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Brand new - lessons??

Joined:
2006/12/3 11:24
Posts: 1
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Hi all,

Been fishing for decades (catch and release) and am finally ready to try fly fishing.

I'm hoping for some general info about getting started.

Are there any good beginner books? Any suggestions about the type of gear I should be considering or how to find instructors? (I'm in NE PA).

Posted on: 2006/12/3 11:34


Re: Brand new - lessons??

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7735
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kathie659,
There are 4 Trout Unlimited Chapters based in NE PA, and depending on where you live maybe more. Here is a partial list of them. This is a good place to start, at the very least they can point you to where and when lessons are given, what equipment to use and where to fish. Take a friend or your partner along. At the present time the Endless Mt. chapter is inactive but I listed them anyway. As for other places to get information local fly shops are the next best place to go. They can fit you with good equipment and show you how to use it.


Lackawanna Valley # 414
500 Maplewood Dr.
Olyphant PA 18447
Status: Active


Pike-Wayne # 462
P.O Box 351
Hawley PA 18428
Status: Active

Stanley Cooper Sr. # 251
P.O. Box 1723
Kingston PA 18704
Status: Active

Western Pocono # 203
545 East Carlton Ave.
Hazleton PA 18201
Status: Active

Broadheads # 289
RR7 Box 7616a
Saylorsburg PA 18353
Status: Active

Endless Mountain # 000
P.O. Box 517
Lake Winola Pa 18625

The other NE PA Chapters may be found at the web address below:
http://www.patrout.org/PATroutServices/ChapterListings.aspx
If you'd like more specific information PM me.

Posted on: 2006/12/3 11:44


Re: Brand new - lessons??
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Joined:
2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
Posts: 7086
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Kathie,

TU is a good resource for advancing your interest in trout fishing but to get started you need to determine what types of fishing you are most interested. (ie; bass, trout, panfish, etc.)

Chaz's suggestion about checking out a fly shop is a good idea too but stick around here for this thread to develop and have an idea of what to look for and not to go for at the fly shops.

Lessons are a great idea and worth the money. Even a fly fishing class by a good instructor would be a great idea. If I were in your shoes and knowing what I know now I'd go to a flyshop and take a fly fishing class...youmay find one this winter, its a prime time for them. May cost a few bucks but will flatten the learning curve significantly. I'm not a book worm so I'm not going to suggest any but others will. To me this happens faster when some experienced angler or anglers empty their vest and chestpack on a table and explain all the reasons for what they have accumulated there. You will get advice you can decide on yourself based on their discussions of the items in a casual atmosphere.

Pnce you get started after buying a rod and line for your interest, you may want to hit some local ponds or lakes to practicce your casting and fishing lessons on pan fish. They are eager as you probably know.

I'm sure others will chime in...welcome to the board and past time of flyfishing.


Maurice

Posted on: 2006/12/3 19:49
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Re: Brand new - lessons??

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3625
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Kathie,

Most of my knowledge about Fly Fishing came from other Fly Fishers. So, iif you are truely interested, submerse yourself with knowledgable people. I don't recomend buying books, becuase you will read them once and forget that you own it. However, with XMAS approaching, a gift of a book is nice. I was given the LL Bean Fly fishing book. It's helpful but supplies minimal info. Personaly, I feel the Internet is the best source.
Your question about gear must terminally be answered by you. You will discover what you like and what works for you. Sure, I can tell you to buy a Down Stream fly box, use only St. Croix rods, fish Cortland line, and Airflow leader, but that is what I prefer (shameless plug). Test out new things and find what you like. Ultimately, you have to be happy.
My final suggestion is not to go cheap to see if you like fly fishing because you will. I can't explain it, and i'm sure 99% of the members of this board can't either, but you will never turn back. I have gotten a few people to start and they feel the same way, Fly Fishing is undescribable. So buy mid-ranges gear, so you will still be able to enjoy it a few years down the road. Plus, to cheapies = about 1 pricy piece of gear.
By the way, fly fishing is expensive; when compared to bait and spin fishing.

Posted on: 2006/12/3 22:42
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Re: Brand new - lessons??
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
Posts: 2259
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Quote:
I don't recomend buying books, becuase you will read them once and forget that you own it.


OK here's your first bit of conflicting advice.

I love my flyfishing books and there are some I make a point of re-reading each season. It all depends on what kind of person you are. Do you like to read? Do you pick up books to figure out other things? If so, books are a great resource. If not, perhaps it's more money down the drain.

The Orvis Guide to Reading Trout Streams by Tom Rosenbauer is keeper. As is his Prospecting for Trout. If you've been fishing for a goodly while, you probably don't need to be told where the trout live though. But some of this is going to be new, or at least newly important.

The Anglers Guide to Aquatic Insects and their Imitations is amazing. I don't read the first half of the book that deals with identifying one species of mayfly or caddis to subspecies, etc. It's enough for me to have a good idea of what the hatch chart says should be on the water, and use the second half of the book. That's where they deal with what patterns to use for each of the hatches and how to present them. So, at various times of year, an upstream cast into the riffles with a pheasant tail will work better than a quartering downstream cast to the banks of a pool and vice versa. This book can tell you why and that will help with boosting the number of trout you can catch with that pheasant tail. Another nice piece of this, if you go through the book and write up a list of the flies you need for the hatches you expect to see, you might end up with a smaller flybox than if you go through the flyshop (like the rest of us have) picking out two of those and one of these. That'll save you money and frustration.

Anything by Lefty Kreh or Joan Wulff will be helpful for casting. This is where you're likely to need a bit of help. The spincasters I have met who have taken up fly fishing use way too much wrist. They end up with wide, inefficient, inaccurate loops that grab trees and hook hats. Mel Kreigers Diagnosing the Cast is a good one for figuring out what problems you are having and how to fix them.

Posted on: 2006/12/4 6:54
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Re: Brand new - lessons??
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Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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kathie,
The fact you have fished for decades will give you a leg up as much of what constitutes successful fly fishing is really similar to successful spin/bait fishing. Despite the efforts of some fly fishers to imbue our sport with an aura of mystery and exceptionalism, it's really not that much different than "conventional" methods. If, say, you have been trout fishing - then you will continue to use much of the same knowledge (wading, reading water, fighting fish etc) with the long rod. Fly fishing is somewhat more difficult and, for the most part, getting fish to eat flies is not as easy as getting them to eat lures or certainly bait. Learning to cast I think is the big difference. It is a more information intensive sport and this sometimes intimidates new folks as they listen to fly fishers speak their own esoteric language but you don't need to know all the technical stuff to have a good time. If you like conventional fishing I'm sure you'll love fly fishing. I am often surprised at the number of people these days who take up fly fishing first with no experience of conventional fishing. While this is fine, most of the time I think it is better to start with conventional stuff. I still fish conventional gear on occassion - esp in saltwater where strong winds, deep water, and rough conditions sometimes make fly casting futile.
Anyway Maurice is right that what you intend to fish for for is an issue. TU of course is focused on trout but there are probably some bass guys at these meetings. Sporting clubs and outdoor shows are also great places to get advice and meet fishermen. The fly fishing show in Somerset NJ every January is a treasure trove of gear and information. Like Padraic, I love my fly fishing books and magazines. There is even a "Fly Fishing for Dummies" (or idiot's guide; one of these books) by Peter Kaminsky. When I thumbed thru it it looked pretty good. The Orvis book mentioned is also good and you might try a subscription for a year to one of the magazines like Fly Fisherman. Welcome aboard. This forum is a great place to get advice and answers.

Posted on: 2006/12/6 9:26


Re: Brand new - lessons??

Joined:
2006/9/14 10:34
From Southeast PA
Posts: 521
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I read the "Fly Fishing for Dummies" book when I started, and I found it to be very helpful with the basics, starting from ground zero as far as knowing the equipment and techniques. A lot of books assume you know the difference between a #6 and a #16 fly, a nymph and a streamer, 5X and 6X tippet, leader vs. fly line, weight-forward vs. double taper line, a 3-weight rod vs. a 5-weight, etc., etc., etc. Many of us forget how confusing all of this is to a beginner because, believe it or not, it doesn't take all that long before it becomes second nature. If this stuff is new you, the "Dummies" book may be a big help in getting started.

Posted on: 2006/12/6 9:42


Re: Brand new - lessons??

Joined:
2006/9/28 14:40
From Philadelphia
Posts: 375
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I agree with Padraic. If you like to read, books can be really helpful, and the ones he named are first rate. To them I'd add Dick Talleur's basic book on flyfishing. It's pretty comprehensive and clearly written. But if books are the route for you, there's nothing like going to a library or fly shop that's stocked with them and simply going through a bunch to see which ones you are most comfortable with. Writing style and quality of drawings/photos are usually what I look for.

Anyway, hope you'll hang around. There are lots of knowledeable, good hearted folks here.
Coughlin

Posted on: 2006/12/6 16:20


Re: Brand new - lessons??

Joined:
2006/11/9 16:07
Posts: 223
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I would definatly recommend going to a fly shop and getting lessons from them. They can teach you the correct way of doing things and really help explaining all of the technical stuff. hand-on learning can be very valuable. I see you are from NE PA and I am from SE but I took a lesson at TCO in Bryn Mawr and had a very good day. Those guys should give me a commission with the number of people I am sending their way.

Posted on: 2006/12/6 17:57


Re: Brand new - lessons??

Joined:
2006/12/7 11:01
Posts: 5
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I had fished for many years before making the commitment to fly fish. The most critical decision was to not pick up another rod until I was proficient at fly fishing. The ability to cast is the most important.
I wish i could say the transition to fly fishing was easy, but it was not.

The cost of fly fishing is considerably more than bait casting or spinning. I purchased a cortland base package including a balanced fly rod, reel, line and leader. I found that this purchase made it easy to get a balanced fly outfit. If I recall, it had a 7'6" rod with a reel and a 5 weight line. I think that this same outfit is still available today.

I recall that I was on the banks of the Potomac River in Brunswick, Maryland and was going to take both spinning and my fly rod to the stream and decided to only take the flu rod. That for me was a good decision. I really did not pick up another rod for about 10 years after that day. I grew to love fly fishing, fly tying and everything that goes with it.

There are retailers who provide free fly fishing activities. Bass Pro in Harrisburg has on going fly fishing activities, fly tying on Thursdays and some fly casting to go with it.

I curently tie all of my flies, and have made additional investment in fly fishing equipment. I hope that you look in your area for resources, trout unlimited, Retail outlets, or a fly fishing individual that can help you to transition to fly fishing. It is well worth the commitment, and for me it took a commitment to become reasonably proficient

Posted on: 2006/12/7 11:25






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