Trout Fly Fishing Basics
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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
Choosing the right fly rod depends on many factors related to how and where you want to fly fish.
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 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.
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.
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:
Wyoming Fly Fishing
Wyoming offers beautiful scenery, pristine waters, and a variety of waters for every interest:
Big Laramie River
North Platte River
Montana Fly Fishing
Montana fly fishing is one of the best destinations in the world for all skill levels of fly fishers:
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.