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Old 07-22-2011, 04:30 PM
bigjim5589 bigjim5589 is offline
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Default Re: Initial Impressions of Flyfishing

Robert, demographics show that the majority of fly anglers are trout anglers, so that's where you'll see the majority of fly shops concentrate their efforts for selling gear. Some will cater to other areas of fly fishing because of where they're located. For example a fly shop in the Florida keys would most definitely carry gear for saltwater fly anglers. Fact is of all anglers, fly anglers are a fairly low percentage, so the retailers have a small audience. And, most of the better quality fly gear is relatively expensive when compared to other types of tackle the average angler may be using.

But, you're not alone! I started fly fishing about 45 years ago & there really were no fly fishing magazines back then. I was about 11 years old. There were magazines that had fly fishing articles, and once I became interested, I read everything I could get & envisioned myself as those articles depicted, just as you've described. Then I grew up some & realized the potentials of my local waters, which were primarily tidal, and none of which held anything that resembled a trout. The only exception was a small local lake that got stocked with hatchery trout each spring. I just didn't like standing shoulder to shoulder with other anglers, which kept me from fly casting anyway.

I like to fish for trout occasionally when the opportunity allows, but that's not very often.

I'm actually a blue collar fly angler. I drive a tractor trailer for a living too! Most of the fishing I do is for bass, panfish or some of the "saltwater" species that invade the tidal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. I started out with a Cortland fiberglass 8 wt, single action reel and a level line. An outfit that my father purchased for me via mail order.
Dad was not a fly angler, so he didn't have a clue what he was buying. I made due, and learned on my own.

I'm a pretty good fly tyer, and even spent 15 years tying commercially. I'm not the best fly caster, but I can cast well enough for the fishing I do. I've been fortunate to have been around some very good casters, so my casting has improved from my self taught beginnings.

I own some good equipment, but not any that's overly expensive. I have 7 rods, ranging from a 3 wt up to a 10 wt and all were either bought used, or traded for. One, a 6 wt Cabela's rod ($240 in their catalog at that time) I bought new at an auction for $90. I've collected a ton of tying supplies, and a small fortune in other tackle, but never felt I had to buy the "best" (or the most expensive) fly tackle to catch fish. What I have works well for me!

There is a lot of BS in fly fishing, as in most fishing, but your attitude about keeping an open mind is likely the best thing a person can do when they get into this sport. There is very good equipment available now, that fits a wide range of budgets. Fly fishing is not just for trout, and many manufacturers finally realized that! However, the demographics are what they are, and trout is still the most popular species of fly anglers. I'm good with that, leaves more of the other species for folks like you & I!
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