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lurker66 03-01-2014 10:45 PM

First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
My first trip was a success. Fished Lower Illinois near Gore Ok. Caught 18+ stocker rainbows. Missed what seemed like 100. Started fishing about 9am, quit about 530pm.

Heres what I learned; first I shoulda had wool socks. I brought them but surely the water wont be that cold. WRONG. I couldnt feel my feet after the first hour, 13 hours later theyre still cold. On a positive note my new Simms wadeing boots and Dry plus waist waders performed great. Both are comfortable and kept me dry.

I dont know why they are called wind knots, they should call them "Lurker" tangles, because wind had nothing to do with it.. What a mess. I need a straightener or something to undo the memory. Replaced tippit several times and Leader twice.

Sz18 midge hooks are very sharp. After hooking 2 fingers, I smashed the barb...then promptly hooked myself in the lip. How you ask?

Trout are not bass or catfish, do NOT try to cross theyre eyes when setting the hook. You might imbed a hook in your lip. Powerful hooksets lead to wind knots or Lurker tangles.

Keep an eye on your indicator; I watched mine pop up 20 times. Also keep your line straight as it drifts.

Dont horse your fish, your line will break and you will lose your last olive midge.

Bring more than a couple of olive midges, also bring more black n white and red n white. Oh and bring more olive scuds. Or learn how to set hook and avoid wind knots....which lead to break offs.

Also bring a net. It has to make releasing fish easier.

Bring a waterproof camara, after takeing 2 pics with my cell phone, I decided its not worth the risk. Plus its hard enough to just release them without trying to make them hold still for a crappy cell phone picture.

Oh, almost forgot, catching trout on a 3wt is more fun than catching them on a 5wt. I caught about an equal amount on both my rods....I love my 3wt.

Yes, today I learned alot. I had a great time, met some nice folks, and caught a bunch of trout. Cant wait for my next trip.

jr2525 03-01-2014 11:49 PM

Re: First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
Sounds like a years worth of experience all in a single day. LOL

Mnflyfish 03-01-2014 11:53 PM

Re: First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
if you are stting the hook so hard the fly is flying back at you, you are setting way to hard. a firm set and a tight line will usually do the trick

wind knots are generally caused by a tailing loop, wich is caused by too much wrist action in your cast. less wrist, more elbow. I get wind knots occasionaly, and it mostly happens when my cast gets sloppy. practice lawn casting, it really does help.

a net is a important tool when fishing, places less stress on the fish increasing its chances of survival when released. make sure you wet your hands before handling the fish so you dont rub off the protective 'slime'. when possible i keep the fish in the water while in the net during release.

I only use barbless hooks simply because it makes the release easier and better for the fish.

'horsing' a fish will result in broken tippet. i like to let them run and tire themselves out if I can, then bring them in.

Sounds like you had a great day on the water, and earned some valuable tips to make the next trip even more enjoyable. x2 on the wool socks, nothing worse than numb feet and trying to navigate in the water.

mcnerney 03-01-2014 11:55 PM

Re: First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
Sounds like a great day on the water, congrats! Trust me, we all have learned to same lessons, in my case more than once. :D


jpbfly 03-02-2014 03:58 AM

Re: First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
Great post;)we learn something every time we go fishing...;)

jcw355 03-02-2014 07:20 AM

Re: First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
Where did you fish? They sure didnt follow the schedule which was good if you were an early bird. Sounds like you had a good day, right now there's a lot of fish in the river. Get yourself a rubber basket fishing net, they're other nets that are cheaper but rubber is easier on the fish. Your wind knots are from casting technique. Most of the time just lifting your pole is enough to set the hook, sure you have to be quick at times but you'll get the feel for it. I'll pm you some water links later. Im hoping maybe later in the week I can go.

comeonavs 03-02-2014 07:38 AM

Re: First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
Love it, the old wind knot. I have gotten "wind knots" sitting in my easy chair cleaning my gear at it chaps my fanny.My brother in law used to laugh at me and say I would have a better chance if my line were actually in the water with the fish.

It is weird as time goes on and you get better they will go away. You will actually get to a point where in mid cast you will go "ah ha" that's a bad cast. You stop and undo one little "wind loop".

My theory is a wind knot is a bunch of little wind loops all cinched up nice and snug by a fly fisherman who didn't realize he made the bad cast that started the ball rolling. Once you have your first tangle repeated casting compounds and tightens the mess up. Trust my I know this from experience. I still take 8 leaders fishing with me "just in case".

Loved reading this I was laughing hard because in some way shape or form we've all been there and done that. Especially your crack about the olive midge. True story, fishing with my buddy and he is catching and I am not. I ask whatcha using, olive midge he says. Hmmm pooop I didnt have any. He stops and looks through his box and says "oh man I have one more". I walk up to him and as he is handing it to me he slipped a little and dropped it in the river. Now down to one, and on his next fish he broke off. And now you know the story of why I carry minimum 12 of any pattern/size in my box.

This was a great Sunday morning read, thanks for sharing.

bigjim5589 03-02-2014 07:54 AM

Re: First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
Lurker66, wonderful post! Sounds like a good day to me. At least you caught some trout, and learned some valuable lessons. IMO, it's the lessons we learn that make a fishing trip, even when we have little or no success with the fish.

Unfortunately, far too many folks, particularly those new to the sport or least experienced don't always see the value in such lessons if they fail to catch fish.


This was a great Sunday morning read, thanks for sharing.
Very much agree, fun read too & hopefully will help others as they progress!

You did good! ;)

Flyfisher for men 03-02-2014 08:29 AM

Re: First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
Good report. All good lessons.

One tip: as you learned the hard way, tiny hooks don't need much set. They pierce very deeply, so you can get by with a lot less force. Very good to remember with dry flies.

james w 3 3 03-02-2014 09:40 AM

Re: First flyfishing trip. Lessons Learned.
What a great post! Made me smile widely over my morning coffee!

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