I live in NJ and I'm an oldtimer bass fisherman, I never thought that fly fishing was for me but on a recent trip to Yellow Stone I had the opportunity to have a fly rod on my hands and I'm hooked since.
I only have the rod and reel, a used St Croix Avid 9',#6, mod-fast and an Okuma Vashon....need everything else.
Welcome to the forum. Getting started can be confusing and even a little scary. You have a good start with the Avid rod. To really help you your questions have to be more direct. You need to start with a fly line but we need to know if you will be fishing just bass or will there be some trout?
Here are some other things you will need.
1. A vest or chest pack to hold your gear while fishing.
2. Leaders, based on what your target fish is.
3. A couple of Zingers
6. Tippet material, based on your target fish.
7. Casting lessons or a good instructional DVD.
8. Learn fly fishing knots. They are not the same ones used in bass fishing.
9. Some flies based on target fish.
10. A couple of fly boxes to hold your flies.
11. A rod holder or carrier if your rod doesn't have one
12. A Tie-Fast knot tool if you are not good with knots. You may find it handy even if you are good with knots.
Now what you need to do is scope out each of this items at a fly shops or ask questions about them on NAFFF. One thing that would really make fly fishing enjoyable is to find a fly fishing partner. No better way to enjoy fly fishing than with a good friend. You can learn together.
Frank has given you a good list of the things you'll need as you get started. You might want to look for a local flyshop (as opposed to a big box store) and take your rod and reel around to have them match you up with a fly line for your rod and backing. I would recommend you get a good quality, weight forward floating line from Scientific Anglers or Rio which could run from $40-65 depending on the one you get---
There are many different tapers to choose from, but by knowing what you'll be throwing (big wind resistant bass bugs or tiny trout flies?), seeing the action of your rod, and perhaps taking you out back to cast a few, they should be able to hook you up with a good one. They should be able to put backing on the reel, splice it to the fly line (or use a loop to loop connection), and tie on a knotless tapered leader (nail knot) to the end of your fly line.
Getting a good quality line makes a big difference, But you'll do yourself an even bigger favor if you can get at least one casting lesson to get you off to a good start. You can practice on your own on a lawn (not a gravel or parking lots 'cuz you'll scuff up the line) if you want too. Just tie an inch or so of yarn on the end of your leader instead of a fly.
You probably know some ponds, so you might just want to pick up some foam spiders and a couple of panfish poppers, scrounge a small plastic box from the fly shop to hold them, and put them in your pocket along with a spool of 3x tippet and a pair of nail clippers and terrorize some bluegills, maybe a bass or two, and a few tree branches you didn't know were behind you.
BTW, it's a good idea to get in the habit of wearing a hat and sunglasses and pinch down the barbs on flies, especially when you're learning to cast.
Thank you guys.
I'm planning in targeting panfish and small bass initially to bilt skills and confidence but eventually I want to go after the trouts of the westerm streams, may be next Spring.
I will love to take a few lessons but that is not possible in my area, What would you recommend as a good instructional DVD ?
I'll be shoppping this weekend.....
Lefty Kreh. Covers the basics of fly casting in detail, demonstrating casting aids and exercises that will help beginning and advanced fly casters improve distance and accuracy. Includes 20 specific casts that fly fisherman should know. DVD, 68 Minutes
Hi Lubina & welcome to the forum. There are a quite a few places to get fly fishing lessons here in NJ. TU chapters run Tying & fishing programs throughout the winter. Some of the stores ( Ray's Sport Shop, Effingers & the like ) will be able to hook you up with a casting instructor. I recommend a fellow named Allen Johnson for casting instruction. Where in NJ are you from?
Lubina, As fishin50 suggested, joining a Trout Unlimited Chapter is a great idea--- it will take years off your learning curve. Most chapters will have informal casting and/or tying demos/practice before meetings, and offer trips to local waters, and have casting clinics, beginning tying lessons (usually in winter), as well as having informative speakers to hone tactics etc.
Since you're in Cherry Hill, take a look at both NJTU.org and PATU.org and check out links for local chapters to find one near you. There shouls be one around the corner. If you work in the city, there is even a NYC chapter. Many chapters might suspend meetings for the summer, but you'll probably get some contacts from their on-line newsletters to call and get info on good shops and casting lessons in your area. An investment in a few lessons, from someone that regularly teaches casting, will really pay dividends down the road and you'll be throwing like a superhero action figure in no time.
You may also want to check out some books in the local library-- There are intro books on FF from Orvis and LL Bean (as well as the dummy type books) that will give you a good overview of tackle, knots, leaders etc., and a basic "bug" book like the Stream Side Guide to Insects by Probst with pictures of different stages of mayflies, caddis, stoneflies, and imitations that match various stages. A lot of the flies are a little old school, and there are more modern versions to imitate the same bugs, but it's a decent intro.
The library will also be a resource for you down the road over the long winter for books on tactics (nymphing, reading a stream etc) and flies. There are a lot of good ones, but anything by Dave Hughes, Joe Humphries would be a good place to start for tactics.
At some point, you'll also want to start getting your head around flies and hatches on local and western water but for now a selection of a few trout standards that would work very well for bass and bluegills too:
Grasshopper- Daves Hopper or Madame X size 10 (gills and bass on top!!!)
Heavily Hackled Dry Fly- Humpy, Wulffs, or Irresistible 14 (plus some paste type fly floatant) (gills on top!!!)
Partridge and Orange Softhackle- size 14 (gills)
Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymph size 16 (gills)
Marabou Muddler- black size 6 (bass)
Wooly Bugger black, olive size 8 (gills and bass)
plus some poppers in panfish sizes and a bass sized popper or two, and you should have a blast.