When choosing a new hobby whether it is fishing or woodworking. You should always try to read books and listen to everyone about your new adventure. Most of the people who love their sport are teachers and willing to help a new beginner.
This article was written by my brother in law who is a very avid fly fisherman. These are his words of wisdom.
A lot of the advice you will get is their own personal preference, that does not mean that is what you have to do. In the many years of fishing, I never did a lot of stream fishing. The biggest reason is that most of the time the fish were a lot smaller than the reservoir fish.
I am not someone who believes in strictly catch and release, so if you enjoy eating fish that is okay. There are so many people that keep fish more for the bragging rights rather than for food. I believe in releasing the fish hoping that it will give someone else the same joy that you had when landing a powerful and heavy fish.
When Stillwater fishing 99% of your flies will be wet flies. Lakes and reservoirs will fish differently from each other and from spring to fall. The water temperatures are critical in your line selection because the fish feed within a certain layer of water or a specific temperature.
Fly lines come in different weights and sink rates, you should always have at least two lines, one that is a slow sinking which means it will sink 3 to 4 inches per second, and one that is a fast thinking 6 or 7 inches per second.
I typically start each line with a 10 count and increase by tens until I catch a fish. I will stay with that count keeping a constant speed, the count is important when fishing. When fly fishing a fly your retrieve can vary from slow to fast, and a short to a long strip.
Changeup the retrieve until you catch a fish and then stay with it. Even if you start catching fish don’t be afraid to change flies, it will give you a chance to know what flies they will or will not take. I see many people bobber fish, most fly fishermen call it a strike indicator. This type of fishing can be very effective, most of the time is not the bobber but the fly. I do not bobber fish because it takes away from finding the right depth and retrieve, you also you have to feel the take and not see it.
There are way too many flies to count so it all goes back to talking to people and fly shops for the area your fishing. Some flies you should always have on hand are woolly buggers, scuds, leeches, hairs ears, damsels and other similar flies. Most flies have many variations and sizes. There is crystal, bead head, there are variegated and multicolored, and all of the same fly pattern.
Remember you should always have plenty of leaders because you will your change flies a lot. I have never seen where fishing tapered leaders in lakes have been a big help. I fish one size line from fly line to fly fewer knots means fewer troubles. The general rule of thumb is the leader length is the length of the pole.
Fly fishing can become an incurable disease and there’s no pill to cure it so choose your hobby with care.