Fishing with a Fly Fishing Rod – A Beginners Guide

How_to_fly_fish

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 – Tips for the Beginner

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.

how to make a fly fishing leaderYou 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.

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How to Set up your Fly Line – Beginners Instruction

how_to_set_up_your_fly_line

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…)

Salmon Fly Fishing Presentation – slowing down or speeding up the fly?

On my previous post on mending the fly line to control speed I thought it necessary to include a post on the presentation of the fly when Salmon fishing. Salmon do not feed when in the river to spawn so a fly presented to them is more to annoy them into a reaction than them eating your lure whereas trout are there to feed and are usually hungry.

Having been a salmon angler for many years one of the main things I have picked up is you are always learning. On my travels it amazes me on how different fly anglers fish their flies. When I find anglers who are more experienced on their local rivers I will do my best to watch and learn as best I can on how they are fishing the pools. One thing that stands out is the best anglers out there know exactly how their salmon flies are fishing at any particular time.

There are a few factors to consider to know how a fly is fishing including the fly type, the leader material, the fly line style and density, cast distance, length of rod and how the line is mended and retrieved. These elements you can control another one you can not is the natural condition of the pool however with line presentation you can make some changes to the natural condition of the pool and fish it better.


(c) Can Stock Photo / urbanlight (more…)

How to Choose Fly Fishing Rods – A Few Things for you to Consider

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!

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How to Choose a Fly Fishing Combo – Some Tips for the Beginner

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.

how to choose a fly fishing combo

Check our Combo List here! (more…)

12 Best Flies for Winter Stillwater Fly Fishing

As mentioned in a previous article stillwater winter fly fishing can prove to be challenging. To help assist us in getting more takes from trout that are feeding we need to incorporate some flies that are better suited to winter fly fishing. In this post we find out about those patterns that prove to be better during the winter months.

Winter stillwater flies how to present them.

In winter fly fishing trout will normally be swimming very slowly and not inclined to chase after lures or flies very well. In this instance we have to slow down the retrieve and how we present the flies to the fish. If you can see trout feeding or cruising try to cast in front of them and draw the fly past their path. This way you will induce more takes. Half the battle is getting the fly within a close distance to a cruising trout. Next we look at the best patterns to use. (more…)

Stillwater Trout Fly Fishing in Winter – a Few Tips

winter stillwater trout fly fishing flies

Stillwater trout fly fishing in winter can prove to be difficult. Not only is the air and water cold and you will need to wear appropriate clothing to protect you from the elements. As the water is colder fish mainly trout are moving a lot slower and tend to keep to a certain depth. (more…)

How to read a Fish Finder Screen

Fish finder screen chirp 200 kHz

Introduction to Fish Finders

Whether you are looking to spend 300 dollars or 3000 dollars, you are looking for the best fish finder you can buy for the money you are able to spend. Obviously, one of you main concerns is if it will help you to locate and find fish for you want to reel in. For many people, technology is something that may seem intimidating or even so complicated it may not seem useful.

Fish finders are actually fairly simple to use and operate and, once you know how and why they work, you will find them to be easily useable and, more importantly, you will find just how much they are able to help the amount of fish that you bring in every day. The purpose of this article is to allow you to be able to pick up a fish finder screen and be able to read it and put it into use on your own personal fishing adventures. (more…)

Nymph Patterns for Trout




Nymph Patterns for Trout

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 [easyazon_link identifier=”1934753351″ locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]natural waterborne nymph[/easyazon_link] 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…)

Fly Fishing Kits for Beginners

fly fishing kits for beginners

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 [easyazon_link keywords=”fly fishing kits for beginners” cloak=”n” locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]fly fishing kits for beginners[/easyazon_link] 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”

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Dry Trout Fly Patterns

One of the main groups of trout fly pattern is dry fly. These are tied with a bushy appearance sometimes with a split wing sitting tied in spinner style. A great material used on many patterns is CDC or cul-de-canard or duck’s bottom as it is close to the preen gland on the duck it is very buoyant and good to use on dry flies. As the name suggests the fly is to remain dry so floats on top of the water. Lets look at dry trout fly patterns the differences and how to fish them.

Some fly fishing anglers feel the pinnacle of fly fishing is the visual nature of dry fly fishing. You cast the fly it lands on the water you watch you fly move in the current and then you watch as a trout inhales your fly. This visual nature is very exciting and one that bring the fly fishing angler back again and again to fish. I have to agree it is a brilliant way to fly fish for trout or other species. (more…)

Wet Trout Fly Patterns

There are only two types of trout fishing flies light and dark within these there are many sub categories and types including dries, nymphs, sedges, midges, daddies, bumbles, and many more. One of the main groups and the one we are interested here in is wet trout fly patterns.  

It would probably be accurate to say that wet fly fishing is the most practiced in the world. Beginners would normally start with these as they are easy to get used to and very attractive to fish so the catch rate is high. It would also be true to say that armed with only a few wet trout fly patterns can set you up for fishing a large number of species. (more…)

Best Fly Fishing Techniques

best fly fishing techniques

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Tackle – get your set up ready!

For the purpose of this post we will assume you are already set up with a balanced [easyazon_link identifier=”B001IAHX6A” locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]fly fishing kit[/easyazon_link]. If not then check out this posts here how to setup your fly line to get you started. This is not a definitive list of the best fly fishing techniques but a list of things I believe any fly fishing angler needs to learn and practice to become competent in the sport. 

Fly fishing casting – Perform them with grace

One of the main things to get right when fly fishing is the cast. Produce great delicate casts to present flies to trout and fish and you will have completed about 50% of the fly anglers program. Ones to learn well are the basic overhead cast, the snake roll, the roll cast and the single spey cast. With these four you will be well on your way to becoming a better fly angler and be able to cast to almost any target within any situation.

There are others that will get you of of trouble but I would recommend getting these four right from the start. It will assist you greatly if you can pay for some tuition or if you know a good consistent fly angler to ask for some help. It will speed up your progress and stop you getting frustrated when things are not going to plan. A lesson or two will not cost the earth but is well worth it when you consider the cost of loosing flies a damaging your fly fishing gear due to bad casting.  (more…)

Best Fly Line for Trout

Best fly line for trout

Can Stock Photo

Before we consider the best fly line for trout lets look first at what we should do to make sure we have the correct fly line for the task. There are so many ways to fly fish for trout that we need to look at these permutations before purchasing a [easyazon_link identifier=”B01D9J0EO0″ locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]fly line[/easyazon_link].

For example we can fish in rivers, still waters or the sea. The target species can be very different too as small lough trout on an Irish moorland would be slightly different to fly fish for than steelhead in a river or river returning sea trout on the Rio Grande. However for the purpose for this article lets consider fishing for brown trout in a river, rainbow trout in a lake and sea trout on the Rio Grande to help with some of those permutations. (more…)

Shooting Head Lake Fishing

shooting head lake fishing

Fly fishing on a still water is a lot different to fishing a river as the water in front of you is usually fairly motionless. On a river the flow of the river allows tension to be kept on the fly line to allow for easier casting. On a still water or lake this can be difficult with normal weight forward or double taper lines. This is why the manufacturer of shooting heads has been a welcome addition to the fly anglers kit. [easyazon_link identifier=”B00FPTX1E8″ locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]Shooting head[/easyazon_link] lake fishing allows for the fly fishing angler to get extra distance from the shore or boat meaning they can cover more water with each cast. (more…)

River Fly Fishing Tips

River fly fishing tips

Can Stock Photo

River fly fishing is completely different to lake, lough or other stillwater fly fishing. The main difference is the fact that in river fishing you have to deal with the flow of the river as stillwater as its name dictates is pretty motionless. There is the possibility of underwater currents and wind can make things interesting but for the most part lakes are motionless.

Rivers on the other hand have many features which make them more interesting (to me anyway) with the speed and flow of the river being the main one.   To fish rivers properly takes a bit of working out. You need to look at the river flow what speed, direction and depths of the pools etc. All these factors will affect where the fish tend to lie. Water depth will also affect the prospective lies for fish entering a system like Salmon, Sea Trout and Steelhead entering from the Sea again. When conditions are dry and the water is low the fishing will be completely different to when the river is in spate and fish are moving through the system.  (more…)

Beginner Fly Fishing Tips

beginner fly fishing tips

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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 [easyazon_link identifier=”B00W058I0W” locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]fly rod[/easyazon_link] 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…)

How To Use Fly Line Backing

fly line backing

When setting up your [easyazon_link identifier=”B0119FBLS4″ locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]fly fishing rod[/easyazon_link] one of the pieces that often seems to get missed or not correctly applied is the need for proper quality [easyazon_link identifier=”B004G7D2ZI” locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]fly line backing[/easyazon_link].  Some anglers have just put the fly line directly onto the reel and wondered why they lost their fish after a short burst down stream.

Others wondered why their fly line is sitting in coils on top of the water surface when it should be lying straight. Well I can tell you correct applied quality fly  line backing will make for a more consistent cast and protect your rod and line from being broken by large fish that want to run.

The need for backing line is plain to see, you need to allow fish to run when they want to and the usual 30 yards of fly line will not allow a fish to run especially if it is a large species. I have had fish run 200 yards hoping they will stop before they hit the end of the line and not being able to do anything about it. (more…)

Polyleaders for fly fishing turnover and depth control

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 [easyazon_link identifier=”B000ZKNFSO” locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]tapered leaders[/easyazon_link] 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 for fly fishing turnover

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…)

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