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  1. Default Introduction and Next Steps Questions

    First off I want to introduce myself here. I'm a new fly fisherman as of this year and new to the sport of fishing in general (always disliked lake fishing). I've spent most of my years becoming an accomplished whitetail hunter (archery) and was recently introduced to this great sport as trade for showing a friend the ropes in the whitetail world. Needless to say I'm now addicted to fly fishing for trout.

    This may be a little long winded but I'm looking for advise on where it would be best to turn my next efforts to and general comments. As I mentioned I just began fly fishing this spring opener. I fish the drift-less region of Wisconsin and Minnesota (mostly Minnesota). I've been sticking to smaller unpopulated streams as I enjoy my solitude but really like the challenge of tight spots with the unknown ahead of me. Casting came very natural for me for some reason and I caught a trout my first day out although it took all day (Hendrickson Nymph), all luck. The next day I caught a trout on my first dry fly, elk hair caddis. I was generally catching between 1-3 fish each day with 1 being more of my average. One day I bumped into another fly fisherman who was very kind in information, but commented that he had a good day and caught 30 or 40 trout. Clearly I still have more work to do. I progressed from using pre-made leaders out of the package to learning to tie on tippet and customizing them slightly for the stream I am fishing which immediately seemed to help as I think I was trying to extend the life of my leaders and fishing too short/thick.

    I am now catching 5-7 trout on a good day, mostly on nymphs but if I see a trout rise or multiple in an area I'll switch to whatever I have in my fly box that looks similar to insects I see landing on the water and I've had good luck with that for drys. If the trout are not rising or jumping I can never seem to catch anything on a dry. On the nymph side I have only really had excellent luck with Hare's Ear BH Nymphs, #16-#20. I had one excellent outting with #18 Red Serendipity where I caught my largest trout to date, a nice fat 14" brown. I have a fair variety of patterns and plenty of things that guys in the fly shops have recommended but it never seems like they work out. (Beetles, ants, copper johns, etc.) I usually go straight for a hare's ear until I catch a fish and if I catch enough then I get more brave and try different things.

    Bottom line is that I am having a blast but would welcome any opinions are advise here. Thanks and looking forward to discussion here.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Introduction and Next Steps Questions

    Welcome James

    Sounds like you are doing great! I find it funny that you are having your best 'luck' with nymphing-- as that is probably agreed to be the most difficult way to fish trout.

    If I had to offer any advise, I'd say your next step is into the world of tying--- It seems daunting, but will improve your understanding of the water and the life within it. And keep perfecting you casting and mending/line control.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Introduction and Next Steps Questions

    I'm just gonna say Hi and welcome to the group. I'll let the members give you their feedback.

    Good to have you here,


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Introduction and Next Steps Questions

    Hi James,
    Welcome to the forum and to the sport. The beauty of the sport is that there is no set schedule on what you should attempt to do. Try one aspect of the sport, and keep at it until you want to try something different.

    Raindogt mentioned tying. Be prepared for another addiction. You can spend many nights tying into the wee hours without notice time pass.

    I'm a big fan of learning basic entomology. It is not necessary to learn the genus and species of each bug. But it will help being able to tell the difference between a mayfly, caddis, stonefly, or any other bug a fish may eat.


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

    Default Re: Introduction and Next Steps Questions

    James!...the best way to improve is to fishso fish as often as you can

  6. Default Re: Introduction and Next Steps Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jbbfly View Post
    James!...the best way to improve is to fishso fish as often as you can
    yup, that is smart idea

  7. #7

    Default Re: Introduction and Next Steps Questions

    Story sure sounds familar. I'm with Jbbfly. Just fish as much as possible. I learn somehting every time I go out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Monroe, Michigan

    Default Re: Introduction and Next Steps Questions

    James, sounds like you're off to a good start. You got great advice from the others, now remember like archery; practice makes perfect. Enjoy your journey.


  9. #9

    Default Re: Introduction and Next Steps Questions

    Don't neglect warmwater species. They can be a blast and are normally close to home.

    Tying is a natural next step, as was said. Also, simply learning about the fish, and developing casting skills.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Introduction and Next Steps Questions

    James: Welcome to the forum! I couldn't agree more with MP and JP. If you want to get good at fly fishing learn basic entomology and like JP says: fish as often as you can! Just don't make the mistake of fishing downriver of JP, he will catch all the fish and there won't be any left to fish to! LOL!


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