I'm new to the forum and for the most part new to fly fishing. I have some very minimal experience and own a cheapie Shakespeare rod, but aside from that, have no idea what I'm doing. Growing up in Minnesota with a Father to whom fishing is a religion, I have the love of fishing ingrained in my brain. Now I reside in Arizona, and after three years have decided I need fishing back in my life. I've been reading magazines, some books, watching videos, etc. I think it's time however that I get out and do some actual fishing. I am extremely interested in the world of fly fishing, and would like to give it a try. So here I am, throwing my story out there, in hopes that someone will give me some good advice on how to get started. I already love travel and hiking. Finding myself along trout streams frequently, I think it's time to wet a line and see what fly fishing is all about!
First of all, welcome!! While fly fishing is a terrible affliction, it's totally worth every minute (except those you spend retying knots, clearing snags, pulling hooks from yourself or others, wondering why the fish refuse to eat what you're offering...)!
Good advice on getting started is a tall order! Do you have a fly shop nearby? Do you have any flies yet? I don't know how hatches go in your neck of the woods, but this time of year in my area is dominated by nymph/subsurface fishing. While many might scoff, a thingamabobber or other indicator with flies suspended beneath is often the best way to get acquainted with hooking (and hopefully landing) trout. I know there are people on here from Arizona, so hopefully you can meet up with one (or more) and get out fishing, that's the best way I can think of to get started. You already have a good start with loving travel and hiking and being obsessed with fishing. You don't need an expensive rod and reel to get started, just start filling a fly box and get out there!
Good luck, hope you can find some fishing buddies or a local fly shop and get out there after some fish on the fly!
Thanks! I have some flies (maybe 10). There is a Cabela's fly shop about 15 min from me. Aside from that I'm not sure. Since I live in the West Valley (Western Phoenix), I don't know if there's much nearby. I did download the Fishhead app however, which suggest many more opportunities then one might guess. In my case, traveling up North into the high country is no big deal. I'm after the serenity of nature as much as fish. I read an article in Fly Fusion on fishing in inner Denver, but that kind of setting doesn't appeal no matter how many fish I might land. Aside from Arizona, I also have good flight benefits (as an airline employee), so flying to Missoula or someplace comparable for a couple days is absolutely no problem for me. I definitely would like to start local though, and first just learn what I'm doing.
Welcome to the forum and to fly fishing! You are certainly on the right track. Doing legwork by means of reading books, magazines and internet forums is very helpful. You will find some good instructional videos on youtube as well.
What I can tell you that helped me the most was finding a fly shop and getting instruction from a guide. If you can't swing that, by all means find some local clubs and get active in those. I spent 2 years fumbling around trying to learn and the 1/2 day I spent with a guide REALLY helped me more than anything else I had done. I found I was doing some things right and plenty wrong.
Find a good local fly shop and establish a relationship with them. That relationship is worth its weight in gold. One more thing...don't overlook your home region for fishing either.
If you have a local Fly Fishing club get in touch with them and start attending their meetings. Most fly fisherman are friendly and willing to offer their help.
In spite of what you might have heard, or been told, there is nothing difficult about this sport; the rewards of being patient about the learning experience make the effort well worth it.
Welcome to the Forum, hope you enjoy the ride.
Josh: Welcome to the forum! This site has a tremendous amount of information if you take the time to browse or use the search function, but in the end don't hesitate to ask questions and we will try our best to help you out. Checkout the Orvis podcasts by Tom Rosenbauer, they are an excellent source of fly fishing information for beginners, if you have an IPad or IPod you can download the podcasts and listen to them anywhere. If not here is a link to their site: Orvis Podcasts - Fly Fishing Guide and Double Barrel
Here is a listing of fly shops in Arizona, maybe you will find one nearby: Arizona Fly Fishing Shops and Guides
If you can find a shop nearby, I'd stop in and see if there is a local fly fishing club in the area or maybe a Trout Unlimited or Federation of Fly Fishers chapter (a google search will be your friend). Like the others have said if you can get someone to mentor you through the beginning stages, your learning curve will accelerate tremendously. If not, then consider doing a one day instruction of fly fishing with one of the local fly shops or maybe a half day guided trip.