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Old 08-29-2014, 06:10 PM
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Default How to best prepare?

Hi all,

So, I'm new to the forum... but a little background on me. I tried to fly fish self-taught when I was around 13. I loved it, but more the thought of it than anything. I only caught a handful of fish and at least one of those was on accident. I also had a friend whose dad had a fly tying kit he let us use... holy ****, that was fun... I still have those flies and have caught fish on them as recently as last summer (although it was panfish).

Anyway, I am now wanting to get back into it, but I would really like to dig into it. More than anything, like everyone else, I want to catch fish. Having said that, when I don't, I tend to lose interest fairly quickly. So my thought process is to learn as much as I can to have the greatest chance of success and the least chance of boredom.

I have been fishing my entire life, but I guess one of my biggest problems is not knowing what I don't know. I'm not sure what I need to know to successfully catch trout.

Having said that, I'm planning on focusing on trout, but I'll probably also go after some panfish and maybe small bass in a nearby creek. There are also a lot of spotted gar in that creek.

Anyway, what would you guys recommend? My first thoughts are to read some books. I think I've got an Orvis book on Fly Fishing I bought about a year ago. Any good book suggestions? I'm also thinking about joining the local fly fishing club... those generally tend to be great sources of information (to be fair, I'm biased... I'm president of a local club for a different hobby myself ) and also a local fly shop.

What else would you guys recommend? My first trip is planned for the Caney Fork River on September 20th, but its more of a thing that could be either fly or spin cast fishing. I'm hoping for fly fishing if I can get my rod before then.

Sorry this is a bit scattered, guys.

Brandon
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: How to best prepare?

Brandon, welcome to the site & the sport!

My first recommendation would be to have patience!

Joining a club would be an excellent idea, as would visiting fly shops.

I don't know how old you are now, but learning to fly fish & catch fish with flies will require some patience. Starting with panfish is always a good idea, and going after trout is not a bad place to start either. However, panfish are generally easier to learn to catch. They tend to be more forgiving when we make mistakes.

If you're mind is made up to learn fly fishing, I suggest you leave the spinning gear at home. If catching fish is your only reason for being out there, use whatever you like, just be aware that learning to fly fish will take longer every time you switch back to the spinning gear.

Don't get me wrong here either, I have no problems with using any other type tackle. I still fish with other gear, but I learned a long time ago that as long as I spent time with other gear before learning to use a fly rod & have consistent success, it took me a longer period of time to master the basics. I'm still learning too! BTW, I feel that learning to fly fish has made me a better angler with other tackle!

For getting started generally, learning to cast properly & line control are the most important aspects of fly fishing. After that & provided there are fish to be caught, presentation of the fly is likely the next most important lesson you'll need to learn.

There are many, many details to this sport & it would be impossible to type them all here. Many volumes of books have been written on the subject in general & on specific topics. However it all starts with having the patience to learn & concentrating on learning, rather than on "catching". Catching will eventually come along if to take the time to learn. You don't mention your other interest, but I'm sure you didn't start there as an expert!

Do some research on the waters you intend to fish, get advice on flies & how to setup your gear, once you get it, and spend time practicing your casting. No matter what happens once you get on the water, catching or not, try to learn from the experience. I & others have said many times, we often learn more from our failures than we do from successes. Especially true with fishing!
I've been fly fishing almost 50 years now & as I look back, what I've posted here is exactly the path I had to take. I'm sure others have done the same.

Getting lessons & advice from others will shorten the learning process, but you still have to decide whether you wish to learn the method or simply wish to catch fish. That's the best place to start IMO!

NOTE: There is are many lifetimes of great information here. Spend some time reading past posts & ask questions!
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Last edited by bigjim5589; 08-29-2014 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: How to best prepare?

Mr. Nevessl - Welcome, and good luck in your quest! I think the biggest thing is to make the time to go out and do it. Ideally, you go with a friend who is into fly fishing and can show you the ropes. You can learn on your own, but you spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel. Not that re-inventing can't be fun, but your progress is slower. I was very lucky to have a friend of my Dad mentor me - he loved to fly fish for trout and took me trout fishing when he had time. If you don't have someone you know to go with, the Club sounds like just the ticket. Like Bigjim said, there are so many details. You can learn more from somebody who has done it before than you can reading buckets full of words. And in a shorter time, too.

Good luck to you. I think you will have a ball!

And by the way, keep chasing those bluegill - they are awesome practice. You will learn a lot of the basics and have loads of fun doing it.

Mark
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: How to best prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevessl View Post
Hi all,

So, I'm new to the forum... but a little background on me. I tried to fly fish self-taught when I was around 13. I loved it, but more the thought of it than anything. I only caught a handful of fish and at least one of those was on accident. I also had a friend whose dad had a fly tying kit he let us use... holy ****, that was fun... I still have those flies and have caught fish on them as recently as last summer (although it was panfish).

Anyway, I am now wanting to get back into it, but I would really like to dig into it. More than anything, like everyone else, I want to catch fish. Having said that, when I don't, I tend to lose interest fairly quickly. So my thought process is to learn as much as I can to have the greatest chance of success and the least chance of boredom.

I have been fishing my entire life, but I guess one of my biggest problems is not knowing what I don't know. I'm not sure what I need to know to successfully catch trout.

Having said that, I'm planning on focusing on trout, but I'll probably also go after some panfish and maybe small bass in a nearby creek. There are also a lot of spotted gar in that creek.

Anyway, what would you guys recommend? My first thoughts are to read some books. I think I've got an Orvis book on Fly Fishing I bought about a year ago. Any good book suggestions? I'm also thinking about joining the local fly fishing club... those generally tend to be great sources of information (to be fair, I'm biased... I'm president of a local club for a different hobby myself ) and also a local fly shop.

What else would you guys recommend? My first trip is planned for the Caney Fork River on September 20th, but its more of a thing that could be either fly or spin cast fishing. I'm hoping for fly fishing if I can get my rod before then.

Sorry this is a bit scattered, guys.

Brandon


#1 where do you live??

if you want to fish E TN like I did for a month last year I recommend Ian Rutters book on fishing for trout in E Tenn

I had a blast on the Crany when I was there last year

starting at the rest stop between Nashville and Knoxville it was non stop trout action on fly (dark purple wooly Buggers in size 8) and spin gear (1/8th oz roster tails in various colors especially the CHR version) Browns from 12" - 20+"

if you can arrange a float trip on the Crany you will have the best of both worlds
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: How to best prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nevessl View Post
Hi all,

So, I'm new to the forum... but a little background on me. I tried to fly fish self-taught when I was around 13. ....

Anyway, I am now wanting to get back into it, but I would really like to dig into it. More than anything, like everyone else, I want to catch fish. Having said that, when I don't, I tend to lose interest fairly quickly. So my thought process is to learn as much as I can to have the greatest chance of success and the least chance of boredom.

I have been fishing my entire life, but I guess one of my biggest problems is not knowing what I don't know. I'm not sure what I need to know to successfully catch trout.

Having said that, I'm planning on focusing on trout, but I'll probably also go after some panfish and maybe small bass in a nearby creek. There are also a lot of spotted gar in that creek.

Anyway, what would you guys recommend? My first thoughts are to read some books. I think I've got an Orvis book on Fly Fishing I bought about a year ago. Any good book suggestions? I'm also thinking about joining the local fly fishing club... those generally tend to be great sources of information (to be fair, I'm biased... I'm president of a local club for a different hobby myself ) and also a local fly shop.

Brandon
Brandon,

Welcome to the brotherhood of fly fishers. I know you are in a hurry to "learn" but this is a lifetime sport and even now after almost 40 years of fly fishing full time, I am still learning.

As to books, my opinion is that the single "best" book on fly fishing is "Presentation" by Gary Borger. Unfortunately, it is out of print and used copies bring a hefty premium. See if you can find a library that has a copy you can borrow.

There are two main parts to fly fishing, physical and mental. The physical skills are usually what the beginner concentrates on. That would be Casting and mending line. You can try to learn from videos and by videoing yourself but the best way is to find a qualified instructor.

What will make you a good fly fisher are the mental skills that involve reading the water, learning what flies to use, and where and how to fish them. There are so many levels of knowledge that await you.

Your journey begins now.
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: How to best prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
There are two main parts to fly fishing, physical and mental. The physical skills are usually what the beginner concentrates on. That would be Casting and mending line. You can try to learn from videos and by videoing yourself but the best way is to find a qualified instructor.
That is a good piece of advice... I'm not going to tell you the contrary got some clients like you this month...they were amazed by the progress they could make after a few hours
to the forum Brandon...you'll find tons of infos here
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Old 08-30-2014, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: How to best prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
Brandon, welcome to the site & the sport!

My first recommendation would be to have patience!

Joining a club would be an excellent idea, as would visiting fly shops.

I don't know how old you are now, but learning to fly fish & catch fish with flies will require some patience. Starting with panfish is always a good idea, and going after trout is not a bad place to start either. However, panfish are generally easier to learn to catch. They tend to be more forgiving when we make mistakes.

If you're mind is made up to learn fly fishing, I suggest you leave the spinning gear at home. If catching fish is your only reason for being out there, use whatever you like, just be aware that learning to fly fish will take longer every time you switch back to the spinning gear.

Don't get me wrong here either, I have no problems with using any other type tackle. I still fish with other gear, but I learned a long time ago that as long as I spent time with other gear before learning to use a fly rod & have consistent success, it took me a longer period of time to master the basics. I'm still learning too! BTW, I feel that learning to fly fish has made me a better angler with other tackle!

For getting started generally, learning to cast properly & line control are the most important aspects of fly fishing. After that & provided there are fish to be caught, presentation of the fly is likely the next most important lesson you'll need to learn.

There are many, many details to this sport & it would be impossible to type them all here. Many volumes of books have been written on the subject in general & on specific topics. However it all starts with having the patience to learn & concentrating on learning, rather than on "catching". Catching will eventually come along if to take the time to learn. You don't mention your other interest, but I'm sure you didn't start there as an expert!

Do some research on the waters you intend to fish, get advice on flies & how to setup your gear, once you get it, and spend time practicing your casting. No matter what happens once you get on the water, catching or not, try to learn from the experience. I & others have said many times, we often learn more from our failures than we do from successes. Especially true with fishing!
I've been fly fishing almost 50 years now & as I look back, what I've posted here is exactly the path I had to take. I'm sure others have done the same.

Getting lessons & advice from others will shorten the learning process, but you still have to decide whether you wish to learn the method or simply wish to catch fish. That's the best place to start IMO!

NOTE: There is are many lifetimes of great information here. Spend some time reading past posts & ask questions!
Thank you! Really great advice on leaving the spinning gear at home. I really enjoy learning new things and figuring them out. I am also hoping to combine fly fishing with one of my other loves, which is hiking. To be able to hike to waters that are rarely ever fished is really, really appealing to me. Not to mention it is a fantastic stress reducer!

I have been lurking here for about a week now researching equipment. I'm glad to finally join in the conversations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markfrid View Post
Mr. Nevessl - Welcome, and good luck in your quest! I think the biggest thing is to make the time to go out and do it. Ideally, you go with a friend who is into fly fishing and can show you the ropes. You can learn on your own, but you spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel. Not that re-inventing can't be fun, but your progress is slower. I was very lucky to have a friend of my Dad mentor me - he loved to fly fish for trout and took me trout fishing when he had time. If you don't have someone you know to go with, the Club sounds like just the ticket. Like Bigjim said, there are so many details. You can learn more from somebody who has done it before than you can reading buckets full of words. And in a shorter time, too.

Good luck to you. I think you will have a ball!

And by the way, keep chasing those bluegill - they are awesome practice. You will learn a lot of the basics and have loads of fun doing it.

Mark
I will always chase bluegill (and other sunfish). I absolutely love fishing for those guys. I have friends who chase bass, which I would also like to do with a fly rod at some point, but blue gill are a blast to me. Its partially because they're generally fairly easy to catch, but also they've got a lot of fight in them!

I really think what you've said about making the time to do it applies to just about everything, and is very important. Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lil_ol_angler_me View Post
#1 where do you live??

if you want to fish E TN like I did for a month last year I recommend Ian Rutters book on fishing for trout in E Tenn

I had a blast on the Crany when I was there last year

starting at the rest stop between Nashville and Knoxville it was non stop trout action on fly (dark purple wooly Buggers in size 8) and spin gear (1/8th oz roster tails in various colors especially the CHR version) Browns from 12" - 20+"

if you can arrange a float trip on the Crany you will have the best of both worlds
Thank you for posting about your experience on the Caney! I did actually pickup Ian Rutter's book last year, and I'm glad I did. One creek I've been camping on my entire life is in there, and I'm really glad it is. I'll be heading there in October to do some camping, but will definitely go after a few trout as well. I live in Nashville right now, but East TN is home. I grew up just outside of Knoxville.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
Brandon,

Welcome to the brotherhood of fly fishers. I know you are in a hurry to "learn" but this is a lifetime sport and even now after almost 40 years of fly fishing full time, I am still learning.

As to books, my opinion is that the single "best" book on fly fishing is "Presentation" by Gary Borger. Unfortunately, it is out of print and used copies bring a hefty premium. See if you can find a library that has a copy you can borrow.

There are two main parts to fly fishing, physical and mental. The physical skills are usually what the beginner concentrates on. That would be Casting and mending line. You can try to learn from videos and by videoing yourself but the best way is to find a qualified instructor.

What will make you a good fly fisher are the mental skills that involve reading the water, learning what flies to use, and where and how to fish them. There are so many levels of knowledge that await you.

Your journey begins now.
Fantastic advice. Thank you! I think my goal would be to get the physical parts down to muscle memory and then just absorb as much mental knowledge as I can, which will never end. I will also see if I can find that book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpbfly View Post
That is a good piece of advice... I'm not going to tell you the contrary got some clients like you this month...they were amazed by the progress they could make after a few hours
to the forum Brandon...you'll find tons of infos here
Thank you, jpbfly! I am really glad I found this forum. It seems to be a great place to join in conversation. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to post the advice you have. Thanks!

I believe I am going to get a rod and reel and start playing with the bluegill near by. I will probably start of with a Redington Path combo to get me going and go from there. It seems really hard to beat for the money and I can expand from there.

After that, I am going to take some lessons and join the Middle TN Fly Fishing Club. They actually have an outing to the Smokies weekend after next, but I don't believe I could make it. I also have to attend to my commitment to the club I'm president of, so I'll have to be careful not to get TOO caught up in fly fishing just yet, but that will be difficult. Haha! My other hobby is salt water reef tanks. I do corals and fish both. Its a lot of fun. I've been doing it for about 8 years now.

Anyway, thank you guys, again! If anyone else has anything they'd like to add, please do!

Brandon
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Old 08-30-2014, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: How to best prepare?

Brandon - OK, now I know where you live. Here is some specific, as opposed to general advice: if you have the means, spring for a guided trip with Mr. Rutter or one of the guides out of Little River Outfitters. Both are in Townsend. I know guides cost money, but at this point in your career you will make huge progress in your techniques and knowledge by spending a day with somebody who is good at fishing AND teaching. I think you'll be better off spending the dough on a good guide than on good equipment right now. If you can learn to catch those super-spooky Smoky Mt trout, those skills will translate anywhere you want to fish. If you can't afford the guided trip - no shame in that! I know for a fact the guys at LRO are very generous with their info on what is working, where to fish, and what approach to take.

(By the way, if you buy some flies from them, you'll accomplish the following. 1) You'll say "Thanks for the info" 2) You'll have what's working in your hand and 3) You'll have patterns to go by if you start tying your own!)

You live in a wonderful place for fly fishing - good luck!

Mark
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Old 08-30-2014, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: How to best prepare?

Thanks for the post, Mark! I am planning on investing in some education for sure and in a couple of different ways. I would like to get some casting lessons locally (middle TN) and then maybe do a guided trip, too. I will definitely keep LRO in mind and have heard lots about them. I believe I've been by their shop once a long, long time ago... probably 15 years ago or so while I was fishing the Little River with my cousin.

Brandon
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: How to best prepare?

I'm about where you are. I bought my first fly outfit almost exactly one year ago. Here are some things I was told and some personal observations. I am still not a fly fisher with success, but I am lot more comfortable now and things that seemed kind of BIG have a little more perspective now. Best advice: Get out on the water and practice. There is nothing like actually landing the fly on water and mending, watching the drift, and lifting the line. Lawn casting isn't even close, except for muscle memory. You can also practice different casts, like the roll cast that you can't do on dry land. Once you spend a little time on the water all the stuff you've read about currents, eddies, undercuts, etc. will make much more sense. As has already been said, be patient. If you are more interested in catching fish than learning the art of fly fishing and THEN catching fish; this can become a pretty tedious and frustrating undertaking. For book recommendations, it is kind of like belly buttons (or whatever) but for me, The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing by Kirk Deeter is a treasure. Tom Rosenbaum is an excellent writer in the Orvis series. I personally think Prospecting for Trout is essential. Finally, the web. This is a resource that is amazing. Go to the Orvis site, read and listen to the podcasts. (Alright, I am not fawning, but being honest.) Read anything posted by SilverCreek on any board where he posts. His depth and breadth of knowledge (not just fly fishing per se) is matched only by the clarity and patience of his posts. (no, I do not know the man) There are other internet mentors too. This is the best large fly-fishing board on the web, so visit often. I am pretty happy with where I am after a year, but I am ready to spend many more years to "learn" what I need to know. Sorry this is a little long.
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