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The Basics of Fly Fishing

There are thousands of different pieces of fly fishing gear, millions of articles and tips, and even more people out there who swear that they know the secrets of successful trout fishing. However, with this abundance of information and opinions often makes things seem far more complicated than they really are.

Many of us are guilty of trying too many things at once, using too many different tactics, and stocking up on too much gear. Of course there are all kinds of tools, lures, and different weapons you can use to give yourself an edge, but in the end there really are only 4 things you need to have success when it comes to fly fishing for trout.

Try not to over think things, get your hands on these 4 things, and get ready to have a great day on the water.

The Rod

There are a number of different weights and lengths when it comes to rods. The most common lengths are 7, 8, and 9 feet long, while the most common weight is usually a 6 or a 7. There isn’t necessarily a specific rod that you should be going with based on anything you read. In the end you want to choose the rod that feels most comfortable in your hand and suits your unique fishing style. Once you have a rod that you feel will work the best for you, then you can move on to the other necessities.

Fly Fishing Reels

Expensive reels are perfect for expert anglers, but if you are just starting out or haven’t completely mastered fly fishing then they may be unnecessary, for now. Your best bet is to begin with a normal hand-crank style reel. Not only are they more affordable but they are also easier to control and allow you to get better in touch with the water and your surroundings.

Your Fishing Line

There is a vast array of choices when it comes to fishing lines as well. From different colors, forwarded weight, floating, sinking, different weights and even tapered lines there is no shortage of options. This can make things pretty confusing, especially if you are just getting into fly fishing, but do not over think things. A light test line of green color is the perfect starting point for any beginner fly fisher.

Trout are very suspicious and perceptive fish, so you want to make sure that anything you are doing is as sneaky and unnoticeable as possible. That is why the color green works so well, as it is quite hard for trout to notice that color when the line is in the water. Other colors have a tendency to stand out and give off a glimmer or shine that will spook the trout you are after.

The light line will ensure that the wind or breeze does most of the work. A line that is too heavy will simply drag and take away the action within a fly fishing cast. Remember, fly fishing is all about casting the line and not so much about casting the lure.

Lastly you will need a leader at the end of the line, and it is wise to go light in regards to leaders as well.

Selecting a Fly

Insects and flies come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and colors. Instead of spending hours trying to select one to use, just look to the experts in the store or go with a personal favorite of many, the Black Ghost.

There is simply something magical about the white, yellow and black combination of this fly that makes trout go crazy. It is a streamer pattern fly and was created many years ago by Herb Welch. The Black Ghost worked on the day it was created and has really never stopped working since. It simply makes trout want to kill it, and has the ability to attract some of the biggest brown trout you will see.

So there you have it. If it sounds incredibly simple, that’s because it is. These 4 things are not going to make you the greatest fly fisher of all time, and they are not going to be enough to teach you all of the tricks of the trade. However, in essence, these are the only things you need to get out there and hook into some trophy trout while fly fishing.

You will learn more and more over time, but it is important to never over think things. Stick to the basics, stick with what works, and be patient. The rewards are going to be well worth the effort.


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