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Old 07-07-2011, 04:31 PM
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Default New to fly fishing, have questions

Howdy,
I've been fishing for about 45yrs but just started fly fishing.
The area where I live has a few trout streams within 100 miles from home, but, I live on a beautiful river with crystal clear water and good smallmouth and fair largemouth bass.
The set up I'm using is a TCO Lefty Kreh signature series 9' long 7w 2piece rod. The reel is an old Shakespeer that my Great Uncle used last in 1947,I still have the news paper it is wrapped in. The line is scientific anglers L 7 F. At fist I used a mono 4lb test leader and had problems then went with a tapered leader with a tippet and the problems went away.
Now my problem is buying flies down here.I don't know anything about sizes or if a fly is floating or sinking except for poppers. I do have small poppers that I caught 11 keeper 'gills on my first time out. Looking in catalogs I have no idea how big a #6 or #12 is. What material makes the best poppers,hair, wood or foam? Maybe I should tie my own. Where to start? But it should be a good way to learn what's what
Thanks in advance for any suggestions
Rick
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, have questions

Big Y Fly has flies cheap, for bass included. My flies for smallies are all tied on size 4 hooks. Sliders,poppers, clousers, zonkers, dragon flies, crayfish, all ork well. Don't rule out that smallies like gawdy colors also.
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, have questions

Hey Hillbilly Rick welcome to the forum.

Sounds like you have a great outfit-- that reel must have a lot of history, and it's great you're using it. At some point, especially if the fly line is old and the coating is cracked, you may want to upgrade to a 7 weight, "weight forward" taper floating fly line (designated "WF 7 F"). The "L" designation on your line stands for "Level") it should cast a bit easier for you. But there's no need to change now if your fly line is working fine and you're catching fish (and it sounds like you are).

Fly tying can be a whole 'nuther addiction in itself-- It's a lot of fun although tying probably is not going to save you any money most people get carried away with all kinds of materials to tie lots of different patterns. But the good news is that, after a little practice, you can tie some pretty simple but effective patterns.

As far as fly sizes go, size 10 or 12 would be a good size range for bluegill-- any smaller and they'll swallow the flies, any larger and they might have problems getting it into their mouth. Small poppers or foam spiders with rubber legs that size should work great for them.

For smallmouth, flies that are a bit meatier, around size 4 and 6, would be good choices, and should be easy to throw with your rod.

You might want a couple flies that cover different layers of the water column and that imitate a wide variety of food items. These patterns are good for largemouth too and are widely available. I'm sure you'll get a lot of pattern recommendations but picking a couple of these would be a good start:

For top water:

-foam popper size 4 or 6 (Hard or soft foam poppers work great and usually are less expensive to buy and easier to tie than deer hair bass bugs)

-Foam Grasshopper pattern size 8 (a good topwater summer pattern)

For mid water:

Any White bucktail, marabou or feather wing streamer size 6 (to imitate baitfish)

Black Marabou Muddler size 6 (a good pattern for high and off colored water)

For deeper water and to bounce off the bottom:

Chartreuse Clouser size 6 ( a classic smallie pattern)

Crayfish imitation size 6 (or brown over orange clouser or "Foxee Clouser" size 6) especially if you're fishing streams

Bead Head Woolly Buggers size 6 Black, olive and brown are all good color choices
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, have questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbilly rick View Post
I've been fishing for about 45yrs but just started fly fishing.
Welcome to the forum, Rick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbilly rick View Post
The area where I live has a few trout streams within 100 miles from home, but, I live on a beautiful river with crystal clear water and good smallmouth and fair largemouth bass.
Fishing for trout is fun, but there are days that I would rather fish for bass especially if they are in moving water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbilly rick View Post
The set up I'm using is a TCO Lefty Kreh signature series 9' long 7w 2piece rod. The reel is an old Shakespeer that my Great Uncle used last in 1947,I still have the news paper it is wrapped in. The line is scientific anglers L 7 F. At fist I used a mono 4lb test leader and had problems then went with a tapered leader with a tippet and the problems went away.
If you start throwing larger bass flies, you may want to ditch that level line. A shorter head weight forward line will help you throw larger flies easier. You may want to consider using an eight weight line if you don't need to make long casts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbilly rick View Post
Now my problem is buying flies down here...
I think Peregrine covered the fly thing well for you.

Have fun.

Dennis
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, have questions

Thank you all,
I kind of figgered the smaller the number the bigger the fly but wasn't positive. I'll save these recommendations.
Unfortunately, my Aunt passed before I got to get the history on the reel but I also have the bamboo rod he used but it hangs on the wall. The line is new and I knew level line wasn't what I really wanted but was all I could find down here. I do plan to change to a WF. The clear water dictates long casts. Using UL spinning gear, dull greens seem to work best most of the time for bass. Our crawdads are green.
I'll check out big y flies, I searched some of the fly tying threads but all looked geared for folks that had some knowledge of what they're looking for.
Thanks again
Rick
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, have questions

If you ever do really become interested in the fly tying addiction, there is an INTERNET forum dedicated to assist you. They have a beginners section where a number of members will answer your questions and no question is dumb. The forum name is flytyingforum.com.

Their data base of flies, indexed to the species being fished for, is most helpful. Many of those flies have instructions on how to tie and some have videos attached.

Edit: Corrected name of flytyingforum.com

Last edited by possumpoint; 07-09-2011 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, have questions

If you need a new fly line, Allen Fly Fishing has lines that are very inexpensive, yet get great reviews from member here.

-Forrest
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, have questions

Rick, Welcome to the Forum... Sounds like you have a nice spot for Smallies. The flies the guys listed are great; my choices would also include the foam poppers and some size 6 white streamers. If you're seeing fish feeding on top and the poppers won't work; try some large beetle patterns...

Dan
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, have questions

Rick

If you're really interested in fly tying you should also check out some of the posts in the fly tying section of this forum, and in the fly tying FAQ section where there are some posts on materials and tools. And there are a ton of excellent resources out there on the internet including youtube videos and step by steps for tying many patterns.

Here's a recent post from a new member to the forum "rvc" (also named Rick) from central florida that is getting into tying and asked about some simple bass patterns:

Patterns for a new Central Florida fly tier

Although you can get a fly tying kit with vise, tools and materials for around $50-60, it's generally a better bet (especially if it's something you think you'll stick with) to spend a little more on a decent vise $60-150, some basic tools $30-50 and the materials (hooks, hair feathers etc) for 2-3 basic patterns at a time (you'll have plenty of stuff left over build up an inventory of basic materials). That way you'll avoid poorly machined imported with soft jaws that tend not to hold hooks very well, tools that fall apart and semi random low quality materials. And since the biggest slice of the small fly tying market is oriented towards trout, most kits don't tend to have much in the way of useful stuff if you're chasing bass.

If you have a local fly shop they can help get you set up with a decent vise and basic tools and can suggest some easy but effective patterns and help select appropriate materials. Another advantage of shops is that many have tying classes or informal "tie and lie" get togethers. There are also many fly fishing organizations like local clubs affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers that have tying and casting classes, group trips to local waters and informative meetings. You cna do a search here to see if there is one near you: Locate a Club

And feel free to ask questions here on the forum-- lots of helpful folks that can help get you going, and there is a ton of info that might be worth browsing in the fly tying forums here.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: New to fly fishing, have questions

HuronRiverDan,
You are correct sir. Where we live is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. We often see Bald eagles while fishing, the water is crystal clear and the hills are covered with trees. All this does create some distraction and fish are lost due to lack of attention. I've never heard of a beetle pattern but after the cicada hatch this year, I think that would work very well. If there is a white streamer with black on top and red by the gills it would match our minnows.
Familloo, Thanks I'll bookmark that.
possumpoint, Thanks, I'll BM that too. I've asked so many dumb questions in my life I'm not scared anymore

---------- Post added at 12:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:02 PM ----------

Peregrines,
I see there is a wealth of info here and I'm certainly in the right place.
Unfortunately, there is nothing local here. The big settlement,15,00 people, is 120mi round trip. This is where we do our shopping and there is a sporting goods store there I'll check there first. Otherwise it's a 270 mi round trip to St.Louis to Cabela's and Bass pro, but I may have to go there anyway.
Thanks again
Rick
The vids were good, they make it look sooo easy. Goes to show, ask and ye shall receive.

Last edited by hillbilly rick; 07-08-2011 at 01:17 PM.
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