Help me get started? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Help me get started?


wolfie
02-23-2004, 12:44 AM
Hi all,

The last time I did any type of fishing was probably about 10 years ago when I was in my teens, and while I enjoyed it, it fell by the wayside since then, replaced by plenty of high-stress/low-enjoyment activities.

Several weeks ago I was in Manchester VT, and happened to stop in the Orvis store. Now, maybe I'm a sucker for a good marketing campaign, but in the dead of winter I couldn't think about anything other than standing alone in a quiet river on a cool morning, the sun shining through the trees, fish nipping at my lures.

But there was a problem. I didn't know a thing about fly fishing. And I didn't have any gear. And as much as I would have loved take out a second mortgage on the spot, stocking up on all the finest equipment, something (read: wife) came over me. Ah yes, rational though.

Damn.

So several weeks pass, and here I am. Now I know I should invest some more thought in this, because if it were just a passing thing I would have forgotten about it by now. So I come to you to answer a boatload of questions! Here goes....

1. Is there a way to try this before I spend money? I don't know anybody who fly fishes, so in my mind I have to go out and buy everything to even try actually doing this once. Do I have other options?

2. What are the items I must buy? Rod and reel of course, but beyond that I've figured out I need a vest, waders and a fly line. There's gotta be more. Anybody care to make a list?
:D

3. Do I need to spend hundreds of dollars to give this a whirl? I keep adding up the few items I know I need, and it seems like this is going to require a minimum investment of $300 to get started. Not a problem if this is the case and I really decide to give it a go, but I just want to make sure I'm looking in the right places. (I've looked at orvis.com and cabelas.com)

4. How do I know what I'm going to fish for? Yeah, I know this seems silly to someone who does this every day, but I honestly don't know what I'd be fishing for. I'd assume mostly trout - I live in Rhode Island and want to fresh water fish, and I'm willing to travel to nearby Mass, VT, NH, CT, ME. Do I need to prepare for any fish outside of trout?

5. Anybody know some good places to fish in RI and nearby Mass, VT, NH, CT, ME? :D

6. I picture myself purchasing a fly line that costs about $50, and then I cast it into a tree and suddenly I'm out $50. At this rate it costs me about $700 a weekend to do this. Is this not how it works? I was under the impression the fly lines are tapered, and therefore you couldn't just cut off a tangled part, etc. So do you have to have errorproof form before you start doing this?

7. How can I repay you for fielding all my boring questions?

Anyways that's all I can think of for now..... I'd appreciate any help I can get.

Wolfie

John Desjardins
02-23-2004, 10:52 AM
You have lots of good questions. Lets see if I can get you started.

"1. Is there a way to try this before I spend money? I don't know anybody who fly fishes, so in my mind I have to go out and buy everything to even try actually doing this once. Do I have other options?"

Go to a fly shop and talk to them about casting lessons or guide services. Many shops will have seminars in the spring to teach newcomers to the sport. Check the sponsors page for people that should be able to help.
http://www.saltwateredge.com/ is one that comes to mind. I seem to recall that there is a seminar held each spring by one of the sporting organizations in RI that may be informative as well.

"2. What are the items I must buy? Rod and reel of course, but beyond that I've figured out I need a vest, waders and a fly line. There's gotta be more. Anybody care to make a list?"

Must have items:
Rod, reel, line, backing, leader, tippet stock, flys, box for flys, nipper of finger nail clipper to cut the leader, hemostats to remove hooks from fish, polarized sun glasses and/or safety glasses.

Heplfull items
waders, vest or a fanny pack to hold tackle, bug repellant.

If you do a search on "Vest contents" I believe that there is thread which details what a lot of us carry but those above are the minimum. Things to avoid - do a search on "10 worst product" threads by Striblue.

"3. Do I need to spend hundreds of dollars to give this a whirl? I keep adding up the few items I know I need, and it seems like this is going to require a minimum investment of $300 to get started. Not a problem if this is the case and I really decide to give it a go, but I just want to make sure I'm looking in the right places. (I've looked at orvis.com and cabelas.com)"

$300 is a realistic minimum starting price. Many manufacturers offer good quality outfits that are ~ $200 which will leave you a little for flys, leaders, etc. If you search the archives here you will find a number of discussions on this topic.


"4. How do I know what I'm going to fish for? Yeah, I know this seems silly to someone who does this every day, but I honestly don't know what I'd be fishing for. I'd assume mostly trout - I live in Rhode Island and want to fresh water fish, and I'm willing to travel to nearby Mass, VT, NH, CT, ME. Do I need to prepare for any fish outside of trout?"

Since you are in Rhode Island the opportunities for saltwater fishing exceed those for trout. It would be an entirely different outfit though.

With a trout outfit you can chase bluegills, perch & largemouth bass. In fact its probably a good idea to spend some time fishing for them to practice casting & hook sets. It may require a few different flys butthe cost will be minimal.

"5. Anybody know some good places to fish in RI and nearby Mass, VT, NH, CT, ME?"
The wood river is the main place that I hear of trout fishing in RI. There are

"6. I picture myself purchasing a fly line that costs about $50, and then I cast it into a tree and suddenly I'm out $50. At this rate it costs me about $700 a weekend to do this. Is this not how it works? I was under the impression the fly lines are tapered, and therefore you couldn't just cut off a tangled part, etc. So do you have to have errorproof form before you start doing this?"

No, the $50 line lasts for years. For trout it is attached to a leader that tapers down from ~ 20 # to 1-4 # test monofilament line. The tapered leader (~ $3.50) will break at the tippet (1-4#) long before the line. When the leader breaks you tie on a 2-3' piece of tippet stock (~ 3.50 for 30 yards) and a new fly. The fly is the expensive thing to replace.

"7. How can I repay you for fielding all my boring questions? "
If you get into this as a hobby, ok addiction for some of us :hehe:, when you see someone struggling help them out.

Eddie
02-23-2004, 11:02 AM
I don't know of any way to "give it a try" for free. Finding a buddy that fishes would be best, and you never know, maybe you have a bunch of friends that fish, and you don't even know it. For some money, you could take a intro class that would give you a taist. For a little more or less, you could go out with a guide for a day. He will have the gear. Some shops have demo equipment and rental videos. That could get you started for not too much.
You can buy rod reel line outfits for as little as 80 bucks, maybe less.
You might not need waders depending on where you fish.
You don't need a vest.
you will need some good polarised sunglasses. Get them in a brown, amber, copper or yellow. Avoid green, blue and grey lenses.
There is so much info on this web site.

Dble Haul
02-23-2004, 11:05 AM
Wow....great coverage in those answers so far. I will only add that if you do a search in the archives as suggested, do so in the Gear Forum here in Flytalk. That's where most of your answers will be.

Good luck to you during your introduction to the sport.

Smcdermott
02-23-2004, 11:13 AM
Wolfie,

I think John gave you a great start but as someone who started fishing just a few years ago (also with no FF friends) I would strongly suggest you get involved in a FF club if time permits. There is a show on Wednesday at the Bears Den in Taunton, MA.

http://www.bearsden.com/

Many of the RI clubs will be there along with I think a few members from the forum. Introduce yourself and ask them to help you out. I would also suggest buying your equipment from a local shop. You may spend a few dollars more but the relationship you build will be worth more than any extra you spend.

Shoot me a PM if you can't make it to the show and I will get some more info on the Rhoddy Fly Rodders club meeting times.

Sean

Hammer
03-01-2004, 09:41 AM
move to southern oregon,,:D

Salty
03-01-2004, 08:08 PM
You have a lot of good trout fishing in RI, you can give Fin & Feather a call, when the weather starts warming up they give free casting lessons, you will also meet a lot of people there who can help you out.

rogerstg
03-02-2004, 09:08 AM
Without a mentor of some sort, if you start with fly fishing, it is likely that your search for quiet solitude will quickly turn into an expensive lesson in frustration and stress. All of the advice so far has been very good, but I look at this differently.

Since this is something you need to do on your own, I suggest you start with a light action spinning setup with 4# test line and a few spoons, spinners and swimming plugs. Learn to fish freshwater streams and ponds for at least one season before you venture into fly fishing. It is easier and less expensive (figure under $100). There are tons of things you will need to learn, most of which you would need to know to fly fish. Also, you will discover if your imagined relationship with the outdoors is real, once all other factors are added to the mix.

You wrote:
I couldn't think about anything other than standing alone in a quiet river on a cool morning, the sun shining through the trees, fish nipping at my lures.

That scenario plays out about 2% of the time. You also need to contend with bugs, rain, heat, fish slime, other fishermen wading through your pool or crowding you, high water, low water, wind, etc. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way (except for the moron wading through my pool), but is it for you?