1. There is not one “right” way to fly fish
Fly-fishing is an individual sport. Every fisherman has his or her own style of fishing. I have taken a lot of advice from many expert fishermen and I have learned many great things from each one. The most important lesson I have learned is to take every bit of advice with a grain of salt. Every fisherman has an opinion on what the best way to catch a fish is. Nine times out of ten those answers are different. Take advice from different fishermen and take the time to give their advice a shot! Keep the good advice and get rid of the bad advice. Always be asking questions to make yourself a better fisherman. Find the system that works best for you and then you will have your own “right” way to fish.
2. Practice, practice, practice
We have all heard the saying, “practice makes perfect.” Fly-fishing takes a lifetime of perfect. Whether it be learning how to tie a fly to your rod, perfecting the cast to get the fly just right on the water, or finding that perfect spot to catch the big fish, practice will make that happen. It is a constant process that takes a lot of refinement. The most common mistake every fly fisherman makes is catching an overhanging tree or bush. Practice casting your rod to keep away from those nasty tree branches getting your fly caught way up high. You’ll burn through a lot of flies and spend more time untangling and cutting line than you will setting a hook. Take time in the back yard where there is open space to get your cast just right. Try out different kinds of casts to avoid any obstacles that could get your line caught. Roll casting is a great way to keep your fly low and underneath all the foliage over the river.
3. Don’t rush to get all the gear you need
Fly-fishing is one of the most enjoyable hobbies you will have! However, it can quickly turn into an all-consuming activity. Start with the basic necessities—a rod, reel, flies, and some floatant. After you have the basics, make sure that it is an activity you enjoy and want to stick with. Then you can start to get all the extra things such as waders, boots, and a fishing vest. It is important to pace yourself. You can get caught up in wanting the latest and greatest money can buy. Start to acquire all the extra things you need to enhance your fly-fishing experience at your own pace. There is not one rod that does it all. But most rods do a lot to get you started. I would recommend some sunglasses to keep your eyes safe from the sun, low hanging tree branches and protection from a poorly made cast.
If you feel like I left out anything on this list, please let me know! I am always looking for new tips and ideas to help me become a better fisherman. Thanks for reading and I hope this post gets you excited about getting on the water!