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MAArcher

I want to be a fly fisherman, but I suck.

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Britlab
14 hours ago, UplandSasquatch said:

I thoroughly enjoy Fly Fishing, but I am by no means a 'Real' fly-fisherman.

 

I started in a club at Penn State and learned on the creeks around there with tiny patterns and delicate bites.

It drove me crazy and my big fingers made tying the flies almost impossible.

 

Then I found out you can fish for big fish with flies.

 

I started tying bunny streamers and Wooly Buggers in big sizes and haven't looked back.


I love catching Bass, Pike, Musky, Salmon, etc on flies that I tied.  It's a blast.

 

If figuring out the intricacies of fly-fishing for trout is dragging you down, I fully suggest you go up in fly size and chase some bigger fish.  You won't catch as many as with spinning gear, but it's a TON of fun.

My cold water fly fishing started long ago at the Little J and Spruce Creek.  I stopped going about 5 years ago as the fishing got worse and worse (for me).

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rich223

Fly fishing is like any kind of fishing if the fish are actively feeding and you can match what they are eating you are going to catch fish, if the fish are not in the mood to feed you might get a few to strike out of aggression but your mostly wasting your time. I have had days when the fish were rising all around me and I was able to match what they were feeding on and was catching them one after another no matter what my cast looked like as long as the fly came close. Same can be said for spinning or bait casting gear, the only difference is you might get more fish to strike out of aggression when compared to a fly. So my advice would be if the fish are rising try fly fishing if they are not, move on to another pool or another stream, or try spin fishing if catching fish is important.

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ThreeDogs

Fly fishing is best learned when your a kid after that it's hard. I have friends that started at 30 and have been active fly fishing for 20+ years and the still suck at casting and tying knots but they have learned to catch fish.

 

My dad taught me starting about 4 years old I didn't  know there was anything but a fly rod until I was 12 and went on a scout trip for the first time. I honestly had no idea other rods existed. We didn't have tv so all I knew was me and dad and my uncles and how we fished. I can tie knots in my sleep in the dark or behind my back in a millisecond. Simply because I have been doing it since before kindergarten. I paid for a most of my college education tying flies for fly stores in west Yellowstone and guiding in Utah and Wyoming.

 

That said it's not magical or any of the other garbage. I prefer to catch a 10 inch brown from a farmers irrigation ditch or some no name brush choked creek to a famous trout stream simply because I want to be alone! It's the same reason I hunt Chukar just to be alone or with my boys.

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walt lister

There are those days when the mess of wet line hits you in the back of the neck and you slip and fall on wet rocks as you try to retrieve that $2 fly from a willow and fat fingers and old eyes make tying a midge on all but impossible and wind knots happen on every other cast and-------------

Then there are those days when the wind doesn't blow and the line lays out beautifully straight and lands softly and a beaver swims by and the big bluegill takes the rubber spider under the overhang and that nice 17" brown took your caddis not 15 feet away from you on the Madison and you feel like you are  a picture in a calendar and you go back to camp smiling.

Hang in there.

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Sage Hen

I second Cooter's recommendation on "The Curtis Creek Manifesto". I gave each of my sons that book and one of them is now an FFF certified Master Casting instructor. A good book of basics to start with I think you will like it.  

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NW River Mac

I fly fished in my early twenties with a buddy who knew quite a bit and we had some great success.  I took it back up about five years ago and I'm struggling to be good at it.  There are people who devote their life to fly fishing.  You are not one of them.  I met a wise beagler once who said to me after I told him I had bird dogs, fly fished, and rode mountain bikes, "I used to do all that but I sucked at them all.  (he probably didn't suck but I'm sure he couldn't get a good as he wanted to at all of them) Then I gave them all up but beagles and now I'm good and well respected.  I have more fun because I'm successful at it."  I have that same problem.  

 

I have noticed that most guys who are real good at fly fishing, that's what they do.  Most come from a father/family mentor situation or have become friends with like minded people and will travel in pairs to fish a particular river and get good at it.  If you fish alone good luck, because you are only one fly in one little piece of the river.  I say this not to discourage you but to help you put things into perspective.

 

If you want to be successful pick a river near you within a 90 minute drive that you know people fish for trout and are successful in spring and summer.  Then hire a guide.  there is no shame in that and it will be the best 300-400 you ever spent on fishing gear/accessories.    Pick his brain all day long tell him what your objectives are over the phone and you will find the right person.  

 

 

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Chukarman
On 6/2/2017 at 0:24 PM, MAArcher said:

...Is fly fishing just one of those things that looks good on TV and in books, but in reality, its never what its cracked up to be?  

 

Yes. That is pretty much how it goes.

 

Flyfishing ascended to the next level when "THE MOVIE" entrapped an entire generation in it's dreamy, romantic web. Before that it was not difficult to find a piece of river that you could have to yourself and a fly rod (a top model like a Fenwick FF80) was less than $99. A reel, like a Pfleuger Medalist 1495, cost about $40. A Cortland or SA fly line cost around $20. But now big business is devising new ways to entrap the unwary and flyfishing is an 'industry'. You dare not show up on a real trout stream with a rod costing less than $699, a reel at $250 and a line wound on that costs $90 (thanks, Rio!). Dare I mention the required accessories and special 'technical' garments by Patagonia, et.al.??

 

However. the trout have not changed much at all.

 

There is a movement afoot to reduce complexity and simplify fly fishing. The main tool is a Japanese fly fishing method called TENKARA. This promises to help those who are frustrated and finding it difficult to master conventional flyfishing - AND keep them in the market. You might check it out.

 

I started flyfishing at 9 years old. So I have been at it for a while. But it requires a strict schedule of practice... as illustrated below:

 

Mike_hooks_fish.jpg

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MSchafer

If it's the casting your struggling with post a video here, and Im sure you will get sound advice or PM it to me and I'll have my casting instructor friend look at it, 

My hands shake and the vision is iffy so I use a brassy knot tool or similar technique with hemos for clinch knots on fine tippet and a threading aid. 

if you haven't been to your local shop assuming there is one that would be my suggestion 

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shoot-straight
1 hour ago, Chukarman said:

 

Yes. That is pretty much how it goes.

 

Flyfishing ascended to the next level when "THE MOVIE" entrapped an entire generation in it's dreamy, romantic web. Before that it was not difficult to find a piece of river that you could have to yourself and a fly rod (a top model like a Fenwick FF80) was less than $99. A reel, like a Pfleuger Medalist 1495, cost about $40. A Cortland or SA fly line cost around $20. But now big business is devising new ways to entrap the unwary and flyfishing is an 'industry'. You dare not show up on a real trout stream with a rod costing less than $699, a reel at $250 and a line wound on that costs $90 (thanks, Rio!). Dare I mention the required accessories and special 'technical' garments by Patagonia, et.al.??

 

However. the trout have not changed much at all.

 

There is a movement afoot to reduce complexity and simplify fly fishing. The main tool is a Japanese fly fishing method called TENKARA. This promises to help those who are frustrated and finding it difficult to master conventional flyfishing - AND keep them in the market. You might check it out.

 

I started flyfishing at 9 years old. So I have been at it for a while. But it requires a strict schedule of practice... as illustrated below:

 

Mike_hooks_fish.jpg

 

I am all in with your first paragraph about marketing, but i see the tenkara movement as just the same- a way to sell a new line of products. thats about it. Just my opinion. So no hate on anyone who likes it. Thats fine with me. Do what you like.  

 

And yes the trout or any fish for that matter havent changed much. Attitudes have. Thats the problem. 

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hayslope

Like some others here, my dad started us young, at around 8 or 9.  We grew up in SC PA, surrounded by limestone spring creeks and some nice freestone creeks with lots of influence from all those spring creeks.

 

Until we could actually cast (instead of just flailing), we were limited to wet wading in the larger creeks while fishing for smallmouth.  I treasure those early learning days with my father, because to this day, fly fishing for smallies is one of my favorite things to do in the summer.

 

Those early days also included learning to tie a bucktail streamer......yep, you guessed it.....for smallmouth!  Only later were we permitted to accompany him to the spring creeks for trout.  I quickly learned why........after seeing how spooky a 5 lb. trout is in a crystal clear spring creek.  And how a poorly executed cast would put the fish down in the blink of an eye!

 

Simplicity was the name of the game back in those days.......Fenwick fiberglass 5 weights, Pflueger reels, simple bug or minnow imitations that were fairly easy to execute at the vice.

 

My recommendation is to find a nice cool creek that holds lots of smallmouth.....use a small white bucktail streamer and have yourself some fun.  THEN, buy some nymphs, get some strike indicators and fish the quick water on the trout streams.  As much fun as dry fishing can be, it's only a tiny percentage of the real action.  The REAL action is what's going on just below the surface and on the stream bottom.

 

As someone else mentioned, the real fun in fly fishing is moving up to the larger species.  Saltwater fishing with 8 to 12 weights  for various species is addicting.  The downfall is the equipment tends to go up in price and if you use a guide to target some species, they are not cheap (for a reason).  I will say that fly fishing for stripers on the New England coast is WAY too much fun!

 

For the time being, keep everything simple.  

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MAArcher
6 minutes ago, hayslope said:

As someone else mentioned, the real fun in fly fishing is moving up to the larger species.  Saltwater fishing with 8 to 12 weights  for various species is addicting.  The downfall is the equipment tends to go up in price and if you use a guide to target some species, they are not cheap (for a reason).  I will say that fly fishing for stripers on the New England coast is WAY too much fun!

I do things backwards, I started fly fishing years ago by catching stripers.  It is a lot of fun but I got tired of only catching schoolies, so I switched to surf casting so I had a better chance of catching a meal once in a while.  I'm in a major fishing slump though.  I didn't do that great on the stocked trout at the ponds, flyfishing the stream was a bust, and lately I've been chasing striper without much success.  All the good accessible spots are crowded and I've driven an hour and walked 20 minutes only to just turn around and go home rather than content with guys standing shoulder to shoulder on the beach.  I know a couple spots where its almost a given to catch keepers, but they are real hard to get to and I haven't been up to the challenge.   This weekend I think I'm going to try something totally different, bowfishing for carp.  I found a spot where I can see them spawning 10-20 feet away in just a couple feet of water.   

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Bullwinkle

But now big business is devising new ways to entrap the unwary and flyfishing is an 'industry'. You dare not show up on a real trout stream with a rod costing less than $699, a reel at $250 and a line wound on that costs $90 (thanks, Rio!). Dare I mention the required accessories and special 'technical' garments by Patagonia, et.al.??

 

Sounds just like the hunting, firearms, dog businesses.  Not many are using a Stevens single shot. Not many are running/training their dogs without electronics. Not many are feeding dog chow. 

 

You can go to LLB get their $89 combo and go fishing. 

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MAArcher
On 6/2/2017 at 8:50 PM, Bullwinkle said:

Find yourself a nice open farm pond..  Try some decent size ants or smaller rubber/foam grasshoppers. Catching bluegill is fun and great casting and roll casting practice.

 

Get yourself some These and strong cheap readers.

I just scored a C&F Design box with threaders off eBay.  Just in time because the last couple weeks in August I'll be in western MA and should be able to get some fishing in.  I think I will grab a pair of cheaters from the pharmacy too.

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ThreeDogs
On 6/22/2017 at 11:02 AM, shoot-straight said:

 

I am all in with your first paragraph about marketing, but i see the tenkara movement as just the same- a way to sell a new line of products. thats about it. Just my opinion. So no hate on anyone who likes it. Thats fine with me. Do what you like.  

 

And yes the trout or any fish for that matter havent changed much. Attitudes have. Thats the problem. 

 

You should try a tenkara rod before you make that assumption. I picked it up about 10 years ago when they very first appeared. It's a very simple easy effective way to fish. I have caught everything form 4 inch Brookie's to 4 lb brown trout. It's a great way for a beginner to learn to fish with a fly and an old geezer can't help but love the simplicity.

 

I agree it is being over commercialized but that's not the fault of the sport. I particularly enjoy fishing no name brush choked streams and a tenkara is a dream for theat type of work.

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shoot-straight
7 hours ago, ThreeDogs said:

 

You should try a tenkara rod before you make that assumption. I picked it up about 10 years ago when they very first appeared. It's a very simple easy effective way to fish. I have caught everything form 4 inch Brookie's to 4 lb brown trout. It's a great way for a beginner to learn to fish with a fly and an old geezer can't help but love the simplicity.

 

I agree it is being over commercialized but that's not the fault of the sport. I particularly enjoy fishing no name brush choked streams and a tenkara is a dream for theat type of work.

 

In another thread, I mentioned how I already did tenkara when I was 10 - my first fly rod was a 12' cane pole, a short length of line and a muddler minnow. same premise. I am not devaluing its effectiveness, far from it... I caught lots of fish. If i showed up with that setup now as a man, I would get laughed off the stream. As you noticed, I dislike the commercialization that goes along with it, and other things the industries shove down our throats. The fishing and hunting industries are two of the worst offenders. 

 

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