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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Lawrence,KS / Camden,ME May-Aug

    Default Newbie Introduction

    Hey everyone!! I am new to the site and a complete newbie to fly fishing (bought my first rod and reel 3 days ago). I am completely enamored by fly fishing and have been doing research none stop since my first purchase. I currently live in Kansas, but I am moving to Camden, Maine in May. I have been fishing all my life, but it's pretty limited to lakes and mostly little farm ponds, catching bass, catfish, and panfish. I am SO excited to get to Maine and hopefully catch my first trout!!

    Unfortunately, I am on an extremely tight budget right now due to medical bills and I was only able to buy the rod and reel with a gift card. I really want to be able to practice while I'm not able to fish but obviously I need line to be able to lol. At Bass Pro, it was going to cost about $40 to setup the backing, line, and leader (they would string it all on for free). I've found cheaper stuff online, but I'd have to do it myself... do you think I'd be able to do it myself and not mess it up? or should I have someone do it with experience?

    Also, since I'm very new to this type of fishing AND the area I'll be fishing, I'm pretty concerned I'll be completely lost out there. If there is anyone willing to fill me in on the Midcoast Maine area I'd really appreciate it, and if there is anyone that would possibly want to meet up to fish someday that would be AMAZING!! As you can see I'm pretty much clueless on the whole subject, but can't wait to learn. Any and all information is much appreciated!

    I was also wondering if there was somewhere on this site to buy used gear(or anyone who wants to give away their old junk haha)? I looked for a little bit earlier and couldn't find anything and I got a LONG way to go before I'm ready to fish... Thanks guys!

    ---------- Post added at 01:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:23 AM ----------

    Sorry, I just thought of something else I wanted to ask... I know the answer to this really depends on where I'll be fishing exactly, but since I've never been there I'm not sure. But aren't waders pretty much considered a necessity to get the most out everything? I would think most of the waters I'll be fishing will be pretty wooded/covered and hard to fish and stay dry at the same time... I guess anyone with experience in the Northeast could chime in on this one. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Newbie Introduction

    Welcome to the forum and the great sport of fly fishing! Congrats on the move to Maine you should be able to find some great trout fishing there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Upstate NY (Albany Area)

    Default Re: Newbie Introduction

    "Hi, I'm Rick, and I'm a fly fisherman." (Isn't that what they say as a welcome at every addiction intervention meeting?)

    I'm a relative newbie, too, Crohnie31, but my suggestion, in addition to staying active on this forum (where you will learn a TON of information), is to get involved in a local fly-fishers club - a Federation of Fly Fishers, Trout Unlimited, or similar. You wil meet some great people, who can guide you through some of the "local" knowledge, you'll instantly have new fishing budddies, and, in my case, I signed-up for a tying class, and that itself has become a secondary addiction!!!

    - Rick

    "A leader with great passion and few skills always outperforms a leader with great skills and little passion." Chief Rick Lasky

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Lawrence,KS / Camden,ME May-Aug

    Default Re: Newbie Introduction

    Thanks for the advice, that makes a lot of sense... I'm addicted already and I haven't even been on the water yet!!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Newbie Introduction

    You're going to like Maine.
    The trout opportunities are slim on the mid coast, but once you're on the other side of I-95 it's a "sportsman's paradise"
    Brook trout galore in the streams and especially the ponds in the Northwoods. Smallmoth bass 'downeast". Land locked salmon and trophy brookies in the western mountains. Plenty to keep you busy.
    In the salt, striper fishing has been slow for a few years that far north but you can always practice on mackerel and this should be a good year for bluefish.

    The first thing that you're going to want to do is to get yourself one of these
    (just look at all that water !)

    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Newbie Introduction

    Crohnie31 -- welcome to the forum- sounds like you'll be off on an exciting adventure-- starting up fly fishing and your move to Maine.

    You asked a bunch of questions so I'll try and respond to a couple:

    Waders- yup, you'll definitely want a pair of waders or hip boots. Hip boots are fine if you're just hopping around in small streams, but are MUCH less versatile than chest waders, which will allow you to venture out in deeper water as well as anything you can fish in hippers.

    For freshwater fishing in Maine I would recommend "stocking foot" breathable waders. With "stocking foot" waders you'll also need wading boots. These will provide much more ankle support for walking on uneven rocky bottoms, and are much easier to walk in than "boot foot" waders that have the boots already built in to the waders.

    I would also choose "breathable" waders rather than neoprene. They will be much lighter and more comfortable in summer.

    Since you're on a budget-- and will be moving to Maine-- you might wan to consider looking at LL Bean (a Maine institution in Freeport, ME) In addition to excellent customer service, their merchandise is excellent. They have several models of breathable stocking foot waders at several price points including inexpensive FlyWeight II for $79 and Emerger II $149.

    To these you'll also want to add a pair of wading boots. Again there are several options including the Emerger II for $85 or Aqua Stealth for $119. One of the issues throughout the country is the spread of an invasive species of algae called Didymo that takes over the bottoms of trout streams. One suspected mode of transport from stream to stream is the felt used on traditional wading shoes. As a result more and more states (including many in New England) have regs banning felt soles. Newer wading shoes including the ones sold by LL Bean have hi tech rubber soles that meet the new regs.

    You'll also want to add a wading belt if your waders don't come with one built in. A wading belt cinched tightly over your waders will prevent your waders from taking on water if you step in a hole or take a tumble.

    Fly Line- Yup, you can do it!. You'll need some 20 lb Dacron or Micron backing which goes on first. You should have some info that comes with your reel that will tell you how much backing your reel takes with a given fly line-- Typically a fly reel matched to a 5 weight would take about 100 yards of 20lb plus a 5 weight forward floating fly line. Although you probably won't need anywhere close to that to handle fish, backing serves a purpose in filling up the diameter of the spool so your fly line isn't wrapped in tight turns around a small arbor.

    Look for a floating weight forward fly line to match the recommended weight of your fly rod. When you buy a fly line, the end that attaches to the backing will be on top. On a weight forward fly line, the end that attaches to the backing will be noticeably thinner than the thicker front end.

    Once you've wound the fly line on you'll need to attach a tapered knotless monofilament leader. (To start for trout I'd recommend something like a 9' mono leader tapered to 3x plus a couple spools of monofilament tippet 3X, 4X, 5X and 6X The tippet is used to attach different sized flies ( thicker tippet for bigger heavier flies, smaller thinner tippet for smaller flies. See Leader/Tippet FAQ here:

    You'll want to learn a couple knots for this:

    Arbor knot = backing to fly reel

    Albright Knot = backing to fly line

    Nail Knot , Albright Knot = fly line to leader butt

    Double Surgeons or blood knot = skinny end of leader to tippet

    You can find them all here:

    Fishing Knots | How to Tie Fishing Knots | Animated Fishing Knots

    As Rip Tide mentioned you'll have tons of opportunities to chase fish once you get to Maine. But in the meantime, go terrorize some panfish and bass in those farm ponds out in Kansas-- they''ll be a lot of fun too and you can work on your casting.

    Good luck and keep asking questions!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone

    Default Re: Newbie Introduction

    Quote Originally Posted by fire instructor View Post
    "Hi, I'm Rick, and I'm a fly fisherman." (Isn't that what they say as a welcome at every addiction intervention meeting?)

    Someone will have to be DAMNED GOOD to top that "one liner.' But here's the 'Realllllly Baaaaad News;' some day you'll pick up a 2-hander and then you, and your wallet, will really experience "THE DARK SIDE!"

    You are WARNED young Grasshopper, you are warned.

    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  9. Default Re: Newbie Introduction

    I agree with most everything "peregrines" said except for leaders and wading shoes/boots.
    Learn to make your own leaders. First. once you attach your first piece of tippet you have a "knotted" leader anyway. You can customize your leaders as your expertise advances and save a ton of money. Check-out "The Complete Book Of Flyfishing" by Tom McNally.
    Shoes/boots - "Korkers" "Metalhead". they have Boa closure system and interchangeable soles.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Newbie Introduction

    Welcome to the group crohnie, the post just before mine has perhaps the best advice you'll ever get.

    Bingo to cockatouche!

    I'm a huge Tom McNally pusher but I believe the 1978 'Fly Fishing' by McNally is his best work. The later reprints like 'The Complete' were compilations from his earlier works and left out some proprietary content.

    I don't believe there will ever be a better 'how to' book published that covers fly fishing from top to bottom. I have recommended this book to countless people but have never had one confirmation that anyone actually went and got a copy. In this hi tech world many believe that you can get this done with a few quick U tube videos................

    By the way you've got your first rep points on that post


    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

  11. #10

    Default Re: Newbie Introduction

    Welcome! I bet you can do it yourself. The backing, line, leader, and tippet can seem a bit mystifying until you've done it then it'll make sense. As for knots, youtube videos can help and here are two sites that explain them
    Orvis animated knots and Beginning fly fishing. The latter site has a lot of information that might be helpful for you. The Orvis site also has some good information, including the fly fishing podcast. If you go through the archives you'll find good info on all different aspects of fly fishing. Check with your local library and you might find some of Tom Rosenbauer's books, they were very helpful for me. Some I got through inter-library loan, as well as other books on fly fishing. I've found line and backing on, if you're looking at some different lines feel free to ask on the site, there are a lot of folks with lots of experience with different lines that can help direct.

    One thing to consider when you're putting your line on your reel relates to handedness. Reels come set-up for most right-handed people, they call it 'left hand retrieve' meaning you'd hold the rod in your right hand and use your left hand to wind the reel. If you are left handed you may want to convert the reel to 'right hand retrieve' (I'm a lefty so I do this). It's not too hard but might be confusing your first time. The reel should come with instructions you can follow and, if you're not handy it might be worth going into a fly shop and getting it done right. I bumbled my way through my first one but once I figured it out it's not a big deal.

    Regarding waders/wading boots. Watch for sales. I got Simms boots clearanced at Cabelas and LL Bean waders on sale too. I also noticed that Albright fly fishing is having a sale, I haven't used their waders or line so can't speak to them but I like the rod I got from them and the reel. When you buy waders you might want to avoid felt bottom boots. I don't know if Maine has outlawed felt or not, but I think they're looking at it. If you buy felt bottom boot you might have to buy new ones shortly.

    I think you can post a 'want to buy' (WTB) in our classifieds area if there are items you are looking for, I haven't done it but see others do it. You never know, someone might have something lying around they're willing to part with for cheap or even free.

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