Re: First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
if you are stting the hook so hard the fly is flying back at you, you are setting way to hard. a firm set and a tight line will usually do the trick
wind knots are generally caused by a tailing loop, wich is caused by too much wrist action in your cast. less wrist, more elbow. I get wind knots occasionaly, and it mostly happens when my cast gets sloppy. practice lawn casting, it really does help.
a net is a important tool when fishing, places less stress on the fish increasing its chances of survival when released. make sure you wet your hands before handling the fish so you dont rub off the protective 'slime'. when possible i keep the fish in the water while in the net during release.
I only use barbless hooks simply because it makes the release easier and better for the fish.
'horsing' a fish will result in broken tippet. i like to let them run and tire themselves out if I can, then bring them in.
Sounds like you had a great day on the water, and earned some valuable tips to make the next trip even more enjoyable. x2 on the wool socks, nothing worse than numb feet and trying to navigate in the water.