How To Fly Fish For Trout

So You Want To Learn How To Fly Fish For Trout?

Well, you have probably found their’s lot of books and videos on how to fly fish for trout. My best advice is to find a good fly fishing class and take it. This might cost you some money but it will be worth it. Or you might know a fly fisherman and have them show you the ropes. 

The advantage is that it can not only save you some time but it will help with the stress. This can also save you some money by helping you decide where you are going to fish. The way you save money doing this is that it will help you pick the right size rod and reel.

Where Should You Go Trout Fishing?

There are so many different places to go fly fishing. There are so many states and countries that have some fabulous fly fishing.

The main thing for you to decide is what kind of waters you are going to be fishing. Are there lots of small creeks, streams, and ponds that you are going to be fishing.

Or are you going to be fishing big streams and rivers, lakes and reservoirs? This is going to help you decide what type of gear you are going to have to purchase.

What Do I Use To Fly Fish For Trout?

The reason we are talking about where to fish is that this will help you decide which rod and reel. The bigger the water the bigger the rod and reel will have to be. If you are mainly fishing small creeks and streams then you will probably want to use a 3 weight or smaller.

Rod Size Chart

If you are going to be fishing bigger streams and rivers then use a 5 or 6 weight rod. Then if you are fishing some of the bigger fish you might want to go up to an 8 or larger.

If you are going to be fishing some of both then I would start with a 5 or 6 weight. Remember that whatever size rod you purchase to make sure the reel and line match the rod size. So a 5 weight rod would need a 5 weight reel and a 5 weight line. If these do not match it is going to be difficult to cast.

What Flies Do I Need?

After you decide which style you are going to fish then you will need to decide on some flies. If you are going to fish small streams and creeks you will probably need to get some dry flies.

Dry flies are designed to look like insects that have fallen into the water and the float on top of the water. There are several thousand different styles, colors, and sizes to pick from. These are some flies a size 14 Parachute Adams, size 14 Elk Hair Caddis, and size 12 Royal Wulff.


Nymphs are designed to go below the surface of the water and look like dragonflies and stoneflies. These flies come in all sizes and colors as well. These will work in shallow streams or slow-moving water. Most fish including trout eat most of their food below the surface of the water that is why nymphs work so well.


Streamer Flies
streamer flies

Streamers are designed to look like minnows or leeches they are another form of a nymph or wet fly. They are designed to be fished underwater and are usually fished in large lakes or reservoirs.

These work very well here because most lakes and reservoirs have minnows, leeches, crawdads, and other crustaceans.

Other Things You Might Need:

There are other things that you might want to get here are a few of them. You should wear a hat and some polarized sunglasses to protect your head and eyes. This is not only from the sun but also errant flies they can be dangerous if you stick yourself.

You should also look to get a vest to carry some of the smaller things you might need. Be sure that the vest is not to small you might want to wear a coat if the weather changes.

The vest should have ample pockets and a place for your net if you have one. Pockets for things like clippers, fly boxes, forceps, floatant if you use dry flies and spare tippets.

You might want a landing net to help release the fish without harming them. Be sure that it is a rubber net they are a lot better because they don’t damage the fish as bad. The net is not needed but they are helpful.

You could also use a good set of waders and wading boots, again they are not required. A good set of waders will help if you want to do some creek or stream fishing. You might want some wading boots to go with the waders to help protect them.

One thing that I have seen over the years is a newbie will bring all of the newest gadgets. This is not a really bad thing but they are not required. I am just trying to save you some money if you have a tight budget. I saw a guy one time come fly fishing with just a rod, reel and some flies in his pocket. He fished for about an hour landed 3 fish and left, I think he was on his lunch break.

How To Fly Fish:

Now that you have the right rod and reel you will have to start practicing how to cast. There are people who ask me why should I practice? I just tell them it is better to practice than to lose 30 or 40 dollars worth of flies.

I tell them to go out into their backyard or to a park where there are no trees. That way they can cast without trees snagging their flies.

I will tell them to tie a piece of yarn on their tippet and they always say why. I say it doesn’t hurt as much as having to remove a fly from your neck or arm.

There also lots of good videos that that will show you how to cast and help you improve your casting. Then you can go out and practice either in your backyard or a park.

Just remember that practice makes perfect or at least improves your casting in my case. There is something very graceful in a beautiful fly cast on an early morning.

There are some other basic parts of fly fishing that are important. Things like learning how to tie the correct fishing knots.

Like a nail knot which ties the fly line to the leader and the surgeons, knot attaches the tippet to the leader. The improved clinch knot is the one you use to tie your fly on with this is the knot that you will use the most.

What is The Best Time To Fish For Trout?

My take on what is the best time to fish is anytime I can get a chance to go.

That all depends on the time of year you are fishing. If you are talking in the summer it is usually best early morning and later evening.

Normally it depends on when the bug hatches are on because there is lots of food for them. In the spring and fall, they say it is best around dusk.

But I think fishing varies on lots of different things like weather, water temperature all play a big part. The water temperature plays a big part in how and when trout are feeding they prefer colder water.

Fish Conservation:

If you are going to release your fish make sure not to handle them out of the water. Try to hold them in the water while you remove the hook from their mouth. The fish have a protective coating it is called slime and it helps to protect them.

When you do handle them out of the water make sure your hands are wet it won’t remove the slime. So if you even want to take a picture make sure your hands are wet or keep them in the water.

Here are some other things for you to consider. I have seen guys fight a 12-inch fish for over a half of an hour. Then when they do release it they are so exhausted that they do not survive which really upsets me.

I understand the rush of fighting a fish on a fly rod but don’t overdo the playing it out thing. By landing the fish in good time it will improve its chances to survive. That way you can catch it again another day.


One of the things that we should all consider is to protect our habitat. It really upsets me when I go fishing and the banks or shores are covered in trash. On my last outing, we went to a reservoir and after we got our camp set up we went for a walk.

We walked our dogs down the shore for maybe a 1/4 of a mile or so. Then when we returned we had 1/2 of a bag of garbage everything from bait containers to bottles and cans. There were newspapers, candy wrappers, and even a dirty diaper.

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