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Old 01-26-2012, 08:15 PM
 
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Default How Did You Start

Hello Everyone,
As I have said in the few posts I have posted I am new to this sport and I am trying to learn all that I can. I have got all my info from books, talking to guys at the fly shop and here on the forum. It incredible how much good info is on here!
I got to thinking, how did everyone get into the sport? How did you learn? Did you see someone fishing and thought, I want to do that or were you lucky enough to have a parent interested and taught you? I am sure everyone is still learning to a certain extent, but how long did it take before you felt you were proficient at it? Just curious!
Bryan
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: How Did You Start

Hi Bryan,

I want to say welcome to the forum because your other posts have escaped my eye. It is always a pleasure to get positive feedback like what you have written here I wrote the short story of what inspired me and how I began fishing on the profile page here. Rather than copy it to here I would invite you to put your cursor on my screen name and tap, choose public profile and the tale is told. Your approach will get you into fly fishing, reading and then taking what you learn in theory to the river or creek and turning it into practice is a time proven means for people to learn about fly fishing.

I hope you will continue reading here and post often. Questions are the life blood of a forum such as this and there are many experienced folks here who will lend you a hand with anything you come up with.

Ard
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: How Did You Start

Some of my earliest memories in life are fishing with grandpa for perch on various lakes in central Washington. When I was 6-7yrs old, he handed me a fly rod and taught me to cast well enough to start getting fish. From then on, that was how I fished most of the time.

So, it's not some big epiphany I had at any point in my life. Just something that has been in my life as long as my memories can go back. I plan to have it as part of my life all the way until my memory fades in the other direction!
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: How Did You Start

About 25 years back, I watched a man fly fish for gills at a local lake. I was fasinated. So badly in fact, I sold all 27 rod & reel convention fishing combos I owned. Along with all the lures. Bought me a fly rod and reel and never looked back. I do own one spinning rod for the cold here. Other than that, from March till November, I fly fish. And yes, I am self taught.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: How Did You Start

A week after watching a River Runs Through It (back when I was 16) I ran down to my local Orvis Shop and bout an outfit...Still have it although the rod is now hanging on my 20 month old son's wall. Many people will say that it was the rebirth or rejuvenation of fly fishing, but for me it was the beginning of a life-long passion.
You can only do so much reading before your head wants to explode with all the knowledge you're soaking up (I have been there), but the best thing to do is get out on the river and get after it. Take a guide out every once in a while because their knowledge is invaluable. Find a fishing partner and learn from him as well. Keep talking to those shop owners and folks on the river you come across - all of them will be willing to share information except on where their favorite spots are!
Hang in there, it doesn't happen over night...I have been doing it for 17 years and still feel like a novice when I hit the river.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: How Did You Start

Only fishing show back then was Gaddabout Gaddis the Flying Fisherman. After seeing a show with fly fishing in it i was hooked . Told my dad the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a fly rod. So on my 8th birthday I got a Wonder Rod and Medalist reel. From that day until the first wArm days of spring found me at the baseball field teaching myself how to cast.
Then the first family trip to the beach caught my first snapper Bluefiish on a beatup bucktail that I had removed from a tin (spoon) used for surfcasting.
Later that summer on a family vacation to Lake Wentworth N.H. caught my first Bluegill, White Perch and Smallmouth on a made in Japan Royal Coachman.
Hooked for life.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: How Did You Start

I had always been interested in fishing, but never pursued it til I was out of the service at age 26. I caught my first trout on my future BIL's gummy old spin cast outfit with hoppers for bait. 5 yrs later I was getting the hang of spin fishing and I was intrigued by the notion fishing without carrying a tackle box and bait. Then one day I was fishing a local reservoir with worms on the bottom and my wife and I were swarmed by a blizzard hatch. I watched every trout in the res all over the top and around my line eating bugs off the surface. I knew I had to learn how to fish at every depth in the water column. Soon I bought one of those horrible Shakespeare composite fly rod outfits and began to learn the sport. 'Course, I've never seen another hatch like that one since!
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: How Did You Start

friend told me he had a fly rod and i bought it off of him. I am self taught which is the reason i hate teaching people. check out Hardy reels blog he has a great story about his introduction to fly fishing
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: How Did You Start

Started out bait fishing for trout because that is what the guys did that wanted me to go. Eventually it got boring and wasn't challenging. I got interested in fly fishing just watching people do it and decided I would try it. Tough at first but being self taught can be tougher for a beginner. After a couple of months of trying one day I caught several and lost some on an olive wooly bugger. I fish probably 99 percent of the time on my flyrod now and occasionally will throw some spinning gear for trout. I enjoy it, read books, watched video and watch people. Never had any real instruction from anyone.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: How Did You Start

I've been backpacking the Colorado summers since I moved here in 1994. For the first ten summers or so, I never packed a rod. I just never knew much about fishing of any kind......I never had anyone show it to me. But for ten summers, I backpacked into areas loaded with trout lakes and headwater streams. And sometimes I would see trout swimming in the water and other hikers fly fishing, so I naturally had to try it for myself. But anyone I would talk to about fishing would always say, "fly fishing??? no way, that's too complicated!!" I still wanted to incorporate backcountry trout into my backpacking fun. Also, the inherit lightweight nature of fly fishing tackle was a huge lure. And I love eating seafood, especially salmon........so I envisioned myself consuming copius amounts of trout around the campfire at night.

One off season during the winter I googled something like, "fly fishing and backpacking." The first book that came up was Osthoff's - Fly Fishing the Rocky Mountain Backcountry. I bought it off Amazon months before ever buying my first fly rod. Rich Osthoff's experience fly fishing the Rockies immediately captivated me. Not only is the guy an amazingly good bacpacker, he is an even better angler. He also has thorough descriptions of hundreds of backcountry fisheries. The man is simply a world class backcountry fisherman. I dived into the book head first and never looked back. It became my bible.

I eventually bought a cheap fly rod and reel combo, a few cheap videos, watched youtube, and taught myself the basics. I taught myself to fly fish on high-altitude backcountry lakes and small connecting streams. I was immediately hooked, mostly because of walking in Osthoff's footsteps fishing the same waters he describes in his book. Backpacking-flyfishing is now my passion. I used to go backpacking just for general fun. Now, my main short term goal in life is to hike and fish as many Rocky Mountain backcountry waters I can. Since I picked up fly fishing I have yet to do a dayhike or an extended trip that didn't target trout waters. Last summer was a down year for me but I still covered 300 miles with the pack on in three different states.

Fishing high-lakes can be an artform in itself, but mainly having fished high-lakes only, I now want to raise my skills so I can attack (big) moving water.....like the bigger rivers along the Front Range. And I would love to make it onto rivers like the Madison or Bighorn when I am traveling through Wyoming and Montana. I've never been to Yellowstone and I hope to get there next summer and spend at least two weeks hiking and fishing the spectacular backcountry rivers.

As for eating all those backcountry trout I set out to, I only eat fish when its practical and good for the fishery. Many backcountry lakes are loaded with smaller, stunted fish (especially brookies). When I am hungry for a meal of trout I do harvest from these lakes. But the better fisheries that produce fewer numbers of larger trout, I catch & release at all times and I always follow the rules & regs to a tee.
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