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Old 09-12-2013, 09:30 AM
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Default Seeking help with decisions for a fly fishing newbie

I am seeking advice on how I should go about getting started in fly fishing. I have been watching YouTube videos like crazy, reading the "orvis fly fishing guide", and spending all my free time surfing the Internet and reading as much as i can about fly fishing. I feel that I have a pretty solid idea of basic techniques. I've had the opportunity to practice cast with a friends rod and I think I've kinda got the hang of it. Obviously I have a ton of room for improvement, but I think I'm casting well enough to actually get out on the water. I'm at the point where I'm trying to decide between spending my very limited funds on a full day guided trip, a one day class at an orvis school, or if I should spend the money on the best equipment possible and just get out on the water myself. I have about $700 to spend now and I need just about everything. I have some small stuff that crosses over from some spin fishing like nippers, forceps and such, but I need all the major things rod,reel,line,leader,tippet,flies,net,waders etc. I would appreciate some thoughts on what everyone out there would do if they were going to start over again. Thanks!!!!
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Seeking help with decisions for a fly fishing newbie

Sounds like the Orvis school is pricey! I would go to your local fly shops, they might even offer classes themselves. If they do not I am sure they know of someone who does. A days casting class is anywhere from $80-$150 for the day. I am not sure what Orvis charges but if it is more than that its too expensive. Do not go out and buy stuff until you learn to cast or take a course. This will help you determine what type of rod you would want to purchase and it will make your fly fishing experience a lot more enjoyable.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: Seeking help with decisions for a fly fishing newbie

I am a noob myself. If I started over I would do a better job of communicating what I was really going to fish for most often, and the water characteristics of WHERE I was going to fish most often. I might have received better internet recommendations. Perhaps I would have purchased the right size equipment the first time.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Seeking help with decisions for a fly fishing newbie

Hi mbswif,
Sounds like you have the fever.

Well gear is something you'll have for years if you take care of it. A one day class, is just that and the education process is for many of us, a lifetime endeavor. A one day guided trip could be a great learning experience, if it's applicable to your pursuit.
Recommendations without area specifics are futile. Depending on your circumstances, some purchases could be deferred while still allowing you to fish, but again, without details, it’s anybodies guess.

Like many other here, I don’t generally dispense advice to anglers outside my area. All things being equal, no two places are equal…. With a limited budget, this isn’t something you want to get “ sort of right! “

So if you can, please elaborate and maybe someone with the same interest in your region will chime in.

Thanks, TT
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Seeking help with decisions for a fly fishing newbie

I agree about specifics being needed here.

Where are you in the country?
What will you be fishing for, and what do you think you will be catching most often?
What kind of water / terrain do you think you will be dealing with most often?
What time of year will you be fishing and what are the temps?

A good, none-big-name, rod and reel can be had for not a lot of coin. 3-5 mm neoprene waders will keep you dry. ("inexpensive' breathables rarely get decent reviews.) Lines can bit a bit pricy, but they don't break the bank.

$700
$250 - $350 Rod and reel
$50 - $75 line
$75 - $125 Boot footed neoprene waders
+$100 for leaders, tippet, box, some flies, et al ad nausium
Still leaves some space for upgrading

Stop in at the most local fly shop and say "I have this. I want that. What do you suggest?" (The local shop is often a good place for inexpensive, quick lessons on casting.)

Fly fishing CAN be very expensive, but it doesn't NEED to be as expensive as it is made out to be most often.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Seeking help with decisions for a fly fishing newbie

You dont need to dump a barrel of cash on equipment. There are some extremely decent rod and reels out there that could stay under $300 for the set. Cabelas has some fine combos. Heres one that would do fine for a beginner. Cabela's Prestige® Fly-Fishing Outfits : Cabela's Make no mistake, this is very decent gear that will get you deep into flyfishing. If its something that snags your heart, youll be like us and eventually have a whole quiver of rods/reels. At which point this one would still serve its purpose.
I assume you are thinking freshwater? My suggestion woud be to get a 9' 5wt. 4 peice rod. Put a matching 5wt. weight forward, floating line on it. (dont skimp on the line, RIO Selective Trout is a good one) Now, get a handful of nymphs, small wooly buggers and dry flies and go to a panfish pond. Play with those fish until you start catching them. Get some confidence. Nothing beats experience and experimentation. Be very careful of reading too much. "Analasys Paralisys" is rampant in flyfishing, especially for beginners.
After you've put in the time at a local pond/lake, you'll know when its time to take the next step. Only you will know what that is. And youll definitely know what to spend the rest of your money on.

Hope this helps and welcome to the wacky world of information overload
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Seeking help with decisions for a fly fishing newbie

I'm not sure where you are located, but if there is an Orvis shop near you, they give free fly fishing classes from time to time. I think it's called FF 101. It is a free class, they explain everything a beginner will need to know, and will teach you how to cast. I tagged along a few years ago with my wife and in-laws (they had never fly fished) before we took a trip out to MT. It actually helped me get back into it, since I was coming off of a 10+ year hiatus. Yes, there is a slight sales pitch, but it was worth it. They also gave you some coupons to use in their store if you decided to buy something.

Just throwing out a "free" option that will probably be useful to you as a beginner, while saving your cash for the equipment. It will also give you the opportunity to cast different rods to see what type suits you the best.

Good luck.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Seeking help with decisions for a fly fishing newbie

Thank you all who have replied so far... I should have thought to give more info on my location and what type of fishing I plan to do. I live in upstate NY about an hour west of Albany in Cooperstown. I seem to be close to several premium trout rivers. I am with in 2 hrs of the Beaverkill, Delaware, West Canada Creek, and I'm sure a lot of other smaller streams. I'm about an hour or so from the southern part of the Adirondacks. Trout will be my main goal although I would like to someday fish for steelhead and salmon. I'm under the impression that there is good options for that within a few hours drive to the north. I don't believe I'll have a problem deciding what to buy, I'm just having a hard time deciding between paying for teaching and having to wait longer to acquire the gear, or buying gear and learning on my own.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Seeking help with decisions for a fly fishing newbie

Buy the appropriately sized Cabela's, Redington Combo or call Allen Fly Fishing and have one put together there and you still have plenty of cash left to get a couple lessons and the rest of the stuff you have to have. I don't know how big those rivers are and how large the fish you will be catching run so rod length and weight will have to come from someone other than me.

After that, make some acquaintances with fishermen much more experience than you in the local shops or even from this forum and take them fishing with you. Let them give you advice and watch how they fish.

Learn to read the water with them. Remember: Foam is home, Rocks rock and Wood is good!

Poof! You are off to a great start.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Seeking help with decisions for a fly fishing newbie

Isn't any question what I would do if I had $700 now. I wouldn't wait until next year to fish. Keep some powder dry for later when you figure this out. Spend about $300 and have some fun right now. You can learn how to flycast with some internet lessons and practice in the yard, park or whatever is handy. You can teach yourself well enough to catch some fish faster than you think. It will be tight but $300 will buy a decent enough rod, reel, line and a few flies. Most of the rest is just luxuries when you are starting out.

There are numerous options in this price range if you read the last month of posts on this forum. Worst case you sell off your stuff for half your $300 and start over. mridenour mentioned some affordable brands. Check those out and throw up your questions. The Redington Trout Classic rod gets a lot of good reviews here. Hope so, because mine will be here tomorrow. $105 shipped. Redington has slightly cheaper rods and combos than the CT line, but at some price point you get into stuff that probably isn't even good enough for a beginner to be content with for long. That was my experience anyway.
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