If you are reading this article congratulations on taking the step into the world of fly fishing. As you’ll soon realize there is so much to learn about fly fishing and even the most experienced anglers never stop learning. Fish are smarter than we often credit them, getting them to eat a hand-tied fly is actually quite harder than you would think. But with a little practice and basic knowledge about fly fishing, you can travel the world with a fly rod in hand tricking fish to eat a fly.
So what exactly is fly fishing?
Fly fishing is a fishing method that uses an artificial hand-tied “fly” that resembles some sort of bug or small invertebrate like a baitfish. The “fly” is presented using a fly rod, reel, and weighted fly line. The angling method is very popular for smaller fish species like trout and bass but you can target all types of fish with this method.
In this article presented by Tin Cup Whiskey, we will focus on 5 basic tips and techniques for the beginner fly angler. These fly fishing tips will help you get on track to become a competent fly fishing angler.
Tip 1: Stop by Your Local Fly Shop
If you are interested in getting into fly fishing or have received or purchased some fly fishing gear, the next place to stop is your local fly fishing shop or outfitter. Fly shops are located throughout the world and provide anglers with a supportive community of like-minded anglers and resources that can help you learn more about fly fishing. Specifically fly fishing in the local waters that you can access.
While going into a fly fishing shop can be a little intimidating for someone who might be a beginner angler, fly shops are willing to help anglers get into the sport. Let the fly shop know that you are a beginner and are looking for some help whether that may be seeing if they offer any instructional classes or if they have some time to walk you through the basic gear involved with fly fishing. Fly shops are also a great resource to figure out where to go fishing in that specific area and they can provide you with a fishing report and some recommended flies that you can use based on the current bug hatches and fishing conditions. Many fly shops have fishing reports on their websites that can be very helpful.
Tip 2: Use the Internet as a Resource
Like anything these days, the internet is a huge resource for learning all things fly fishing. You can check out our specific Tips and Techniques section of our blog where there are various different resources for anglers to hone their skills. YouTube also has some great instructional videos that you can learn a lot about fly fishing.
Another important point to mention is to check the local fishing regulations. Be sure to retain the proper fishing license and be aware of any specific water closures, fishing seasons, and bag limits. Most States have plenty of resources about the fishing regulations including methods to purchase a license.
Tip 3: Learn the Basics of Fly Casting
Once you have stopped by your local fly shop and surfed the internet far and wide the next best step to jumpstart your fly fishing journey is to learn the basics of fly casting. If you have access to some local lakes or ponds head out with your fly rod setup to practice some casting. If you don’t have any water nearby you can always take your fly fishing setup to a local park and practice some casting on the grass.
If you don’t have anyone to assist you in instruction, check out YouTube for some basic videos. Try videotaping yourself so can see exactly how your fly casts are progressing and use the video to help aid in the improvement of the fly casting. Check out this article for some great fly casting instructional videos: The Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing.
Tip 4: Understand the Entomology Behind Fly Fishing
One of the most interesting and intriguing aspects of fly fishing is the science behind the “fly”. Unlike traditional fishing, with fly fishing, you will typically use a hand-tied “fly” to imitate a source of food for a fish and you’ll trick the fish into eating this imitation. A lot of the time you are actually will be imitating an insect, that the fish will feed on to survive.
Throughout the world, there are different insects, and these insects hatch at different times of the year and are found in different colors and sizes. So understanding the “Entomology” of aquatic insects becomes a very valuable skill for a fly angler. When you can head to the river and observe and know exactly what kind of bug is hatching and you have a specific fly to imitate that bug you will often have great success.
So how do you learn about Entomology? Many fly shops offer courses and even some offer online classes. The in-person classes are very valuable as you can learn and see the four main types of aquatic insects, mayflies, stoneflies, midges, and caddis in the water. So get back in the science class spirit and take some time to learn and observe the bugs on the water!
Tip 5: Have Fun: It’s Not All About the Fish
Learning how to fly fish can be frustrating. Straight up, not catching fish can be not fun. Especially when you scroll through your phone and see all these great catches. But, don’t sweat it, getting skunked (catching no fish) is part of learning how to fly fish. Every angler should have the goal every time that they hit the water that they learn something from that experience. Whether that may be a new method of casting or mending or learning about a new stage of a lifestyle of a bug.
Fly fishing is much more than catching fish, it’s about the experience of constantly learning, being outside, and enjoying the surprises that come along. Hopefully, these fly fishing tips will aid in your journey.
This article is presented by Tincup Whiskey. To learn more about Tincup, check them out HERE.