Fly fishing can be a little overwhelming at first, as there are a lot of new terms, and the tools used and throwing techniques are very different from those traditionally used. This type of fishing is not difficult, but to master, it takes a lot of practice.
Unfortunately, many beginners are discouraged by the basics of fly fishing and decide not to try it at all. Fly fishing is definitely a sport you can’t learn in one day and come home with a lot of catches that night. You will need a few trips to the pond to get to know the equipment well and learn how to throw correctly and find the right places.
This beginner fly fishing guide is designed to teach you all the basics and give you the basic knowledge to start fly fishing.
- Basic equipment for fly fishing
- The “stick” and the reel
- Other miscellaneous accessories for fly fishing
- fishing net
- Polarizing sunglasses
- Fly fishing
- Throwing overhead
Basic equipment for fly fishing
The first thing you need to worry about is getting all the basic equipment needed for fly fishing. As basic elements, these are the tools you absolutely need to start fishing. Various fly fishing gear distributors sell a lot of fishing gear, but although many of these items are very beautiful, they are not necessary.
What basic equipment do you need:
- A fly fishing rod ;
- A fly fishing reel ;
- The fly fishing line, which consists of: backing, leader, and tippet;
- A few flies, of course, the fish will be hard to catch without them.
Many beginners do not want to invest a lot of money in this hobby at first, which is understandable. The problem is that when people buy cheap tools, they get frustrated because they break or don’t work a well. Fortunately, there are many manufacturers of quality equipment, but whose prices are reasonable.
The “stick” and the reel
These two fly fishing items are the most important. Prices vary, in general, depending on the material from which the rod is made and the quality of its construction.
Fly fishing rods also have different weights and lengths. The rod you need depends on the type of fishing you will be fishing.
As with rods, reels also vary. At the lower end are plastic reels. Although they are cheaper, it is recommended to stay away from them. They do not behave well, break easily, and do not withstand high stresses. The right choice is a metal reel.
An important thing when buying a rod and reel is that they must be compatible. In other words, the weight of the “stick” must be matched to the reel to function properly.
Keep in mind that rods and reels are already available in sets and combinations from most manufacturers. If you buy them together, they are already suitable and you will get, in addition, a discount.
In a standard fishing set, there is only one line, and this goes from the rod to the hook. Fly fishing is a little different for several reasons:
First of all, there is no weight at the end of the wire. There is only one fly, which is incredibly light. Without weight, however, it is impossible to make a long throw. In fly fishing, the weight comes from the line itself, which is why it is thicker.
In fly fishing, the trick is to “present” your bait (fly) on the water, so that the fish realizes that the bait is attached to something. This is where the leader and the tippet come in.
It is used to fill the drum (called a shaft). The backing is mainly used to provide extra length in a longer throwing run. It is often thick and brightly colored to be easier to see on the water, being, therefore, the longest portion of the line.
This thread is used to move from the thick line to the thinner Tippet. The leader starts with a thick end to match the backing but then reduces its diameter to a much smaller size. Its purpose is to prevent the thicker part of the line from hitting the water and thus scaring the fish. It also serves as an almost invisible transition to the tippet and fly. Leaders are generally about 2.5-3 meters.
The tippet has the role of tying the fly to the leader. The tippet attaches to the fly at one end and the leader at the other and is almost invisible in water. This allows the fly to be presented without any line being seen from above. The trick is to find the strongest, but hardest-to-see tippet.
As you shop for this equipment, you will notice that they all come in different sizes. The right size depends on your rod and the type of fishing you will practice.
There are three main types of flies:
Dry flies are the most common and are designed to look like flying insects that land and float above the water.
Nymphs resemble aquatic creatures, often larvae and generally floating at or just below the surface.
Streamers are designed to mimic the appearance and behavior of leeches, larger than nymphs. These are also called lures.
To determine the best type of fly to use, consult a local fishing shop or sports expert. They will know what works best in the area where you want to fish and for the type of fish, you are looking for. Flies can be purchased with either barbed or non-barbed hooks. The latter is preferable, but both have their sets of pros and cons.
Other miscellaneous accessories for fly fishing
In addition to the configuration of the rod and reel, there are several other accessories that you must purchase and that will make your fishing adventures much more enjoyable:
- fishing net
A lie will not only make it easier to catch fish but will also help protect them until you get them out of the water.
- Polarizing sunglasses
Not only will they protect your eyes from the sun and its reflection in the water, but they will also help you see fish in the water better. Usually, sunglasses make a huge difference when fishing for fly.
These waterproof pants allow you to enter the water, wherever you want. They are specially designed for this sport, therefore, they will not be damaged if you enter the water with them, like some regulars.
With the fishing gear ready, it’s time to dump. There are different types of throws, all with pluses and minuses. Your choice, however, should be determined by four things:
- The type of fish you are looking for;
- Throwing length;
- Personal preferences.
The simplest technique used in fly fishing is the “overhead”, perceived as the basis of this sport.
This technique is not only the simplest but also the “cornerstone” for many other fly fishing techniques. Once you have mastered throwing overhead, learning additional throwing techniques is much easier.
The basic concept behind this technique is to bring the line over and behind you, which you throw, then in front, into the target area. Here are the step-by-step instructions for this throw:
- Hold the rod as if you were shaking hands with someone, with your thumb on it and pointing towards the end of the stick. Your hand should be in the middle of the rod handle. Keep the line between your index finger and the rod;
- With the rod pointed slightly down at the waist, pull about 10 meters from the line and move the rod up and down;
- Go back a little so that the line extends in front of you, not falling directly to the ground;
- Hold your wrist where it is (do not bend it) and raise your arm slowly until the line is tense;
- Quickly rotate your arm back to bring the line behind you. This will cause the stick to bend. Bring the rod to the approximately 1 o’clock position. Then wait for the line to form a loop behind you. This break is very important;
- Once the line is back, quickly bring the rod forward to the 10 o’clock position. The line will be thrown forward. The direction in which you point the rod during this movement will determine where the line reaches. The stronger the movement, the further your line will go;
- As the line expands into the water, slowly lower the arm to place it lightly on the water. This helps because it does not let the thread splash water and scare the fish.
The best way to learn to throw your head is to follow it in action.
These are the basics of fly fishing. Of course, there are many more things to learn: many more complicated throws, how to catch different species of fish, saltwater fishing, and much more. However, following the instructions in this article you have all the information on which you can start fly fishing.