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britguyinmt 04-07-2005 12:47 AM

can anyone help?
 
Hi,
I came across this site, and found it really helpful for filling me in a bit with info, but i thought i'd post to get people's opinions directly.

Im british and have recently moved to montana. In the uk i fished mainly baitcasting, but did a little unsuccessful fly fishing in Wales as a kid. Having moved to Missoula, MT and living right next to the Clark Fork I thought it was about time I tried again.

Can anyone suggest a budget set-up for me to start out with under $200 (im hoping i have more success than in my youth, but dont want to push my luck quite yet)? What do the reel functions mean, and what should i be looking to get? The river behind is widish but id like to try some of the other rivers around. There are pike round here to, would a trout rod be too light to go for pike?

Locally it appears quite a few people come here for guided trips, and pay a lot for instruction... I cant afford that, does anyone know a local club to missoula of enthusiasts that might help to give me a few pointers?

thanks for your time
best wishes
lance

Spock 04-07-2005 11:43 AM

help
 
With a 200.00 price fix it is going to be hard to get a good setup, but you can look at temple fork rods and for a reel look at ross cimaron. I would suggest a 9' 5 or 6wt

teflon_jones 04-07-2005 01:56 PM

What are you including when you say "setup"? Just a rod and reel? You don't need much for a reel, so I'd concentrate on the rod. I've never fought a trout with a reel, always doing it by stripping instead. As for pike and trout with the same rod, it is possible, but not entirely desirable. I think since you're just a beginner, and your focus seems to be trout, you should focus on getting a good trout rod first. If you enjoy fly fishing, and want to really go after pike, then you'll find the money to get a pike rod too later.

I disagree wholeheartedly with Spock, I think you can get an excellent beginner's setup for $200. I'd get a 5 wt 9 ft rod with a moderate to moderately fast action. St Croix has some nice packages for only $130 for a rod and reel. Their next package up is closer to $250 though, so they split your price range. When you get out to Montana, I think the best thing you can do is go to a local shop and tell them you have $200 to spend on a combo and see what they can offer you. St Croix and Redington are both good names in that price range, but there's others.

I just went back to a Cortland 5/6 wt rod that I received as a present from my dad probably at least 12-15 years ago. I bet the rod cost about $100 in today's dollars (if that much) when it was new, so it's nothing very expensive. I'd been using a 4 wt Orvis rod that I think was $400 for all of my freshwater fishing for the last few years, but I wanted something a little longer and heavier for casting a sink tip line and big flies. Well, the cheap old Cortland rod caught two fish in my first two casts on Tuesday night, and I proceeded to hook 4 more fish with it in only about 1.5 hours while the two guys fishing next to me caught nothing. Then I went out yesterday with my $350 Albright with the $350 reel on it and caught only one small fish in almost 3 hours of fishing in the same spot with the same flies in the same exact conditions. What does that tell you? In the end, a more expensive rod isn't necessarily going to catch you more fish. The Cortland is just a joy to cast and always feels comfortable. I think that's the most important thing to consider, so do yourself a favor, go to a fly shop, and buy something that you like casting.

pescaphile 04-07-2005 02:00 PM

Lance,
You should be able to get a setup within your budget that will work just fine. Both Scientific Anglers and Cortland make complete outfits that come with rod, reel, flyline and backing. I think the SA version even comes with a tapered leader and a flybox too. The prices have probably increased since I last recomended one of these to a friend about 6 or 8 years ago. As I recall they were about 160 to $180 at that time.

I'd also recomend a 9ft #5 rod as a an all-around trout rod. A #6 would be my second choice.

Don't let anyone tell you that you need to spend a lot of money to get a decent outfit to get started flyfishing for trout. It's nonsense! There is a lot of junk out there though so be careful. Places like Walmart are notorious for poor-quality equipment that will be more costly than purchasing something decent. The SA and Cortland outfits will work fine and will allow you to spend more on things like flies, fly boxes, leaders and tippet and waders. You can buy nicer (and more expensive) gear later when (and if) you you find yourself hooked.

Good luck!

flytyer 04-07-2005 02:32 PM

Loomis also offers a complete setup-rod, line, reel- for around or a little less than $200.00. There is also Redington and St. Croix who offer rods for around $00.00 give or take a few dollars. All the reel really needs to do for trout fishing is hold the line and have a clicker to keep the spool from overrunning when stipping line. You can find reels that do the job for under $50.00. In fact, there are some reels on the market that will do the job for around $30.00. TFO is another good rod for around $150.00.

I lived in Montana for 12 years (althugh I now live in WA State) and know the Missoula area rivers well. I'd recommend a 9' or even a 10' 6 wt. The Clark Fork is a fair sized river (as you alrady know), especially west of Missoula, the Bitteroot is not exactly a small river, and the lower Blackfoot is also not a small river, which means the 6 wt will fit the bill very well. The 6wt can cast small flies and the larger stonefly nymphs and in a pinch, it can be used for pike up on the Flathead on the rez or is some of the lakes nearby (I know it can be used for pike because I used a 6 wt at times for pike when I had forgotten to put my 8 wt in the car). The 6 wt is also not too big to use on the Jocko up on the rez or the many creeks (such as Rock Creek) upstream of town.

There is a fly fishing club located in Missoula and although I don't remember their name, they should be easy to find by simply stopping in one of the several fly shops in Missoula. One of the best things you could do is stop at the local fly shops (there is one right on Orange and another right downtown that are good) and talk to the folks there. Tell them you are new to fly fishing, looking for a decent fly fishing kit, but can't spend more than about $200.00 for the complete setup. I'm cetain they would be able to help and have something in stock that would meet your needs and price.

Additonally, the folks in the local fly shop will be able to help you with fly casting (most shops offere some free instruction if you buy the rod from them), knowledge of the local waters, and flies that work on local waters. There is no need to hire a guide. I'm also very sure that there are many folks in the local fly fishing club who would be more than happy to take you out and show you how to fly fish.

link 04-08-2005 06:57 AM

Lance,
Join the Bitterroot chapter of Trout Unlimited, a wonderful organization that offers information, instruction and comradship. They may also steer you to some good used equip.
Western Montana and a fly rod, you're farting through silk panties, old chap!

juro 04-08-2005 07:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by link
Western Montana and a fly rod, you're farting through silk panties, old chap!

:hihi: Always great to hear from you Ed!

britguyinmt 04-08-2005 12:00 PM

hi,
thanks to everyone who replied, it really helped me get an idea of what im looking for and what to do next...i'll take a trip to a shop this weekend.

Is trout unlimited the same as the trout conservation organisation or different?

I'll keep you posted on how I get on.

many thanks
Lance

FLGator 04-08-2005 10:38 PM

I agree with Flytyer regarding a 9' 6wt.

My recommendation is that you save a little longer and buy a TFO TiCr 9' 6 wt for your rod. These rods are about $250, come with a lifetime warranty, have fit and finish of any top of the line rod on the market, and have an incredible action. I wish I had cast them before I spent thousands on my Sages!

The dealer with the greatest customer service I have found is the Red Shed Fly Shop (www.redshedflyshop.com). Mike sells TFO's and can help you get set up with a matching outfit. His shop is no BS and his recommendations are solid and as I mentioned his service is the best in the business.

So, my recommnendation, spend a little more money now and you'll be happier in the long run.

Chris

link 04-09-2005 10:48 AM

Lance,
Yes, Trout Unlimited is an organization whose's " mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America's cold water fisheries and their watersheds". The Bitterroot chapter is a great organization of ladies and gentlemen dedicated to preserving the wonderful fishing found in your valley. They have monthly meetings and provide instruction, conservation projects and such. It's very inexpensive to join and membership will accelerate your learning curve tremendously.
Coincidentally, I'm off this morning to help my T.U. chapter work on a restoration project on the North Fork of the Salmon, the next valley to the south of you. Neighborhoods are quite large in the Big Sky.

This web site is a cornucopia of information and instruction regarding fly fishing and you're fortunate to have found it. I treat it as my morning newspaper and read through the posts every morning. I learn something every day. You'll also be delighted to see quite a few posts from England, Scotland, Whales and Northern Europe. The sister site, Spey Clave, ( click the icon at the top of the page ) will reconnect you to your U.K. heritage of two handed rod salmon fishing. Yanks call it Spey Fishing from it's namesake river in Scotland and it has become very popular in the U.S and Canada. You have two rivers in your neighborhood that have Salmon and sea run Steelhead Trout in them, the Salmon River, south on U.S. 93 and the Clearwater River, west on U.S. 12.
Good luck, Lance and I hope to run into you on the river someday.


Juro, you old coyote, it's been a long hard winter, eh. I wish you didn't live so far away. I could really use a tune up!
Ed

fredaevans 04-13-2005 06:50 PM

Lance, haven't read 'all the above' but for GOOD 'budget' fly rods hit Cabela's web site. I've purchased two of their (total!!) 'kits' and they've both been great fly rods.

The 'price' includes everything; just add a fly to the supplied leader and you're 'good to go.
fae :D

britguyinmt 04-18-2005 02:22 PM

hi,
thanks for that guys...i'll certainly look into trout unlimited, it sounds a good organisation.

I have been to a couple of shops, and looked at a couple of rods... out of the ones I looked at that seemed the nicest, and was recommended to me by one guy was the TFO Pro... is there a lot of difference between the pro and TiCr?

many thanks
lance

britguyinmt 04-25-2005 10:19 AM

Hi,
Thanks everyone for their help...in the end I got a TFO Pro 9'... I decided to just start off with trout for now, so I got a 5 weight, an Okuma siera series reel, and some cortland line, a couple of leaders, they backed it for free and showed me a couple of knots, oh yeah, and a handful of flies, although in my excitement I cant remember any of their names hehe... I went with the shop that was most friendly in the end and next week I have a free casting lesson with them : )

Once again, thanks guys
lance


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