Overwhelmed

C

Chris17233

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Hi name is Chris, I just turned 41 I’m debating on getting into fly fishing, something to past the time when I’m not chasing deer or turkeys. Been looking at all the gear an other things that are involved with fly fishing an it’s overwhelming to say the least lol . Hunting is so much easier to learn an read sign. Just wondering what got you guys into fly fishing an how many years you’ve been at it ? Thanks
 
pcray1231

pcray1231

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I grew up a trout fisherman (spinning rods) from a young age, and switched to fly fishing around my college years. So, been fishing 35 years ish, the transition to fly gear was around 20 years ago, although I still have and use spinning rods on occasion. I just turned 42.

I hunt too, and it's absolutely NOT more complicated than hunting. You can make either complicated if you want to get into all the stands, cameras, scent control, variety of guns and bows, etc. used in hunting. Heck some people farm food plots and change what soap they use to shower with and wash their clothes in. Think about what someone who never hunted must think they need to get if they watch a hunting show on TV. There's an industry pushing specialty items. Some of them are cool and can help. But they aren't necessary...

All you really need to hunt is some hunting clothes and a weapon and a license and march yourself out into the woods, right? Same with fishing. Waders, fly rod, fly reel, line, a few leaders, a few flies, get yourself on the water and just start. Start simple and see where it takes you from there.

Casting takes some practice. So does shooting birds on the flush...

And where are you from? Just like hunting, always helps to have someone take ya out. There's people from all over the state on these boards.
 
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Bamboozle

Bamboozle

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Chris:

I fished since I was in my teens and I considered fly-fishing a natural progression. However when I started, there weren’t nearly as many choices in everything so it was a pretty simple matter to go shopping for information or tackle.

Today you have a zillion choices in everything related to fly-fishing and two zillion opinions. Therefore, even for those of us who have been at it for a long time, it can be overwhelming.

I’ll give you a couple of suggestions to dumb it down:

  • Look at the SMALL picture as in identify what kind of fish you want to chase, and focus on that FIRST. If all you ever did for the first year was fly fish for panfish, you would have a blast. You can always expand your horizons later if you still have the urge
  • Decide on how much you want to spend to target those fish, keeping in mind you DON’T have to spend a lot or buy everything at once or at all.
  • Fishing shows can be fun, but even more overwhelming with all of the stuff unless you have some focus so I would avoid them until you get some experience. Trust me, there will be plenty of time for that later. However, being around people who want to take your money when you don't know what you want or are doing isn't a good thing. ;)
  • IF you can focus on a fish or two you may want to target, ask for suggestions on books or videos to help you learn more about your specific intended quarry. FWIW – I read a LOT of books before I ever picked up a fly rod!
  • Ignore the urge to try fly-tying and plan on buying flies in the beginning or even forever if you choose. Fly tying by itself can make your head explode.
  • Find a mentor that does not own a fly shop or have an agenda, someone whose sole focus will be to help you learn & focus on what YOU want to do. Have that mentor take you out to play around with a fly rod and hopefully teach you cast.
  • If you are still interested after that, ask for tackle suggestions based on your goals and budget.

Good luck & most of all have fun!!
 
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C

Chris17233

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Pennsylvania
I grew up a trout fisherman (spinning rods) from a young age, and switched to fly fishing around my college years. So, been fishing 35 years ish, the transition to fly gear was around 20 years ago, although I still have and use spinning rods on occasion. I just turned 42.

I hunt too, and it's absolutely NOT more complicated than hunting. You can make either complicated if you want to get into all the stands, cameras, scent control, variety of guns and bows, etc. used in hunting. Heck some people farm food plots and change what soap they use to shower with and wash their clothes in. Think about what someone who never hunted must think they need to get if they watch a hunting show on TV. There's an industry pushing specialty items. Some of them are cool and can help. But they aren't necessary...

All you really need to hunt is some hunting clothes and a weapon and a license and march yourself out into the woods, right? Same with fishing. Waders, fly rod, fly reel, line, a few leaders, a few flies, get yourself on the water and just start. Start simple and see where it takes you from there.

Casting takes some practice. So does shooting birds on the flush...

And where are you from? Just like hunting, always helps to have someone take ya out. There's people from all over the state on these boards.
I’m from Fulton county pa we have smaller streams so what size fly rod an weigh would be best for trout ? I’d like a rod an reel that I can use for trout an maybe panfish to
 
Bamboozle

Bamboozle

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Initially, I'd try and choose your destination based on your tackle, not the other way around because you will have a lot more versatility with a longer rod than one ideally suited to a particular small stream.

For example, I fish a bunch of small streams on my side of PA, but the rods I use aren't very practical for much else which is fine when you have been at it as long as I have and own as many rods as I do.

With that said, a rod length of 7-1/2 feet that throws a 5wt fly line used to be considered ideally suited for trout fishing in Pennsylvania and would be fine for panfish on a lake or pond. I'd use that as a starting point or even something as long as 8 feet which might be a LITTLE tight on the smallest creeks, however about perfect for just about any place else.

Someone in your neck of the woods who knows the places you want to fish will be a big help in drilling down an initial rod length and I'm sure you will get a ton of suggestions, but you are on the right path.
 
pcray1231

pcray1231

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Generally a 9 ft 5 wt is the standard go to in PA. But thats for your typical medium to largest stream. Small stream rods ae usually 7 or 7 1/2 ft in length. Just for negotiating tight places.

A major advantage to going the "all 5 wt" route is you can use 1 reel/line setup and switch rods. It is real difficult to even find a 7 1/2 ft 5 wt, they don't make em! To my chagrin. Sooo many 2 and 3 wts on the market in shorter rods. But for small stream work, you can throw a 5 wt line on a 4 wt rod and be just fine.

As a 1st rod, I would recommend something in the 8 or 8 1/2 ft range. 5 wt. You can handle any trout stream with that. Don't go crazy expensive on it.

Down the road you'll find you want a litte longer on big water and shorter on small water. Up to you on how much its worth it after getting used to the tweener rod.
 
UncleShorty

UncleShorty

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Fly fishing is just like any other hobby. You can spend as much money as you'd like.

Don't skimp on rod, reel and line. But you don't need $50 nippers and $300 sunglasses to become a successful fly fisherman...
 
K

kbobb

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May 24, 2011
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Hi name is Chris, I just turned 41 I’m debating on getting into fly fishing, something to past the time when I’m not chasing deer or turkeys. Been looking at all the gear an other things that are involved with fly fishing an it’s overwhelming to say the least lol . Hunting is so much easier to learn an read sign. Just wondering what got you guys into fly fishing an how many years you’ve been at it ? Thanks
Headed into my 50th year of fly fishing. My dad was a big fly fisher as were many of his friends, he was buddies with Al Troth and Chaunce Lively, among others. He taught fly tying classes in the 70s and I used to go with him and hang out there and make the wildest looking things on hooks. It was a time when a young kid could roam the streams on opening day, bug the old guys, get some instruction from strangers and have a blast.

My suggestion, before you start laying out tons of cash, is to hook up with someone who has been FFing for a while, maybe borrow a rod and reel for a day, and see what actually works on the stream where you will most likely fish. Same for flies. A seasoned angler (not just FFer) can shorten your learning curve considerably - just imagine if a new hunter went out with you how much you could teach and cut years off his learning curve.
Learning how to cast, spot where fish lie in the stream, what bugs are coming off, what temps fish are active, is kinda like patterning deer - feeding areas, bedding areas, etc.

many modern fly rods are under-rated regarding line size so if you want to fish a 5 wt line don't rule out some rods labeled 4 wt - you just gotta try them with the line you will fish with at the distances you will fish. Again, getting help from someone who already has this gear will be a great help. For me there is a big difference between casting a rod in the shop parking lot and casting to a fish with brush, currents, etc.

I also chased deer and turkey for many years but the hunting scene is kinda becoming "been there done that" for me lately with CWD, Lyme, EHD, etc.. FFing is a great pass time you can do for the rest of your life.

Also - don't get too overwhelmed at first - think of it as bait fishing but using flies instead of worms and you'll probably catch some fish.

Edit - I always start new FFers on bluegills at a local pond - you can actually catch some on surface flies and get positive feedback
 
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Tigereye

Tigereye

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I have a similar history as alot Herr. Started with spinners and minnows and moved on to flies in my college years. Been fishing flies ever since 40 + years.

You do not need alot of expensive gear to fly fish. Trip to wal mart and $100 can get you on the water.

Agree that a 9 ft 5 would is the go to rod for pa fishing. I call it the 30-06 of fly rods. That said, 8 -9 ft rods in 4 or 5 weight will do all you ask. As a hunter, this is just like 270 vs 30-06 debate.

A floating line to match the rod, a 7.5 ft 3x tapered leader and spool of 4x tippet and your good to go.

Don't get caught up in all the hype around different styles of nymphing, streamers, wet fly fishing and using small flies. Start simple. Fish when conditions are ideal (Typically mid may to mid june). Dry fly fishing is very visual, you can see what is happening and you can practice your casting. You will also only need a hand full of flies. You can very easily be successful on day one.
 
P

poopdeck

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Chris, Lefty Kreh famously said, there’s more bullshit in fly fishing than a Kansas feed lot. This could not be more true to every aspect of fly fishing. fly fishing need not be expensive and can be done with the most inexpensive of gear, especially when targeting PA trout. Fly fishing is not difficult. You do not need an advance degree in entomology or Latin. Casting is not difficult it is only different. If you buy Into all the BS you will never start because you will be scared off by the perceived expense, advance skill set, intelect, years of learning, and all the other hooey. Jump in at the most basic of level, enjoy it and progress at your own speed or just keep it basic. the Hardest part is getting started so just jump in. I guarantee you will not be frustrated by a 150 dollar cabelas combo.

I started late in life because I drank the koolaid and believed it was difficult and expensive. I started about 12 or 13 years ago and I still use the 89 dollar cabelas 5 wt combo I started with. I have other rods but I still take the cabelas rod out monthly To beat about the WW creeks.
 
redietz

redietz

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I started late in life because I drank the koolaid and believed it was difficult and expensive. I started about 12 or 13 years ago and I still use the 89 dollar cabelas 5 wt combo I started with. I have other rods but I still take the cabelas rod out monthly To beat about the WW creeks.
I still fish a nineteen dollar rod I bought in the early 70's -- in fact I've caught more fish on that rod than any I own (and yes, it's a 7 1/2 foot five weight.)

You definitely don't need to spend big bucks to get into fly fishing.
 
J

JeffK

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It isn't as hard as some would think. Most tackle suppliers have beginner outfits at a reasonable price. The technology is such these days that any one from a reasonable supplier ( Beans, Orvis, Cortland, Cabelas, Bass Pro etc) will work just fine. They are designed so that you enjoy fly fishing and will become a long term customer. One of the best outfits I had was a Bean's 7 1/2 ft 5 wt Streamflex outfit. BTW, these outfits are advertised as forgiving and fun to use - who doesn't like that.

Fly selection shouldn't be daunting - just need a handful of tried and true flies and you are set to go. It's more the presentation than fly selection most of the time IMHO. Plenty of threads on this forum about 5 or 10 need to have flies. All of these selections catch fish. Some part of fly selection can be where you are fishing though.
 
StreamBottom

StreamBottom

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Once you decide on a fly rod / reel setup. Check out the used market for rods and reels. (swap forum on this site)
There's always deals to be had. Folks are always upgrading their setup.

good luck!🍻
 
JerryC

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I got into fly fishing about 30 years ago. I'd spent most of my previous fishing life using spinning tackle. I'd worked my way down to fishing ultra-light gear. The next step was fly fishing. There are folks out there that have a fly rod and line for every situation. I've kept it simple. These days I have two 5 wgts, three 6 wgts and three 8 wgts. I use the same type of line, whether I'm fishing fresh water or salt water, cold water, cool water, warm water, or very warm water. Same reels get used for all the venues. I'd been building my own rods for years, so it was just the matter of going up to Dale Clemens' store and asking what was a good all-around fly rod blank. A 6 wgt was recommended. So I started off fishing for trout with a 8 1/2' six wgt. Later I built a 5 wgt for trout, and eventually for panfish.
Given where you fish and what you plan to fish for. I'd suggest an 8 or 8 1/2 foot 5 wgt. It will handle any trout you're going to catch. I've fished flies down to size 30 with mine for trout and I've caught bass up to 17 inches on it.
Rods can be slow, moderate or fast action. As a beginner I would recommend avoiding fast action rods.
If you can find a slow or moderate action rod go for it. They're more forgiving of the mistakes you'll make when learning to cast. All mine are slow to moderate action, which says something about my casting abilities.
All reels are is a tool that's used to hold line. A drag is nice, but not essential. Get a decent one within your budget. If you can get get a spare spool with it, even better. As you progress you may want to start using either and intermediate or a sinking line. That way you won't have to buy a new reel. All my fresh water reels are low/moderate end Orvis reels. The last two I brought ran me $120 each, with the spare spool. I'm sure they've gone up in price since then.
Start with a plain old WFF(weight forward floating line) ignore trout tapers, bass tapers, salt water tapers, or as I already mentioned, lines for specific temperatures.
As already mentioned look at the various combos out there. Cabela's, Bass Pro, Orvis, L.L Bean and I assume some of the rod companies offer them. The only one I have experience with is Cabela's I brought my nephew one when he was 12. He's turning 40 next month. He fishes but not fly fishing these days. I found the rod tucked in a corner of his old bedroom last year. I repossessed it, and rebuilt it in the style I like. That's why I own three 6 wgts.
Good luck with it. Next thing you'll want to start tying flies and that's a whole other rabbit hole.
 
DomR

DomR

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If you are exclusively looking at graphite...
Myself I'd recommend a used glass rod like a Fenwick Feralite, more forgiving to a new caster than a pool cue stiff, modern graphite rod.
 
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