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Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2011/1/18 13:53
From Mechanicsburg, PA (near Williams Grove)
Posts: 10
Offline
Hi All,

Great site and point of reference for all experience levels of fishermen! I have been a spincast fisherman my whole life and have routinely fished many of the streams in Dauphin and Lebanon Counties since I was a pre-teen. Since that time, I've always used your traditional baits (varities of worms, Powerbait, minnows, etc.) and on occsasion, a spinner or two.

However, I never had much of an opportunity nor the privilege of picking up a fly rod and giving the bugs a chance. Now I have an unscratchable itch to get out and give it a shot! And lucky for me, I have the luxury of now living less than a 1/2 mile from the Yellow Breeches (I live very close to Ashcombe's, for what it's worth).

I took a beginning fly fishing class at the Yellow Breeches Outfitters in Boiling Springs last April and found it to be very informative, insightful and fun. However, because I had just moved into a new house with my then fiance (who is now incidentally, my wife) I found my to do list more occupied with home renovation projects, with fishing a few notches below. However, this year, I'm making it a point to raise fishing - fly fishing - up a few rungs.

I'd like to pose a few questions to the forum in hopes of getting some honest answers and pointers from a few of you in the know. So here goes:

- Please recommend a few good rods, reels, line and other equipment, best suited for beginners.

- Along the Yellow Breeches, can you recommend some good water for beginners? It looked as if there were some pretty clear stretches along Creek Road, but there were some intermittent private property postings. It aslo looked as if the stream really widens a bit down below a damn sort of close to the Route 15 bridge.

- Are boots/waders with felt bottoms likely to become illegal in Pennsylvania soon?

Thanks. I'm sure I'll have others as time goes on. I appreciate any and all responses!

Posted on: 2011/1/18 15:46


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2010/5/28 7:58
From Levittown(Bucks County)
Posts: 55
Offline
- I can't really recommend certain reels, rods, and line since I haven't tried much, but all the reel does is hold line, so I'd recommend spending little on one. Line is the most important so don't go cheap.
-For a rod I'd probably recommend a 4 or 5wt, also probably a 9' rod since its good for nymphing which is the best way to catch fish.

-For waders, I'd probably just get felt, it's cheaper and probably safer. To get a safe pair of rubber would cost you a lot of money. Felt probably wont' be banned for like 2 or 3 years if that.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 16:02


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
From SEPA
Posts: 11384
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Quote:

bmcdonald1217 wrote:
- Please recommend a few good rods, reels, line and other equipment, best suited for beginners.


As an ex bait guy, enjoy your can of worms....FWIW, you don't have to spend alot to figure out if you enjyo this or not. Don't think you need to spend a ton of cash.

A low cost Cabela's 3 Forks rod, one of their cheaper Prestige or Cahill Reels (or, y'know, Medalist...) and any of their house brand DT lines will do you quite fine. 8' 4wt to 9' 5wt, or anywhere in the middle is the general recommendation. People will get more specific no doubt, but don't get overwhelmed. That, and a couple of tapered leaders, and a spool of 5x tippet will be enough to get out out there and learning.

Quote:

bmcdonald1217 wrote:
- Are boots/waders with felt bottoms likely to become illegal in Pennsylvania soon?


Soon? Maybe. Eventually, most certainly. However, a seperate pair of boots with stocking food waders is a good way to lessen that impact.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 16:12
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April 8, 2007 - December 4, 2011.
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Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2009/10/15 13:45
From Eastern PA
Posts: 10291
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Quote:

bmcdonald1217 wrote:

- Please recommend a few good rods, reels, line and other equipment, best suited for beginners.

- Along the Yellow Breeches, can you recommend some good water for beginners? It looked as if there were some pretty clear stretches along Creek Road, but there were some intermittent private property postings. It aslo looked as if the stream really widens a bit down below a damn sort of close to the Route 15 bridge.

- Are boots/waders with felt bottoms likely to become illegal in Pennsylvania soon?

Thanks. I'm sure I'll have others as time goes on. I appreciate any and all responses!


Welcome.

- How much do you want to spend?

- It's all pretty easy imo.

- If you have felt now stick with it until they wear out. If you are buying new boots, get rubber. Contrary to popular belief they are not that much more, they are more comfortable (opinion) and you will not have to worry about potential regulations here in PA, nor various regulations outside of PA.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 16:12


Re: Anxious Beginner
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9237
Offline
bmc,
Welcome to Paflyfish and the Beginner's Forum. You've come to the right place to ask questions. Also glad to hear you attended the instructional course at Yellow Breeches Outfitters - they're a good crew there and can certainly help you with gear and fly selections. Tell 'em Dave Weaver sent yuh back.

Anyway, with regards to fly rods, the general view is that for a beginning fly fisher (FFer) who mainly plans to target trout in PA, an 8' rod for a 5WT line is usually recommended as the standard. Match it to a "weight forward floating" line. It is my personal view that beginners shouldn't go overboard on fly rods - you can get a perfectly good rod and reel combo for $150 or less. You can always upgrade later if FFing really gets in your blood.

Regarding Yellow Breeches: It is stocked with trout from RT233 down to the vicinity of RT 15 (I can't recall at the moment the lower end). This stream, while one of the best known in PA with a big reputation, is nevertheless mainly dependant on stocked trout and good areas to fish it can vary from year to year. I recommend you check out the special regulation area at Allenberry Playhouse or the short outflow below the lake by the fly shop (know as "the run" locally). These areas usually have at least some trout and are fishable throughout the year, you just have to release your fish. After the regular trout season begins in April by all means explore some areas outside of the reg water. You can bait fish outside the reg water so if you're having a tough time with the fly rod you can always do some bait fishing.

As for felt soles - there's a big debate about this and you'll get different opinions. To my knowledge Pa has no plans to ban 'em but this could change in a couple years. Some companies will likely stop manufacturing them. They can spread invasive critters and if you wear felt you should be aware of streams that have "didymo" (Yellow Breeches does not) and take the proper measures to clean them if you go there. Personally, I like felt and feel it is safer wearing felt soles. If you decide you agree than by all means buy felt soles. Most waders/boots only last 2-4 years anyway.

Again, welcome aboard.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 16:18


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2010/4/15 17:24
From Central Maryland
Posts: 239
Offline
I don't know much about the Yellow Breeches, but I say get the 8' 5wt Cabela's 3 forks rod with a medalist reel and the prestige or prestige plus fly line.

Posted on: 2011/1/18 16:21


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2010/6/23 13:13
From state college pa
Posts: 104
Offline
Rather than give you advice about fly rods, reels etc I'll say this from my own experience:

1. Get as much fishing in now as you can before young children hit the scene

2. As soon as you are committed to FF, take up fly tying. Even if you tie only very simple patterns like muskrat nymphs etc. You'll save a lot and become a better fisherman. Besides if start your family, you can use the little free time (after kids go to bed) to start stocking your boxes for when you have time. Tying will keep you engaged even when you can't make it to the stream

3. Fish with as many experienced people as possible

4. Don't obsess about placing a fly in a tea cup from 20 yards- ie. don't over emphasize the casting part at the expense of the fishing part

5. be patient at first, but never settle for "just getting out is enough for me"

6. If at all possible, get your wife (and/or kids) to take up FF. If your wife FFs, you'll get out 3X as much!

Posted on: 2011/1/18 18:02


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2010/5/10 16:11
Posts: 65
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I would start with a 9' 4wt.
Get the nicest you can afford
Greys Streamflex or Cabelas are pretty moderately priced.
Nymph Nymph and Nymph somemore. The most deadly way to catch more and bigger trout.
Start experimenting with indicator nymphing and the Euro-nymphing methods.
Dont get caught up in match the hatch mentality. Dont waste money on a bunch of patterns that are going to sit in your box and take up space.
The only drys I consider essential are Caddis, Hoppers, Sulfers
and some spinner patterns.
Remember trout feed over 90% subsurface.
Start out with a few basic suggestive patterns that could look like alot of different things that trout sees floating by.
Beadhead Pheasant Tail
Beadhead Hairs Ear
Beadhead Soft Hacke Caddis Pupa
Flymphs- Soft Hacke Emg nymphs
Zebra Midges.
Wooley Buggers
Egg Patterns

Remember "The wrong fly fished the right way will catch way more fish than the right fly fished the wrong way.

Start tying and experimenting with different patterns. I like to add the weight into my flys with tungsten beads and lead rather than putting it on the leader.

Most trout are caught at a distance of 25' or less. Work on shorter accurate casts and good drifts.

And please put em back healthy especially the wild fish.

Posted on: 2011/1/19 15:43


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2009/9/24 15:02
From Montgomery County
Posts: 1585
Offline
I second all of twofly's suggestions. a 9' 4 or 5wt will fit the bill. Check out St Croix rods as well.

Posted on: 2011/1/19 15:58


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2011/1/18 13:53
From Mechanicsburg, PA (near Williams Grove)
Posts: 10
Offline
Thank you all for your replies and advice. Very much appreciated!

Posted on: 2011/1/19 16:23


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7742
Offline
Brian is my sons name, we spell the last name Mac, welcome, to the board and to the family. You're probably a distant cousin, not that you'd want to be.

Posted on: 2011/1/27 20:54
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There is always time to do more to protect wild trout.


Re: Anxious Beginner
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
Posts: 7088
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Dance with who brung ya....go to the YBO and have Emily set you up with the gear you need to get started. She won't rip you off and you will get exactly what you need to scratch that itch every now and then. You won't spend time searching and reading but fishing. Thats what you want to do isn't it?

You live in a fine spot for a trout fisherman. Let the countryside move you. And trust your local shop to put you in the gear you need to get started. There is the rest of your life to penny pinch and nit pick the details. Get to YBO and get fishing.

Posted on: 2011/1/27 23:14
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Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4469
Offline
b..........I go along with Maurice on the outfit , go to boiling springs and they will get you going , the bridge right down the road from you at the trailer park is a great spot , fish downstream of the bridge where the small trib runs in , there are trout up that trib too. As far as the waders go , spend a little on a pair of felt sole hip boots and you wont have a ton of money invested if a ban comes then you can decide on a more long term investment , a pair of light weight , breathable hippers would get you till next year at the least at about $60.00. Felt is the only thing i've found that you can DEPEND ON 100% to not let you slip on slick rocks on some streams. The YB on a scale of 1-10 slickness is only about a 4 or 5 IMO not too bad. GOOD LUCK n HAVE FUN oh yeah , before i forget , behind Cold Springs Tavern and upstream is also pretty good. you're in a good place , close to alot of good trout fishing.

Posted on: 2011/1/28 6:32


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2006/9/10 20:44
From Room 109
Posts: 3139
Offline
St Croix Imperial is the rod I would get again again and again. Look on ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/St-CROIX-IMPERIAL ... m5adec1e375#ht_1726wt_901

Posted on: 2011/1/29 18:50
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One man’s plague is a another man’s hatch


Re: Anxious Beginner

Joined:
2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
Posts: 838
Offline
That Imperial on ebay is of the olden style, as in soft and slow, and "probably" rather heavy. The new ones are much faster and lighter, and "probably" better if you also want to nymph. Former made in USA, dark brown blanks, the latter made in Mexico, burgundy blanks.

I put probably in quotes because I obviously have not cast all of these models--just the 9 ft, 3/4 wt of the olden style.

Posted on: 2011/1/30 8:42



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