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Fear of the Unknown

2018/8/28 10:45
From Lancaster
Posts: 3
Thank you for taking the time to read my post (my 1st). Any and all feedback, is greatly appreciated.

I was born and raised in Tioga Co., fishing for native brook trout as well as some pond and lake fishing. I moved to Lancaster Co. in 2005. Unfortunately, between "life" and not knowing the area, I have made every excuse not to get out on the water. In 2013, I was exposed to fly fishing for the first time by a coworker. I was gifted a Quarrow, boxed setup for Christmas. I hit up the Hammer, above the Speedwell, a hand full of times. I thoroughly enjoyed this new experience. Again, "life" happened and I made excuses not to get out there. That being said, the only stream I have fished is that section of the Hammer.

I would like to get back out there, and have done research to find some local streams. My first question is, how do you guys figure out/find good access points? Do you just drive to the stream and find a place to pull over? I don't want to piss off any property owners.

Next, I would like to talk about gear. I still have that Quarrow rod and real. I just tied a new leader on, and want to get into some fish ASAP. I am working with a small box of limited flies, old waders, etc... I watch YouTube and see other fisherman out there with THOUSANDS of dollars worth of equipment. I just don't have the budget for that. In your opinion, based on your experience, what pieces of equipment would you upgrade first? Keeping in mind a tight budget, so I am looking for value over say, a brand name.

I would also like to get into fly tying, both for personal use and to give to friends and sell to others. Would you recommend holding off until I get more experience on the water?

Thank you for your time!

Posted on: 2018/8/28 11:16

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2013/12/7 0:10
From SE Pa
Posts: 907
Fly fishing gear need not be expensive. I don't own a single set up worth more then around 250 bucks and I'm happy as hell. A reddington classic trout can be had for a hundred bucks come winter and is a great rod. A 50 dollar line holder (called a reel by some) and a 35 dollar line and your set.

I tie my own flies. Fly tying need not be expensive either. If you are going to tie to fill up dozens of fly boxes with every conceivable fly in every size then it will be expensive. If you focus on tying only the handful of flies that you will be fishing when you need them you will save a boatload of money. It's also easy and the tools need not be expensive name brand stuff. Perfect flies can be tied with a vice grip clamped to a bench. If you happen to enjoy the finer things in life, have the means to do it, and your already maxing out your 401k then by all means go ahead and spend thousands of dollars but it's totally not needed.

Go ahead and jump in and build slowly. You may actually hate fly tying.

Posted on: 2018/8/28 11:53

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2016/9/7 8:10
From Wind Gap, PA
Posts: 99
My 2 cents is to wait on the fly tying until you get better at fly fishing (and figure out just how "into it" you are).

Waders that breathe and keep you dry will probably contribute more to having an enjoyable day on the water than a more expensive rod.

Posted on: 2018/8/28 12:10

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2006/9/18 16:54
From Oxford, Chester Co. and Reedsville, Mifflin Co. PA
Posts: 161
I am not familiar with Quarrow, but if you can manage to make a decent cast with that outfit, stick with it. On the other hand, I recently purchased a 9 foot 5 wt "Synch" rod from Cabela's for $60. Excellent rod, especially for that price.

But, since it sounds as though you are passionate and determined, I would recommend you invest a little money in leader materials and fly tying items.

As for Leader formulas, get a copy of Joe Humphreys "Trout Tactics." I see it on Amazon for $12. In fact everything you need to know about trout fishing is in that book. Or you could probably find his leader formulas for free on line, probably on this site in fact.

Fly tying: Again go to Cabelas and buy their Standard Fly Tying Tool Kit for $35. All the tools you need. Maybe buy a couple extra bobbins. Think "SOFT HACKLES." These are the cheapest and easiest flies to tie, and, in my experience, the most versatile. All you need are 3 or 4 Indian Hen Necks, a few packs of dubbing (e.g. hare's ear, Australian possum), and a few spools of silk thread (yellow, orange and green will suffice for starters). If the silks are hard to find, just use synthetic threads in 70 denier or 6/0. Of course, you'll need some hooks: sizes 12, 14, and 16 wet fly/nymph hooks will cover it for now.

No excuses.

Posted on: 2018/8/28 13:14

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2010/5/28 0:25
Posts: 705
From Kirk to Kirk:

I don't think it's ever too early to start tying, assuming you believe you will continue to fly fish. You will need to practice the basic steps over and over again until they become second nature.

Posted on: 2018/8/28 15:23
I'm a sinner, finished my dinner, now I can go outside.

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 2600
Regarding access, check maps and see where public lands are.

On state gamelands, state forests etc. you don't have the access worries that you do on private land.

Posted on: 2018/8/28 16:01

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2012/6/7 6:02
From Western PA
Posts: 60
For tying vise, tying tools, rods, reels, lines, vest or pack, nets, fly boxes, etc - search for used equipment. Often these are in new condition, and will save you $ as you get started.

Posted on: 2018/8/28 17:02

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 2033
If you're going to spend a little extra don't do it on a rod or reel, do it on the line. Not saying you need spend $130( the new cost of a top end lines now), there are plenty of good lines for less than $50. Some of the lines on those combos they pull straight off of weedeaters. Imho of course.

Posted on: 2018/8/28 20:59

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2013/8/6 21:44
Posts: 772
1) Welcome to the site.

2) On access, just locate places that look fishy (via a Gazeteer or Google Earth) then go check it out. If it's on private land knock on some doors. If you plan to release the fish inform the landowner of that.

3) On the gear, I would recommend good waders (wet wading will end soon) and good polarized glasses. Most any rod will catch fish and (not to be a jerk) you'll probably not understand what attributes you'd like in a new rod until you get your casting down, fish a while and cast a variety of rods. The Redington CT mentioned is a fine beginner rod.

For deals on waders and glasses check out "Steep and Cheap" and "Backcountry". Also Simms is having sales. I just got 70% off Simms items.

4) On fly tying, it's the most expensive way I've ever seen to save money. I was taught how to fly fish by old timers. I didn't know you could buy flies. That said, I'd say buy generic attractor patterns for where you'll fish (hares ears, pheasant tails, adams, light cahills, griffith gnats, woollybuggers etc) and then when you get into tying, only tie what you fish the most.
Remember there's no special fly, like there could be a magic lure in spinner fishing. I see many new fly fishers trying to find a magic fly. The trick is to match the highest population of the fish's natural forage in that body of water at the time you're fishing.

Posted on: 2018/8/28 22:53

afishinado wrote:

I find you very confrontational, offensive and have never seen more a glass-half-empty attitude.

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2017/1/18 18:38
From Southeast, PA
Posts: 253
If you're going to spend a little extra don't do it on a rod or reel, do it on the line. Not saying you need spend $130( the new cost of a top end lines now), there are plenty of good lines for less than $50. Some of the lines on those combos they pull straight off of weedeaters. Imho of course.

Nailed it with that one. I too think the fly line should be a first upgrade.

About access and finding streams, If you check out the main page of the blog here on paff, a fantastic post was made recently about finding small streams and access. I’d definitely check that out!

As for fly tying, I too don’t think it’s ever too early to start. In my opinion I think getting into fly tying will make you a better fly fisher and vice versa. To me, one cannot truly exist without the other, but there are plenty of great anglers that don’t tie and prove me wrong on that one... look at it as an extension of the sport, not a necessity.

However, there is no downside to tying aside from too many flies and getting more obsessed about fishing. Not too bad in my book :)

When u start tying you will find:
a.) you become more observant and interested in the actual bugs on your stream without really thinking about it;

b.) it shortens the curve of identifying what (or close to what) they may be eating and the patterns in your box that are suitable imitations;

c.) that fly patterns and exact imitations don’t matter nearly as much as you think when you first started. simple suggestive flies typically are better producers; and

d.) you’ll throw your bugs into cover and snaggy situations with much less hesitation, and that’s where the fish are! If you lose it, who cares! It wasn’t $2.50 and you can replace it whenever you want at the vise.

I actually started tying wayyy before I started fly fishing as a young little shit, with my dads workshop vise, my moms sewing thread, eagle claw snells with the line cut off and the bait barbs smashed, random feathers I’d find in the backyard, and cat/dog fur from the family pets. No bobbin, no nothing. Just a fun fact.

Of course now I have all the bells and whistles, but that was a slow process of upgrading but by bit over the years.

Fond memories :) My first flies totally sucked, but still caught fish.

Posted on: 2018/8/31 14:37

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2016/4/1 14:01
From SE PA
Posts: 439
I’d like to throw in my favorite rod to fish was $50 on clearance!

Posted on: 2018/9/2 18:46

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2013/8/5 23:08
From Lancaster
Posts: 539
Lots of great guys in the Lancaster county area that would be willing to help you out. pm sometime and maybe I can point you in the right direction.

That being said, I’ve put in a lot of time with boots on the ground over the last six years. Also studying maps, doing research and scouring the PAFBC website for resources that would help me pinpoint areas with wild fish. See the homepage for a write up from Swattie detailing exactly how to go about doing this.

Access is generally very good for fishing however quality waters are few and far between. Temper your expectations and it will be that much sweeter when you find yourself a nice population of wild trout.

As for gear, it’s more about feel and function vs cost. Use what your comfortable with and slowly build your inventory. Check the swap forum for deals. Sometimes people are very generous and give things away.

Posted on: 2018/9/2 19:06

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2014/9/30 15:26
From Lehigh Gorge
Posts: 396
Repeating the above, no need for a new high end rod. A excellent source for quality gear at affordable prices is a magazine available at most gas stations called " the paper shop". Lots of good deals on used name brand rods and reels. Alot of folks out there just have to have the latest and greatest. They will sell a perfectly fine rod every few years for huge discounts. I bought my son a sage rod 2 years ago for 50 bucks. Included line and reel.

a good way to learn new waters is to help stock the stream you would like to fish in pre season. You will easily learn access points and a pfbc warden will be there and will be happy to answer your questions. Also you can ask him about access areas for nearby wild trout areas.

Posted on: 2018/9/2 20:38

Re: Fear of the Unknown

2011/7/7 20:06
From South Central,PA
Posts: 207
I think that leaders and tippet are the biggest hurdle for new folks in the sport. Learn to tie a blood knot in your sleep. Tying your own leaders will be much easier, and customizable in the long run. Too often I see new people in the sport buying tapered leaders and before they know it, they tying tiny flies to the butt end of the leader. The problem is compounded by the casting getting easier as the leader gets shorter... It casts like a dream but it's not going to fish well! With experience you start to find the compromise between casting, leader length, drag free drift, and tippet diameter. To make a long story short, first, invest in good line, leader and tippet. It's the connection between you and the fish.

Posted on: 2018/9/7 10:19

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