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Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

Joined:
2017/4/11 19:49
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Hi folks,
This is my first post, so hello everyone. I am from central Lancaster county and graduating college this semester, so I want to to give fly fishing a serious go with trout in the spring and smallmouth in the summer. I've been an occasional reader on this site as I slowly start to put the pieces together to get going with the fly, but I figured I should contribute to site by generating some discussion and getting a couple of my questions answered.

1. I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a cheap pair of waders (around $100-150). My primary concerns are durability and warmth. Also, I wondering whether people prefer boot or stocking foot options.

2. Are beginning fly tying kits (such as this one: from Cabelas:https://www.cabelas.com/product/fishin ... -kit/1364092.uts?slotId=1) a worthwhile purchase or am I better off trying to piece together my own set of tools and materials?

3. I know asking about locations can get sensitive (for me included), but I am curious to know if any of you have any recommendations for a stream within an hour of central Lancaster which provides various situations to learn, gets okay bugs, and at least has SOME trout in it. All I am looking for is a name, I can probably figure out access and other information if I have to (though I'm not opposed to anything extra). My thoughts for options were the Yellow Breeches, Donegal Creek, west branch octoraro creek, hammer creek, and Littiz run.

4. Finally, when I've previously gone after wild trout on spinning gear, I'd use barbless hooks, but I am thinking it may be easier for fish to come off on a fly rod. Does anyone have any tips for playing fish to keep them on barbless hooks as much as possible?

Thanks in advance!



Posted on: 12/4 23:56


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

Joined:
2013/12/7 0:10
From SE Pa
Posts: 833
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1) All waders leak. Cabelas stockingfoot waders and their wading boots. I use bootfooted waders only for the beach.

2) I would not buy the kit with material. The material will be cheap and you probably won't use most of it. Buy a kit with just the tools, a vise, bobbin, bodkin, scissors, and a whip finisher will get you started. You can buy other tools as needed down the road. As for material, pick out a fly you want to fish and buy the materials to tie that fly. Then picked out another fly you want to tie and buy the material for that. Soon you will have all the material you can store.

3) Yes. Just go where there is water at first and just practice catching fish, any fish.

4) personally I don't play fish. I hooked them and bring them in.

Posted on: 12/5 6:44


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 1425
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1) second on the Cabelas waders. Only bad thing you can do to your waders is not use them.

2) Kits aren't all together bad. You'll get enough stuff to ie a few different kinds of flies. many come with a decent step by step or a video. Youtube is also good far this. But you might get the hang of more and different tying techniques with a kit. You can add materials as you would if you started from scratch as you need them. And some you'll already have. A tools only kit is also an option. I have given , as gifts, tool only kits to friends i tied for that wanted to tie their own. It worked out for all of them.

there are entire threads on this subject on this board if you search for them.

4) Unless you only catch fish less than 9 feet away, everyone plays a fish. The trick is just to keep pressure and avoid over-playing them. Barbless hooks are a good thing. In many places they are the law.

Good luck.

Posted on: 12/5 8:50


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

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2016/10/12 9:09
From Mentor, OH
Posts: 69
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Why not wait on the fly tying equipment until you get the hang of fly fishing? You may not like it or you may fall in love with. Either way start of at a fly shop and pick up a dozen or so flies that they recommend. You can always get into tying when you get the fever.

I can't tie because of a hand tremor but I would if I could.

Posted on: 12/5 9:13


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

Joined:
2012/1/16 19:14
From North east ,Maryland
Posts: 105
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I also would not worry about the fly tying kit right now. Look at it this way, from what I understand there are about 5 or 6 flys that can catch most of the fish. Like allthings said, get them at a fly store get whats good for that area your fishing. When you really get bit by the bug. Then go full bore.

Posted on: 12/5 18:24


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 1425
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If you go the fly buying route for the reason that you might not like it, then buy your flies online for no more than a buck each. There's a whole thread on the best places to buy them too.

If you do buy them from a shop, get your money's worth. You're not just paying for flies. Build a report with the people at the shop. Talk about what you expect with fly fishing. Listen to them when they tell you what you can expect from the experience. Don't expect to be told all the secrets but expect to be pointed in the right direction. Some shops are truly fantastic when it comes to educating you. Some just want your money. You will know the difference.

There are guys from shops on here. They're pretty much all very knowledgeable and extremely willing to help. I believe there is still a shop directory link on the Home page.

Posted on: 12/5 19:49


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

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2017/4/11 19:49
Posts: 7
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Thanks for your help fellas. I do greatly appreciate you taking the time to respond and give me some tips!

poopdeck and tom gamber, do you have any suggestions from cabelas you have found to like especially well, or is anything in that price range okay enough?

Also, let me clarify. I did not mean playing a fish in the sense of letting it fight on too light of gear, but rather just getting it to the net.

Thanks again!

Posted on: 12/6 0:34


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

Joined:
2013/12/7 0:10
From SE Pa
Posts: 833
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Cabelas fly rod combos go on sale often so don't pay retail. I have a three forks 8'6" 5 wt that was my first ever fly rod. I bought it about 6 years ago and I still use it and I'm still very happy with it. I did change the line but other then that it's still original and I've had zero issues with it.

I also own a TFO 3wt, a reddington classic trout 4wt, a st. Crook imperial 6wt and TFO 8 wt. All are low to mid priced rods and I could not be happier with all of them. The Reddington CT is a nice rod and they often go on sale for like 40% off.

Before taking my advise know that I am an amateur hobbyist FF, I do not read about fishing gear, I don't watch fishing shows and I don't read rod shootouts or lay awake at night waiting for the next gen sage to come out. All of these rods may suck by somebody else's definition but I really like them. Ignorance is bliss for me.

Posted on: 12/6 6:50


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 4134
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Quote:

dinkman wrote:
Thanks for your help fellas. I do greatly appreciate you taking the time to respond and give me some tips!

poopdeck and tom gamber, do you have any suggestions from cabelas you have found to like especially well, or is anything in that price range okay enough?

Also, let me clarify. I did not mean playing a fish in the sense of letting it fight on too light of gear, but rather just getting it to the net.

Thanks again!


Cabelas waders, rods, reels and other equipment is not the best, but most equipment they sell is decent, and usually moderately priced.

I can tell you Cabela's sell a half decent fly tying vise and tool kit HERE. As suggested, you can buy materials for flies you choose to tie and find fly recipes and instructional videos on YouTube. Putting together a selection of types and sizes of hooks is actually the most expensive thing when getting started. Keep things as simple as possible and go slow in the beginning, and things will progress. Good luck.

Posted on: 12/6 7:15


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

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If I was you , I would connect with an experienced fly angler- be that a fly shop guy or a friend/relative or making a new fly Angler friend- to a lesser degree you tube videoes or books.

They can guide you through the hundreds of questions that will inevitably come up.

That way you can borrow equipment and or ideas and cut the learning curve down significantly.

Posted on: 12/6 7:24
_________________
I flyfish because I enjoy it.


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
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1. Yes, all waders eventually leak. Water is a worthy adversary. In that price range, all waders are more or less the same...I'm not brand loyal at that price point...I shop for the best deal I can find. If you fish a lot, expect to generally get about 1 year of decent leak free performance for every $100 you spend. Check out Sierra Trading Post, they’ll often have good deals on outgoing models of waders. You might be able to get a $200-$250 range wader for $100 - $150. IMO, LLBean generally makes the best waders for your buck, but most of their options are $200+. If you layer properly underneath them, you’ll be plenty warm in any breathable wader. If it’s warm out, or if you’re doing a bunch of hiking in them, you’ll be too warm. “Breathable” is a term used pretty loosely when it comes to waders. Most people prefer stockingfoots. Reason being the boots on bootfoots are generally poor in terms of comfort and grip levels when compared to buying separate wading boots.

2. I’d recommend buying a sampling of generic patterns from an online fly vendor. (I like Flystop.com.) Get a few dozen of the basics…Adams, Wulffs, Elk Hair Caddis, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ear’s, Woolly Buggers. Learn a little about what flies work for you and you enjoy fishing, then begin to get into tying by buying the tools and materials needed to learn those patterns. Branch out from there. No sense in learning to tie a bunch of patterns that you don’t know will be effective for you.

3. All of the creeks you mentioned are good beginner options. They all have fish, and are at least big enough to not present major casting obstacles while learning to cast.

4. If you’re comparing the percentage of fish I land after a good hookset, I’d say I lose less fish on fly tackle than I do on spinning. I pinch my barbs either way, but I think the leverage over a single hookpoint, over say multiple on a treble on a spinner or crankbait, helps keep the hook buttoned up more. Don’t worry about it. Just keep the line tight as you’re stripping them in, and most will stay hooked up. One frequent mistake I see beginners converting over from spin tackle make is they try to reel each fish in. A lot of times, you have a big pile of line to reel up at your feet before you get to the actual “active” line. While doing this, you give the fish the opportunity to get some slack and throw the hook. Most times, unless it’s a very big fish, just strip the fish in with your line hand immediately after the take and hookset. Don’t worry about the line at your feet.

Posted on: 12/6 8:53


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

Joined:
2010/8/4 11:18
Posts: 869
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1.) Buy the best you can afford (not just with waders, but with rods/reels, etc). I have expensive waders but they fit better than less expensive ones and I have confidence they are not going to fail. I fish a lot and expect to get 5+ years out of a good pair. I'm partial to Simms waders. I go cheap in a lot of areas - plano boxes for flies, 99 cent nail clippers, big spools of mono instead of tippet sized or floro, no fishing branded clothes, no craft beer, cheap chew, etc. but I do not go cheap on waders, rods or reels.

2.) I'd buy a vice, hair stacker, whip finish tool, scissors, bobbin, then other tools, buy materials based on what patterns you are going to tie. I agree kits might not be the best way to go. I buy good hooks. I get very irritated when i grab a buddies rod who uses cheap hooks and break a hook on a fish. It happens to me a couple times a year at least.

3.) Those places are good. Yellow Breeches is a good place to learn for sure.

4.) You don't have to play fish differently. I admit I don't always use barbless hooks because I'm lazy and usually don't mash them down.

Posted on: 12/6 18:31


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

Joined:
2013/12/8 21:26
From Granville
Posts: 1247
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1) There are quite a few waders in that price range. Cabela's definitely has some and I'd probably buy those. L.L. Bean used to have a pair for $100 and they treated me just as good as more expensive waders. Also Caddis brand should have an offering as well.

2) I started tying with a Cabela's kit (no materials included, just tools) and it was totally fine for a long time. If you want to learn to tie buy the kit and as someone else suggested get materials for one fly at a time.

You will undoubtedly have to buy flies at first. Buy woolly buggers, clouser minnows, pheasant tails nymphs, hare's ears, green weenie, and San Juan style worms. That basic lineup will catch trout to bass to panfish.

3) You named some good starting locations. Finding wild trout in this state is easy thanks to the well published listings of the PFBC. Otherwise, hit any stocked stream that you'd like. Stockies can definitely be great for learning.

4) Barbed hooks lose less fish but are harder to remove. So, how good are you at removing a hook? Like anything else the more hooks that you remove the faster and easier it is. That one is personal. I never buy barbless hooks but I will mash the barb with my hemostats depending on where and what I'm fishing for.

Posted on: 12/7 2:34


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 690
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Quote:

dinkman wrote:

1. I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a cheap pair of waders (around $100-150). My primary concerns are durability and warmth. Also, I wondering whether people prefer boot or stocking foot options.



Do not worry about warmth. You can always layer up your clothing underneath. A hot pair of waders is miserable for most of the year.

Also, definitely stocking foot. Your agility and footing will be much better.

Posted on: 12/7 6:29


Re: Beginner: Questions and Gear Recommendations

Joined:
2017/4/11 19:49
Posts: 7
Offline
You all have been a major help! Thanks again!

Sierra Trading post was an awesome suggestion. I’m probably going to end up getting a pair from there.

The tool kit suggested also seems affordable enough to grab even if I take it slow with tying. Though, I’m going to need something to do in the winter evenings anyway.

Thank gooodness I didn’t buy the neoprene waders I thought I might get in case I wanted to go winter fishing. That would have been pretty dumb.

I do have my first two trout on the fly (at the end of last May), but I’ll try to keep you posted on my progress!

One last question. Are actual wading boots all that necessary? Could I just pair stocking foot waders with an old pair of regular boots/shoos or is that not going to work?

Posted on: 12/9 1:14



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