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Beginners- what were'nt you told?

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2007/4/25 10:02
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Sometimes the light goes off- wow, that makes sense. Better yet you catch some fish.

Fly fishing for me is and was never easy. I have had dozens of frustrating days but it was time well spent outside and on the water. Still consider myself near the bottom of the fly fishing totem pole but it is fun learning and catching some fish.

Many times my more experienced mentors or friends forget what it is like to be just starting out.

Here is something I wish my more experienced friends would have recommended to me:

Wish I fished for warm water fish more starting out. They are easier to catch, require less precise casts and presentations. Plus you can actually catch some fish. When originally started out in 1995, I lost interest and did'nt really start to pick it up again until a few years ago.

I could mention many other ideas but wanted to see what others have to say on the subject.

Posted on: 2008/10/15 10:22
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Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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I wish someone would have sat down and explained how rigging works, including line to leader, leader to tippet, indicators, weight, tandem rigs, etc.

I was taught the basics by a wonderful instructor, and was left to go off on the stream and learn on my own. I only got instruction when I asked for it, or when I was totally making an idiot of myself. I've developed my own style, methods, and ideas from that... but luckily, I think I have a solid technical background.

The problem was, he'd hand me a pre-rigged rod and some flies. From there, I went and fished. I caught fish, but when he passed and I had to rig my own gear, I felt lost.

Luckily, this forum helped me a ton.

If only the old database still existed. I'd probably point out a few of my posts from three of four years ago where I was asking some of the most painfully basic questions. Those were the days.

Posted on: 2008/10/15 11:01


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?
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Joined:
2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
Posts: 7037
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Quote:

jayL wrote:
I wish someone would have sat down and explained how rigging works, including line to leader, leader to tippet, indicators, weight, tandem rigs, etc.

I was taught the basics by a wonderful instructor, and was left to go off on the stream and learn on my own. I only got instruction when I asked for it, or when I was totally making an idiot of myself. I've developed my own style, methods, and ideas from that... but luckily, I think I have a solid technical background.

The problem was, he'd hand me a pre-rigged rod and some flies. From there, I went and fished. I caught fish, but when he passed and I had to rig my own gear, I felt lost.

Luckily, this forum helped me a ton.

If only the old database still existed. I'd probably point out a few of my posts from three of four years ago where I was asking some of the most painfully basic questions. Those were the days.


Jay,

Thats is probably the most important part of all of this. The understanding and maintenance of the tool. Like with any craft, activity or skill, training is paramount to be efficient and productive. With productiveity comes confidence and confidence builds excellence.

When we do fly fishing clinics we spend a painfully agonizing amount of time on these details. The first three classes are indoors, the fourth is outdoors practicing casting and the last (fifth includes water and hopefully fish)


Back to the subject...I am a "knower of whats important" If I don't know it, It ain't important...so to speak. That doesn't mean I know it all, or everything or even most things. But if I see a hole in the bucket I'm gonna figure out how to fix it and have it not leak again. Just so I won't have to worry about it anymore. I problem I struggled tremendously with over waders......

I was lucky enough to take a flytying class in the winter early on before I ever bought a rod that gave me the fundamentals through casual conversations wit the shop owner and assistant instructors. Picture spending 10 - 3 hour sessions with experienced flyfishers before spring came along.

I can't think of a single thing that was important that created a stumbling block for my continuation. Now improvement and broadening my scope...thats another story. I have continually gathered nuggets along the way. Not in so much as a quest to learn new things but in the casual reading of this and other materials. When I see something that makes sense, I explore it. If I don't think its important...I ignore it.

That's just how I'm wired....

Posted on: 2008/10/15 12:26
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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: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13624
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Uh..everything...

Posted on: 2008/10/15 15:23


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

Joined:
2008/3/20 22:15
Posts: 1789
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This is a subject near and dear to my heart. My son...I hate to keep saying that, you all pretty much know how I feel about my boy.

When he picked up a fly rod so many people offered to take him fishing. One was even a guide. The problem is, when they take you fishing they throw a few flies at you and they fish. He struggled and figured out allot from listening more to the guys that tied the flies then the ones that fished them. It did help but I can tell you it is worth catching a clinic or two from some experts. Lucky for my son he found the very best after probably a very embarrassing premier on his part. The bonus is that for the youngsters anyway they can also develop the ethics as well as the skills in doing what we all love, hooking up with some respected pros.

I could never thank all the people that helped my son. The list started out small and has grown amazingly and everyone in it is awesome. If anyone needs help, really all you need to do is ask. If you don't get the answer you need ask again. That's my advice and that is exactly what my son did. This is a great forum to ask anything. A great place to start and then go from there.

Posted on: 2008/10/18 19:50


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

Joined:
2006/9/16 15:52
From Bucks County
Posts: 621
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Lessons Learned

A Wooly Bugger will not float regardless of how much floatant you spray on it.

Waders leak only in the early spring and only after you’ve hiked at least one mile in to where you want to go.

8X Fluorocarbon tippet is a scam. You can’t see it, you can’t feel it. It’s not unlike buying a litter of Puka’s, (Large invisible rabbits usually named Harvey), in that it is an act of faith.

Fish found under a bridge are easily spotted and never caught.

Golden Retriever hair makes lousy fly tying material.

Mink coats make great fly tying material.

No one fishes wet flies anymore and that’s a shame.

To most of us the average hatch consists of black bugs, brown bugs and white bugs; in that order. How many folks out there actually saw a #22 Sulphur float to the surface around nine fifteen at night?

Given the cost of equipment and not factoring in Catch and Release regulations, the average cost of any trout is at least $1634.18 per pound.

Given the right circumstances, it is entirely possible to tie a dropper to itself.

When even considering the purchase of a new fly rod, you have all the moral fiber of a dog in heat.

Brook Trout are God’s way of reminding us everything is going to be alright.

Yes, you can tie a weight forward line onto the backing backwards. Twice actually.

You only appreciate de-barbing hooks until you have one in your nose. You look really stupid too.

After two years, your vest, regardless of who makes it, does not have enough pockets.

If you tie your own flies you will save lots of money. Yeah, right.

Always carry a net and a whistle. You may feel you may never need them. You will. And you will be glad you have them.

Despite what my wife says, you cannot cast a fly 1214 times over a trout and convince it there is a hatch going on. She can. You and I cannot.

The lessons you remember the most are from those you have met on the stream.

Posted on: 2008/10/18 20:07


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

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2008/3/20 22:15
Posts: 1789
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Bravo!!!

Posted on: 2008/10/18 20:19


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?
Moderator
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8997
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Good stuff Rolf.

Posted on: 2008/10/19 6:52


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

Joined:
2008/10/25 14:19
From York County
Posts: 2129
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I like the line about the dropper. Made me laugh. Use your imagination

Posted on: 2008/11/1 16:28


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

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2006/9/12 21:16
From Suburban Pittsburgh
Posts: 1191
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Rolf-that was a great read! Thanks for taking the time to put that list together.

Acristic-great suggestion with warm water fly fishing! Along with what you mentioned it's a great way to practice technique and learn the streams you fish. I've started to really enjoy going after smallies in the lul between spring/early summer trout and fall trout. Next year, I simply must find time to fish the white fly hatch on Slippery Rock Creek!

Fly fishing for me is broken down into at least 3 categories-fishing, tying, and the entomology.

I am pretty much self taught fishing, although about 3 years after I'd learned all of my bad habits the light went off. I took a lesson which helped me with fishing technique, knot work, casting teqnique and basic terminology. That was the best investment related to fly fishing I've ever made. Not only did the gentleman guide me and give me stream knowledge, but he helped me answer all of the fly fishing questions I had. That revolutionized my fly fishing experience.

Tying-also self taught, and thank god for various websites, I've learned lots anad have come a long way since I tied my first fly. I'm still learning though and I have yet to take a lesson. Also guys at the fly shops I patronize have been extremely helpful.

Entomology is the puzzle that I'm still working the most on. I know how to read hatch charts and can read to select sizes of certain insects, and I can for the most part find something close enough to match or at least find something the fish take. What I would like to become more proficient at is knowing more about life cycles, identifying hatches, etc.

There are so many aspects of fly fishing and I think that's whaat fuels my passion for it. I'm not an expert, but I do pretty well and have come a long way, but I'll never stop trying to learn more. Most important though is that I have fun, that's really what it's all about.

Posted on: 2008/11/1 21:53
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Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

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2006/9/11 11:41
From bucks cty
Posts: 997
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Good job ROLF. You might add that by the time you learn to tie on a size 24 fly on a #7 tippet with a good knot your eyes and fingers have aged to the point you can't see the tippet and have no dexterity left in your fingers.

Personally the rigging, knots etc. are the easiest to learn from a book. Reading water, selecting a fly, and what to do once the first fly doesn't work is the learning that could (for me) be enhanced with some guidance from an experienced fly-fisher.

Posted on: 2008/11/11 12:22


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

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2007/4/25 10:02
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Rolf- nice work.


Here are some additional thoughts on the subject:

There is a 20% chance my fly line will be wrapped around my rod when rigging- and this is after I checked it. Probably about the same percentage for an indicator- already tied on my nymphs.
Maybe I am just in a hurry.

Fish wet flies!

Posted on: 2008/11/13 10:24
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I flyfish because I enjoy it.


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

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2008/11/4 15:20
From Upper Saucon, PA
Posts: 204
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I as others learned the sport from someone who spent many hours on the stream. He taught me from the ground up, first seeing what is actually living in the stream at that point in time and matching something in the fly box to it. Then learning to read the water, what rocks do, where snags and fish could be. Then its climb in and learn the simplre cast, roll, etc. From there it was spending hours walking from spot to spot jumping each other and he watched me, gave tips, instructions, and hints.

After that it was spend every moment I could in a stream on my own, remembering what he told and taught me. Finally there came the day that when I was able to climb into a stream and hold my own fish for fish with the gent who taught me. Now I find myself tying San Juans for him, sharing some flies that always work in certain streams for me, and showing him the results of the hours of stream time he spent teaching me the very best sport a person could enjoy. Share your fly fishing skilles and talents with someone esle, to keep our sport growing.

Posted on: 2009/1/19 22:58
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Tight Lines......


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

Joined:
2008/6/25 9:41
From Pgh
Posts: 1235
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Here's what I wish someone would've told me when I started...

You don't have to spend as much money on equipment as many -- primarily the media, fly shop owners and equipment manufacturers -- imply you should.

After 30 years and thousands of dollars, here's what I've finally come back to for the majority of my fishing:

Pflueger reel
Cortland 333 line (I always replace my line every season anyway)
Clearwater waders -- the cheaper Orvis option -- currently in their 5th year with a few patches
Plastic Downs Chest Box
$15 fanny pack filled with Gremlin split shot, leader material, needle nose pliers, a pair of 99 cent nail clippers

(OK, I do splurge on the rod, usually SAGE, but you don't have to. Today, there are so many great, inexpensive options.)

Had I taken all that money I frivolously spent over the years and invested it in the stock market...

never mind.

Posted on: 2009/1/21 13:40
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"I used to like fishing because I thought it had some larger significance. Now I like fishing because it's the one thing I can think of that probably doesn't." --John Gierach


Re: Beginners- what were'nt you told?

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4279
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I wish that I had learned proper casting technique from the getgo.
The person who taught me, pretty much just handed me a rod and said "do it". I started casting with lots of wrist action, which seemed to be the easiest way to gain accuracy.
And I just kept fishing that way for years.
And now, even though I know that it's not the best way to cast, it's a habit that I've never been really able to break completely

Posted on: 2009/1/22 9:25



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