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I've been a trout fisherman for a long time, and I've caught my share. However, I've always been a spinning gear guy, and I've thought about learning how to fly fish, especially up in southern Potter near my cabin. So my question is, what's the best way to get started learning? Is there a certain book I should read? On-line info? Etc. Then I'll be looking for tips on equipment. Hopefully, I can even learn to tie my own flies at some point. Appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.
 

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best thing I can think to do is talk to someone who has been flyfishing for a long time. ask them what setups work best for diffrent types of flyfishing etc. then get gear you need then go streamside with them so they can help you learn.

dont worry if you find you dont have patience for fishing drys, because nymphing is insane productive even with limited skill.
 

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My friend started me out by using a 5 weight medium fast rod and a line to match it. The line was a 5 weight forwarding. Also, be open to use flies on top, but mostly under the surface. Of all the flies I been using in the past, the nymph family has been the most productive. Some scoff at the underwater flies as they think they are purist of only using top water flies. Sure, its the most enjoyable way of catching fish, with out a doubt! But 90% of the fish are caught below the surface. At least in my case! LOL!

No need to start out by buying a $1000 outfit. I used a Cabela's Three Forks rod for a couple of years, still caught fish. Cant beat the $100 price tag. Buy some flies, but sooner or later you will think about tying, and it will turn into an addiction! Besides that, you will save some money. $2 per fly can add up to some serious money leaving your wallet.

As far as flies. My suggestion would be to find out what streams you will be fishing and get some flies for them particular waters. In your fly arsenal, keep some zebra midges in there. Sizes 16-20, colors black and red to start. Mostly use the size 18-20. I have TONS of zebra midges in multiple colors. My favorite would be the red in size 20. Learn to use a strike indicator.

Here are some of the boxes I have. There are much fuller than pictured. But you will get some ideas.




Red Midge


San Juan Worms & Green Weenies
 

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I agree with Life NRA on all of what he said. That doesn't happen a lot on this website.


I am a die hard nymph fisherman. I have enough material to tie about 500 wooly buggers but haven't really even touched a streamer in a while. Once you get hook nymph fishing it is tough to quite.

Where in southern potter is you cabin. I camp just above the tannery in on the first day of trout every year. I'd be willing to teach you a few things if you are up there as well. Ill even give you a few flies. Gettin people involved in this sport is what i love most about it. Any one who has been at it for a while will tell you the same. It will totaly respark how you feel on trout fishing.

I would suggest getting a mentor so to speak. Given you back ground i would expect you know how to read water. But look for some one to explain how fish feed on the aquatic insect. Look up different life cycles of these bugs as well.

Feel free to PM me any time with any question.

I have just found a fly reel company called RISEN FLY REELS today. They are out of BEAVER FALLS PA. I am getting a reel sent to me to look over. I will let you know. The price is not bad for how well it is constructed.

I really loved my Redington Cross water. Just as lifeNRA has said it is hard to beat a 9' medium fast action rod in 5 wt. I since moved up to a 9' 5 wt fast action to chuck bigger flies but still miss my cross water.

The whole crosswater set up is around 100 bucks wich has a lot of value for a starter. The reels i had told you about before are solid cnc machined. I am really excited to get this and give it a good look over.

There are many guys on here who will be willing to help you. Good luck and stick too it. Once you get the hang of things you willl be amazed at the amount of fish you will catch.
 

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Here's something I wrote on the subject after my first year of fly fishing. I didn't get into equipment too much but you may find something useful in it. Looking at it now there is a lot more I would have added but I think there is some good general information in there.

Beginning Fly Fishing.......My Take

Unlike Mike I'm a streamer fanatic.
It's probably closer to what you're used to with using spinners and aside from dry flies, I think it's the most fun way to fish with a fly rod.
 

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bowmike said:
I am a die hard nymph fisherman.

I have just found a fly reel company called RISEN FLY REELS today. They are out of BEAVER FALLS PA. I am getting a reel sent to me to look over. I will let you know. The price is not bad for how well it is constructed.
I agree with both lifeNRA and Bowmike I'd rather nymph than dry. I started with an Cortlan GRF rod and a cheap click paw reel. I wish they would have had set up's like the three fork or crosswater when I started.

Bowmike which model? Let use know your thoughts
 

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http://www.risenfly.com/collections/frontpage/products/fly-reel

This is the one I will be testing out this weekend. The owner gave me a rundown on hit processes, as well as the mechanics of the reels. Ill test it out and let you know.

I currently have the Okuma Slv now. This reel works great for what i want. I am really critiqual on drag systems. I love getting the trout on the reel and playing them out with the drag. From what the owner told me his drag systems work great and are a cork system.

His more expensive reel is completly water proof. I am a little too low budget to purchase this reel but the options are interesting to me.
 

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casting will be your biggest challenge. totally different from spin fish casting. just think of nymph fishing the same as bait fishing. get the fly/bait down to where the fish are with the least weight and natural deift. streamers is like fishing a minnow. there is also a technique called mending which is flipping your flyline up stream to put slack in it to hget the fly to the bottom and get a natual drift.

if you can afford it take a class at a fly shop or hire a guide. the info and feedback you get will save you months of reading and trial and error.
 

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Hey, I am an old river smallmouth fisherman! There is nothing better than to see a fish smack the daylights out of a top water lure. But then I am also practical, I want to catch fish. So if it means going below, I am there!
 

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I got my Risen Fly Reel. WOW!!! I will be buying one soon and may even become a distributor of these. I am amazed with the quality of these reel, and the fact they are made in PA. Look for pictures coming soon.
 

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All great advice. Something that the guys kind of touched on with the "purists" is the elite fly fishermen. They're you're biggest adversary on the water. They will critique the way you do everything and scoff at your newcomer techniques. Just laugh it off and agree with them. If you're not wearing 700 dollar Simms waders, they don't think they should share the river with you.
 

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Rail king hit this on the head. The first time i met him, when he was a newbie, I was wearing cut off camo shorts, sleevless shirt, camo hat, and sneakers. I could only imagine what he thought. I offered to take him up where a large golden rainbow was and let him catch the fish. He said no but the look on the face when i came down and dropped this in the water in front of him
:





Thanks for taking that picture by the way rail.


Fly fishing is not about what brand gear you have, how much you spend on your clothes, It is about getting closer to the stream, learning the ecology, and matching the hatch. All the other stuff is bologna. Don't get me wrong if i see a product that I know is great value I will promote it and suggest it to others.

You can look like your on the outdoor channel but i would be the one looking like I do in the picture above and laugh at catching more fish than you and you 1200 set up and you 800 in gear.


ALSO:

Best advice on getting started is leave your spinning gear at home. PERIOD!! You will get frustrated in the beginning at not catching anything and resort to grabbing old faithful. I did. IF you leave it at home it forces you to fly fish.
 

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Railking said:
All great advice. Something that the guys kind of touched on with the "purists" is the elite fly fishermen. They're you're biggest adversary on the water. They will critique the way you do everything and scoff at your newcomer techniques. Just laugh it off and agree with them. If you're not wearing 700 dollar Simms waders, they don't think they should share the river with you.
I guess im one of the lucky ones, i have spend alot of time in fly areas and i have never ran into anybody like that...when i first started to fly fish i got alot of help from different people along the stream...i have fish a very long time and most of the time i was using spinning gear and thats when i run into very rude people (not a knock on spin fishing guys)....in the 4 years that i have been hardcore at fly fishing i have met alot of people and made some great friends, in the years before that i dont think i have ever really made a friendship along a stream......so if u ever see me in my orvis waders, wading jacket and boots, my fishpond vest and my orvis rod with lamson reel dont be afraid to stop and talk with me, im sure i will give you a few flies also.
 

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I too have met a lot of good guys while fly fishing. I just seem to run into a few "purists" when I hit some streams. Not saying I haven't ran into plenty of spin fishermen that were jerks. Most of the guy I run into are cordial and willing to give you a few pointers if they see you are not catching anything. My biggest pet peeve are the guys who look down upon fishing stocked waters. If its not a native brookie or wild brown, it's below them. A fish is a fish to me, and while catching those little natives is fun, so is catching big stockies. There's a lot of guys who shy away from the sport because of those type. I know that's why I did. I thought it was a rich mans sport. Turns out, I don't need a Hardy reel to catch fish. I found a Redington RS-3 on craigslist for $150 and the "dumb" stockies don't know the difference. I'd just hate to see somebody turned away from the sport because the first person they ran into on the stream was "that guy". I was just trying to make the point of buying gear within your means.
 

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some of the nicest people you will ever meet will be the ones that look like they are purist. just cant judge a book by its cover, thats why I say hello to everyone I see no matter who, if they dont say anything or say something negative just keep walkin.

caught a 17inch brown on a 30$ setup my first year flyfishing.
 

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Here is a close up of the Risen reel and one of my coyote streamers. Reel is very quiet and smooth. I may get to test it out this weekend.

 

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just because someone dress like they're on the cover of orvise does not meaan they are a purist or a snob. I happen to like the quality of high end items and I'm at the point in life I can afford to treat myself. In my younger days I dreamed of being able to own high end, quality equpment. so now that i fish a $1000 outfit 1 day and a $200 the next week while wet wading, does that change my purity? i hope not.
 

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RIZ said:
just because someone dress like they're on the cover of orvise does not meaan they are a purist or a snob. I happen to like the quality of high end items and I'm at the point in life I can afford to treat myself. In my younger days I dreamed of being able to own high end, quality equpment. so now that i fish a $1000 outfit 1 day and a $200 the next week while wet wading, does that change my purity? i hope not.
no it doesnt, just fish the 1000$ setup while wet wading and enjoy the looks on peoples faces.
 
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