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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Completely new to fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by CedarRun View Post
    I did get a few business cards of people that guide and do lessons on the pine. Is $300 for 3 hours worth it if I don't know anything? I wanted to get better at casting before doing that. But maybe I'm wrong in that thinking?
    I have came back to your thread again and as you see I cherrypicked the last couple sentences as quote.

    I almost posted a second time Saturday afternoon but thought better of it because I thought what I had written was too negative and I deleted it and closed the forum window. I still can't reconcile myself with that $300 for 3 hours "if I don't know anything" price. I'm going to stick my neck out and say that anyone who could ask you to give them that much for explaining how to cast a fly rod with a straight face is a criminal. And no I will not be taking that back, I would tell that to a guide on Pennsylvania's Big Pine Creek any day of the year period.

    You should just get airfare to Alaska and I'll teach you how to fly fish for free. The more I thought about that price the more it bothered me. I would also stick my neck out and tell the 100 dollar an hour man that I have forgotten more about fly fishing, casting, fisheries biology and the outdoors in general than he will ever learn.

    Forgive me for my outburst please, you are new here and I am not normally an attack dog or braggart but for the love of Pete, a hundred an hour....

    The offer to teach you for free stands and I'll teach you over fish like these....

    I catch the fish and help others to catch them using traditional fly fishing techniques and some days can be outstanding.

    Hundred bucks an hour.... yeah right

    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

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Northwest New Jersey, Big Flatbrook right over the hill

    Default Re: Completely new to fishing

    I overheard a NJ fly shop employee tell a customer that casting lessons were 40.00 a hour (others may charge less). The Evening Hatch fly shop in PA has free casting clinics twice a year with prior registration. Buying a fly rod at a fly shop usually get a free lesson and maybe a tune up from time to time.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Completely new to fishing

    Welcome to the community. My best advice is take a deep breath and listen and learn. The reason for that advice is one can spend a large amount of unnecessary money and get disappointed. Members of this great forum have given you some great information.

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  5. #14

    Default Re: Completely new to fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ard View Post
    ...The offer to teach you for free stands and I'll teach you over fish like these...…….
    Wow! Hey OP, you should do this! That is a tremendous offer!

    But what I was going to say before I read that post was this: Fly fishing is kinda hard. The reason why I do it is because it isn't the easiest way to catch a fish. I like the challenge of it. I think that fly fishing is similar to bowhunting. In order to kill an elk or deer with a bow, everything has to go just right. There are so many things that can go wrong that don't even matter at all if you hunt with a rifle. It's a similar thing with fly fishing. In fishing I think it's generally easiest if you use bait. Want more challenge than that? Start using lures. Want more challenge than that? Start using flies. My concern for you in just starting out and going immediately to using flies is that you'll not have enough success to keep with it. I remember when I was just a little boy, and I took up fly fishing. I didn't have enough knowledge to really have any success because my dad didn't fish. I would go for weeks and sometimes months without ever catching a fish. I remember crying on more than one occasion because I FINALLY got a fish to bite, but then lost it. The turn in my fishing came when I stumbled into a guy that actually knew how to catch fish. I started fishing with him and I learned a ton! Now I when I go out fishing I have a little bit of an idea of what I'm doing. So my recommendation is find a guy that you can go fish with on a regular basis that actually knows how to catch fish. Fish with him as much as you can. Use bait- minnows, worms, etc. Using bait that you gather yourself is also helpful. Do this and you'll learn a ton of stuff that you'll be able to use in the future if/when you take up fly fishing.

    And ya...I think those guys offering to teach you for 100$ an hour don't really have your best interests in mind. Just find a fishing buddy to help you get going.

  6. Likes Ard liked this post
  7. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Hudsonville, Michigan
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Completely new to fishing

    Hi CedarRun and welcome from me as well! You've gotten some great advice of which I really can't add to. What I will say is once you are on the stream and run into some seasoned fly fisherman ask them for some tips. You'll find most serious fly fisherman are willing and eager to help out someone new to the sport.

    Good Luck and Enjoy the Ride!


  8. #16

    Default Re: Completely new to fishing

    Hi CedarRun, Welcome. There has been some great advice posted here, as well as some incredible offers. I can't add much, but then I thought, what challenges I faced when learning, what facets were most confusing, I was a kid, but it shouldn't matter as everyone regardless of age seeking to learn fly fishing will face similar, and I've seen similar from many.

    Firstly, be patient, don't give up, don't get frustrated, it's a learning curve, the education comes with paying a few dues, but it's worth it. Hang in there, learn as you can, ask lots of questions, seek out the basics first, build on knowledge as you go along. It isn't a race, and you will find that you will NEVER quit learning in this sport, so you might as well take your time and make the most of each level you reach as you reach them.

    Next: It's confusing where to begin- lots of great advice here already but let's start with a basic reference point just for grins: Rods and Lines come in various sizes designed to fish certain types and sizes of water, these are mostly numerical references that match each other, rods can go from 6' length (or even less) to well over 15' lengths, they can be rated in weight from 0 wt (or less) to 13, 14, wt (or more) lines are also rated in the weights and designed to match a rod of similar weight. You can start by asking your area shops what size, weight, and configuration of rod might suit local fishing, then ask why? so you can learn.

    Basic, basic, Fish feed on food sources available to them on local water, "flies" (a general term), replicate the local "bugs" that fish feed on, some are on top of the water (hatched) and others are still in a lifecycle stage (not hatched fully yet) of the insect sub surface or underwater. Different times of the year/season yield the need to "match" the bugs that are present at that particular time. Your area flyshop may be able to help you write down, or even provide a chart of what "bugs" are out at what time of year/season. Different stages in an insects lifecycle dictate whether they are above or below the water, they make "Flies" of different types designed to fish above and below water. Talking with a local shop will help you understand what the different "flies" (often called dry's, emergers, nymphs, etc.) look like and what they are for. There are many variations and often it's difficult to keep track in the beginning, but soon you will be able to see there are just a few basic categories and then different species of bugs that look a bit different than each other that fall into each lifecycle category.

    The overall idea to catch fish is to be able to match a bug to what the fish are feeding on, and then to be able to present that bug to the fish in a manner that also matches where the fish are located and appropriately to make a presentation that mimics what, where, how, etc. the natural insect would be available to the fish.

    On a fly rod is a fly line that allows you to cast a very small bug, that a regular fishing line would not, tied to the end of the line is a leader (a clear tapered closer to regular fishing line which can range in length from 4' to 20'+) then tied to the leader is a lighter yet line called a tippet (another clear line rated by 1X, 2x, 3x, 4x, etc. but mimics monofilament line weights somewhat - like 2-4 lb test in fishing line) the tippet will also vary in length and is the line the "fly" is tied to. This "set-up" will vary by the needs the fishing situation dictates.

    Understanding the above will, at the most basic level, allow you to talk with a fly shop....what rod, what line, what length leader, what tippet size, what "flys" to use and when, etc. Then you can start to piece together different ways to "rig" your set-up, maybe single fly or perhaps for multiple flies, for instance a dry fly (top of water) then a "dropper" a subsurface "fly" tied together a distance apart all on same leader and tippet set up.

    Acquiring a few of the basic items can also come from the above, or conversely, you may be able to spend a day with a guide who could provide you with loaner gear for the day. Most fly shops will allow you to test cast a rod or two, if you explain you have little experience casting, you may be able to get a brief coaching session while test casting fly rods of interest to you.

    Many videos, like suggested previously, on you tube, etc, may offer the ability to see the basics from the comfort of your home, this could be very beneficial in building familiarity with gear, terminology, rigging, flies, and even basic casting and presentation. Arguably, quicker than books.

    Lastly, I will add, hands on, actual doing, being coached by someone patient and knowledgeable, shortens the initial learning curve significantly, I'm not an advocate for anyone charging high rates to do this, but local classes, fly shop learning days, or even finding a reasonable seasoned fly fisher to spend time assisting at a lessor rate could be invaluable.

    Stay patient, learn as you go, and don't rush yourself, it's fishing remember its about enjoying the experience.

    Last edited by cooutlaw; 02-03-2019 at 03:07 PM.

  9. #17

    Default Re: Completely new to fishing

    Welcome to the forum! I have to admit there are those on here that have pounds of information here in compared to my ounce. I picked up a rod again, just a mere 4 months ago. So in this respect you and I have more in common than most commenting on here only because I am new and learning as well. That said I took a guided trip in Oregon in October while out for my sons wedding.
    I paid a guide service out there for a full days walk and wade for two people, $485. This included ride from shop to destination, 9hrs of fishing, lunch, their waders, gear everything. They would have even grilled something on the shore. I told them get me a sandwich and a bottle of water. We were back in the stream in 15 minutes, our guide was excellent.
    That said, there's a fly shop that I frequent that has let me test cast, every rod in his store from $200-$1000. Even let me take one of his personal reels home to pair with one of my rods and cast in my yard. Not to mention, quite a bit of his time instructing me in his side yard to get the most out of my equipment. I guess, what I am saying is, if you look and are open to instruction, you will find someone with a passion for fly fishing, local to you, that will want to pass on their knowledge for passions sake. Sorry, I am usually never this wordy, but I feel strongly that it would be fine to compensate someone for their time, just not to the point of absurdity. Enjoy your new found hobby and may God bless you with an understanding wife...
    " I have learned that to be with those I like is enough" Whitman

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  11. #18

    Default Re: Completely new to fishing

    Again thank you all for the great advice! I feel like I at least have a direction to go in now. I'll sniff around some of my local shops that were mentioned. Next year I'm going to Alaska ��

  12. Likes mcnerney, dennyk, Ard liked this post
  13. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Completely new to fishing

    You may want to check and see if there's any fly fishing clubs in your area.
    Our club here in CT offers beginner fly fishing lessons beginning in mid March
    Included are 4 evenings of classroom instruction, one morning of casting instruction and one morning of one-on-one stream instruction.
    Over 12 hours total, all for $50.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  14. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Completely new to fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by CedarRun View Post
    Again thank you all for the great advice! I feel like I at least have a direction to go in now. I'll sniff around some of my local shops that were mentioned. Next year I'm going to Alaska ��
    +1 for checking to see if there are any fly fishing clubs, Trout Unlimited chapters in your area. One of the best ways to learn to fly fish is with a mentor!
    I also like your idea about going to Alaska next year!
    In the meantime, how about trying to hook up with Caddis75, here on the forum, he lives in Philly. He came out west last year and we fished together and he is planning on coming out again this summer.

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