Owyhee River Trout Fly Fishing

Trout Fly Fishing Basics

So you want to master the fly fishing basics for trout?

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Learn about all the essential aspects of trout fly fishing right here. Explore topics, research product recommendations and shop our Essential Fly Boxes.

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Learning about fly-fishing can be confusing. For example, some people will encourage you to get a fly line to match the rod you are buying. Others will tell you that you could go one or two lines heavier or lighter (this is true but the explanation here would make this a very long page).

This confusion continues when you are trying to decide which flies you should have. There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of flies on the market today. What should you buy? To start, you really only need about a dozen designs in a few different sizes. It all depends on whether you are fly fishing on a lake or stream and the time of the year. Our Essential Fly Boxes offer an easy solution, with curated fly boxes ready to land trout.

Yes, I did say time of the year. I would like to encourage you to think of other seasons than summer. Get out your raincoat; some rivers and lakes can be fished year round. Winter fly fishing for steelhead trout can be exciting (and a challenge).

Basic Fly Fishing Equipment

Let's start with the fly fishing equipment you need.

Which fly rod, reel and line you should buy will depend on what you want to do. Do you like small streams? Do you prefer larger rivers or lakes? The rod you need may be different! If you are on a budget, not to worry, there is one size that you can start with that will cover a lot of situations.

The other fly fishing supplies you will need are a matter of opinion. There are all kinds of “toys” you can buy, but we will try to stay close to the fly fishing basics. Some items you just don’t need. A good example of this is that I still don’t bring a landing net when I go fly fishing for steelhead. (don’t get me wrong; there are times when you will need one).

Explore Fly Fishing Supplies

Fly Rods

Choosing the right fly rod depends on many factors related to how and where you want to fly fish.

Fly Rod Buying Guide

Fly Reels & Lines

Once you have selected a fly rod you will need to choose the right reel for your type of fishing, and budget. We offer detailed information on various types of reels and drag systems.

Fly Reel Guide

Fly Fishing Flies

Flies are the most important piece to your fly fishing setup, but can be the most confusing. Learn how flies match specific types, and stages of insect life so that you can make the right fly selection on the water.

Fly Fishing Flies Guide

How to Fly Fish

Next let’s deal with HOW to fly fish. Again we will try to stay with the fly fishing basics.
Once you have the right setup, you need to practice casting a fly rod. Yes, knowing which fly to use is important, but after you lose twenty dollars worth of flies in the surrounding trees you may want to change your focus a little.

Find a casting instructor. Your local fly fishing shops can help you with this. There are also several good videos available that will show you how to improve your casting. Then get out in your back yard or a local park and practice.

There is just something graceful about casting a fly rod, so you will want to learn how best to cast.

Other important parts of fly fishing basics are learning different fishing knots, which fly to use (and when to use it), where to fish, and other fly fishing techniques. Studying each part will give you confidence and improve your chances for success.

Last but not least, there is conservation and proper fly fishing etiquette. I could go on and on about fly fishing etiquette (but I won’t). Be aware of your fellow fishermen. What are they doing? Which way are they moving? Are they letting the waters rest? It is OK to ask.

Please release wild trout (there is a right way to do it, you want the trout to have the best chance of survival).
One of my hot buttons is trash. Beer cans, trash and old fishing line seem to be always present in or near our rivers and lakes.

Fly Casting Guide Fly Fishing Etiquette Fly Fishing Knots

Where to Fly Fish

Gold Medal waters are found all over the country, but lots of great fishing can happen right near your home. Check out our river specific guides below. We offer detailed information about access points, fly selections, important equipment and techniques to have ready to have a great day on the water.

Oregon Fly Fishing

Explore some of Oregon’s best fly-fishing rivers:

Metolius River
Owyhee River
Crooked River
Upper Rogue

Oregon Fly Fishing Guide

Wyoming Fly Fishing

Wyoming offers beautiful scenery, pristine waters, and a variety of waters for every interest:

Big Laramie River

North Platte River

Snake River

Wyoming Fly Fishing

Montana Fly Fishing

Montana fly fishing is one of the best destinations in the world for all skill levels of fly fishers:

Madison River

Gallatin River

Bighorn River

Montana Fly Fishing

Contact Us

Navigating through all of the products and resources can be tricky when you are just starting out. Contact us with any questions you have about beginning fly fishing and we will try and help you decide! We can help you in picking a rod, choosing flies and selecting the best line for your waters.