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  1. Default New and need help

    Hey guys I just got in my new white river 9' 8# wt line rig. I have never fly fished in my life just wondering if anyone could tell me what to expect out of this and a little bit of pointers on well EVERYTHING!!!!

    thanks Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: New and need help

    Hey Matt, welcome to the board, and welcome to fly fishing.

    Well.... where to start?

    Get a good Intro. to Fly Fishing book. LL Bean, Orvis and Dummy's books are all good and inexpensive, and/or can be found in your local library. They all cover the basic terminology, and go over a lot of fundamentals.

    But your best resource is going to be the guys/gals at a local fly shop if you have one, or a local chapter of Trout Unlimited, Federation of Fly Fishers or local FF club. They can get you off to a good start with the basics.

    But here are a few things to do in the meantime:

    I'm guessing you bought a complete outfit with backing, fly line and tapered leader? If you don't have a leader, you'll want to get one. A Tapered Knotless leader about 7 1/2 to 9 feet long tapering down to 3x would be good to start.

    If your reel is already rigged up with backing, fly line and leader that would be a good start. Otherwise you'll need to learn a few new knots.
    Arbor Knot- attaches backing to reel
    Albright Knot attaches backing to fly line
    Nail Knot attaches leader butt to fly line
    Blood Knot or Surgeons Knot attaches leader to tippet (probably not included which is ok for now but you'll want to get some down the road.
    Improved Clinch Knot for attaching end of leader or tippet to fly
    You can find all of these on the fishing section of Animated Knots by Grog

    Once you're all rigged up you'll be itching to start casting. There are all kinds of stuff on the web including YouTube vids. Some links were just posted in a thread on this board a couple threads back here:

    DVDs on casting are probably also available on NetFlix if you do that and you can find them on sale online. Look for names like Lefty Kreh, Joan Wulff, Gary Borger, Mel Kreiger.

    Sexyloops - the best fly fishing and fly casting on-line magazine, seven days a week also has good articles and free vids on casting

    But learning to cast is tough to do from watching vids, and it's a lot harder to learn from words on a book or the internet. Your best bet is to invest in at least one lesson from someone that has experience teaching beginner's to fly cast. Your local fly shop will be able to help.

    OK, so you want to try on your own any way... after you've checked out a few vids, take your stuff out on a lawn, tie a 1" piece of yarn on the end and have a go. The yarn simulates a fly, it won't shred your leader and won't snag on the grass like a fly would. It's safer than a hook too. Make sure you're on grass- not pavement, gravel etc. because you'll scuff up the coating on the fly line. BTW that whip crack sound you'll be hearing is actually a sonic boom and means you're not waiting long enough on your backcast for the line to straighten out.

    Get in the habit of wearing sunglasses and a ball cap to protect you when casting--- you'll be a little wild at first, and you don't want a hook in the eye. Pinching down the barbs on flies is also a good idea too for the same reason.

    After you've gotten the hang of it, and hopefully after a lesson, you'll be ready to move to water...

    As you get into it, you'll have a ton of questions, so feel free to come back and post them. Also search the forum too, there are a lot of posts from beginners asking questions that may be helpful too.

    And let us know what area of the country you're from and what kind of fish you'll be chasing. Folks on the board may know some good shops, flies and places to go etc.

    Good luck!


  3. Default Re: New and need help

    Thanks a bunch. My uncle is big into fly fishing so I have him to help with the casting a bit. I want to learn all I can about fly fishing. I have always wanted to learn. I love fishing the creeks and rivers with an ultra light spinning reel and 4' rod. I have done that all my life and have watched guys wading the creeks just slaughtering the black perch and brown bass. I live in Northwest Arkansas and have the river that emptyies out of Beaver lake and in Oklahoma the Illinois river that comes out of Lake Tinkiller. Both great trout streams. Now another question I have is what do I need to do different on say creek fishing for bass and perch and then for trout on the bigger streams. what would be fly selection and would my casting change any for the different types of fishing?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: New and need help


    You live near some great water for both trout and bass---- and some monster trout in some of those like the White. And it's great that you have an uncle that can help with the casting and getting you off to a food start.

    As far as your questions.... the casting mechanics for bass and trout, and all fly fishing for that matter is basically the same. In addition to casting, you'll want to learn how to present a fly so it drifts naturally with the current to control "drag". This happens when your fly line is in slow current and your fly line is in faster current, like when casting across a stream. In no time the faster current pulls the fly line downstream, and you'll see your fly waterskiing after it. Generally this is more important in trout fishing-- bass and other warmwater fish tend to be more forgiving, but you'll want to learn it for them too if you fish in streams. The process of controlling drag is called "mending". Here's a link:

    Fly Fishing, Fly Presentation, Mending - MidCurrent

    After you get the basic mechanics of the cast down, you'll want to learn some techniques to help get longer drifts like reach casts, pile casts and s or wiggle casts, but for now concentrate on the basics.

    As for flies, there are local favorites, but here are some good ones that work anywhere. If you asked 10 different people you'd probably get 10 different lists, but here goes:

    Good flies for bass AND trout:
    black woolly bugger #8 weighted or bead head for fishing deeper water, let it sink a bit and strip back to you.
    black marabou muddler #6 get a weighted one, fish the same way as above, great for big bass and big trout.
    Grasshopper pattern size 10- for the surface, a good summertime pattern panfish will whack it too.
    White Wulff size 12- another dry fly, panfish will whack it. This is not normally a fly I'd include on a must have list, but this is especially good for bass and trout if you get a hatch of large white flies in summer. They hatch in the evenings in August throughout the E, SE and MW on slower streams/rivers with muddy bottoms and the fishing can be fantastic bringing up every fish in the river if you get a White Fly hatch on your streams and you probably do on at least some of them down there.

    For bass add:
    a big popper with rubber legs, size 6 especially good for ponds with lily pads, or along slower stretches of streams
    in late evenings.
    Clouser Minnow #4 in chartreuse, and if you fish in rocky streams for SMB, get one that's brown over orange to imitate crayfish too.

    For trout add:
    Parachute Adams 14 and 16 (slow water dry)
    Elk Hair Caddis tan size 14 and 16 (slow and fast water dry)
    Stimulator size 12 Orange, yellow or green (fast water dry and good to skate across slow water for smallies)
    Partridge and Orange Soft Hackle size 14- a wet fly to swing in the current
    Bead Head Pheasant Tail Nymph size 16
    Bead Head Gold Ribbed Hares Ear size 14

    For panfish they'll also hit all the trout flies listed above but these are a lot of fun in ponds and slow water:
    panfish poppers size 10 or 12
    Foam spiders with rubber legs 10 or 12

    You'll want to get some dry fly floatant- either liquid or paste type to put on dry flies about $3-4.

    You'll also need some tippet spools- thin mono to tie onto the end of your leader. (As you clip off flies you'll be shortening your leader). Just tie on about 2' or so to the end of your leader with a blood knot. Since leaders are tapered to allow the fly to turn over and lay out properly at the end of the cast, you'll want tippet of different sizes, depending on the hook size of the fly you're using. heavier tippet for bigger flies, lighter tippet for smaller flies. To figure out the tippet to use, divide hook size by 3 to get the size X tippet. As an example, a size 12 fly divided by 3 = 4x tippet.
    You'd want to get something like this, notice that there is some overlap, you don't have to go too crazy:

    2x for bass poppers, #6 muddler, and clousers and buggers
    3x for bugger, hoppers, panfish popper and foam spider
    4x for foam spider, 12-14 dries, wets, nymphs
    5x for 14-16 dries and small wets and nymphs 14-16

    Hope this helps.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: New and need help

    Just as an added thought---

    Your 8 wt is a great weight for throwing large stuff to bass and even light saltwater if you ever take a trip to the gulf and chase redfish (just hose everything down with freshwater afterwards). It's also great for throwing big streamers on a sink tip for some of those big Ark browns you have down there. For throwing smaller dries and other flies to trout and panfish, most folks would probably opt for a 5 wt as an allaround trout rod (or 4 if they just did small flies, small streams or 6 for if you did dries etc on mostly bigger water) . Doesn't mean you can't use the 8 for throwing dries to trout, just means there's probably another fly rod in your future if you plan on doing a lot of it.


  6. Default Re: New and need help

    You are a great help!!!!! I got a few of the fly's you listed above. I was fishing a rocky creek here that runs into the Arkansas river. I had so many hits but I am still learning how to snag the fish once it hits. I caught a two LB large mouth and a few nice black perch. I got on YOu tube and went to the Tight line fly fishing casting videos. that helped me so much. My wife fished with the ultra lights and Kataba worms and had a blast like we always do but watched me with the fly reel and wants to get into it too. Any more advice you or anyone on this forum has please dont hesitate to add. I am hooked on this sport now and am going to be on these boards for a long time THANK YOU!!!!!

  7. Default Re: New and need help

    BTW- My rod that they sent was a 5 wt. Not the 8wt 9' rod that I thought that they sent. It is a 8' 6" 5 wt. this is the one that I ordered but on my E-mail confirmation the 9' 8 wt. was the one it was showing. I enjoyed throwing the poppers(white is what I caught the largemouth on) and the perch and smaller brown bass were striking the black (I guess you would call a huge buffalo gnat). I just need a little practice on how to actually get the fish once it strikes

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: New and need help

    Wow, great to hear Matt. Setting the hook can be a little tough at first. With small flies and light tippets it's more of a lift the rod tip while pinching down on the fly line thing

    But for bass, and fishing bigger streamers on heavier tippets, a strip strike is the way to go. Stripping with the left hand as you move the tip to the side with your right to take slack out. It's good way to set the hook in the jaws of a bass. But trying that with light tippets and small flies you usually just get a pig tail back where your fly was tied.

    It's great that your wife is into it too. Hmmmmmm......maybe buy her a 5 wt....... that you could maybe "borrow" for trout......?


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: New and need help

    our posts crossed each other the 5 wt is perfect for all the stuff you intend to do with it. so get your wife a 5 too with a clean conscience..


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