where did you start fly fishing?

I started in the early 70's. In 9th grade we had a fly tying club, that's where I first layed my hands on a fly tying vise. I tyed up a white marabou streamer and caught my first Bow on the West Branch of the Octoraro Creek (Fly Fishing only area) in the southern part of Lancaster Co. PA.
Little 2 heart river in Michigans upper peninsula in 1955. Dad decided that I was old enough to take one of his old fly rods and poke thru the brush for some nice brookies.

Ron Olsen

Active Member
Boy scouts. My Dad got me a combination rod, had a sliding reel seat that could throw spinning gear or a fly line. Caught may fish in the Cascades in the late 50's and early 60's. Then came the trip accross the Olympics. Up the Quinault, over the low divide, down the Elwha, then up over the pass and down the Dose. I was mostly spinning, but one evening on the Elwha the magic happened. Right where Hayes River joins. Warm evening and the hatch started. I had never seen so many trout. Many of size. On top. I switched to fly gear and caught 12" to 18" fish till my arms hurt. Never went back to the Mitchel 300.



My farm pond in South eastern Pennsylvania around 8 years old. I started reading about fly fishing in books that my parents got me. My dad and I always fished with bait when I was younger mainly on stocked fish. It was combat fishing conditions, but I would catch trout then put them in a 5 gallon bucket, and my dad and I would take them home to our pond were they did really well. We had many limestone springs feeding into the pond keeping the water temp low even in summer. I was a volunter with our local trout club on river restoration and stocking.

Then around 9 my dads good friend from Pocotello ID invited us to Yellowstone on a summer vacation and I went fly fishing on the Beaverhead and never looked back. That was 24 years ago. I can still remember fishing for trout on my pond. I used to feed the trout earthworms in the summer, and knew many of them by name.



Well-Known Member
NF Toutle River in SW WA. Cheap 8 1/2' Eagle Claw fly rod, cheaper Pfluger reel that makes the Medalist seem like a Bogdan, and cheap level fly line. Didn't know squat about tapered lines, fly casting (I read the Outdoor Life article titled: "Learn to fly cast in 20 minutes" It didn't really work.) My best flies were Muddler Minnows ($0.35 and regular flies were only $0.25). I beat the water to a froth, let the current straigten my line out, and trout took the fly. I was hooked and have been ever since.
Big Wood River, ID, but didn't catch a thing. I kept trying though... it was three years before I actually caught something on a fly, this time in the Spokane River. I didn't have a rod to use, so I bought an old bamboo fly rod at a yard sale for $5 then re-wrapped it according to a booklet from Gudebrod. Aside from a problem with the ferrules not being very tight, it worked well.
North Idaho.

I don't remember catching my first fish on a fly rod but have seen movies my mother took of it.
Dad took us to a lake in the mid to late 50's and would cast out and then hand me the rod. When he would yell "go" I would run up the big rock I was standing on and there would be a small cuttie on the end.

As I got a little older he gave me a rod and reel. I couldn't cast very far at all, but caught a few none the less.

I quit flyfishing for several years during the 70's and early 80's trying to raise a family and then returned to it. Loving every minute of it.

When Dad died, I got all his gear. I got my first rod back and now I know why I couldn't cast more than about 20', besides my being about 9 or 10 years old, he was old school and didn't know about matching rods to reels or what line weight was all about. The rod I started on was an old fiberglass Fenwick that was a 9wt and the line I was using was maybe 4 or 5wt and probably 10 years old then.

He didn't know anything about backing on a reel probably because the biggest fish he caught on a fly was about 12". The reel I used back then was an automatic. For grins, my brother and I would reel in these "monsters" by hitting the button and next thing you knew, the fish was at the tip!

The last few years of his life, I took him to the Joe and Kelly creek, but he just had a real tough time turning fish loose. He was from the time where you ate everything you caught. When I told him it was CNR he'd say "Catch and release? Hell, fry 'em in grease"!

Scott Behn

Active Member
Back home on the MF Boise River, late '80's. Haven't been back there to fish since 1993 while I was stationed out at Whidbey. Fond memories...
Any and every place in western Montana that had running water that I could get my folks to stop at. Basically, Kalispell to Yellowstone Park. My favorite place we camped at was Rock Creek. I had a choice one summer... go to Disneyland or go fishing/camping at Yellowstone. That was no contest. Yellowstone of course :)
In the mid 1940s down in Utah. I grew up there and fly fishing was a way of life with my Dad, Grandfathers and Uncles. One of them had me in tow most of the summer.

In 2001, I took a road trip to Jackson, WY to visit an old friend from high school. I watched him stalk fish on the Snake River. I tried to fish, but had never tried fly casting, so I'm not sure I would call what I did fishing. Watching him was much more satisfying. The combination of the stalking, casting, and the view of the full-frontal Tetons definitely left it's mark. I returned home and was determined to start fly fishing. Within a month, I was experiencing my first true day of fly fishing on the Trinity River in Nor Cal just below Lewiston Lake. I had VERY low expectations, but I was taught how to high-stick the whitewater and I landed over a dozen. They weren't big, but that didn't matter. I was hooked from that moment. It was a Friday thru Sunday trip and before the day of fishing Sunday, I bought a rod & reel. I've been lucky enough to spend many days on many great rivers since then.
Josh Benjamin said:
Esopus Creek, upstate new york.
Me too. :beer2: I had a good feeling there was another Esopus fly fisher here.

We had a cabin on Fox Hollow Road in Allaben, about a 1/4 mile up from the river. Sadly, it was sold by my Mom last year.


New Member
I don’t feel so old after reading this thread. It was the mid 70s for me, guided trip on the South Fork of the Snake. It was hopper season and I can remember catching a lot of fish. I was 15. I caught my first fish on one of my flies years latter. The fly was a brown bi-visible. I was wadding the Provo River in Utah in a pair of old boot foot rubber waders. I took a big fall, filled my boots, when I got my feet back under me I had a fish on, it was an 8” cutt. I hooked my steelhead in the 80s, my first Atlantic in the 90s and my first sea run brown in the 00s. Fly fishing has always been a big part of my life and has taken me all over the world. There is something about it that I can't get out of my system, hope I never will.:beer2:


Ignored Member
Early sixties or late fifties I would guess was when I fly fished for the first time. It would have been on the Rogue River somewhere below Gold Ray dam.

I got serious about fly fishing in the late eighties fishing the Skagit.