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Insta: @flyscience
2 years ago

Beginner Mega-Thread! Start Here!

We've been inundated recently with all the eager new anglers trying to get rigged up for spring fishing! Great to have you all here! Please use the search function to find your answers first. Try "beginner" "starter" etc or even your location for better answer.

If you have a question, please don't hesitate to ask it here in a comment rather than posting a new thread! Hopefully we can get a good little starter guide going from all the questions and answers! PLEASE be as detailed as possible when asking questions as it allows us to answer them better! Include such things as target species, location, budget, experience [or lack there of :)].

I'll link some threads as we go!

Search for 'beginner'

Search for 'starter'

Search for 'waders'

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Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster11 points · 2 years ago

Because so many questions revolve around 'whats a good first rod' I can tell you that there is a good reason shops sell more 9ft 5wt rods and lines than all other rods and line sizes combined. This length and line size covers 90% of fishing situations over a variety of places and species. However a jack of all trades is a master of none. If you ask this question and give details about what you'd like to use it for, we may be able to narrow down your search for you!

Why does rod length matter? What is the difference between 8' 8'6 and 9' and which would you recommend for trout fishing out west?

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster10 points · 2 years ago

Longer rods allow you to cast further, mend better, and lift more line off the water for high sticking a nymph rig. They are also heavier and will tire you out a little quicker.

Shorter rods are more accurate and can cast better under tree canopy.

I tend to recommend going for the longest rod you can get away with. Out west with little tree cover I'd recommend a 10ft rod unless you have shoulder problems or fish small streams.

Industry standard in the US is 9ft 5wt but over in europe its becoming 10ft 4wt, which I agree with more.

I should note that while certain rods are more or less accurate or will cast further, 90% of this is the caster not the rod. Beginners won't find a silver bullet to their casting issues by dropping money on a new rod.

Thank you! That is a very helpful explanation

2 points · 2 years ago · edited 2 years ago

Because so many questions revolve around 'whats a good first rod' I can tell you that there is a good reason shops sell more 9ft 5wt rods and lines than all other rods and line sizes combined. This length and line size covers 90% of fishing situations over a variety of places and species. However a jack of all trades is a master of none. If you ask this question and give details about what you'd like to use it for, we may be able to narrow down your search for you!

I wasn't going to wade in on this one because there are so many more qualified posters out there that could, but it's been a month and no one has called out this assumption.

The standard recommendation of a 9' 5wt was made back in the days when the presumed quarry was freshwater trout. If the quarry is sea trout, almost any kind of bass, pike, musky, salmon, steelhead, carp or salt flats fish such as redfish or flounder the 5wt is woefully inadequate. The problem isn't just the size of the fish, it's also casting flies with large mass and air resistance. It's really important to have a good idea of matching the line and rod size to the size of the flies likely to be cast.

In terms of handling the most species, something along the lines of an 8wt comes far closer to being a jack of all trades than a 5wt. The problem is that catching smaller fish on an 8wt isn't much fun. But, neither is trying to throw large deer hair bass bugs into the wind with a 5wt.

The take home message is to really look at what species you will be targeting, in what conditions, and with what limitations. Ask locals to the extent possible. Go out with a guide, (who will likely provide initial gear) and realize that the one size fits all fly rod is something of a unicorn. YMMV.

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster3 points · 2 years ago

100% spot on. Perhaps my way of saying it was poorly worded. Perhaps something along the lines of 'most people's situationsv rather than just most situations. I imagine there are more opportunities for small bass, bluegill, and trout (where a 5ft would be great) that more people take advantage of.

Again, and no one can say this enough

the one size fits all fly rod is something of a unicorn.

However a jack of all trades is a master of none.

3 points · 2 years ago · edited 2 years ago

So after watching a few vids online and the one the shop gave me with the rod I still have a few questions I can't find the answer to:

  1. When they are talking about ridding the line of slack, I assume they mean in the casting, not the drift?
    Ripping off the slack in the line on the drift just makes the fly look unnatural. I'm pretty sure they mean drag when in the water. Correct? Are you 'allowed' slack when you drift? As long as there is no drag?

  2. Any tips on how to limit drag in the water. I've got faster flowing rivers around me, so the only way I've found is to cast downstream. This is on dry flies for now.
    Note: I do know enough to not cast my fly over faster water into a slower moving area. Is it possible that my line is to heavy for my fly, would that cause it to drag, or do you think I am casting into a slower area? Just not as obvious to me.

  3. Related to above - I was told to lower my rod with dry flies otherwise I'll pull them under. Should I just be sticking to nymphs in faster waters?

  4. Related again to above, if with dry flies, you hold your rod tip low, and nymphs you hold it high, what do you do with a dual rig. Ie a royal wulff fly with a dark nymph below it.

  5. Real beginners question here, don't laugh too loud - I've been advised to get Royal Wulff type flies, which are great, but I need some more, in the meantime I have some plastic cicada, and some hard green blowflies. Are these to be treated exactly the same as dry flies? Just less fluffy and harder to see? Or are they more nymph like? What difference does this make in technique?

  6. My reel clicks when the fish is taking line, it does not click when I'm winding. It's an ace reel. Is that normal?

  7. Fuck it's annoying when I've got to sit on the bank and set up my rod and flies, whilst my 'spinner' fiance just casually takes of the corks, clicks his rod together and casts in the best spots.
    To speed things up so far I've considered:

  • Pre-tying some tippet to my fluffy dry flies, wrapped that around a cotton roll, so there's no tangles.

  • Pre-tying tippet to the leader.

  • Then the plan is to use a double surgeon to join the tippets. I've tried it, and the small flies fit through the knot easy enough. The reason for two lots of tippet, is that my double surgeon's have a lot of 'leftover', especially when in a hurry, so I would be using too much leader if I tied to that directly.

  • I'm much faster at double surgeon's than clinch knots. So it would save me time, any reason knot to do this?

  • Any other time saving tips? If your fly isn't in the water, you ain't catching fish!

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster7 points · 2 years ago · edited 2 years ago

There's a lot of questions here with only a little context so I'll do my best.

  1. Rid the line of slack before you start to cast. You can't start a good cast with slack in the line. Manageable slack during the drift will allow for a more natural presentation. Too little slack and you wont get good drifts, too much and you wont be able to set the hook.

  2. Mend mend mend! Watch your fly line bend and bow in the current to figure out whats moving relatively faster. All fly lines are affected the same in the current. I fish a ridiculously small line and have the same problems, which is mitigated by either mending, or just putting myself in the right angle to begin with. For dry flies, I'm usually casting upstream to 45 degrees off and almost never 90 degrees to the current.

  3. Depends on how fast the water. Many times yes. This is mostly dictated by how turbulent the surface water is. If its too turbulent to float a dry, you may want to nymph or streamer fish that spot.

  4. Dry dropper can be fished high or low, mainly depending on the weight of the nymph. If the weight is enough to hold the dry in place, you can high stick, if not, keep the rod tip low.

  5. Hard to know if they are buoyant or not. If so, yes you can treat them similar to dry flies.

  6. Yes, this is good.

  7. Well first off, tippet not tipple. You can do pre-tied rigs but they tend to get tangled. I usually leave tippet on my leader so yes! Look into tippet rings if youre clipping off too much leader but it can be a good idea to create a taper with your tippet. Use clinch knots for tippet to flies, surgeons for connecting tippet together or tippet to leader, and either surgeons or blood knots for two thick leader sections. All in all, fly fishing has more parts than spin fishing so maybe just wack your fiance over the head for not leaving you water. Its the gravest of fishing sins.

You've done well! This is amazing!

Manageable slack during the drift will allow for a more natural presentation. Too little slack and you wont get good drifts.

I knew I was right, silly video.

Mend mend mend!

I haven't heard of this, so off to google for me. I've been casting way more than 45 degrees, so I'll reign that angle in a bit.

you may want to nymph or streamer fish that spot

Are streamers usually mucky water lure too? And what's the technique, low or high stick? Will smaller trout take them?

If the weight is enough to hold the dry in place, you can high stick, if not, keep the rod tip low.

This doesn't make sense to me, why would the weight hold the dry in place, wouldn't it pull it under? Also what size split weights do people usually use?

Well first off, tippet not tipple

Well fuck, that's embarrassing, edited!

Look into tippet rings if youre clipping off too much leader

I did ask about them, but the older guy at the hunting shop looked disgusted at the mention of them, maybe a purest thing? Do they effect the cast?

just wack your fiance over the head for not leaving you water

Haha tempting! Luckily he has a habit of walking past a promising hole onto the next one, and ignoring my suggestions that there might be fish in there, I've never been wrong, so I think I'll just casually stop and set up. Might get a cast or two in before he notices. No bears round my parts.

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster5 points · 2 years ago · edited 2 years ago

Mend mend mend! I haven't heard of this,

Learn it, use it, love it. Mending is arguably more important than casting.

Are streamers usually mucky water lure too? And what's the technique, low or high stick? Will smaller trout take them?

Usually, but big fish eat big food so it can pay dividends even when the water isn't murky. It works well in murky water because since streamers are big, they can be seen easier. Generally low sticking while pulling in line to simulate the fly moving, or by casting downstream and across and allowing the fly to swing to impart movement. Smaller trout will take them, but you'll find you'll average less fish and bigger fish with streamers vs nymphs and dries. There are days when streamers are the ticket though! Experiment!

This doesn't make sense to me, why would the weight hold the dry in place, wouldn't it pull it under? Also what size split weights do people usually use?

Your line is big and heavy. Its meant to be. That also means that by high sticking, it'll pull your dry around on the surface. By having something heavy below it, it won't pull it around quite so much. Some flies are more buoyant than others (like a chernobyl ant) and can sustain more weight below. Split shot size varies a lot depending on flies, water speed, and depth you want to fish. The only 100% solid advice is to get smaller split shot than you think you'll need, and use as many as 4 to attain the weight you want. Micro adjustments of depth by changing the distance from the fly and the indicator, as well as how much weight is on the line between splitshot and flies, is the key to indicator fishing. You'll have to adjust a lot, literally multiple times at each spot you want to fish, but if you experiement enough and learn when and how to adjust, you'll catch many times more fish.

I did ask about them, but the older guy at the hunting shop looked disgusted at the mention of them, maybe a purest thing? Do they effect the cast?

Pureist thing definitely. They're fantastic in so many ways by allowing you to save money on tippet and leaders, by saving the planet doing so, and ease of rigging your flies up. If you buy fly fishing specific tippet rings, they'll be very small <2mm and will not affect the cast. They're so small the drag caused by most tippets will allow the little bit of metal to float.

Edit: When tying line to tippet rings, do a clinch knot, same as when attaching tippet to flies. A trip surgeons won't work here.

Also you missed one :)

The reason for two lots of tipple, is that my dou

Thanks this has been a huge help.

I'll head out to practise all this one of these days, no doubt I'll have more questions when I return!

Urgh trying to get rid of clinch knots, my weak clinch knots, and not holding long enough at the back, has made me get thru the flies rather quickly, which is getting rather expensive! I've recently learnt to moisten the line which is helping. I'm sure they'll get better with practise.

Argh - must edit!

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster4 points · 2 years ago

Hey no problem.

Are you doing a clinch or an improved clinch? Most people mean improved clinch and just say it shorthand.

This is what you should be doing, and yes always wet the tippet before pulling tight on every knot

Huh, I didn't have the extra tuck at the end, so I guess I was just doing a clinch, I will have to try the improved!

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster3 points · 2 years ago

Yup, I'm not surprised! Your way of doing it is the clinch knot which does tend to pull through in some situations.

Also, don't read into this further. There's a ton of great information out there that will tell you a clinch knot is as good as an improved clinch, but they leave out a BIG detail (which I won't go into here as its a beginners thread). Just learn and do the improved and you won't have those problems.

I'm not arguing that the improved clinch knot is better or worse, but for me personally after having tried both, I found I was losing less flies with the standard - plus it's a little quicker. I could just have not been tying the improved properly though.

Regardless, use more tippet if it helps make a cleaner knot. And also give your tippet a real good tug to test if your knot is good enough. If it unravels or breaks, then you just saved your self $2.50 or whatever flies cost you there by not losing the fly on a log. Flies are much more valuable than tippet.

$NZ4.50, gutting to lose one! I'll try the improved for a bit and see how I go.

$4.50, that's insane!

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago

Must've missed this.

The big difference between a clinch and an improved clinch is that the clinch is tension setting and improved is self setting. In other words, the clinch requires friction from the hook to set correctly, whereas the improved clinch uses friction from the line itself. You can run into issues when using large flies and small tippets as the tippet to hook angle is much larger, minimizing friction. I also discussed this just below here on davy knots, which work similar to clinch knots.

tl;dr davy knots and clinch knots are great and work often, but an improved clinch will work all the time.

Guess I might be giving the improved clinch another go! Thanks!

I recently switched from a clinch to a double davey and haven't looked back. I've never had problems as long as I don't clip the tag end too short and it's much faster/easier than the clinch.

I hear you on the clinch. I'm a n00b too & been picking it up through the fall & winter - gotta love frozen toes... check out the Davy knot. Quick to tie, strong & much smaller than the clinch. Has helped a lot 4 me when using small flies. As for the slack - think they mean to just make sure your line is "tight" enough you can set the hook by just lifting the rod. If you have 5' of slack after the cast to counteract drag then your going to have a hard time setting the hook. Back yard casting practice is tour friend. More accurate u can get less slack You'll need. Also check out the reach cast. Still work on it myself but even being far from good at it it's been helping with cross current drifts. I've tried prerigging but found better success if I line up to the tippet & wait/watch the water for a few minutes before I tie a fly on - looking at what's for dinner has helped with hook ups. If you're nymphing & have a net id suggest picking up a cheap paint strainer from home Depot. Put it over the net & take a sample of what's in the water before tying on. Little slower but worth it if u can 0 in on what they're feeding on. Also 2nd the tippet rings

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster2 points · 2 years ago

I have a lot of love for the davy knot. I use it 95% of the time. However, it is not a great knot all the time. Just like the unimproved clinch, a davy knot can and will slip when you tie small tippet onto large flies. Both the davy knot and unimproved clinch are tension setting, whereas the improved clinch is self setting. Doesn't matter the tippet size or fly size, an improved clinch will always set and stay set. Thats why I recommend it to beginners and let them figure out other knots later.

Makes total sense. Usually fall back on the i cinch on bigger flies - just throwing so many micros this winter I feel the Davy rocks 18 & under - cinch can be 1/4 of the fly size on a 22...

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago

Absolutely. Just for the time and tippet saved I do a davy knot on anything smaller than 6x and size 12.

Aw yeh could give it a go, does it angle the fly at all? looks like it might a wee bit.

Thanks, yeh watched a beginners DVD on casting, which heavily concentrated on no slack, didn't mention the fly in the water, so obviously got the wrong end of the stick. Funny how there's so much info on casting, but not much on fly in the water technique.

I can't stand "pretend casting" as I call it, I'd rather learn out there. I definitely costs me more in lost gear, but it's how I roll. It's working so far, the lines going where I want, but just need to concentrate on leaving the backswing longer, keep cracking it. I'm okay until I get distracted by fish...

Huh that's not a bad idea, I've been told the fish in our will take a dark nymph year round so that's my go to at the mo, with Autumn (Fall) here I might try some streamers. Black toby always works on a spinner, so I'll see if I can find something like that is my guess.

I find it so ironic that just as I start to get back into fly fishing with my gf, it seems as though everyone else is doing the same.

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster3 points · 2 years ago

Everyone is getting ready for spring! I'm willing to bet most of the subscribers here haven't fished in months, and its a great time for the people wanting to get into it to get started!

I'm in that boat!

Just starting fly fishing. I have used spinners my whole life with great success. Deciding to fly fish since I have now graduated college and have the time. I have landed my career job in a prime area for fly fishing. Many people come here to fish for the weekend, luckily I'm here all year around.

Largely I have fished trout and bass my entire life and id like to keep doing that, but with a fly setup.

I have purchased a simple Rod and reel combo off Amazon and attempting to perfect my casting and technique before I invest in an Orvis reel and rod kit.

I am currently fishing with dry flies and using 5/6 reel with 5 weight Rod 8'6 in size. I am using #5 fly line and 5x 9ft tapered leader with a dry fly attached to leader.

The problem I am running into is that I let my line out using the false cast, but on the back cast I seem to sometimes snag the grass or the bank. What causes this usually?

Also I have not really caught any fish or anything, mostly just practicing the casting technique and targeting where I want to land the fly. When I cast it seems my fly will float for a bit but then get caught under the water. I not entirely sure when to retrieve and recast.

I have not had much luck and I decided to invest in some chest waders and polarized sun glasses, hopefully this will open some opportunities to reach a trout pool.

Also in terms on flies what size do I generally want to go with? I.e. #12 etc...

Hopefully someone can help me thanks!

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster3 points · 2 years ago

The problem I am running into is that I let my line out using the false cast, but on the back cast I seem to sometimes snag the grass or the bank. What causes this usually?

Stop backcasting at the bank. Angle yourself to where your backcasts are over more open water. Alternatively, don't let line go out on your backcast, just your forward cast (also known as shooting line).

At the point that the fly gets pulled under water (happens to everyone) you'll need to dry the fly off and apply some floatant to it. Gink works very well for traditional hackled flies and you can use it on the leader and tippet to float that as well.. You'll increase the chance the fly gets taken under water if theres drag on the fly. Look up how to dead drift and use mending to accomplish that. The more dead drifted the fly is, the less drag there will be from the line and leader pulling it under.

Going back to getting caught on the bank, the chest waders will help. Beginners seem to think chest waders are for old people or cold people, but the reality is that they allow you to get further into the water, which means you'll be further away from the bank, and getting caught on the bank less. You can certainly fish without waders, but you should probably be wading at least. I'll hazard a guess that well over 50% of the people who tried and quit fly fishing did so because they got caught in trees on every backcast, simply because they never left the bank. If you're casting 40 feet into a river, you'll be casting 40 feet behind you as well. If there's trees, thats not the rods fault, thats your fault for being there.

Fly size varies widely. For trout, I'd say very very generally 14 is my go to, but I'll fish anywhere between 2 and 22 depending on the conditions. Call a local shop or search for a hatch chart for your area to determine what flies and what sizes you should be using.

Lastly, congrats on graduating! I graduated in December and I'm moving out west to better fishing as well!

Thanks for the advice! Wearing chest waders is absolutely no problem for me, especially if it means staying dry and venturing out into deeper waters.

I don't know if you could of assistance when it comes to this question, but when doing the forward and backhand false cast does it necessarily take a long time (or number of back and forward casts) to unload the line. What I mean having to go back and forth to let slack out, then eventually lowering the rod to shoot out.

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster2 points · 2 years ago

Okay first things first

then eventually lowering the rod to shoot out

Like golf or baseball, swing don't hit. Do the same thing on the forward cast as you would with a false cast. I've seen some great casts get ruined when people 'hit' the last throw.

And as to the question, the least amount of false casting is the best amount.

Even if you have to keep your back cast angled towards the bank you can cut down on the snags. Being new to this (like mee) you're probably extending/dropping your back cast too far. Once you get a little line on the water try stopping your back cast at 12 o'clock. Keeping it vertical & rod high rather than sidearm will help keep you out of the bank (has for me anyway)

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago

This is great advice, but it can be tricky for beginners to do. For all the beginners reading, its likely worth your time and effort to get yourself into a better angle rather than cast a better angle.

Totally agree it isn't as easy as it looks. Still in my fledgling year & bungle it more than I really pull it off. But when it works & gets you the drift you can't otherwise figure out... totally worth looking like an idiot on the botched attempts ;)

This is the same thing I was thinking. When I first started I had this problem a lot, and eventually realized that I was letting my wrist swing backwards so that my rod was parallel with the water at the end of my backcast. This, of course, caused my line to go down behind me, hitting and getting stuck in whatever was back there.

Keeping my wrist almost locked and ensuring that I end my backstroke at 12 o'clock has eliminated this problem and really improved my casting.

I'm just getting into fly fishing, and one thing that I have seen people talking about is fishing above 9000 feet. I live in TN, so I will not be doing that anytime soon, but I would love to know what makes the experience so unique? Thanks for any insight.

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
3 points · 1 year ago

Above the treeline, lakes don't ice off until June, trout are not picky at all and eat anything that touches the water.
2 points · 2 years ago


Just a thought, the threads your linking there mostly have information linking to other threads or searches. Maybe just link to the links directly and save a step?

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago

Because rather than linking to a specific thread with a few questions and answers, I link to many threads containing many answers to many questions.

The reason these threads get posted all the time is because the information isn't easily searchable or accessible for somebody with very basic knowledge. In my opinion the threads you link to probably don't help solve that problem because the searches aren't really strong in finding great results that are efficient and easy for a beginner to put together. That's a criticism of Reddit's shitty search function, not you personally.

Maybe it would be a good idea to create a mega thread for each common topic (beginner learning to trout fish, entry level saltwater, entry level bass, how line weight works with fly rods, etc).

My point is that the way to solve the problem of tons of the same threads is to create a really easy place to find the info without clicking around 20 links, because people are lazy and they just won't do that.

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago

If you want to do that, PM me descriptions and links and I'll format it into the post.

I think a substantial improvement would be for your Search links to link to results that are sorted by total comments (more comments typically yields better threads, from what I saw) and limited to the past year. Especially when it comes to rod/reel/equipment searches, some of the top results are three years old and half the rod models mentioned are no longer in production or have been replaced or have obvious better alternatives now.

Also, couldn't some of the round table threads work as good beginner resources? Those had lots of comments and discussion.

How the heck do I get to a point where I can post an item to start a new thread?

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago

If the time stamps are right your post was approved 2 minutes after making this comment.

Yeah, I'm feeling very very stupid. :) one or two other cries for help didn't make the cut before, so I wasn't sure if there was some complex ritual ;)

Okay, so this seems to be too simple of a question but I can't find an answer.

I am fishing, then I want to try a different fly. Do I untie the current one? Do I cut the tippet? Am I missing something?

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster2 points · 2 years ago

You will have a very hard time untying a well tied knot with fishing line. Cut the fly off the tippet, trim the wasted tippet from the eye of the hook, tie on a new fly!

Thank you!

Late to the party but when I stopped in the Orvis store this weekend I saw they had free beginner fly fishing lessons. There are only 2 Saturdays left but it looks like they're offered in just about every state. If you're brand new or still learning it might be a good chance to learn how to fly fish or polish your skills a bit. Here's more info.

Thank you for this! Just signed up for this weekend.

I took both the 101 (casting) and the 201 (fishing on a local pond) class from them. Both were very helpful, and I feel that I have better handle on my casting, and I've actually caught some fish. They are having a paid wading and float fishing trip on the Chattahoochee soon, and I hope to go on that.

Comment deleted1 year ago
Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
3 points · 1 year ago

I fish those same rivers a lot, but I'll give you some general advice that doesn't really change much river to river.

First of all: this is all personality based, and not only that, it's a very dynamic system too. There are fish around every corner. Do you want to catch every fish in that section? You could spend 10 hours fishing a tiny section of water. Or you could cast twice into every hole and call it "not hungry."

Personally I don't like to change flies much, especially if fish aren't showing themselves. You have no idea what they're eating. I put on something generic that works most of the time, and fish pocketwater, holes, runs, each for maybe 5 minutes before moving on. It's not worth my time guessing 1. what they're eating, and 2. if they're even there, and 3. that they're hungry at all. But this is a total judgement call.

I try to make a couple casts that are right on the money, and presented well (good mends etc), and if nothing takes, I'm moving on. The approach changes river to river, mood to mood, time of season, depending on water/bug conditions.

There's no hard rule and you have to make your own.

2 points · 1 year ago

Hi guys! I wouldn't say I'm a beginner fly fisherman per-say but my question is revolving something new I want to try.

I've fished many of the same ponds and lakes around me since I was a teen (so about 8-9 years now). However, more recently after watching a ton of videos about fishing small creek and stream systems, I've been itching to try it.

I'm just hesitant to start because I'm used to fly fishing from row boats or the shore. I've never waded, nor do I know how to read rivers/flow that well. Also, one of my biggest questions, if not my biggest, is how do you find a suitable stream to wade in and start? I'm not worried about the species I'm targeting (I'm from Massachusetts) so it'd range from anywhere from bass to panfish to trout.

Awesome. I don't know anything about behind the scenes reddit but can you sticky that (or whatever makes it show as the top post all times)? Or maybe that isn't a good idea, idk.

Never mind mobile is being a bitch today. Sorry.

Ok. I'll bite.

I am taking a fly-fishing course, and I've come up with a couple questions I haven't had the chance to ask:

  • What's with all the hype around artificial flies? Why not find a bug or live bait to put at the end of the line? Instructors talk about figuring out what types and stages of insects are around your fishing location, but no one mentioned just taking one of the bugs you find under a rock and putting it on the line.

  • What is the general consensus on eating your catch? I kind of wanted to get into fly-fishing for the occasional trout dinner, but I am getting the impression that taking home our catch is looked down upon?

  • Is there such thing as a versatile rod? I'll be fishing in CO and hopefully AK sometime. I understand that I may need two different rods. Why not get a meatier rod for both types of environments/fish?

  • When one is fly-fishing do you typically stand in one place for a long time?

  • What are the pros and cons of using a vest versus a fanny pack?

  • How does one find places to fly-fish in your local area? Ask around?

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster3 points · 2 years ago

You could absolutely use live bait! Fly fishing at its roots was designed to cast near weightless flies to rising fish on the surface, however that has evolved quite a bit over time. Many people, especially those who tie their own flies, get more enjoyment out of fooling a fish with an artificial of their own selection or creation rather than live bait. Just be mindful of local regulations as this kind of fishing would count as bait fishing and may only be legal in certain areas.

The general consensus is catch and release, however this is a majority but not a whole. Many people keep their catches to eat. I would encourage you to do some research and ask some local experts whether the waters you'll be fishing can sustain taking fish. Every fish you take is one less fish for you to catch later, for someone else to catch later, and many less offspring. In addition, stocked trout are often put into rivers for exactly this purpose. If you want a simplified rule of thumb, eat stocked trout and release wild trout. Again, local regulations may dictate where you can and cannot keep fish.

Side note, fly anglers who use artificial flies (especially barbless) and practice catch and release get special treatment. These techniques are some of the least harmful to the fish for repeated catching, so landowners and your states DFW/DNR/DEC equivalent will often give access to fly fishers while restricting others because they understand the impact on the fishery will be less.

Rods are like golf clubs. Sure you could putt with a driver, but theres going to be some problems. With fly rods, you want the rod to bend at the pressure of the fish. The bending action acts like a shock absorber and allows you to put consistent pressure on a fighting fish. Too little shock absorbtion and the fish overpowers the rod, too much and the rod doesn't bend at all, meaning no shock absorption. This can often cause the fish to come off. Lastly is enjoyment. A 16" trout will be a thrill to fight on a 5wt or lighter, but you'd hardly feel it on an 8wt. Most people select rods by finding out what is the perfect rod for each application they're wanting to use it for, then finding a happy medium. For CO I'd recommend a 9ft 5wt and for AK I'd recommend a 9ft 8wt. So perhaps a 6wt is what you'd want to look into. A jack of all trades is a master of none and while the 6wt can do both situations, it won't be ideal for either.

People fish in all different ways. I've both sat on one hole for many hours and have hiked several miles while fly fishing. Typically after a few casts or fish caught, the rest of the fish in the immediate area will know something is up and will stop biting as freely. Moving allows you to constantly cover 'fresh' fish so to speak. When fishing in AK you may find the opposite is true as the fish are migrating. It may pay dividends to find a nice holding area where fish will rest throughout the day before moving on. If you stick with that one area you'll learn to fish it better and can catch fish as they move through, rather than constantly evaluating new water.

For vests vs packs, there's really too much to get into and its 95% a personal opinion. The facts though are that fanny packs get submerged if you wade over your hips, and that some vests can get very hot throughout the day. Think about how much you'll be carrying, how deep you'll be wading, and how hot a pack/vest may be while wearing it when deciding which one you'd like to get.

Local waters are often highlighted by your states DFG/DNR/DEC. Go onto their website and look for trout regulations and trout stocking. They'll list the rivers in which both happen. If they have either stocked fish, or special regulations on trout fishing, odds are theres a decent population. Other than that, contact a local fly shop and ask!

Also many areas/sections of river are restricted to artificial fly/lure only. Real bugs don't hold up well to fly casting with the constant back & forth. I've hooked plenty of mayfly nymphs & some stones & scuds. Sometimes I "forget" to clean the hook to see if i can get a strike on a natural bug... they're rarely on the hook after a cast or two...

Comment deleted2 years ago
Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster4 points · 2 years ago

Either single or double works great, but while double rigs allow you to fish more of the water at a time, you can also tangle your rig easier.

As far as tips, don't be afraid to add weight to get to where the fish are!

Hope you had some luck. Running two (or even three, regulations permitting) nymphs allows you to try more patterns at once if you don't know what's hitting. On the other hand, as u/_iFish said, they also tangle far more often. If you're spending more time untangling messes than fishing, then stick to fewer flies on the line.

When you're casting nymph rigs do as little false casting as possible. I avoid it altogether when possible, because tangles are so common. Make your loops nice and open, or just let the rig float downstream, then lob it forward again for another drift.

Two last points, both very important: First, get your rig down deep (either by adding weight or doing a pile cast). If you're not catching the bottom every now and then, it's probably not deep enough. At the end of the drift let it "swing" before you cast again. You'd be surprised how often fish take a nymph like that - they resemble emerging insects swimming for the surface.

Second - set the hook. Set the hook. Set the hook. Funny drift? Set the hook. Indicator hesitates, slides, dunks, or looks wrong? Set the hook. Takes are so subtle sometimes that even the best fishermen miss a large portion of them. If you're not sure, just set the hook.

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster2 points · 2 years ago

Every 20th rock has fins. There's a reason every single guide's favorite word is SET!!!

This may get buried, but oh well.

My parents have just bought a holiday home on the banks of Lough Mask in Ireland and I hear it has some of the best trout fishing in the world.

My problem is that I've only ever done coarse bait fishing. My question is easy is it to teach myself fly fishing? Can it be done? Where do I start? It's quite overwhelming, even for someone with a lot of experience coarse fishing!

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster2 points · 2 years ago

Lakes (lough's) are definitely a challenge for me as an American but from what I know Ireland has a deep history of lough fishing. For starters you'll need a place to either fish from the bank (and it needs to be clear of brush, you'll need plenty of backcast room) or better yet access to a boat. Any boat will do! Start with a rod with a floating line and perhaps add some sinking lines to your collection later.

As compared to river fishing, lake fishing absolutely requires a decent cast, however you can use lines that make that much easier for a beginner. Look for WF (weight forward) or extreme front taper lines (like Airflo 40+) lines that will make casting much easier. Youtube and Orvis learning center are excellent places to learn to cast.

As I've never been to Ireland, I'd probably recommend giving a fly shop on Lough Mask a call and see what they say, and perhaps they have a beginners setup in mind for the Lough! Many shops also offer classes, and if you have a hole in your pocket you could always hire a guide on the lough to teach you (though I would recommend learning how to properly cast at least 15m by then).

Brilliant answer, thank you. I'm lucky that there's a nice trout Lake about a 10 minute drive from me which is bank fishing only. They also allow bait fishing, so I can switch to that if I'm having no luck, should stop me getting demotivated.

Looking at YouTube videos I'm pretty sure I can learn the basics from there.

My dad has already started looking into buying a small rowing boat, which will be nice. Is technique markedly different from a boat? I presume the fundamentals are the same.

Wish I had a bigger garden to practice the cast before getting out on the water!

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster2 points · 2 years ago

The fundamentals are indeed the same, however I would recommend getting comfortable casting from a sitting position if the boat is rather small. Your weight shifting back and forward in as little as a 12ft boat may tip it over.

Awesome, thank you.

Ordered my first lot of gear. Went for a WF line and a 10' reservoir 7/8# given that my local waters and the waters in Ireland are large bodies.

Some of the local information tells me that nymphs will get me the best takes on this water, but I can't really find anything definitive on a strike indicator of some sort, what would you recommend? (Sorry for loads of noob questions!)

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster2 points · 2 years agoGilded1

You could use either a dry fly or an indicator to fish heavy nymphs at various depths, or you could cast and retrieve them with a strip, figure 8, or rolly polly method. Retrieving even very slowly will keep you in direct contact with your flies and you'll feel takes. Fishing a dry or indicator os much more visual

Thanks so much for all your help. Gilded you as a small thank you.

Can't wait to get out and try and catch some trout now!

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster2 points · 2 years ago

Well thats appreciated. Let me know if you have any more questions!

1 point · 2 years ago

When ever I try to do the pickup/laydown cast it seems that I always cast the line directly into the water. Any tips on how I can keep off the water for longer?

Also, any tips for shooting casts?

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster2 points · 2 years ago

10 and 2 is not 9 and 3. Stop your cast higher and more abrupt. Also, swing dont hit (like golf or baseball). Too many people have great false casts then try and power it through on the last forward cast and ruin the whole thing.

As far as shooting line, figure out how long the belly of your fly line is. Once you've false casted to the point its fully aerialized, then its time to shoot.

1 point · 2 years ago

Thanks! I'll try that out. I've been feeling like my casting is a bit loose when going by 10 and 2.

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster2 points · 2 years ago

Probably because you aren't stopping the rod efficiently. Remember, let the line FULLY back or forward before you start in the other direction, and then a constant acceleration to a hard stop. Think of your rod like a long stick with an apple on the end. Too much force at the beginning and the apple will go high, let the stick go to far forward and the apple will go low.

A couple of things. Firstly, would it be worth having a weekly questions thread for people to ask stuff that doesn't warrant its own thread?

Secondly, I want some advice if anyone can help. I went out with the fly rod for the first time at the weekend and had nothing for the first couple of hours. Then I worked out what I was doing wrong, I was nymphing and wasn't letting the Nymph sink for long enough. When I fixed this, the bites started coming, but I missed every one. I felt the take, and struck like I would when coarse fishing, but nothing.

Anyway, the heavens opened shortly after and the thunder started so I packed up and went home. Any tips on what I could be doing wrong? Thanks.

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago · edited 2 years ago

My thought process when getting strikes and not getting hookups:

  1. Check hooks. Make sure they're sharp and nothings tangled. Occasionally line will wrap around the tail end of the fly so when you set the hook it comes bend first and obviously won't produce a hookup.

  2. Make sure your line is tight enough to the indicator that you are actually applying enough force to hook fish. (Probably your problem) In fly fishing this is much more difficult compared to coarse/conventional fishing because you are often required to mend and have a less tight connection to the indicator. Setting the hook requires you to move enough line to overcome this slack between rod tip and indicator, and also recover the slack between angle of rod tip > indicator > fly. The latter gets progressively more when the flies are deeper. In addition, using split shot further from your fly adds one more angle to overcome. Worst case scenario: indicator is 45ft+(15m) from the rod tip, split shot is 6ft (2m)+ from indicator) and flies are 12" (30cm)+ from the splitshot. You'll have to move a lot of line to make this hookset!

So tips for this would be to minimize slack in line. If you are in a position where slack is required to mend across currents, consider moving yourself to be at a better angle. Standing directly downstream and casting upwards into a consistent current allows you to make a tighter drift with little to no mending required. 90* to the current is usually the worst in this regard and any lesser angle is going to help. The next way to minimize slack is to fish heavier weight. Fishing heavier weight allows for a very tight connection between indicator and weight, allowing you to see takes much quicker and respond quicker. In addition, you can use less line from indicator to weight to achieve the same depth (as the rule of thumb is to use 1.5x the depth, you could go the same as depth). Lastly would be shorten the distance between weight and fly. Sometimes this is not a good idea as it may spook fish; however fishing weighted flies with no extra weight added to the rig eliminates this problem. In addition, fishing without and indicator (aka tight line nymphing or czech nymphing) eliminates another point of slack; however it can be much more difficult to achieve a natural drift using this technique. I highly recommend beginners start with suspension indicators and move on from there.

Lastly, rod position can play a big role. People used to coarse/conventional fishing often fish with the rod in an upwards angled position because its more natural and theres no need to do anything else. With fly fishing, leaving the rod tip pointed at the indicator and the tip near the water (and maybe even with your arms forward some) will allow you to move the most line.

As to your first question: weekly question threads work well in bigger subreddits with a lot of unique questions. With the amount of questions we've fielded and how often the same question gets asked, a static beginners thread seems to be working much better.

Thanks for this detailed reply. I think you're right about my problem being the line not tight enough. I was indeed using a split shot, too.

I'll try and put into practice some of the things you've said. Great help once again, I'll let you know how I get on.

So I am currently fishing my on campus lake for largemouth bass. I've had luck with poppers mostly. I also have a frog fly, some wooly buggers, and streamers. I've only been able to catch bass around a pound. what can I do/use to catch bigger fish and where should I been looking to target them?

I can wade in and hit almost all covers (fallen trees, algae mats, etc). I have gotten good enough at casting to be able to throw lures ~45 feet. I'm using a 9 ft, 5-6 wt TFO set up.

I'm not opposed to buying new flies but there are no shops around for miles so I'd have to order online and wait awhile. I don't know if it helps but I'm in Northern Indiana and fish predominantly in the early evening through dark. Thanks guys!

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago · edited 2 years ago

Big flies = big bass. I love watching musky fishing videos of guys throwing huge 8-12" long streamers and some huge smallmouth crushing them.

Other than that, beat feet. If you don't get a hit within a couple casts, the fish just aren't in or active in that area. Cover water efficiently to get your flies in front of as many fish as possible.

You can't fish too large of flies on a 5/6 but fishing tube flies with a sink tip will get the furthest cast. Not really sure where you might be able to buy flies like that but here's a good site with what you might be looking for. If you do buy a fly like this, make sure to fish really heavy tippet material and maybe even braid. The fish won't mind, and it could potentially save a $15-20 fly.

This is a strategy I've primarily heard used for panfish but I've caught a few 3-4lb bass on it. I tie a gurgler on about 5ft of 10lb mono and run a wet fly underneath it about 6 inches to a foot. My favorite is a tenkara fly because the reverse hackle pulsates when you pop it and it always looks pretty good to me. The popping can get the attention of the fish and sometimes they'll snatch the little thing hanging underneath it. Works particularly well when they're bedding and close to the bank

I need advise on a warm water intermediate sinking line.I live in the Dallas area and do a lot of bass fishing and I just ordered a 907 H2 and wanting to get everything set up.

You might've already purchased but I have been using Orvis Access Clear Intermediate line on my 5wt for about a year in anything from deep mucky ponds to clear streams. I bought it primarily for carp since they're so spooky. I've caught grass carp, gar, lmb, panfish, and anything else you could find down in MS. It's invisible once it hits the water and I can chuck it as far as I can any other line. Sinks well enough for streamers but not too much. I throw gurglers and other top waters on it regularly. I think I paid about $60 for it.

Insta: @flyscience
Original Poster1 point · 2 years ago

Thats most definitely not a beginner question! You may want to start a new thread for this one.

1 point · 2 years ago · edited 2 years ago

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I'm certainly not as knowledgable as iFish but I've been using a 6 wt. to catch LMB for awhile now. The bigger ones (around 5lb) put up a great fight on it. Bass are notoriously bold and aren't leader shy at all so I think you'd have no problem catching. I'd imagine a big smallie and a river current would make the fight very exciting and you'll be thankful for the extra leverage you have.

1 point · 2 years ago

Thanks for the input. It's funny how certain sites herd beginners to the beginner thread, and then it just becomes out of sight, out of mind. There's obviously a lot of questions, but if you want a quicker response, it's easier to post to the main page, and hope that someone answers before it's removed by a mod

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
1 point · 2 years ago

I haven't looked through this thread for a while, sorry. If you use the search feature I think you would find plenty of answers on this question.

The true answer lies in where you're fishing and what kind of flies you're throwing. I have a 6wt, 7wt, and 8wt, and I use all of them for smallmouth. My 7wt was bought specifically for fishing for smallmouth. It has the backbone to fight them and also the line to turn over big flies. So the answer is no, it's not overkill. My local shop specialized in smallmouth and they recommend a 7 or 8wt.

2 points · 2 years ago

Sweet. It sounds like my 7wt was a good choice for where I live in Florida. It can handle reds, tarpon, and other inshore species while handling freshwater like LMB, and even the occasional SMB when i visit Virginia. Thanks for the advice

I'm starting to be more interested in fishing, my family has 2 rods, one which my dad uses, and another, a spin/fly combo, how effective at fly-fishing are such rods? Are they any different?

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
2 points · 2 years ago

Hmm I've never heard of a "spin/fly" combo. What does it look like?

I say go for it though. Buy 5 flies at a local shop for $10 and just test out the rod. If it works, it works!

My guess (lacking any knowledge of what the set-up actually is like) is that it won't be great and you'd be better off spending $150 on a combo, but who knows!

It's an old, Eagle Claw Packit, but they're rebranded as Trailmasters these days, I've read that they're very clunky however.

I am trying to catch rainbows out of a lake in Cape Cod, MA. I usually nymph for them but that's not really an option. What flies should I be using (there's a large surface big hatch but I never see them getting eaten) and what areas should I target? Also, rumor has it there are some large Browns around too. are they any different? Thanks

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
1 point · 2 years ago

Big streamers and have sinktip line or extensions on hand. Fish the lake like you would with other fish. Find structure, and get the fly down in the zone.

I'd recommend articulated streamers for the browns, and wooly buggers or similar flies for the rainbows.

I think a 6, 7, or 8wt would probably work the best. I throw an 8wt with 10ft of T14 for my deep rig, but you can get much deeper than that with a bigger rod and some heavier sink line.

I want to achieve a sinking tip by attaching a short length of sinking line to the front of my floating line. 1) Is this reasonable 2) What knot should I use?

It's fine. If you have a loop on your floating line make a loop in the sinking leader and attach them that way. It's then very easy to switch back and forth.

8.5 foot long rod with 7 foot leader and ~4 foot tippet. Is this too long for my setup? Should I snip anything so as to be able to pull more fly line through the guides?

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
2 points · 1 year ago

Not at all. The leader tippet formula isn't really set in stone.

If the water is low and clear I opt for a longer leader, lighter tippet, and sometimes longer tippet.

12' is about the max I would go with conventional rods (8-10'). Generally for trout I stay between 8 and 10' for my leader and tippet. I start tippet around 24"-30" and then it whittles down from there.

I'd use 18 to 24" tippet...

I have a floating line and I have been trying to fish some deeper pools. I have tried adding some weight to the line, but that didn't work too well. Is there something I can add to my line to help it sink better for nymphing? If so could you link a specific product or suggestion? I rather not get an entirely new line if it can be avoided.

Use a longer leader. For nymphing a floating line is perfect. It allows you to easily mend and create a longer drag free drift.

Try out heavily weighted flies where possible, too. Double beads, tungsten-wrapped...etc.

Also, keeping your tippet as small a diameter as possible will help your sink rate. Less material dragging through the water.

Just a quick one, for small stream fishing, if I tie a new light tippet on every time rather than replacing a full tapered leader is this likely to negatively affect my presentation when delicacy is key?

Also what's the best way to set up a two fly rig on this sort of water?

For my small stream setup, I have a 5x 7.5' leader going to a 6-12" section of 6x tippet, then my final tippet section between 12 and 24" depending on flows. This way I'm not slowly cutting away at my leader so much. This has worked great in the tiniest of creeks in both the Rockies and Appalachia.

For a two-fly rig, I like to tie on my final tippet section with a triple surgeon's knot. I intentionally leave about 4" of a tag end for tying on the top fly. Then my nymph at the end of the 12-24" section. I like this method vs. tying the bottom fly onto the hook of the top fly because you can get more natural motion from the dry. It'll still do 360 degree spins and other natural movement like if you had no sub-surface fly.

Hope that's clear enough!

Perfect, thank you so much! I use a tapered leader, but the tapered leader is too long for what I need (9ft) so the plan was to trim it down and add some 5X tippet, to keep the whole leader to about 6ft, so I'll tie it with the extra tag end.

Any tips on casting in these small streams, especially when there are a lot of trees and bushes?

What length rod are you using, and which region are you fishing?

I'd recommend purchasing some shorter tapered leaders in the future, if small streams are going to be a common destination for you.

For getting in good casts in tight spaces, I started getting very creative with my approach to pools. Lots of climbing trees, boulders, army crawls...etc., to get to the easiest spot where the line can effectively make it to the water is almost necessary in some places. Almost everything will be a roll cast or a creative workaround of a cast, such as the "bow and arrow" cast.

I use a 6'6" 2wt glass rod for small streams. Really makes getting into those extra dense and tight spots less of a chore. If you can get your hands on an extra-short rod for a few days, I'd give it a shot.

I've got a 7ft 3wt. I'm in the UK, and I've just joined the local club who own a lot of small stream waters, loads of fish, but really tricky, this screenshot of an aerial view of the river shows you what I've got to work with, it's like that most of the way:

I think you're right about the shorter leaders, this rod and reel will be exclusively for this sort of water, so no problem keeping it loaded with a shorter leader.

I just moved to Montana and am picking up fly fishing again (haven't done it since highschool). The rod I have is a SUPER CHEAPO (honestly, I think it's a Walmart brand) 2pc 8ft rod. it says 'size 7' (does that mean it's a 7wt?). This is it: I know this thing is bottom of the barrel, potentially too high of wt, and too short... but is it ok to learn on? Or am I just waisting my time?

puh please?

Yeah that's an 8ft 7WT.

I'm no expert so can't really answer on its appropriateness.

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
1 point · 1 year ago

That's probably fine to learn on. You can catch fish on any rod/line.

And yes, #7 means 7wt.

Sorry for the constant questions, but this thread has really helped me.

I have an issue. Occasionally on my line pickup, there's a splash as the fly comes off the water, mainly with nymphs. I fear this will scare the fish. Am I likely doing anything wrong?

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
3 points · 1 year ago

Nope. This is totally natural. The best thing to do is swing the fly/line downstream from your pocket and then retrieve a bit before pulling out for a false-cast.

Sometimes I get lazy and just let it make that popping noise. Skittish fish may care, most probably won't. Think of all the shit that goes on around them all the time. Ever stuck your head underwater in a river?

I figured it was mostly okay, given that I'm still catching. I tend to let the fly come well out of the area I'm fishing before I pick the line up now.

Thanks for the reassurance!

The above comment has good suggestions! I have been wondering the same thing about the noise... One thing I've found it to take take out any slack that is in the line prior to the pull out. That way, the coms straight up, vs getting dragged through/over the water. This is mostly with dry flies.

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
1 point · 1 year ago

This is a good suggestion. I totally overlooked this. But yes you should always do this, especially with dries. If you don't they will drown more quickly too.

I'm thinking about getting into fly fishing, I've been spin casting my whole life but something about fly fishing looks very relaxing, plus why not learn something new?

I live in the Yukon and it's tough to get gear locally, so I'll probably have to order gear online. I don't have a local shop that isn't Walmart or Canadian Tire. There's some decent info here and here but I'll mostly be after rainbow trout (in the 1-3 lb range) and arctic grayling in the 1 -3 lb range in stocked lakes. I won't be after salmon, not with my fly rod anyway.

I have a few questions:

  • Will the standard 9ft 5wt set up still be the recommendation for those fish at that size?

  • This may be a dumb one, but is it possible to simply have another spool set up with a different weight, or do you need a whole new set up (rod/reel) for a different weight?

  • Is it easier to stand out in the water and fly fish (A River Runs Through It style) or from a boat? I much prefer river fishing to lake fishing and love standing in the river in my chest waders. Plus, I don't have a boat or a canoe but could get one.

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
2 points · 1 year ago

Yes, 9' 5wt is perfect for that size. You could go 4 or 6 as well depending on what else you fish for. How big is the river? That would play into the choice as well.

You're talking about a reel spool with a different weight line? Generally people match line to rod. So a 9' 5wt takes 5wt line to balance it. What a lot of beginners don't know is that this is just the suggestion. It's honestly very intricate but I'll try to make it concise. Rods all act differently. There are 5wt rods that are so slow they would pair up with a 4wt line, the majority will do best with a 5wt line, and some are so fast you need to dumb them down with a heavier line.

BUT, now lines are trying to catch up with the faster rods, so they are making lines labeled as a 5wt, but they're really a 5.5. There's even a few (Rio Grand) that are labeled as a 5wt, but are a full weight up (would pair with a normal 6wt rod).

So to answer your original question: yes and no. It's possible, and sometimes necessary/useful, but generally I would say you need another setup. You'll have to tell me why you're asking though and I may have a different answer.

It's relatively easy doing both. On a boat your line will get tangled in everything though, so I would say a river is easier from that stand point. The hardest is when you're very deep and your rod butt is closer to the top of the water, meaning the peak of your front and back casts are much closer to the water (and, especially when you're learning to cast, is probably hitting the water).

But fly fishing was made for standing in a river. Or is it vise versa?

1 point · 1 year ago · edited 1 year ago

So I got to pick a prize for something and I chose [this] (, and after further review I'm thinking I probably should've chosen the telescope. Oh well. Luckily my gf got the telescope so it's not a complete failure.

Here's what I have so what should I change or upgrade?

Some background info, I'll probably start by wading in some shorts and sandals as I don't have any waders or the money for a pair yet, and I'll probably be fishing in lakes in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, but there's always the Fox River which isn't far at all. I'm definitely a beginner at casting, but I've gotten it to roll and I'm working on keeping my wrist straight, but I saw here someone linked to fly fishing 101 by orvis that I signed up for next weekend.

I ended up going to a fish shop near me and I'm pretty sure I wasted a good $40 on flys and stuff that might be useless to me by the recommendation of the guy there, seemed like I was just another $ sign to him. Got about 10-12 flys that I have no idea what they're for, some strike indicators that look like foam double sided tape, a lead line which I found I already have, and a little box to hold the flys.

What what's the deal with waders that are just pants? Don't you get soaked? I thought they were supposed to be like big rubber boot pants?

  1. I would probably be aiming to eventually upgrade the whole rig if you plan to stay with fly fishing - I've never liked or trusted combo spinning/fly rods. For now use what you have though and see if you actually like fly fishing.

  2. Orvis 101 classes are great in my experience (used to teach them, in fact). That said, they can vary a lot in quality - the Orvis where I taught had a great fishing manager who really invested a lot of time and energy into the program and made it work. Some other stores did a lot less, and treated it less like a proper class and more like a demo to sell a couple rods.

  3. If you post a picture of the flies you bought I'd be happy to give you some help sorting out what you have, what it could be used for, and what you should try to get to round out your box.

  4. By lead line do you mean a sink tip?

  5. Waders are never just pants, there are things called wading pants that are just quick drying pants, but these are not waders. Waders don't necessarily have boots attached (usually good ones have separate boots), but all waders are waterproof. Usually more expensive waders will look more like pants than cheap ones (which are usually made of thick neoprene). [Here's a picture of some higher end stocking foot waders.] (http://www.yakangler.com

I guess I don't understand how you stay dry if the pants and boots are two separate articles of clothing.

Lol, because the whole thing is waterproof. Including the stockings that go in the boot. You stay dray, the boots themselves get wet (but they're not touching your skin, they're touching the waterproof stockings).

Oh. I guess I've only seen the ones where it's boot and stocking in one.

Those aren't a boot and stocking in one. Those are just a waterproof boot welded onto the wader. One reason the stocking foot is preferable is that the weld between the wader material and the boot is usually the first thing to leak on a pair of bootfoot waders.

Well it depends what you mean by very good. They're only 65 bucks, so they may well be good for the price, but in general companies like cabella's and bass pro (basically the fishing equivalents of wallmart) aren't going to produce anything of super high quality period. If you want a really well made pair of waders you want to look at companies that specialize in waders like Simms (although, of course, they're priced accordingly).

So I definitely don't want top of the line right now, nor do I want some garbage that's just gonna spring a leak too quickly. What what you recommend that's mid level and priced accordingly?

It's been about six years since I bought a pair of waders, so I'm not so aware of what the best deals are out there, but I think your instinct to get something pretty cheap (under 100 dollars) is a good idea for a first pair of waders. Find out if fly fishing is something you want to stick with, and upgrade if you become more serious about it. My first pair of waders were a cheap pair of heavy neoprene stocking foots that looked ugly as sin. They keep you dry though, and they'll last forever. Boot foot waders can be big money savers since you don't need to buy separate boots, but bear in mind that what you save in money you may lose in the product's lifespan.

1 point · 1 year ago · edited 1 year ago

Any suggestions on a rod for a beginner who will be fishing mostly lakes and maybe some traveling from Chicago to Wisconsin? Anything <$150? I know I won't get anything great for that, could/should I get a cheaper rod and a better reel (or vise versa) and upgrade the other at a later time? Maybe since I have a cheap reel right now I'll get a good rod and get a better reel later? [This] ( is the cheapy I got for free.

8-9' 5wt Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Professional series. $160 and comes with a lifetime warranty. You could also get a signature series for about $120, but I don't think the large difference in quality is a worth while trade off to make for the savings. Reels aren't very important for fresh water. Use what you have for now and upgrade later if you feel like it.

Wow again you are such a great help. One question tho, if I put my reel on that rod will it be alright? Do I have to match both weight and length?

The reel you have looks like it can probably hold a 5wt line, do you know what's on it now? Most reels can hold a range of about three different weights of line depending on how much backing you put on. If you need to replace the line, I recommend this site here - they're about $10 dollars and quite decent, which is by far the best price I've found on fly line. Glad to help (:

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
1 point · 1 year ago

This is a good suggestion.

So I am completely new to this.

I have a leader (tapered) with a knot already on the thicker end of it, how do I tie it to my fly line (the thick green one)?

Ignore that knot completely cut the loop off the leader and use a blood knot to attach the leader to fly line it will be stronger and more low profile

Comment deleted1 year ago
Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
1 point · 1 year ago

I've heard great things about LL Bean fly rods. Everyone from the local TU chapter to people on the internet have recommended them. Check out reviews online and search this sub. I think there are a fair number of people who have that rod.

Comment deleted1 year ago
Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
2 points · 1 year ago

Tippet is a lot different than mono. Tippet is generally smaller for the pound test you get. You also don't have to carry around a huge spool of mono in your bag and instead can carry 6 tippet sizes.

That being said, I use mono as "tippet" for a majority of my bass fishing.

So I am pretty new fly fishing and I am wanting to finally get a rod. I was able to find one on craigslist for about $150. The ad states it is an 8wt 9' St Croix Rod with reel and case. They are also selling a 6wt 9' Cabella Genesis Rod and reel. Is one of those better than the other for a first time rod?

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
1 point · 1 year ago

It depends on what you're fishing for.

The 8wt would be great for bass/pike/musky, and the 6wt would be okay for trout.

I don't know anything about the Cabela's genesis, you might want to look that up, and St. Croix makes great rods, but since you don't know the model I can't comment on that one specifically.

Generally I recommend a 5wt as a beginner's rod, but it definitely depends on where you are and what you're fishing for.

Bass Pro Shop offers a combo rod for $199 with lifetime unlimited warranty. I can choose from 4wt to 6wt and 9ft. I'm targeting stream trout. But trout fishing is quite far from my place so I want to practice fly fishing with bass when I cannot make it out to trout area. Should I get 5wt or 6wt?

I've never done fly fishing before. Gonna take my first class tomorrow.

Smallmouth Bass, Huron River MI
1 point · 1 year ago

5wt will be perfect for you. I catch bass on my 5wt all the time and it's fine. Not optimal, but a 6wt isn't optimal for trout fishing either.

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