Trout fishing in the White River in Arkansas

Fly Fishing For Beginners, what is involved in getting started fly fishing?

Fly fishing is not as easy as it may look, to some it seems like an extension of regular fishing, just without a spool to direct the line. In fact, fly fishing is nothing like this, as it was created long before the regular spin fishing rods ever existed.

Casting an ordinary reel and line is a simple process, you hold the line and then cast, letting go as the rod reaches its forward point in the direction you want the lure to go, and the fishing lures weight will propel the line out easily.

With a fly reel however, the lures are often tiny, in fact many are less than 1 gram in total weight, and barely the size of a bee or fly. The fly fisher relies entirely on the weight of his main line, to continue to propel the line and lure in the region they want the lure to land.

This takes a lot of practice and skill, as this method of casting is very easy to over or under estimate the distance, and will take a good amount of trial and error to master.

Once learned however, fly fishing is an excellent skill to pass on to your kids, and their kids. When one learns to fly fish, they are also learning how to fish in all types of waters. There is basically nowhere the fly fishing technique can’t be used, from the smallest of streams chasing tiny trout, to the ocean catching massive snapper and flounder.

There is a fly lure to suit all types of fishing, and the technique of using a fly lure is often much more successsful than regular fishing rod and reels which use plastic or metal lures.

Some waters such as in national parks and protected zones, where there is no bait fishing allowed, fly fishers are often exempt from these rules. The benefit of this is also that there is very minimal room in these remote streams to travel the rivers side, so putting on some waders and slowly walking through the tiny streams themselves get’s you to fishing locations no regular fisherman can access.

Fly fishing was once a pastime, used by the rich in Scotland to catch native trout. It was an upper class established sport, as there were no legal rights for the public to fish the rivers, instead the system in Scotland relied upon paying a levy or fee, to rent access to the water for a set period of time, from 1 day to a month or more.

These days however, fly fishing has taken off in the mainstream, and is enjoyed throughout the world as one of the most proven methods to catch all kinds of fish species.

For those with minimal experience, there are also many fly fishing courses you can take, a few hours at one of these courses and you will be a professional in no time. However if you prefer to try to go it alone to start out, then you will need to make sure you have the right equipment.

To start with, make sure to invest in a good quality fly reel, high quality however doesn’t mean high price, there are lots of low cost alternatives sold by the less well known tackle shops, visiting a few of these stores and getting advice will also help you out much more than if you were to get your equipment from a large retailer.

Some of the best fly reels run into the thousands of dollars, while these are masterful creations, you will likely not benefit at all from starting out on such equipment, a $30 or so fly reel will normally suffice until you are confident, and at that stage you can try out some better equipment.

How one casts a fly rod and reel is a bit different to the regular fisherman, you will need to take a fair amount of main line as slack between the reel and rod, dropping the correct amount down beside you to begin with, when you have enough, you can hold the remaining line in place and begin moving your rod around in the air to bring all this slack line out the tip of your rod, and once completely out make your cast.

The more main line you take, the higher the total weight on your line, and theoretically the further your line will travel.

To get the weight behind your line, you will often see fly fishermen moving the slack main line around in the air, building up speed before making a swing of the line from completely behind them, and with a sharp crack like that of a whip, the line is moved and released in the direction and distance you want your fly lure to land.

This moving technique in the air is very important, as you want to take advantage of the full weight of the line you have slackened off the end to begin with, without the correct method of preparing the line, swinging it around in the air before making a quick backward and forward move, the lure will not travel the distance or direction you want it to.

It takes some trial and error to begin this, and many people follow different ways of preparing the line for a cast, we won’t go into this here as this is the fun of learning how to do this yourself, in your own way, instead we hope this article has given you a brief introduction into the sport of fly fishing and the basics needed to attempt your first casts.

It is highly recommended these are practised in an unused area like a football over, cricket ground, or an open reserve, this will give you a good amount of practice and will avoid you loosing lures to snags and trees before you head out for the first time.