New to forum and flyfishing newbie
Hi guys and gals,
I've been fishing for about 40 years now, but am very new to fly fishing. I tried it when I was a kid popping for bluegill and bass around farmponds. I haven't done it for years and my flyrod is long gone.
My son and I were out in Yellowstone last summer and thought we'd like to take up fly fishing. He's going to be 12.
I'm searching opinions on equipment, rods, reels, tips on getting started, etc.
We live in Kentucky and bass, crappie, bluegill are the major fish around here. Some of the streams have small mouth bass but most are largemouth.
I'd like to get something that would handle the bluegill and crappie and some of the bass (not trophy hunting here). We are dreaming of another trip out west in a couple years. Is there such a thing as a fly fishing setup that can double duty for the local fish and also be used to try our hand with Trout?
We're also about 5 or 6 hours from the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee and some trout streams in Eastern Kentucky and Western Virginia.
However, the vast majority of our fishing is going to be local for the bluegill etc.
Where can I buy the needed equipment? There is a big Bass Pro Shop about an hour from where I live. Would they have quality stuff? Are there on-line places that have good stuff.
I'd like to keep the initial investment in the $150 - $200 range for each of us (total 300-400 for both). Is that a realistic price point for getting decent equipment? I learned a long time ago with guitars and muzzle loading target firearms (my other two passions) that cheap equipment is a sure path to frustration.
There's definitely some decent equipment in that price range. I'd go with a 5 weight 9 foot rod. That will work well for the local bass, plus for trout out west.
A couple of manufacturers to check out are:
1) St Croix
2) TFO (Temple Fork Outfitters)
3) Bass Pro Shops (normally I wouldn't recommend them since most people don't have a store close, their equipment is good quality.)
See if there's any local fly shops in your area too and go there and try out a few rods. You're likely to get much better advice than at BPS.
Are you looking to spend $150-200 on just the rod and reel? Or on flies, tippet, nippers, etc?
I've been shooting target rifles for years and the rifle is just the tip of the iceburg (very large iceburg by the way with a very expensive tip, but just the tip all the same).:)
I'm guessing fly fishing is a similar iceburg.
I'm not aware of any fly shops in the Cincinnati Ohio / Northern Kentucky area.
I have a 13-year old who I started fly fishing when he was about 6 or 7. I find that an 8 - 81/2 foot rod suits him quite well at his age, not that a 9 foot rod would not be good, but it all depends on the strength and leverage.
A good place to start would be with a 5 or 6wt rod. The wt refers to the Line weight. You can fish trout and panfish with a 5 or 6 wt easily. I would probably go with a 6 wt as it will give you a bit more latitude when fishing different species and will help when you cast larger flies and plugs.
As for the cost of a set-up like this you can probably get a nice little outfit for under 200$ for a rod and a reel. No need to spend a ton of money right away. Give yourselves a bit of time to get into the sport and then the sky is the limit in terms of pricing and doo dads you can buy.
You may want to consider a good pair of waders to go along with the rod and reel as comfort is key when fishing. If you can wet wade (no waders - just wading in the water in jeans) then that is fine too, although you want to make sure that your footwear is proper for the task. This means that you want to get some footwear with FELT soles on them to prevent you and your Son from falling into the river!
Cabella's, Bass Pro shops and any other retail chain have decent gear for a good price, although I am the sort of guy who likes to support smaller shops that will give me good advice and ongoing service. That is not to say that the bigger guys cannot offer that, it is just my preference to do business with locals.
Once you and your son get geared up, drop me a private message and I will send you down some flies from Quebec. I have TONS and TONS of flies that I will never use and knowing they will go to two new anglers, I will be happy to send you a selection to get you started if you want.
Fathers and sons who fish together often form a very special bond that cannot be duplicated with other activities. I wish you both the best and many years of angling together.
One other manufacturer to check out would be Cortland. I've had a Cortland 5/6 weight 8 foot rod that I've used for bass fishing for almost 20 years and I still love it (and the same line too!). I have no idea how much it cost since it was a gift, but I can't imagine it was more than $100.
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