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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I've recently moved here from Alaska and I'd like to start fly fishing. I've mastered the art of landing 60lb Kings, but when it comes to the art of fly fishing, I'm at a loss. I was wondering if anyone could post links to help me get started. I'd like to start with the basics and learn what rod weights mean, line types, reel types, etc. I don't even know enough terms to successfully search for these goodies on google, so please help :)

Thanks! I look forward to telling you some fishing stories of my own!

Tom
 

· Formerly Tight Loops
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1,347 Posts
Rod weights and line weights are a system so that the line matches the rod. A 2 or 3 weight rod is for catching little fish, a 4-6 is for trout, 7-9 are for big trout, salmon, steelhead and the like, 10 and up are for really big salmon to giant tuna, swordfish and the like.

In the northwest we typically fish 5-9 weight rods. The weight of the rod actually refers to the weight of the first 30' of the fly line in grains. See http://www.flyfishingforum.com/expertise/knowledge/lineratings.htm.

The rod's action is designed to be able to cast a fly line of that weight. The action of the rod is said to be the action of the rod in the process of casting the line. A slow rod flexes from tip to butt, a fast rod flexes mostly in its tip. Most people now like to fish rods that are medium-fast to fast.

Lines are refered to in a code: WF8F means a Weight Forward 8 weight line that Floats.

The weight forward means that the line has most of its weight in the front part of the line so that it can cast distance well. Most people cast weight forward lines. There are others: double taper, shooting taper and level, but I won't discuss them here.

Lines can float on the surface of the water, and sink at various rates. A floating line is designated as an F. A line that is very close to neutrally buoyant and sinks slowly is called an Intermediate, I. Sinking lines are catagorized by speed of descent from 1 to 7. 7 sinks like a rock, 1 sinks slowly. So a full sinking line would be designated WF6S3 to designate a weight forward, 6 weight, type 3 sinking line, a good line for lake fishing.

Now then, we have sinking lines bonded to floating lines, these are called sink tip, sink head, or shooting head lines. They are very popular for fishing in rivers. These lines have 15 to 30 feet of sinking line bonded to a rear portion of floating line. The sinking part is given a sink rate like a full sinking line. F/S is usually the designation for a floating/sinking line: WF8F/S 13 foot sink tip, Type 4 is a very popular line for fishing for steelhead and salmon.

For more information than this, check your local fly shop out. And most good beginners books will do a better job than I have on these and more topics.

Rob

---------
Genetic pollution damages wild
stocks, bonk those Hatchery Zombies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rob,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write that excellent response. So is it safe to say I would be better off buying a book then trying to gather info on the web?

Also, I've heard its very important to match your fly to what insects are currently running around. If this is true, how do I go about figuring what to use? Is it as simple as looking around and seeing whats flying around in the air, or looking at whats landing on the water?

Tom
 

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Hey Tom.

First step is to decide what kind of fishing you want to do. Trout in rivers, trout in lakes, steelhead/salmon in rivers, Panfish (bluegill, perch, etc.) or bass in lakes.

Next step is spend the winter hittin' the library. In king county you can have any book or video in the system sent to your local king county library for FREE!!!! You can even go online, search for the book you want and have it delivered to your library from your home computer at www.kcls.org There is stuff on everything available. Don't know about other counties.

After you have read up on things, it's easier to ask specific questions here and get answers, but you can also walk into just about any flyshop and get info. Sometimes you get bad info, so the more you know going in, the better off you are.

As to matching bugs. I've found that in most cases (I want to say all, but that wouldn't be right), size, and behavior are the most important things, and color is WAY down the list. Behavior meaning creeping along on the bottom, drifting mid-depth, emerging, floating on top etc. You can get going and fish extremely effectively with 4 or 5 different bugs in a few sizes each...
 

· Smells like low tide.
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Tom, Welcome to a lifetime of learning. I, too, am at the early stages of the flyfishing quest. I heartily agree with Philster that the library is unsurpassed as a free source of all the written info you will need. I just checked out a few books from my local library, and ordered an instructional video by Joan Wulff that is currently loaned out. There's plenty more on my list when I'm through with these. One book that I am finding to be usefull and full of tips is The Art and Science of Fly Fishing, by Lenox Dick and Friends(1993 Frank Amato Publications). This book has been used as a basic text by some flyfishing schools and covers alot of subject matter...so be sure to check this one out.
:THUMBSUP Jimbo
 

· Registered
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Tom
One of the best things I have found for learning about all the fly stuff is to go to a fly shop and ask a lot of questions. After you have decided or before hook up with a reputable guide if it is within your budget ask around. Books are truly helpful in understanding basics.
Best of luck :THUMBSUP
 
G

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I started fly fishing last year and I can recommend buying Mosquito midge, Adam's, and elk hair caddis. I started with a
Pflueger Purist ($39) 6wt and a swap meet reel. Cortland 333 Floating Weight Forward line and I think I stayed under $100 for the whole set-up, in case I didn't like it. So far I've had my best luck with the midges in lakes. To learn the knots and rudiments of casting you will have to either find someone to teach you (friend) or take a casting class. Fly shops are unlike any other store, buy ten dollars worth of flies and the people there will make sure you have the advice you need to put them on fish. Good luck and don't be afraid to just troll the flyline behind you once in a while from a float tube.
 
G

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Couple more suggestions.

Go bluegill fishing with a tiny yellow popper to learn how to set the hook and cast. Its fun as ever and still water is a great place to start casting. Plus its fun to actually be catching as you learn. I would also recommend reading Trout Bum by John Geriech (sp). E-bay has complete fly rod sets at good prices. Even cheaper if you don't mind used stuff. :THUMBSUP
 

· Old School Member
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799 Posts
Blue gill ponds?

Calmness is power....

Speaking of bluegill, Does anybody know a good bluegill pond within an hour of Seattle?...I've got some beginners that need casting and hooking practice before a big annual flyfishing trip

As a boy I must have caught and released eleven million bluegill, crappie and pumkinseed sunfish in the small ponds near my home in Southern Connecticut. There is no better fish to practice on..
:)
 

· Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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5,770 Posts
Tony Weaver, from Anchorage, has done allot of King Salmon fishing on flyrods, down on the Kenai. he wrote in Fish and Fly Magazine about that a year or so ago. Lok that article up- tons of good stuff on the biug fish on a flygame. You can learn allot from the Blue water fly guys; Lefty Kreh, Mark Sosin, Lee Wulff, Nick Curcione- all have played and landed big, big fish on the fly. Look them up. Much of it applies.
 
G

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Resources for a beginner? Library videos!!!

Public Libraries also have instructional videos and I rent them all the time. Hey, money back if you don't learn anything!
 

· Registered
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323 Posts
Tom,

A good primer that helped me is "The Curtis Creek Manifesto" by Sheridan Anderson. After 10 years, I still look through it to remember some basic stuff. Spend a few bucks at your local Fly Shop for a lesson or two on casting and gear selection, that will get you startd on the right foot and keep a lot of fustration out of the learning curve. Stay active on this site - sometimes you have to wade through some (fun)BS, but there are some very good fly fishers here and all will answer questions. Don't get intimidated by the infinite combinations of rods, reels, lines, leaders, tippets and flys. Start with a basic (in my opinion) 5-wt with a wff line and a hand full of Elk Hair Caddis dries and Pheasant Tail nymphs.

Then, get on the water. Rivers, streams, lakes and surf. Flail away. Catch something and, if one of the troubled species, release.

Another thought is for you to show up at any of the impromptu gatherings. We all spent time with our lines landing in a pile at our feet.

Bart
 
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