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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Carbon County, PA
Re: Looking for starter fly fishing help!!!
Others have given solid advice on fly rod/reel starter outfits (my first two setups were a LL Bean combo & then a Cabelas combo.) I will give some advice on fly selection. First and foremost keep it simple. As a beginner it is much more important to learn basic casting & presentation skills than to match the hatch. There are no more than a half-dozen fly patterns necessary to catch plenty of fish on. Right now, more important is to develop casting skills and learn to observe the water for current seams and drift and feeding patterns of fish. Just quietly observing the water for a few minutes before ever casting can help you catch more fish.
The big difference between casting a spinning rod and moving to a flyrod is to learn to slow down & shorten your casting stroke. A basic 10 & 2 stroke, letting the rod and line work for you. In spinfishing, the weight of the lure propels the line and thus a stronger, quicker stroke is needed. In flyfishing, the weight of the line and length & flex of the rod propels the fly. A bit slower, more graceful stroke is required.
The basic patterns & sizes you'll likely want for your first season or two are: Beadhead Black woolly bugger (#6,#8), Beadhead Hare's Ear nymph (#14,#16,#18), Adams dry fly (#14,#16), Elk Hair Caddis dry fly (#14,#16), Beadhead Prince nymph (#14,#16), Ant (#14,#16)
Catch fish on those and then slowly begin to expand from there. Perhaps one of the first match the hatch patterns to try would be the Sulphur dry (#14,#16,#18). They tend to hatch late afternoon and evenings from about mid-May to mid-June. By that time you will likely be proficient enough to fish this hatch with some success. Another fun one is the Isonychia or Slate Drake. It's a big fly (#10,#12) that hatches in mid to late June and then again in late August, September. It's not a big hatch, the flies tend to trickle off the water throughout the afternoon but the fish tend to take this fly aggressively.
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