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Nick Swanson 12-11-2006 05:57 PM

Midwesterners? HELP!!
I am an extremely novice fisherman when it comes to fly fishing. I vacation up in Missoula, MT every other year or so, and I just decided to try flyfishing. My uncle lives there and had an old rod and reel and an assortment of flies. He was never there while I was in town, so I've never had one lick of training. I just went to some stream called Rock Creek, watched the guys fishing it, and would go upstream (out of sight) and try to mimic their casts. As long as I had clearance, I learned to be a decent caster (I think). I even had enough blind and dumb luck that caught I actually caught some trout. What fly to use? Um, that one looks neat! Yeah, a REAL greenhorn!

I live in Iowa and stumbled across some articles on fly fishing lakes and rivers for bass. I'm quite intrigued by this and is something I'd like to pursue. I have a really cheap and inexpensive "starter kit" that I found at a garage sale, unopened. It must be 5 years old. Pflueger?? I'm trying to read all I can on the subject and was wondering if any of you with experience could give me some pointers? Specifically: type of flies, type of line (floating or sinking), and type of retrieving method.

Seriously, I am very limited on knowledge. I almost feel bad for posting this, I don't want to insult anyone or seem disrespectful. It's just that I don't know anyone who fly fishes around here, not even the bait & tackle shops were any help. I'd really appreciate any help you could give me. Thanks for reading...


FredA 12-15-2006 04:43 PM

Wow, it's been dead around here, everybody must wrapped up with holiday cheer.

Anyhow, welcome Nick. Sounds like you're going about things the same way everybody else did when starting out. Nothing wrong with that. And remember, the only dumb question is the one you don't ask. I'll leave the advice to those that fish the freshwater, who I'm sure will respond. All I can tell you is start out with a floater and a few woolybuggers.

flydoc 12-15-2006 08:05 PM

Nick- Welcome to the Forum! I'm a Mass native, but spent 12 years in school at Iowa City (UI Med School grad). Started my flyfishing in Iowa- for general freshwater (panfish, bass) would rec 5 or 6 weight rod with same weight floating line (weight forward floating line easiest to cast). Start with short (no more than 7.5 ft) tapered leaders. For flies, would start with panfish poppers (easy to see the take, and great fun to catch bluegills and crappies on these things), muddler minnows, and "terrestrials" (black ant flies, black beetle flies). Cast out to a likely spot, then slow "twitching" retrieve until you get a strike or need to cast again.
Not much in the way of trout streams- I had to drive close to 3 hrs to get to a stocked stream near the hatchery in Manchester (NE Iowa)- only to almost fall over backwards after getting "buzzed" by a wild turkey flying down from it's roosting tree!
Have fun, and Go Hawkeyes!:smokin:
(Jim Shepherd, M.D.)

flyjkol 12-15-2006 11:00 PM

Welcome to the forum,
For basic panfish and bass you'll use a floating line almost the entire time.
As flydoc said, stick to short leaders.... poppers are a fun way to get started especially in sizes small enough for panfish (size 8 or smaller). This is usually productive from April to October. If youre targeting bass specifically larger poppers and fish imitators (streamers) work well, with poppers being most productive at dawn and dusk. A great time to flyfish is right after ice out and the crappie start moving shallow. The best method is to use a small minnow imitation stripped with a jerky retrieve...

have fun and great fishing

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