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  1. #1

    Default First time out with a fly rod...

    Today I wake up and decide to finally take out my setup for my first experience at fly fishing... I've done a lot of reading over the course of the last few weeks and I felt pretty confident that I could do this...

    11:00 I walk outside to leave and the air is chilly, but the sun feels nice after our recent snow storms. I make a quick stop at Sportman's Warehouse for a new set of pliers as mine have seemingly disappeared. I also spend a few minutes looking for some decent gloves, which are only stocked in sizes to either fit a child or the world's largest man. I continue on my journey and it is now about 11:45, just enough time to swing by Cabela's to see if they have gloves...

    12:00 I arrive at Cabela's and make a mad dash towards the glove section (I'm really wanting to get on the river)... I find a pair that fits and they'll keep the hands warm... Some how, some way, I pick the shortest line that takes longer than the lines with 15 people in them... Maybe someone can answer this riddle: why does Cabela's have only 3 registers running on a Saturday? The cashier scans the gloves, which ring up at $20 ish bucks... I found them on a sale rack for $10... she fixes it and finally I get through the store and I'm back on the road...

    12:15 I pull into the park and begin gearing up. After threading my line, I pull up my leader to tie on a fly and it's in a huge flippin bird's nest... I spend about 15 minutes untangling and tying on a fly...

    12:30 I am on the water... A nice quiet section of the Truckee river where no one can laugh at me if I hook myself in the ear or fall into the icy river. Working my line out on a second cast and I'm stuck in a bush about 15 feet uphill, behind me... I spend another 15 minutes untangling my leader, fly and line...

    12:45 Now untangled, I cast out to the middle of the river into some deeper water and some nice hiding spots around boulders... I nymph and strike indicator fly off the leader...

    12:50 Retied on a woolly bugger thinking it will help my casting... I move a little closer to the water to avoid the wretched tree and cast out... stripping it back works out well and on my second back cast, I catch another tree... this one taller than the last... I try tugging the fly out of the tree to no result. My leader breaks at the fly and I leave it there... I know if I climb the tree (branch about 10 ft up) I'm going to need a visit to the E.R.

    12:52 I head for a spot without trees...

    1:00 I find a spot that I can stand in the middle of the river and have access to many good spots. I tie on an olive bird's nest #16 and commence to casting... and casting... and casting...

    3:00 I call it a day and head back to the truck...

    I really set out today to learn how to cast and apply all the knowledge I've read here and other sources. I learned that no amount of reading really just transforms into experience... this fly fishing thing is hard. Once the catching of trees was over, it got relaxing and fun... by the end of my trial run, I learned how to feel the rod loading and my casting was much improved from first starting out on the day. The biggest lesson... Watch out for trees, whether they are 3 ft tall or 40 ft tall... they are a fly fisher's worst nemesis...

    - Justin

  2. Default Re: First time out with a fly rod...

    sounds like every fly guys 1st trip out and even sometimes there 1000'th trip out! haha! just don't give up on it!! we have all been there and I know how it feels. you will get the hang of it tho. trust me! just keep practicing! a few tips I can give is if there are trees behind you learn the "roll cast". check it on youtube or whatever. google it. its very valuable when you have something blocking your back cast! also when you do get a tangle do not shake your rod or whatever to try and untangle it! it does not work out!! lol. just set it down and take a deep breath and untangle it by hand. soon you will get to the point you don't tangle up or get caught in trees so much. it may take awhile to get the hang of fly fishing but once you catch a fish on a fly rod theres no turning back! you will be hooked for life!
    btw what are you fishing for? whats your set up and what flies you trying to use? let guys know we will set you up with the right stuff. we can let you know the right flies and tippet and all that stuff and get you into fish for sure! as a fly guy I admit tho that winter is very tough times! I am 100% better in the spring(steel),summer(bass) and fall(bass & steel) but winter is very tough for fly guys! or at least me for that matter!
    "Hey, you.Get your damn hands off my herl !!!!"

    owner of the GL Fishing Forum.

  3. #3

    Default Re: First time out with a fly rod...


    Are you sure you aren't re-telling the story of MY first trip out with a fly rod?

    As McFly said--- stick with it, you will be rewarded 10 fold. Even small panfish are fun with a fly rod...... In fact, I will often target small ones-- just because they are so fun.

    While he gave you good advise on alternate casts that you could use, I'd say put a little piece of yarn (that can be seen easily) on your leader and find a big plot of land-- and practice your casting there. The roll cast is not what you would consider 'advanced, but the fundamentals of the basic fly cast need to be in place. The fly cast is something that is essential to your success (and enjoyment). We don't want you to get discouraged by obstacles right off the bat.

    There is a forum on this site to find fishing buds in your area.... put something up there and I'm sure you will find someone to go out with you and give you pointers.

    Keep us posted.

  4. #4

    Default Re: First time out with a fly rod...

    Thanks guys for the encouragement... LOL... I'm not discouraged in the least bit. I just thought it was funny how much confidence I set out with and coming home I realized I need to practice... spinner fishing for trout just too easy now that I see the world of fly fishing in my limited experience. I made it a goal this year to learn to FF and I'm sticking with it... even without catching any fish, I made some memories to laugh upon for future visits to the river.

    BTW George, I'm fishing for trout with a 5wt rod/reel from Cabelas. I was using a couple nymphs and a streamer (that is still stuck in the tree... LOL)... we're supposed to get another storm this next week, but hopefully Friday/Saturday I can get back out and work on my casting. Thanks for the tangle tip... when ever I get my rapala in a tree I've learned to fling it out... doesn't work so well with a fly from what I've seen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Languedoc/near montpellier
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: First time out with a fly rod...

    Don't worry'll soon forget about the trees and concentrate on your casting....even experienced flyfishermen get stuck in trees and bushes...or tangle their leaderlooking forward the pic of your first fish
    I know a guy who can help you...a bit expensive but very effective...

  6. #6

    Default Re: First time out with a fly rod...

    I enjoyed your trip too! Sounds like you are going to have some fun with this...
    Dave Watts

    To me, the journey of learning is almost more fun than arriving at the destination of knowing.

  7. Default Re: First time out with a fly rod...

    Half a dozen folks already said it bit I'll said it again, hang in there, hell I been doing this for almosty 30 years and I STILL have a day like that now and then lol, but if it was all easy it wouldnt be as much fun.
    When you have trouble with trees try roll casting, or try a couple short false cast then shoot your line if your not already

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: First time out with a fly rod...

    Hi simmons_j_m,

    If this was your first time casting you need to spend some time grass casting. Go to a park if your yard is not large. Or, if you want to practice on the water, find a lake or pond with no trees. Fly fishing is not hard it just takes some knowledge. If you hit the water not knowing a little bit about casting you spend your time concentrating on casting and you forget everything else. That means you hook trees. If you watch an experienced fly fisher you will notice he is always glancing at his background. He has hooked so many trees that it has becomes second nature to take a quick glance at the background before making a cast.

    It does sound like you had fun.


  9. #9

    Default Re: First time out with a fly rod...

    I agree with Frank. When you cast on the yard you will pay more attention to casting instead of fishing!!
    I don't always fly fish but when I do I prefer salt water. Stay salty my freinds

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Utah moving back to Scotland soon

    Default Re: First time out with a fly rod...

    i try and get out at least once a week to practice my casting in the yard it definatley helps in my opinion and alows you to become better with putting the fly where you want it
    (p.s if you use a real fly for practice make sure you snip the hook of you dont want to hook your neighbors cat or a walkers dog lol )

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