How Do You Fly Fish As A Beginner?

How Do You Fly Fish As A Beginner?

How Do You Fly Fish As A Beginner? It is always difficult to get out of your comfort zone to learn new things and take some risks. All of this requires you to have great confidence in yourself. For many of us, starting fly fishing takes a lot of effort to take the plunge.

For years I was fascinated by this art of fly fishing, it has something captivating, and magical. But this fishing style seemed to be inaccessible for me and I just watched for more than a decade. I just took a serious shot of old the fly fishermen, and I admired them out of the corner of my eye.

Whenever I crossed paths with a flyer fisherman I was hypnotized. With the beauty of fly line flying in the air, before gently landing on the water. Until the day I really took charge.

And you know what? This fly fishing, which seemed light years from my knowledge of the fishery, is no more complicated than another. Fly fishing is a hobby of nature, in perfect harmony with respect for the environment and especially the “playmate” of the moment.

Fly fishing is simply the technique of fishing in a more environmentally friendly way as compared to all fishing techniques. For this purpose, the novice flyer will learn to observe and deal with the laws of Nature. This is what I call, “knowing how to read the water”

From these observations is born the passion to create (and perfect) the fly in order to lure the coveted fish. Initially, it was reserved for the fishing of salmonids (trout, shade or salmon) fly fishing has become more widely available. This is in order to extend its practice to all species of fish, both in freshwater (streams or rivers) and saltwater.

Fly Fishing:

Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing

Generating unforgettable emotions, fly fishing is based on art and the way to propose an artificial fly using a line. This is a means of the throwing the fly (which is also called “casting”) to where the “fish” is likely to be.

Freshwater fly fishing can be broken down into three categories, defined by what the fly will try to imitate:

1) Dry fly (imitation of floating insects on the surface),

2) The nymph fly (imitation of larvae or nymphs of aquatic insects moving on the bottom or drifting naturally between two layers),

3) The streamer fly (imitation of fry or small fish).

At sea, it is practiced almost exclusively by the streamer, which can then also imitate certain crustaceans (crab or shrimp for example).

What Is A Fly:

An artificial fly is an imitation of any prey likely to be consumed by a fish. The denomination (fly) comes from the fact that the technique was initially intended exclusively to fish for fish swallowing insects on the surface.

The underwater fisheries (drowned, then nymph) came later. The denomination fly is used for the imitations of young fish, even if they are not insects. A fish can take an artificial fly for several reasons. The fly satisfactorily imitates the visual appearance and/or behavior of food that the fish is used to eating.

1) The fly causes, by its animation and its colors or reflections, a reflex of aggression of the fish.
Some tips to learn easily:
2) Choose preferably a stream without too much vegetation. It will save you from leaving too many flies in the trees.
3} Do not try to throw away the fly, the fish are at your feet. Choose accuracy over the distance you will have plenty of time to gain distance later.
4) Begin your learning on easy fish like bleaker, chub, rainbow trout or other white fish. You will be good when you master your casting and work your flies.
5) Start fishing with a dry fly. The latter is probably the most entertaining technique and especially the easiest to implement. 

Which Fly To Use And When:

These are two questions that beginners will undeniably ask one day or another. Get to know and master your flies. Search, discover or rediscover the insects present in your rivers or lakes at this or that season.

This phase will improve as you gain experience, the following tips will allow you to quickly master your artificial flies.
To save time learning how to choose a fly, use generic flies, rather than imitative flies. This is so you will not be loaded with a huge stock and not knowing how to use them wisely.

You can start with a dozen flies capable of catching every fish that comes your way.
Learning to tie your own flies it’s almost as much fun as going fishing and using them. To catch a fish with a fly that you have made yourself, will bring you lots of happiness and satisfaction.

Equipment To Use:

What material to start well? As beginners, it is sometimes difficult to know which fishing gear to buy, especially if no one can advise you. You must choose your fly rod according to your fishing needs. I know this because when I started to fly fish I wish someone could have helped me decide what I needed

If you are going to be fishing small creeks, stream or ponds then a lightweight rod would be best. I would say a nine-foot, one thru a three weight rod would be great. But you could go clear up to a five weight rod and be ok for even some larger water and fish.

I use a sage six weight rod for most of the water I fish. I fish bigger water like the Snake River and other big rivers like the Columbia. But my main fishing is in the Lakes and Reservoirs because I have a tendency to want to catch bigger fish.

Memorable Trips:

When we went to Alaska to fly fish for silvers we took ten weight rods and reels. We used a ten weight line with a 500-grain shooting tip and we used big streamer flies. This was one of the best adventures I have ever been on.

We got into a big school of sharks and they were all about four feet long. We were lucky the boat had some steel leaders so this way we didn’t lose all of our flies. The boat was a 20-foot skiff and as far as you could see it was solid sharks. We caught so many I had to quit because of my arms weres so tired I couldn’t move them. It was beyond a doubt one of my most memorable fishing trips.

You want to start to fly fish and you wonder what is the necessary equipment for the practice of this sport? Remember that fly equipment is subject to special care and should be kept well after use.

Here is a guide detailing all the fly fisherman’s equipment:

The Fly Rod:

There are many types of fly rods, which differ mainly in length, power, action, and size. They can also be of many different materials like (bamboo split for example).

To begin, a fly rod in carbon fiber, materials are lightweight and durable, is a good value for the money.
The length of the rod to use is determined mainly by the type of fishing you are going to be doing.  The power is the resistance of the rod and it’s expressed by a number that determines the line to use.

The action is the reaction of the pole to the casts of the fisherman: parabolic, semi-parabolic, fast, extra fast, advanced, progressive. It is also according to the type of fishing that one wishes to practice that we determine which action is the most suitable.

Finally, some rods will be less bulky than others, that is to say, they consist of more removable pieces. These rods are ideal if you have to travel by plane.

The Fly Reel:

Sage Fly Reel
Sage Fly Reel

The choice of the reel is determined by your rod. When you buy a reel, spare spools are sometimes available. They allow you to use different lines, and therefore to adapt to other rods or other types of fishing. Some brands even market kits, including a reel and one or more spools.
The reels can be manual or semi-automatic. Together, the weight of the rod, the reel, and the floss must balance.

You can check the prices on Amazon Here

The Line And The Fly:

Your fly fishing “line” consists of three major parts:
The backing is the first part that is attached directly to the reel and wound on it. It allows having a reserve of a line as the name suggests. You need to remember that most fly lines are between 80 to 100 feet in length. But it also helps to not wrap the fly line directly on the center of the reel.

Most of the current lines are synthetic and their colors bright to ensure perfect visibility.

The line, in the center of the thread, will determine the behavior of your fly. For an example, if the fly will float or rather dive deep. There are 4 different line profiles to choose from according to the type of fishing that one practice:

1. Weight forward lines make it possible to cast far while being precise and they are easy to maneuver.
2. Double-taped lines are tapered at each end, to facilitate short throws.
3. The shooting taper lines make it possible to cast farther, but are less easy to handle, especially for beginners.
4. The parallel lines that are not tapered, are more difficult to launch and maneuver.

Finally, the end of the line, a leader or tippet, which is what the fly is tied to.

Leaders And Tippets:

The leader extends the line and allows you to attach the fly. This last element ensures light and precise pose of this fly. Its diameter decreases between the line and its free end. The end length varies depending on the type of fishing: 50cm for the dry and 2m for the nymph peaches.

The profile of the leader can be digressive (its diameter is decreasing to the point), progressive (its diameter increases), or equal (its diameter is the same from top to tip).

The flyer may choose to buy his tippets or make them himself, with knot techniques or tying. 
You now have your rod and reel to which you will add your fly. You can buy it and have it tied on or you will have ty it on yourself.

Accessories For Fly Fishing:

When fishing with a fly, you might want to keep several accessories close at hand:

  • Fly box 
  • Some clippers
  • A knife might come in handy
  • Some forceps
  • Retractor
  • Web net                                                                                               
  • Some waders                                                                                     
  • Fishing Vest                                                                                         
  • A pair of wading boots

Techniques For Fly Fishing:

Fly fishing can be practiced using several techniques which you will find in the descriptions below:

Dry Fly Fishing:

Dry Fly
courtesy of

A technique that involves trying to catch a fish by fishing with a floating artificial fly that is called a “dry fly”. The fly generally comprises a collar (or hydrophobic fibers) allowing the fly to float on the surface of the water.

The grouping of so-called “floating” flies also includes fly fishing in the water film (“an emergent”). The artificial fly is an insect imitation at its stage of evolution or “sub imago” (stage of incomplete development where the aquatic insect is mobile but sexually immature), or “imago” (final stage of aquatic insect development). This method of fly fishing can be practiced both upstream and downstream of a river with a predilection for fishing upstream.

Wet Fly Fishing:

A technique that involves trying to bait a fish by fishing with a submerged artificial fly that is called a “wet fly”. The fly that is used usually has a collar, much like its cousin the “dry”, but very little.

This allows for good penetration of the fly in the water, and it creates vibrations. These imitate the vibrations emitted by the insect trying to escape drowning, going back to the surface of the water.

This way of fly fishing is practiced downstream of a watercourse by using a “fly train” usually made up of 3 flies. There is (one on the “tip” of the bottom of the line, one at the “intermediate” and one in “jumping”).
The term “jumper” represents the fly, positioned closer to the fisherman, who in fishing action makes small jumps pendula on the water imitating an insect that tries to take flight. 

Nymph Fishing:

Clouser Deep Minnow Fly
Clouser Deep Minnow Fly

The technique that involves trying to “catch” a fish by fishing with an immersed artificial fly mimicking an aquatic insect. This is in its larval stage, called “nymph”.

The practice of this fishing can be done either by “line”, using a strike indicator to detect the attack of the fish. This can also be done “at sight” by using the behavior of the fish as a key detector.
This fly fishing exercise can be practiced both upstream and downstream of a watercourse.

Streamer Fishing:

Leach Pattern
Leach Pattern

A technique that tries to lure a fish by fishing with a submerged artificial fly, imitating a small fish. These are also called (fry), which is like a minnow and they are called a “streamer”.
It is generally used in reservoirs or lakes, but it can also be used in the rivers by fishing downstream of a watercourse.

Chiro Fishing:

A technique that consists of catching a fish by fishing with an immersed artificial fly, imitating the mud worm, which we call “chiro”. This method of fly fishing is essentially practiced in reservoirs or lakes a strike indicator is often used to set the fishing depth.

Below I give you my feedback and some tips to get the best of my learning in fly fishing.

Learn with a competent person. If you had to keep a single item from the list below, this is it. Do you know someone around you, an uncle, a fly-fishing friend?

Near you, there is surely a fly fishing club, or a fishing guide ready to teach you all the basics. I am self-taught, but taking advantage of the know-how of your entourage. This will save you some time and money.

You do not know anyone? That is no longer a problem in this era as there are libraries and of course the internet. You have the possibility to find all the necessary information to start easily.

Read specialized books, sites, blogs (as you are doing now) or are you the video type? then YOUTUBE will be for you a real gold mine.

Learning To Cast:

As a beginner learning fly fishing, you need to learn to cast. If there is a single element that discourages you to start fly fishing is this one.

The cast is totally different from what you do now (spinning or casting). Do not be afraid, there is nothing terrible in this apprenticeship.

To begin, calmly train yourself in a course, a garden, your backyard, a car parking lot, etc. One tip; do not put hooks at the end of your line, use some yarn, this will save you trouble.

Once your cast is under control, you need to start fishing in streams or small rivers or some small ponds. Why? This is because this will give you several advantages like the following;

1. Streams and small rivers or small ponds are easier for a beginner to learn and get familiar with the basics.
2. Fishing in a stream is done at short distances.

Fishing Action:

Take a position substantially at the oblique of the course of the river. With your right hand, hold your rod firmly, thumb flat, your free hand used to handle the line.

At first, take a short length of the line (3 to 4m). With a quick gesture, lift the rod and stop at the back at 11 o’clock sharp.

Allow time for the line to unfold completely before bringing your rod back to 1 hour. Repeat this action until you get the desired amount of line out.

The line extends before you. To pose, you have to lower the rod accompanying its fall so as to achieve a soft and discreet landing.

Once the fly is laid, the line is tight against the handle. With your left hand recover the surplus line according to the drift of the fly. At the touch, you simply lift the rod quickly.

Dry Flies:

As early as March, small fish and other black insects begin to hatch. In May, hatching will increase, mainly in the late afternoon.

Place yourself in the middle of the stream and move upstream to all potential positions. This way, you will stay away from the field of view of the trout and you will avoid snagging.

In whitewater and with flies well supplied, it is better to launch accurately (1 to 3 m above the station). The drift of the line must take place without the fly being driven by the leader. When the trout takes the fly, let it dive before hooking it.

Streamer Flies:

Streamer flies mimic a larva or insect that drifts into the stream. The leader has three regulatory flies. The fly placed at the peak will be the least furnished and the heaviest. It will evolve near the bottom. The other two flies will be installed on short gallows (5 to 10cm), 50cm apart.

They will be lighter and more supplied and will remain, one on the surface (the jumper) and the other in the upper layer of water, in an intermediate position between our bottom fly and the jumper. The rod for fishing streamers is rather long and the line is parallel to diving.

The throw is made downstream towards the opposite bank. We will recover slowly by letting the line drift and animating the bottom of the line via tremors from the tip of the cane. Then move 3 to 4 meters and repeat the process. In the case of touch, a fast but mellow roll cast is required.

Nymph Flies:

This technique involves presenting trout with flies imitating insects during hatching. It is practiced in wide and shallow rivers as well as lakes an reservoirs.

The fisherman stands in the middle of the water and launches towards the banks, upstream of the posts. After casting, let the line go down more deeply.

The tip will dive about 5 cm per second perform the recovery on the first throw after 10 seconds. The fly will then evolve about fifty centimeters from the surface.

At each cast, you will wait 10 seconds more and explore the entire layer of water. Note that the recovery is done in strips and starts.

Finally, I hope that these tips will be valuable for you to succeed in this fabulous style of fishing. I am truly not an expert in fly fishing even though I have been fishing for a long time.

But I wanted to share my feedback to facilitate your future learning. Remember that learning to fly fish is just like learning every other art. For that reason, it needs determination and dedication.

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