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Old 02-01-2006, 10:49 AM   #1
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Fly Fishin inquiry

As I have mentioned before I am hoping to spend April on the road recovering from wraping up school (yeah Im a geezer of a student at 39 I know). The plan is to go out to the New Mexico area if gas prices hold, or down to TN/NC if prices climb. I plan on doing lots of photography of course, but I also have been giving thought to taking up fly fishing.

So....... Can you fly fishers offer up some advice on what equipment I should be looking at getting (not top of the line but not something I will regret getting in 6 months). Also good places to go would be appreciated. As a final note, budget is a significant issue for me under current circumstances, so indulgences like a $500 half day Orvis seminar isnt in the cards... Idealy, the overall cost of equipment needs to be held in the neighborhood of $250 or so if possible. Any other advice or insights would be welcome as well. Thanks in advance
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:56 AM   #2
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Wait!! There's more!


Ron Popeil's Pocket Fisherman $49.95



Just kidding, Rodney. Look me up if gas prices go up.

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Old 02-01-2006, 11:41 AM   #3
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Rodney, I think you are wanting some techy information about the "stuff" to gather for good fly fishing experiences. My response is probably a different take on your message above. Sure, we have the rods and reels and flies and etc, etc, but some of my favorite items in our fly fishing collection are books, good reads about the pasttime. I'll mention three that I've reread this winter~when the yearning for that water and tug on the line just gets out of hand. One:Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams by John Ross. Mine is copyrighted 1999, probably pretty out of date, but suits me fine since I'm way away from getting to even a fifth of these streams! Two: Being, Nothingness, and Fly Fishing by Michael Checchio, 2001. Three: Faithful Travelers by James Dodson, 1998. These are not "how-to's" (you'll want one or two of those) but rather essay type readings. Oh, and the beautiful Trout, An Illustrated History, by James Prosek, 1996. As far as the other "stuff," I'm sure you'll hear from several of the resident "pros" on this forum, but as a novice, I'd encourage you to use your Airstream and TV to put yourself in a beautiful place with clear cold running water, observe the other fishermen in as subtle but "nosy' way that you can, strike up some conversations whenever possible (you'll learn lots!), and fish that stream, up and down, all times of the day. If you are blessed with a strike, hurray! If you go all day without, revel in the scents of the trees and river and the light and the sounds. . .beware, it's another addiction! Happy traveling and fishing, ~G
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Old 02-01-2006, 11:58 AM   #4
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Hi seen your post i started fly fishing last year when I moved to Montana its a blast but you can get vary wraped up in all the gizmoes gadgets and gear that you need and dont need. My advice to you is go to a good fly shop and ask ???? tell them what you want to spend and start from there. Here is a site that will help you to get to your fishing hole. There are also videos that teach you how to fly fish i would puchase a beginners fly fishing video that will help you also. http://www.flyanglersonline.com/
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:03 PM   #5
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Would this be a decent start?

I wonder if something like this would be good......... http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0017452&type=pod&cmCat=catfeatflyfsh

Or is it missing something obvious (other than waders) or is it just junk.

and how about http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...=catfeatflyfsh
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
As I have mentioned before I am hoping to spend April on the road recovering from wraping up school (yeah Im a geezer of a student at 39 I know). The plan is to go out to the New Mexico area if gas prices hold, or down to TN/NC if prices climb. I plan on doing lots of photography of course, but I also have been giving thought to taking up fly fishing.

So....... Can you fly fishers offer up some advice on what equipment I should be looking at getting (not top of the line but not something I will regret getting in 6 months). Also good places to go would be appreciated. As a final note, budget is a significant issue for me under current circumstances, so indulgences like a $500 half day Orvis seminar isnt in the cards... Idealy, the overall cost of equipment needs to be held in the neighborhood of $250 or so if possible. Any other advice or insights would be welcome as well. Thanks in advance
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
As I have mentioned before I am hoping to spend April on the road recovering from wraping up school (yeah Im a geezer of a student at 39 I know). The plan is to go out to the New Mexico area if gas prices hold, or down to TN/NC if prices climb. I plan on doing lots of photography of course, but I also have been giving thought to taking up fly fishing.

So....... Can you fly fishers offer up some advice on what equipment I should be looking at getting (not top of the line but not something I will regret getting in 6 months). Also good places to go would be appreciated. As a final note, budget is a significant issue for me under current circumstances, so indulgences like a $500 half day Orvis seminar isnt in the cards... Idealy, the overall cost of equipment needs to be held in the neighborhood of $250 or so if possible. Any other advice or insights would be welcome as well. Thanks in advance
Rodney -

In addition to the FAOL (Fly Anlgers On Line) website that Davidh mentioned, here's another one that you may wish to post these same questions on: http://outdoorsbest.zeroforum.com/zeromain?id=8

You'll note there are regional forums there specifically for the places you mentioned, and there are many fly fisherman from the areas you are interested in that frequent those forums daily, so you should get quality responses - those aren't areas that I'm specifically knowledgable about, other than the San Juan river in New Mexico, which has BIG trout, and even bigger crowds of fisherman.

If you haven't fly fished before, I would suggest 2 things before you buy equipment. First, get someone to give you some casting lessons, and second, determine what types of places you'll likely be fishing (such as sizes of rivers and streams, and sizes of fish you'll be catching - or hope to catch. )

For example, there is a big difference in fly fishing for 4 pound rainbows on the San Juan in New Mexico, versus 10" native brook trout in the Smokie Mtns. of western NC or TN. You might select, for example, a 9' flyrod, for a 5wt line on the former, as the best all around rod for that type of fishing, but might feel more comfortable with a 7 1/2' rod for a 3 wt line for the brook trout in NC.

There are many top quality makers of fly fishing equipment in the US, however, it might be a challenge to get completely outfitted with NEW equipment for around $250.

So, I'd suggest you go to a couple fly fishing speciality shops, look over their equipment and talk to the people there about what you have in mind. (I'm not talking about Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas, if you have a choice, although they do handle some good equipment). Get their opinions, and touch and feel some of their gear. Also, understand the product warranties. (I break more fly rods than I'd want my wife to know about. )

Then, after you get an idea of what's available, I'd suggest you try to find this equipment on Ebay, or elsewhere, either in good used, or new at discounted prices. (The FAOL website also has a classified section listing items for sale by its members, and another section for items people want to buy.

Fly rods and reels can last a long time, so if they are taken care of you can get some good used equipment for a fraction of the new price. (Good quality, mid-price ranged fly rods cost around $150-300 new, and fly reels around $100-150.) Then, you'll need a fly line @$30-50, leaders at $3 each, flies at $1-3 each (50-100 different flys is a modest number), a vest, hat, sunglasses, lots of little thingys like fly flotant, line cleaner, nippers, sinkers, strike indicators, etc. etc., not to mention boots and or waders, and a wading belt (another $100 and up), and you can see that a $250 budget could soon become a $2500 expense.

If you are lucky, you may find a mentor that will take you fishing, and get you started. Both of these websites have guys on them from your part of the country that just might do that.

Good luck. (ps. I like your pictures!)

John
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Old 02-01-2006, 01:42 PM   #7
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you bet those starter kits look good to start out with, although I would still visit a fly shop and they can show you first hand about line, tippet matereal, knots that you need to tie, its just a good hands on and see it information to help you to understand the sport of fly fishing. Then after you become more in tune with the gear needed then start buying. Maybe buy a video to start with and then you will know more about the concept, and that will make it much easier to gear up.. here are two videos that I suggest (Jack Dennis Learning To Fly Fish For Trout) (Scientiic Anglers Fly Fishing Made EasyII) I agree with flyfisher I know I wanted to start cheep but it's hard to do if you buy new.
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Old 02-01-2006, 03:24 PM   #8
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Here's what you do...

1. Stop reading books. You've read enough books. You're a 39 year-old student, for God's sake---you should be sick of reading books. Get in your trailer and live a little!

2. Go to the San Juan River in NM, and fish there as many days as you can. It won't be crowded in April. It's hardly ever crowded during the week. The fishing is GREAT! There are campgrounds right on the river. There's a great fly shop there (Abe's). There's a cheap motel and restaurant there if you feel like "splurging."

3. Get a 9 foot, 5 weight rod. Cabela's or LL Bean are just fine. Used is fine. Hands-down the best reel for the money is the Orvis (believe it or not) Battenkill disc drag reel at $79. Ask a local fly shop for a recommendation on line (floating, weight forward--needs to match the rod). Practice on the lawn. Get the rest of your tackle (leaders, flies, etc) at the closest fly shop to where you're going to fish.

4. Keep your eyes and ears open, and respect (meaning "don't crowd") your fellow fishermen. And as the Nike boys say, "just do it."
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Old 02-01-2006, 04:11 PM   #9
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Great comments

Lots of great comments. 63flyingcloud and flyfisher are right on. Being in IL, you are in a great area to learn and practice flyfishing after your trip out west - those ponds with bluegills and bass are fun in the summer.

I agree with the San Jaun recommendation, but also think about hitting some rivers to and from that location - the Platte SW of Denver, the Green, below Flaming Gorge dam in Utah are just a few. They are tailwaters so are fishable in winter/spring.

As you may already know, flyrods are classed by thier line weight, and length is a factor on line handling for longer casts or shorter for tighter situations. Super light wts 1, 2, 3 are challenging but can be hard to learn on because the loading of the rod is not as noticable and because of their lightness are tough to cast when its windy. The 4-6 weights are all around rods and can cast for brookies and the bigger bass flies. 7 wt and above are for larger fish (bass, steelhead, salmon, northerns), throwing larger wind dragging flies, longer casting. All of these have gray areas - I use my 4wt for bass all the time... Once you get hooked on fly fishing you build a quiver of rods for different conditions and challenges.

So, as said in a previous post - go with a 5 wt. If there is a deal on a 6 or 4 wt, thats fine buy it, you will get a lot of use out of it. With a 5 wt, you will be able to cast in heavy winds, will be able to throw bass flies when back home and catch tons of trout as well.

Flyfishing gear is similar to skiing in that you need to get to a level of proficiency before you notice the difference between a $100 rod and a $600 one. With that said, there are some amazing quality rods out there in the $100 to $200 range. Check St Croix, Reddington, and Orvis Clrearwater. I second his recommendation in Item #3.

We have elevated the wits of trout to levels that justify buying a $600 rod and all the gear to boot, the fact is you can still catch them with corn and marshmellows. Get a rod, reel and flies and start fishing, thats what's fun...going bankrupt isn't.

Here is basic list:
Rod, reel and line to match (4 - 6 wt)
Leader - either 7.5' or 9' 3x (start with a 7.5' length as its easier to control)
Tippet - buy 3x, 4x, 5x - this is the end of the leader, you add on a bit 12" - 20" of line to your leader so you eat it up when changing flies instead of shortening the leader. Leaders and tippet are sized in "x" so 1x is heavy 8x is frogs hair. The general rule for what "x" tippet to use, is to divide the hook size by 4 - so if the fly is a size 20 - pretty small - you would use a 5x tippet. Again this is only a generalization - you may need to go heavier to land fish, and you may need to go lighter on spooky fish. You can take your 7.5' 3x leader add on 20" of 3x tippet and hit the water. If the fish are spooky - just add another 20" tippet of 4x, you can keep adding tippet in sequence 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x to get to where you need to be - just dont make it so your are trying to cast a 20' leader...
Flies - Buy flies and the local shop and also get the latest fishing information, put flies in a film cannister or simple box, throw it in your pocket or fanny pack and hit the water.
Waders - stop by Cabelas in Kearney or Sydney on you way west and go into the Bargain Cave - they have lots of returned clearance waders cheap...
Nice to have - Polorized sun glasses, nippers, floatant, net, more flies that match the hatch.

Good luck.

Kevin
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Old 02-01-2006, 04:21 PM   #10
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Fly Fishing

Wow thats quite the shove it down your throat approach. Hey Gen Disarray If you should ever get up to Kalispell look me up good fishing here, I'll take you to the bull river and we will catch some nice size cutthroats, stay in touch..
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Old 02-01-2006, 04:48 PM   #11
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Gen, you've received some excellent advice. Read through it carefully and let it all soak in. Don't be discouraged..... fly fishing is something worth learning, and, in the end, well worth the expense. Find some experienced fly fishermen and ask questions... as you see they'll be more than happy to help out. I've never, ever had a bad day fly fishing. Sure, I've had some bad days catching, but the fishing has never been bad. Good luck and good fishing.
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Old 02-01-2006, 06:34 PM   #12
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Rodney, When I started fly fishing the best thing that I did was to join a fly fishing Club. It's a great way to learn. My club has monthly meetings, monthly outings and numerous classes. We have classes on fly casting, fly tying, rod building and more. Go visit a local fly fishing shop and ask them about any local fly clubs. I do have to warn you, you will become hooked!
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Old 02-01-2006, 06:36 PM   #13
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If you need gear, books, whatever. Do a search for Orvis. There OK, Not allways the best, but OK.
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Old 02-01-2006, 07:19 PM   #14
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All you need

I own it all, but I find that most of the time I'm doin' it with a Pflueger Medalist or Orvis Battenkill wound with Scientific Anglers or Orvis forward-taper line and a 5 or 6-wt. rod. My preference is for bamboo (I own and fish two classic Granger Aristocrat rods), but graphite is great too--consider FlyLogic rods, which are often available on eBay for a mere pittance.

The tackle is nowhere near as important as the presentation, which Lee Wulff proved over and over. Just get fishing!
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