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.
If we concentrate on just fly fishing we have still quite a variety of fishing strokes to learn and master. These include the river single hand fly rod to lake boat fly fishing and shore or boat sea fishing with single or double handed fly rods.
With all aspects of trout fly fishing there are many options and ways of changing to make the pastime more enjoyable and productive. If you are keen to do well in the sport you need to keep reading new material and practicing new techniques to fish conditions that you come across with better effectiveness.
Fly fishing doesn’t have to be hard
This does not mean that fly fishing is hard and you are on a steep learning curve but it is a large sport and if you are to master it well you need to work at it. You can all the same go to your nearest put and take trout lake and catch rainbow or brown trout with a simple set up floating fly line and fly rod and be happy doing it.
More intermediate and advanced techniques take time to master and are food for thought in another article for now let us concern ourselves with the basics to get you up and running.
Trout are predator fish and spend their day searching for food. If they have an ample supply they will pick and eat at leisure and can become very large indeed some weighing over 20lbs+ (10kg+).
However most rivers and lakes are not that well supplied with food and there is huge competition for what is available so trout might not make it much larger than a couple of pounds(lbs) in weight.
This being said a 2 lb brown trout can give you a great workout on light gear and we will go into that later. The principal to fly fishing is the act of casting a fly out into the water using a fly rod and reel. The fly line is a lot thicker that conventional spinning line and is stiffer.
This allows us to cast back and forth with the line arealised bringing the fly out of the water and behind us then out into the water for another cast. When the cast is complete we retrieve the fly by pulling the line in by hand in different ways to imitate life into the fly with our line.
The trout see the fly and will follow it or take it quickly creating a swirl and a bend in the rod. The excitement in that moment is one that cannot be matched in my opinion.
Fly fishing equipment what do you need?
There are three main components to the art of fly fishing for trout with a fly rod. These are the fly rod, the fly reel and the fly line. There are loads of other pieces that make up the complete outfit but these are the largest and most expensive.
Of these I would always say to beginners learning to fly fish for trout to spend the most money they can on the fly line followed by the rod then the reel. Some will think the fly rod is the best item but even with a good rod if the fly line is not good you will not be able to cast it properly.
Fly lines are not that expensive costing around $60-100 for a quality one were as a fly rod can go up to several thousands. Starting out I would recommend budgeting about $200 spending $70 on the fly line $70 on the rod and $60 on the fly reel.
This is just a guide and there are some good starter packs out there for $100 and are worth investigating but in general I would advise getting something a bit better to give yourself every chance to succeed at the sport.
The fly rod is much stiffer than a normal spinning/bait rod but more flexible than the new bait casting rods. In fact there are different degrees of flexibility from soft to fast and those in between.
The softer the rod the easier it is to cast so ideal for beginners fast rods are made to push tight loops into the fly line and aid distance casting. So these are especially good for lakes, reservoirs and shore fishing. These combined with a shooting head will provide good distances to cast your fly and hopefully reach those shoals of fish.
Although these fast rods give you distances they do take a bit of time to master and can be frustrating for a beginner to learn with. I would opt for a middle action rod not too soft and not too fast. This gives you the best of both extremes and will allow you to grow into the sport.
Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
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