing a bit of practice before hand you will be happy you did.
When learning how to cast properly it’s important not to try and cast too far to early in the process. Learn to cast with accuracy and efficiency to the water closest to you before trying to reach 30 yards casts. That distance will come with time but there is a lot of water between the tip of your rod and a 30 yard cast and believe me it will hold fish so cast to them and work that water properly.
I see too many anglers trying for distance early in the process and getting frustrated because they are not adept enough to present quality casts to the fish at those distances but are making loads of splashing and disturbances which mean few to no takes. A big mistake. (more…)
In the last post we discussed some of the physical attributes of fly lines. These included color, density and weight. Fly lines have a lot more going on than these including front taper, head, back taper, belly, and running line. These characteristics are mostly to do with the aerodynamics of the fly line how it handles in the the air when casting etc. Some of these characteristics also effect the handling when in the water for retrieval etc we will discuss these and look at what types of line to look for when fishing different locations and water types.
The fly line is made from one continuous piece of core line covered with different layers of polymers to create the different densities of line. These polymers are laid down to create a thickening of the line as it progresses from the tip until its thickest part then it tapers down again until the end of the line. The differences in these tapers have been developed to produce new types of fly line. (more…)
In the last post we looked at the fly fishing reel which holds the fly fishing line. The fly line is the part that takes the flies out into the water so we can catch fish and trout. In traditional bait and spin fishing the line either monofilament, fluorocarbon or braid, is a lot thinner and more supple than the fly fishing angler line.
The fly line is usually much thicker, comes in many colors and is about 30 yards long. When correctly matched to the fly rod and reel the line allows us to cast our flies out onto the water with an action that lifts many yards of line at a time, forces it behind us and then out again onto the water.
This action called the overhead fly fishing cast is the basic form of fly fishing and the one most practiced. OK that’s the basics lets see what to look out for when learning how to trout fish with a fly rod using a fly line.
There are many permutations to fly line and this seems to increase every year as manufacturers come up with new enhancements for us to try on our favorite waterways and rivers. Fly lines come in different weights, colors, densities and multi-variations of the same. Lets look at these in order to discover the differences and how they can effect the fishing performance. (more…)
The next thing to consider in the building of our fly fishing kit is the fly fishing reel. This piece of equipment is required to hold the fly line. Truth be told we could fish without it but you would have a lot of fly line lying around your feet causing all sorts of mayhem with your casting so it is better to have the reel to contain the line and help us retrieve it without getting caught up in the vegetation along the riverside etc.
There are several options to think about when choosing the reel for your fly fishing. These include the size, the capacity, the material it’s made from, the tension mechanism, the color and spare spools. There are many reasons to pursue these features which we will go through in this post.
“Best Fly Fishing Reels” (more…)
So in the last post we talked in general about trout fishing and what equipment is required to start off as a beginner. Now we shall go into more depth in each area so you can better understand the sport. In this post we shall discuss the differences in makes and models of trout fly rods.
First off each fly rod is stamped with a line rating on its butt section. This line rating is designed to allow you to match up the correct fly line and reel so the setup is balanced and suitable for casting properly.
“Best Fly Fishing Rods”
Trout fishing is a great pass time and I find even better when using a fly fishing rod. Fly fishing is the sport of casting a fly using a fly rod out onto the water.
This is different than fishing with a spinning rod, bait rod or jerk rod as flies are tied using fur and feathers onto hooks and so don’t involve baits or spinners.
This is perfect for those who are a bit squeamish and don’t fancy hooking up bait onto hooks. So if you are intrigued lets go further and discover how to trout fish with a fly rod.
Trout are mainly a freshwater species and can be found all over the world in rivers and lakes. There are many different sub species including brown trout, rainbow trout, sea trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, and many more.
Some trout species go to salt water for a few seasons returning to rivers to spawn and included in these are the sea trout and rainbow trout otherwise known as steelhead. As you can see from such a diverse species covering large areas and habitats there comes many forms of fishing for them.