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Old 04-24-2012, 10:07 PM
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Default Noobie dumb question

Hey everyone,

First time here at the forum. So... Hi!! I've poked around a bit looking for some answers to my questions but the info on this forum is pretty overwhelming.

I'm a Colorado native and for the first 36 years of my life I never fly fished.

So, I'm pretty new to fly fishing. I've gone only a handful of times. I've been fishing the rivers here in Colorado and really love it. It's amazing spending time in the mountains, and t's a very zen activity.

Problem is, I haven't caught a fish yet. I've had a few bites and even came close to landing one but... that's it. So here's my dumb question that probably has no good answer and has probably been asked a zillion times already; how long does it take to get at least somewhat decent enough to catch a fish?

I've got a pretty cheap rod... like, really cheap, (one of those Martin all-in-one things for $70) but I'm too broke right now to get a decent one. I've practiced my casting in the yard and I think I'm pretty good at it. I still get the line splashing down kinda hard a lot of times. Am I scaring the fish?

I've studied up on mayflies, caddies, and stoneflies. But I have no idea when to use what.

So, I guess if you all have any suggestions or tips on how to get better I'd sure love to hear them.

Again, thanks putting up with my dumb noobie question.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Noobie dumb question

welcome to the addiction. or what will soon be. the crowd here helped me out alot when I started last year. if you have a question someone will have an answer.
Mike
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Noobie dumb question

look around your surroundings and see what's going on. Nature will show you my man..
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Noobie dumb question

Quote:
Originally Posted by kayo View Post
look around your surroundings and see what's going on. Nature will show you my man. If you can't see it, theirs the internet.
Yeah... I know what you're saying, but I always seem to pick the wrong fly.

For example. I was on The Dream Stream today. Saw a BUNCH of caddis flying around so I put an emerger and a nymph on the line. No luck all day.

I saw a guy down the river catching fish left and right so I asked him what he was using. He was super helpful and told me that the red and black midges are what seemed to work.

So how the heck does he know that? Is it trial and error? Is it experience?

Another time I was fishing the South Platte near Deckers. I saw stoneflies everywhere so I put a black stonefly pattern on the line. Also saw hoppers so I tried that. After a few hours of no luck I finally went to a local tackle shop where the guy told me they were only biting the gold stoneflies. Again, how would I know that? Seems to me any studying I do ahead of time to try to predict the type of fly I'll need never seem to be the right one.

Like I said, I'm super new to this so maybe it just takes a few years to figure it out.

I'm a musician and I keep thinking back to when I first learned how to play. It took me 5 years before I was any good, and another 10 before I was really good. Is fly fishing the same kind of thing?
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Noobie dumb question

i know what you mean,, I have had days like that, seeing the guy dwon stream bring fishing to hand every few minutes and not catching anything.. its fustrating for sure.. if your goign for trout the fly may be good but the tippet line or full tapered leader like I use may be to thick and the fish can see it. I had one time tied on 12 flys or more with no luck, after i decided to put a thinner leader on it seemed liek it didnt matter what fly i used fish where hitting it.. to say this is trail and error is an understandment. but gather as much intel form other folks on your waters as you can.

Mike
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Noobie dumb question

Hi,

The first time I went fly fishing in a stream was in estes park. We got a guide because we didn't know the first thing about how to go about catching a fish in that kind of water since we had only fished ponds and lakes. The biggest and simplest thing that I learned from that guide was find a big boulder or any spot that the water is pooling up behind and drop your fly in it. Also, water that has alot of bubbles in it and is pooling up as well. High stick your rod over that pool of water. Put the fly in that pool and let it set there for as long as it will.

I would use a size 16 or 18 hares ear or prince nymph below a small emerger or size 12 attractor fly right now. I am no expert but that is what I would do if I were you.

I hope this helps you!! Good luck!!
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Noobie dumb question

I'll be honest with you and that can be both a good and a bad thing. The only trout I caught for at least my first two seasons were pure luck and "fishing". There is a saying in trout fishing that he who spends the most time with his flies in the water will catch the most fish. You will get some lucky fish even if you don't have a clue. That's the good news. The bad news is there is ALOT to learn about trout feeding activity and trout food life cycles. There are several ways to go about learning all of this gigantic field of knowledge but there is no quick way to become an expert; not at trout fishing nor anything else for that matter.

Here's a few tips:
1. Before you go out, find a fly shop where the employees seem friendly and chatty; they will tell you what is happening TODAY on the local waters. Trout feeding patterns change weekly, daily, and even hourly (which is often the case). Understanding the bug hatches and the feeding patters that corrospond will help you catch a bunch of fish (this is much easier said than done). You'll get free fishing lessons 10 minutes at a time at the fly shops. I spent my first two years going to a different fly shop every week looking for free information and every now an then it paid off. My first trout was taken on the fly they sold me fishing it how they told me to fish it.
2. Take some casting lessons; either through a fly shop, or the cheap way through YOU TUBE. You can learn alot by browsing through the casting threads on this forum. You can learn a whole awful lot!!! There are some amazingly talented casters, tyers, and anglers on this site.
3. Don't worry about the rod, I know how to cast fairly well now and I can pick up just about any rig and make it happen. It might not seem like it (and the marketeers sure don't want you to know this), but the rod has very little to do with how few or many fish you catch. Fish it until it breaks, or you find the money and opportunity to upgrade.
4. Don't get too frustrated....5 years from now you'll look back and marvel at the fish you accidentally caught when you knew nothing! The ones you catch by accident are treasured memories. You'll really have a sense of accomplishment when you realize that your not "lost" anymore.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: Noobie dumb question

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbphotos54 View Post
i know what you mean,, I have had days like that, seeing the guy dwon stream bring fishing to hand every few minutes and not catching anything.. its fustrating for sure.. if your goign for trout the fly may be good but the tippet line or full tapered leader like I use may be to thick and the fish can see it. I had one time tied on 12 flys or more with no luck, after i decided to put a thinner leader on it seemed liek it didnt matter what fly i used fish where hitting it.. to say this is trail and error is an understandment. but gather as much intel form other folks on your waters as you can.

Mike
I've been using 6 pound monofiliment tippet. My uncle and my friends who are good fishermen tell me it's just fine. But, you might me on to something there, Mike. It wouldn't hurt to get some smaller stuff.

Thanks for the tip.

---------- Post added at 10:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:34 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ausablebrown View Post
I'll be honest with you and that can be both a good and a bad thing. The only trout I caught for at least my first two seasons were pure luck and "fishing". There is a saying in trout fishing that he who spends the most time with his flies in the water will catch the most fish. You will get some lucky fish even if you don't have a clue. That's the good news. The bad news is there is ALOT to learn about trout feeding activity and trout food life cycles. There are several ways to go about learning all of this gigantic field of knowledge but there is no quick way to become an expert; not at trout fishing nor anything else for that matter.

Here's a few tips:
1. Before you go out, find a fly shop where the employees seem friendly and chatty; they will tell you what is happening TODAY on the local waters. Trout feeding patterns change weekly, daily, and even hourly (which is often the case). Understanding the bug hatches and the feeding patters that corrospond will help you catch a bunch of fish (this is much easier said than done). You'll get free fishing lessons 10 minutes at a time at the fly shops. I spent my first two years going to a different fly shop every week looking for free information and every now an then it paid off. My first trout was taken on the fly they sold me fishing it how they told me to fish it.
2. Take some casting lessons; either through a fly shop, or the cheap way through YOU TUBE. You can learn alot by browsing through the casting threads on this forum. You can learn a whole awful lot!!! There are some amazingly talented casters, tyers, and anglers on this site.
3. Don't worry about the rod, I know how to cast fairly well now and I can pick up just about any rig and make it happen. It might not seem like it (and the marketeers sure don't want you to know this), but the rod has very little to do with how few or many fish you catch. Fish it until it breaks, or you find the money and opportunity to upgrade.
4. Don't get too frustrated....5 years from now you'll look back and marvel at the fish you accidentally caught when you knew nothing! The ones you catch by accident are treasured memories. You'll really have a sense of accomplishment when you realize that your not "lost" anymore.
This is pretty much what I thought you guys would tell me.

Good new about the rod. I'm really happy to hear you say it doesn't make much difference. The bad news is it's my technique and I can't blame the gear! HAHA.

So how does one get the resources (beyond hanging at the fly shop every day) to understand the feeding patterns? I've browsed some books on insect entomology but how do people just instinctively go for the right fly?

My uncle, who fly fished since he was 9 (and is now 92) said he only used Royal Coachmen and Adams flies. He caught more fish then I'll ever dream of using. So, in that case it seems like the fly is less important than his skill and instinct. Am I right in assuming that?

These are the questions that make the sport so fascinating to me by the way.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Noobie dumb question

I'm sure that there is a fly fishing club in your region. Try joining it. Most clubs have programs for newbies. You can get help on casting, on the water tactics, and entomology.

A Google search under "Colorado fly fishing clubs" can get you started.

Dennis
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Noobie dumb question

80% presentation, 20% fly selection....however when trout start feeding on a specific bug (emerger, nymph, or adult) you will be hard pressed to catch them on the wrong fly at that point.

I've fished the South Platte a couple of times; local guys can help you out with that much more than I can, but there as well as alot of other western trout fishing is midge fishing. Little size 20-24 nymphs. That's what they sold us at the fly shop in Woodland Park and that's what we caught fish on. How they know this stuff...I'm still trying to figure this out too! Once you know a local stream you just get the right hunches I suppose. Some days I just try nymphs of all different sizes and colors until I get it right.
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