How to Fly Fish – Tips for the beginner.

Have you ever thought about learning how to fly fish?  It may be you have watched a fly fishing angler casting a trout rod across a river or lake and wondered could you do that. Well I can tell you that fly fishing is no harder to perform than lure fishing when you correctly buy well balanced equipment and take a few lessons. You could get to grips with it without the lessons but if you are a complete novice I would advise you get some lessons as it will save you time and effort in the long run.

To begin with what is fly fishing?

Fly fishing is the sport where someone uses a fly rod to cast a fly line with flies across a river or lake and retrieves them in a number of manners to try and entice the target fish into taking. Flies are hooks tied up with feathers and materials to either look like natural insects or colored in such a way to make an aggressive reaction from the fish.

These flies are tied to the fly line with a leader material usually mono-filament or fluorocarbon and are cast using the rod and line. The basic fly cast is called the overhead cast and consists of the fly line being pulled through the air in front and behind the caster. The line is kept in the air in that it doesn’t touch the water or bank during the cast. The rod is loaded by the line to put energy into the cast so it can be accelerated and cast great distances in front on the fly fishing angler. With a bit of practice casts of 30 yards and more can be reached and are usually enough to target most species of sport and game fish.

When optimum cast length is achieved the fly is allowed to land on the water and then retrieved in different manners to try and entice the trout or fish to grab the fly. At this point the hook is set and the fight begins. There are a vast array of permutations for fly fishing including rod length, fly line density, fly line weight, casting technique, leader length and pattern of flies to name the most common.

How to Fly Fish
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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…)

Some Useful Knots for Fly Fishing

Mikael Frodin a top fly tyer, salmon angler, guide and instructor has done a series of knots for fly fishing. Mikael if you are not familiar with works for Guideline Fly Fishing testing and helping to design products. A master shooting head caster Mikael has helped develop the Double and Triple density fly lines in the Guideline range.

 

As part of his experience in fly fishing Mikael has tested and worked with many knots and has decided on these 6 to teach you. If you have spent any time on the river fishing you will have no doubt lost fish to weak knots. With this series of knots you should have any situation covered with knots that are easy to tie and strong. 

The Perfection Loop

A great knot to tie leader material to the loop at the end of your fly line when it doesn’t have build in loops.

Can also be used to tie flies to the end of your leader to give them more movement.

The Improved Albright

Second in the series a knot to attached [easyazon_link keywords=”leader material” locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]leader material[/easyazon_link] to your fly line.

A bit fiddly to do on the bank side but a strong knot that shouldn’t let you down.

The Double Eight

A good knot for forming loops on the end of your hand made leader.

Great for joining loop to loop connections ad keeping it simple.

The Leader Knot

When building your own leaders attaching different strengths of material together makes them turn over better in the cast.

This knot makes it simple without getting tangled up when casting.

The Clinch Knot

Fishing tube flies is more and more common and this knot is great for attaching the hook to the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00M50P4QS” locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]leader material[/easyazon_link].

The extra tucking of the tag end means it should not slip and loose you a fish.

The Steering Knot

A common problem with hook flies is most knots allow them to slip on the [easyazon_link identifier=”B0007PJQUS” locale=”US” tag=”chuckingflu0b-20″]leader material[/easyazon_link] so they don’t fish correctly.

This knot eliminates that problem and keeps the fly swimming properly throughout the cast.

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 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…)

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

Can Stock Photo

Tackle – get your set up ready!

For the purpose of this post we will assume you are already set up with a balanced fly fishing kit. 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…)

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. Shooting head 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…)

How To Use Fly Line Backing

fly line backing

When setting up your fly fishing rod one of the pieces that often seems to get missed or not correctly applied is the need for proper quality fly line backing.  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…)

Best Flies for Brown Trout

We all have our own idea what flies we think should be good to fish for wild brown trout but just because we think it doesn’t mean they will work. Here we will discuss some of the best flies for brown trout and ones you would be wise to carry with you on your next fishing adventure.

I have short listed seven flies that according to Pat O’Reilly in his book “Matching the Hatch” are called his magnificent seven. These flies when carried will give you an option for most every situation you will come across when fishing for wild brown trout.  Although we are talking about seven patterns in total we will need several sizes of some patterns to really cover all situations.

Darting and Stonefly Nymphs

Nymphs of pond and lake olives are agile darting creatures and can be found in any depth of water close to the surface, in the middle and at the bottom.  To represent these creatures the gold ribbed hares ear has become the anglers favourite.

Best flies for brown trout - gold ribbed hares ear

The tying pattern is not really that important but more the movement and size of the fly. When trying to get the pattern down deep a lead bodied fly has been developed as well as the gold head both of which are very successful. Letting the fly sink to the bottom then a quick lift of the rod to induce life into the fly will usually bring a take from a cruising trout. Sizes 14 and 16 work well with these.

Check out Best of Fly Reels
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How to Tie Fishing Knots

There is one thing that you need to master when it comes to fly fishing and that is how to tie fishing knots. It doesn’t make a difference if you have the best rod, reel and line along with the best selection of flies if your gear is not tied together with good quality fishing knots.

Hundreds of knots but which do I use?

If you do some research into fishing knots you will find there are hundreds to choose from but in my opinion this has come about from guys with nothing better to do but try new ways to join line together. Don’t get me wrong, there has been some nice innovation when it comes to knots and some are worth considering, but I feel to be competent at fly fishing, you really only need a handful.How to tie fishing knots

When a newbie comes to me to learn how to trout fish one of the first lessons I show them is how to tie fishing knots. Then tell them to go away and practice, practice and practice some more so they can nearly tie them blindfolded. (more…)

Benefits of breathable chest waders

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

Breathable chest waders

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…)

Best Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

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.

fluorocarbon

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.

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Which Fly Fishing Reels Are Best For Trout?

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.

rod_reel_line

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 $80-$150, this should get a reasonable reel for your hard earned cash. There are lots of cheaper ones between $30-$50 but they are not really built to last and as mentioned can be fairly heavy.

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