Get your rod first, don't wait, I'd suggest a 8' 4wt. Practice casting. I can't stress this enough. Throw a hula hoop out in the yard, park whatever and practice your cast. Set up a camera to capture your form so you can review and compare to any videos you may have or watch on YouTube. Practice getting into that hoop. Start short and work your way out. It isn't just grab a rod m go, or watch a vid or read a book.
I have been fishing the Toccoa for several years now, actually might be going mid march, and a 5wt rod is just fine. Yes there are some big fish there but nothing that a 5 couldn't handle. I prefer to fish the headwaters over the tailwater, more solitude and no crowds during optimal times. As far as the headwaters go, there are sections that are not very wide and range up to sections that are wide AND deep. So it's best to be able to cast in all conditions. The other members are not lying when they say if the water is releasing GET OUT, it's a beautiful river that will eat you if your not careful. As for tippet size, I guess it depends, the tailwater gets decent traffic at times plus there are sections of smooth runs, if your trip falls within that time id probably start smaller (5x?) and play gently, but I have used 4x on some of the faster runs with no problem.
There are two fly shops in the area, one in Blue Ridge (awesome folks) and another heading toward Helen (can't remember the exact location right now). They both have some great info on the Toccoa and other streams in the area. I know the shop towed Helen prints a hatch chart and gives some detailed info on the Toccoa tailwater, I'd you want PM me and I'll try to find that site for you
Also, where do you live ? If your near me I have several rods you can cast to see what you might like
I was thinking for these large trout, a 5-6wt rod at 8'6"-9'. 5-6wt fly line, 3wt tapered leader, 3-4 wt tippet, and 12-16 flies?
Sounds about right. If you're not a good caster, you might find a medium action 6 weight rod a little easier to get used to than a faster 5. They aren't that different in terms of fish-fighting ability, but beginners often find it easier to cast with a more moderate-action rod and a heavier line. You'll want 4x and 5x leaders and tippet as well as 3x (3x is not suitable for smaller flies). Depending on what's hatching, you may need some flies in sizes 18 or 20, or some streamers or nymphs larger than 12. A local fly shop or guide will be able to give you up-to-the-minute advice on the best flies and leaders to use when you get there.
---------- Post added at 03:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:42 AM ----------
Originally Posted by jbird
Welcome to the forum and the wacky world of flyfishing
I will touch on something that is infinitely more important than the fly gear you choose. Fly fishing is not something you can just grab a rod and go catch fish. There is a learning to curve to casting and more importantly, presentation. It can be a steep curve if you try to take it on without guidance. You can read tips til youre blue in the face but they aren't going to help you much in real life until you learn to feel a fly rod and what it can do.
Unfortunately, gear fishermen have an even steeper learning curve because you will want to use a flyrod like a spinning or baitcasting rod.
I don't want to discourage you because this is a wonderful way to fish, but you may consider getting a lesson or rent some dvd's and practice a lot before you go. Frustration can ruin a day on the river and flyfishing one day a year is guaranteed to do that.
Especially practice. Once you buy your outfit, take it out in the backyard, tie a little piece of yarn to the end of the leader, put a garbage can lid out on the lawn, stand 30' away, and cast until you can get the yarn to land in the lid most of the time. You may need a lesson before you get the hang of it.
Practice is key. I hit up my local school yard to teach myself the fundamentals after watching numerous Orvis videos online. Luckily I have an Orvis near me so I have taken their classes. Really it comes down to timing and watching your loop, once you get the feel from there you can figure out the rest.
I started with a $100 Redington Crosswater 5wt kit from Sierra Trading Post, great little setup for the money and is a decent Mid/Fast action rod. I then tested a few other rods and found I liked a more mid/mid-fast action rod, which I got with a Redington CT 5wt.
Becareful of Gear Acquisition Syndrom (GAS) as I now have both the rods and a couple reels with a used Orvis Battenkill Disc 5/6 coming in the mail with a new Rio Gold WF5F coming as well.
Welcome to the forum, Shields. Always nice to see a new member. The only thing I might add is to keep an open mind. Changing to a different style of fishing will challenge your muscle memory, especially in the timing of your back cast. Hands on learning will help the most, especially with someone to give you a few pointers.
I'd take a favorable look at Kickers generous offer if he's not too far away. Good luck and tight lines !
Going from bait casters to fly rods is not the same as switching from spinning rods to casting reels. It would be a REAL GOOD idea to get some instruction. Someone to show you the basics before you get "bad habits" in your stroke. I always say, it isn't rocket surgery, but I guess it's sort of like golf. You can watch it on TV all you want, but the best set of clubs money can buy isn't going to get you on tour anytime soon. Getting taught the basics WILL make this sport really enjoyable. It's not hard to learn, as long as you learn the right way first.
Welcome aboard. I picked up the fly rod again after a long time away from it a couple years ago. All my bass gear has been collecting dust since.
As a fairly new convert to Fly fishing listen to these guys, they know what they are talking about. If you are going out for 1 day, save up the $$ for a local guide and tell them you are a gear fishing convert, new to fly fishing. That way the service can select the right guide for you. I did that and had a great day on the water, caught 5 fish my first time out with a fly rod because I was not embarrassed to tell the guide I did not know diddly. And practice after watching instructional videos. Find a local TU chapter, make friends. Read a lot if you like to read but it will not help you unless you are throwing your line somewhere. Oh, and if it turns out you really like it, say good by to all available cash and credit.