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Newbie Questions

Joined:
12/22 12:09
From Mount Joy
Posts: 4
Offline
Firstly, I just joined the site today and excited to get involved and talk to you guys that know 1000x more than I do.

I am a very avid bass fisherman living in Lancaster, PA. I have zero equipment or experience with fly fishing but I really want to get into it this spring and summer. I've found that the areas that I bass fish really shut down come the end of June. So, being able to have more opportunities for smallies in Mill Creek and the Conestoga during the summer months would be fantastic.

Like I said, I have no equipment (rod, reel, flies, etc.) at all so any advice from you all who fish for stream or small-river smallies would be much appreciated.

Also, any advice in terms of the best way to learn the basics of casting would be great as well.

Thanks guys and looking forward to learning as much as possible and hopefully meeting some of you as well. Take care.

Posted on: 12/22 13:26


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
2010/7/31 14:41
From SCPA
Posts: 303
Offline
Great choice of species to chase with a fly rod. With trout, and smallies even more, my best advice would be to keep things simple. Get a 6wt (or somewhere around there) combo, and a selection of a few good smallie flies (clousers, big black buggers, crayfish, poppers), and get out on the stream. One nice thing about smallie waters is that they are generally larger and more open than trout waters, which makes casting easier. Smallies are not the pickiest species when it comes to flies or approach, and they fight better than most any other fish out there. My number one suggestion would be to spend time on the water. Once you hook into a nice smallie on a fly rod you'll never want to go back.

Posted on: 12/22 14:39


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
12/7 0:10
From SE Pa
Posts: 172
Offline
I started this past spring with a cabelas three forks 5wt combo that cost about 80 bucks. Hours of youtube videos, about two hours in my backyard followed by many hours on a secluded section of creek where others would not see me wrapping leaders around my hat. Then finally hours and hours where I could be seen by others. It's not as hard as some people make it out to be its only different. I am certainly no expert and I still have plenty to learn with my casting but I found starting out to be quite easy. I was very happy with my cabelas combo and it did not frustrate me while I was learning to cast. I have since bought another fly rod but I still use the 5wt a lot. Dont buy into the idea that you need all kinds of expensive equipment to start.

Posted on: 12/22 16:53


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
12/22 12:09
From Mount Joy
Posts: 4
Offline
Thanks for the thoughts guys. I have big time spring fever already which is not good considering it's only Christmas. Luckily, I have two nice open ponds at my apartment complex (Florin Hill in Mount Joy) where I can practice all I want. Unfortunately, I am in plain view but I don't mind spectators.

I've lived on the "labels don't catch fish" motto so buying the expensive stuff definitely isn't a priority for me.

I am considering starting with a 5 or 6wt and going from there. Any thoughts on good starter rods or combos would be great.

Again, thanks for the thoughts.

Posted on: 12/22 17:14


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
2010/7/31 14:41
From SCPA
Posts: 303
Offline
I started with the Hobbs creek combo from bass pro. Still use it for wading smallie fishing. If you're in mt. joy, you're not too far from the swattie- one of my favorite creeks for smallies.

Posted on: 12/22 17:54


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
12/22 12:09
From Mount Joy
Posts: 4
Offline
I've never fished there klingy but have thought about it a lot. Where are some access areas for wading? People have told me to hit it for smallies before but I haven't done it yet.

Posted on: 12/22 18:50


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2575
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Rascal,

Welcome to the obsession known as flly fishing. I'm not too far from you and if you want some help getting started, give me a shout. We do a "newbie" get together on the little Lehigh in lelate winter. Help on picking gear, tying flies, finding streams, casting and knot tying. We then head over and do a little fish in the afternoon. Keep an eye open for Ed to start the thread.

Posted on: 12/22 20:56
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"Excelling at making people angry since 1967"


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
2013/8/6 21:44
Posts: 629
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I would stick with a 5wt if you want to use it for both bass and trout.

I would take these guys up on the get together they're talking about. Having someone show you the ropes can cut down the learning process considerably and help detect small defects before they become an issue.

Posted on: 12/22 21:11
_________________
"I think I fish, in part, because it's an anti-social, bohemian business that, when gone about properly, puts you forever outside the mainstream culture without actually landing you in an institution." John Gierach


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1818
Online
Welcome Rascal.

I know the Swatara very well. There's generally good access to most of it with very little posting. Check out the Hummel Nature Trail parking lots in Hummelstown and the small park in Hershey just downstream of Rt. 39. In Lebanon County there's parking areas at Harpers Tavern, Waterworks, and a long stretch of accessible water in Swatara State Park. If you have any specific questions on a stretch, shoot me a PM.

As far as the rod, if you're going to be throwing Smallie flies, I'd strongly recommend the 6wt over the 5wt...it will be easier to cast the kind of flies you'll be tossing. Check out any of the BPS or Cabelas house line combos. You'll have several options for $100 or less and they'll all catch fish just fine as you're learning. There's also good deals on Redington's outgoing Pursuit line right now, which is a very nice rod. It can probably be had as a combo for under $100 now. I'd look at 9'0 6wt combos with weight forward floating line.

As kray mentioned try to attend one of the newbie jam function. If there's enough interest maybe we can put together a newbie warmwater jam this year. Plenty of good midsize Smallie creeks in the area.

Posted on: 12/22 21:16


Re: Newbie Questions
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 8663
Offline
Welcome Rascal.

I'm an avid bass guy too. Although you're new to fly fishing (FFing)....much of what you know about bass fishing with spin gear will carry over to FFing. I'll second the advice to get a 6WT if you think you are mainly going to pursue bass with maybe some trout fishing on the side. Take some time to read through this Beginner's Forum and also the Warm Water forum as there is a great deal of info that will be of interest to you. We're a pretty friendly crew around here and like newbies.
Dave

Posted on: 12/22 21:24


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2575
Offline
Good call on the Purist combo. It comes with rod, reel, Rio mainstream line, leader and case. Good deal. Be aware that rod is pretty stiff so you might get a 5 weight and throw a 6 weight on the reel. I can help you find a decent 6 wt line (cortland, SA or Rio) for cheap ($25 or less). Hell, my nephew has a Cabelas 6wt line that's seen little action. He should sell it to$10.

Posted on: 12/22 21:24
_________________
"Excelling at making people angry since 1967"


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
12/22 12:09
From Mount Joy
Posts: 4
Offline
Thanks for all of the thoughts and advice fellas. Gotta say that this is by far the most open and friendly forum I have been on in a while.

I'll definitely check out the "newbie" event. I know next to nothing so anything to get me jump started would be great.

Thanks for the info Swattie. Are you familiar with any of the areas that are closer to where the Swatara meets up with the Susquehanna? The southern end is only a 10 minute drive for me so that would be an awesome place to start out.

Thanks again guys.

Posted on: 12/22 22:31


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1818
Online
Yeah Rascal. Hummelstown is only a few miles up from the mouth. The stretch between there and the mouth at Middletown can be good too. Check out the bridge crossings for access. There's usually a pulloff near the bridges and most aren't posted.

Posted on: 12/22 22:38


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
2010/7/31 14:41
From SCPA
Posts: 303
Offline
Rascal,
Swattie has given you some great spots to try. Another one right in Middletown is hoffer park. Some nice water right out from the park and upstream from there. Keep in mind that the first mile (I think) of all susky tribs are closed to bass fishing during the spring. Not exactly sure where that point is on the swattie, but it's something to keep in mind.

Posted on: 12/22 23:26


Re: Newbie Questions

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 716
Offline
I have three pieces of advice for you.

1. Read this winter, build a solid foundation to build on when you hit the water in the spring. It will help with the cabin fever too. Check out Harry Murray's book Fly fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass and/or Bob Clouser's book Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass. Both cover just about everything soup to nuts.

2. Get a 7 wt. outfit for smallmouth. The heavier line will be very useful with weighted flies and poppers. Someone mentioned the Hobbs Creek outfit from BPS. That was my first outfit. I thought it was a great starter kit. A 9' 2x leader is fine. Switch to 2x fluorocarbon tippet in low clear water. Flies are simple; poppers, weighted streamers, and crayfish patterns. I often only carry 3 flies (1 of each) for an afternoon on the water.

3. You will want to upgrade the line that comes with any outfit when the time is right. You can use the combo line for a season or two or switch it out right away and keep it as a spare. I recommend a bass bug taper to turn over those heavy or wind resistant flies. You'll notice a big difference with a better line.

Good luck and enjoy!

Posted on: 12/23 7:50



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