Re: Trout Fly Gear Suggestions?
If this is your first fly fishing combo, I suggest à 7 weight rod and most definitely a 9 foot rod.
Do not believe the myth that a stronger rod does not present a fly as delicately as a lighter rod.
I fish with size 22 to 26 ants on still water lakes for large brook trout near the end of the summer with no problem using my 7 weight rod. The trick is to use a longer finer leader and tippet. I make my own leaders using the Ritz method and tippets between 3/4 lb to 2 lb depending on the size of the fly. The average length of the leader is about 14 feet. With this combination, I can cast to large brookies that are sipping tiny flies way out in the middle of the lake and I don't have to be within 30 or 40 feet to get them. These trout are really easy to spook. I paddle silently out over the lake and when I see a tiny disturbance at the surface of the lake, I ease over very silently and cast where I think the fish will resurface. It's best to wait to see with direction and at what distance between disturbances to indicate where I will place my tiny fly. I did use size 28 fly but no need to go that small. Size 24 is about the smallest I use now. Tiny ants are my favourite flies to use. However, I do have tiny mayflies dry and spent.
The presentation depends on the leader and how you cast your line.
Sure, if I was only going to fish small rivers and ponds the size of a big front yard, I would use a 4 or 5 weight outfit but if you want an outfit that is more versatile....get a 7 weight. Make your own leaders. My 15 foot leaders turn over in my living room with just my arm and my fingers gripping the large end of the leader.
5 weight rods.....all of my buddies have them and they get frustrated when they see the results I get using a 7 weight when there is a slight wind, or using a size 8 muddler minnow or when the trout always seem to rise just a bit too far for a 5 weight rod.
Short rods are ok but I prefer a longer rod. I don't have to stand up in my canoe to fish with a longer rod. While sitting in my canoe or boat, I have a much lower profile while in the meantime, my fly line is further off the water or the rocks and bushes behind me. I also get longer roll casts with a longer rod.