Do you remember your first attempt at fly fishing ?
Who or what got you started in our sport ? Share your "start story ".
I fished saltwater all my life in Florida on spinning an conventional tackle. My first week after moving to Montana led me to a tiny stream full of little brookies. Someone loaned me a fly rod, and I was the one that got hooked. 40 years later, it's still my favorite way to fish.
I started because I got my Grandpa's fly rods and started using them. I began by catching bass and panfish out of the neighbor's ponds. I then used them in the trout waters here in Missouri. I still have his old fiberglass rod hanging over the bar in my basement. I want to use it again when I get a chance to fish the Gunnison where he used to fish when he lived in Colorado. When the kids were growing up I got away from fly fishing and got into bass fishing. Last summer a friend of mine helped me get started fly fishing again when we took a trip to South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming and I was able to catch some big fish on my fly rod and old reel. I have been tying flies and fly fishing every chance I get ever since. In a way I am a rookie again.
I always loved fishing, but knew of only spin casting when I was younger. When I was around 8 years old, my family and I started vacationing to a ranch in Colorado every year for the next 6 years.
One year, my father and I took a trip up into the national wilderness with a guide (about 6 hours by horseback) after a decent car ride. Neither of us fly fished at the time (and I was still very young) so we brought along spinning gear.
The area we fished was a beautiful valley between the mountains that flooded in different ways every year based on how the beavers built their dams. Many of the fish there had and never would see a human being, and thus assumed that every heavy footstep or shadow was a predator, and would scatter very quickly.
Needless to say, our spinning gear didn't work so well, and we emerged at the end of the 2 day camping trip with 0 fish caught. When back at home, my father asked me if I wanted to learn fly fishing with him and try the same wilderness trip the next year. I agreed, and went to see a casting (and everything) instructor for a while. I quickly learned to love fly fishing, while my father enjoyed it, but had no special affinity towards it.
The next year, we did indeed go back up to the wilderness and successfully caught some beautiful wild trout. We had a much better time and I was completely hooked. The ranch itself is also on the Conejos River so I fished there almost every day while the rest of my family went out horseback riding.
As I was still young and my life was full of crazy adventures and priorities, I never really picked up my fly rod outside of the yearly Colorado trip, and after we stopped going, I didn't pick it up again for about 10 years. My senior year in college, I laid awake one night, unable to sleep. As random thoughts and ideas passed through my head, I began to remember those trips and how much I enjoyed fly fishing. The Miami canal system ran through my campus and, as I still loved fishing in general, I would go out often with my spin rod. I realized that I could give this a shot with my old fly rod.
I called up my parents the next day, and had them ship down my fly rod and gear. I was like a kid in a candy store when it all arrived. I poured through the tackle bag trying to remember what everything was for. Soon after, I made a quick trip to Bass Pro to stumble through the fly gear (which I couldn't remember much about) and got some streamers which the salesman suggested might work. I did some YouTubing to brush up on my cast, knots, etc, and was quickly out fishing.
And that was it for me, hooked once again 10 years later, and I haven't looked back.
The family was camping in the Rangeley Maine area and my father filled my head with stories of giant brook trout and famous fly tiers and their creations.
I figured that I'd give it a shot.
So I tied up a "fly" of my mother's olive colored wool knitting yard onto a bait hook, snuck my father's rod out from behind the tent, and headed to the lake.
Even with me flailing the line on the surface, I was able to catch a fish.
It was just a smelt, but it was my first fly rod fish on the first fly that I tied myself
It was on the Thames River in London (Ontario, Canada).
I was about 12. My dad took my brother and I. after watching him for a bit I asked if I could try. he showed me where to cast, helped me throw it into shore (it was a shallow part of the river), and on the first cast (at least from what I remember), caught something. I don't remember what it was. maybe a bass.
Either way, it was tons of fun landing it with a fly rod. we went to the fishing show shortly after to get me all set up.
Since then, we've caught more Bass, freshwater drum, bass, pike, bass, catfish, bass, I think there were some carp in there too. Oh, and some Bass.
Trout have always eluded me on the fly, but I plan to fix that this fall.
I heard and knew about fly fishing when I was first given a Shimano Compre Light and 2500 Pflueger President as my first fishing outfit ever by my boss for a Christmas present 8 years ago. However, ±3 years ago when I was relaxing in front of the TV I stumbled upon a movie title "The river runs through it".
Used to read Outdoor Life from cover to cover and read an article by Joe Brooks on fly fishing for Stripers. So for my 8th birthday got my only begged for present a Wonder Rod and Pflueger Medalist reel.
Every day after school I was down the sump across from my house practicing my casting with my best friend who also got a fly rod (bamboo) and a Hardy Reel from his uncle. The big day came when my parents took us to the beach the first week of summer recess. We used streamers called Tuffy Streamers cause they were tied from my friends dogs belly hair and his name was Tuffy. We had no source for materials we tied the dog hair on flounder hooks with my moms sewing thread .
Well we didn't catch any Stripers on that firsttrip but we did catch a bunch of Snapper Bluefish as well as several Windowpane flounder. We were hooked for life! Funny thing is didn't catch my first freshwater fish on a fly until more than 2 years later at Boy Scout Camp and it was a Pickeral on that same Tuffy fly. Bluegills and Bass followed.
First Stripers on the fly came that summer on the same fly and we got a ton of them , schoolies but big enough to fuel to young boys imaginations to the max! Still think about those times often!
---------- Post added at 11:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:22 AM ----------
"I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
"There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
" It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
"Your not old,you've simply acquired a patina." Swirlchaser
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: In the beginning.....
I vividly remember my 'just your rod.' Up in Canada everything I used was 'someone else's.' Nothing wrong with that. Father 'passed' and Mom and I moved to Seattle (then, getting a Green Card was a "You earned it!")
"Uncle Don" owned a beer Tavern on Aurora Ave and Mom became the night Bartender. Once she became 'established' for really filling up the glass, business after 6PM boomed. Anyway, one of the 'Regulars' was in the Air Force that flew 'heavies' to Japan. Gather he asked is there was anything he could bring back for her (a few days lay over?)?
For you Old Guys, you'll remember those. A 4'ish foot wood box with a Bamboo fly rod, and what ever else was in there. It was a very good Christmas! Also my first Plug Med Reel and fly line. Gather she took up a collection to pay for that.
My guess is it didn't take 5 minutes before that beer mug was stuffed with coin and one dollar bills.
Like all 'Mom's' mine was one exceptional Woman. I was privileged to be sitting next to her when she passed. Get the call she's failing fast (knew it was coming) and packed bag into the car. Driving like a mad man at 0300'ish and get pulled over by the Oregon State Police.
'Mom's dieing, give me the ticket and I need to get out of here!' Guy asked me how fast I felt driving and "follow me." When we passed over the I-5 bridge (Portland/Vancouver) there was a Washington State Trouper waiting for me. All the way to Mercer Island where Mom was in a 'rest home.'
I guess a 60 some year old man with tear running down his face carries some weight.
I have no idea what became of that 'first just mine' but I never could properly express my appreciation, save for the look on my face. I'd take 'the box' to school and walked the mile down to Green Lake. Books in a bag, box under my arm. Fish some, read some, write some, and a two mile walk back after sundown.
As Mom once said: 'We're not poor, we just don't have any money.' She was right; if I had bus fair in my pocket, I wasn't going to spend same if I could walk there.
End game of her gentle shoving was two Master's degrees and a couple others tossed in for good measure. Presently in my pant pocket (I did count) 59 cents. Back then you could do a lot with "That kind of money."
Now? Far more than I need, but I still count "My Pennies."
Frederick A. Evans
Sorry for the rant/back stories, but some questions just bring back a flood of memories.
I fish for crappie the majority of the time, BG the rest. Unfortnately some bass (green carp to a crappie guy) get in the mix as well. There are numerous methods or styles to fish or catch crappie, tried all I had read bout except for one, which was FF, so....
I've still not caught my first crappie on a fly rod, have caught a BG tho and was definately fun. I've not been fishing in a month due to the weather here and the powers that be over the TVA dams apparently do not like to fish as they are notorious for adjusting the water levels in the local lake(s) which keeps the fish on edge and not biting. This and life in general has prevented me from fishing.
I had the thought of putting my "crappie rods" up for the summer and focus on the fly rods but have not been successful at that either. Maybe when I get all the pending items off my "to do list" (yeah right) I can practice some more and catch my first one.
If I never catch a crappie on a fly rod, this venture has still be a success as I've met some pretty nice guys here.