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  • David Hulsey

Simply Fly Fishing


Getting started fly fishing can seem to be a mythical, expensive and sometimes daunting task for the newcomer to the sport. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Over the past twenty years of teaching literally thousands of people how simple fly fishing is here in Georgia and North Carolina, a few things have stood out as clearly as the kype on a big old brown trout’s jaw. A few common misconceptions I’ve heard from beginners:

1.“The places I fish are too small to use a fly rod”.

When in fact with a little practice you can cast a short fly rod in a tunnel of rhododendron bushes. Short roll casts and even a bow and arrow cast can be used.

2.“You can’t cast a fly as far as a spinning rod can cast a lure”. While in some instances this may be true, a seasoned caster can usually dump all the line off the reel and cast a fly farther than you can set a hook into a fish anyway.

3.“I catch fish using conventional tackle but don’t have a clue how to catch a fish on fly tackle”. When in fact they have half the battle won already. They already know where the fish are they just have to drift the right fly over the fish in a natural manner.

Usually, after getting these misconceptions taken care of right off the bat it seems to free up their mind to absorb the good stuff. First off tackle selection doesn’t have to be complicated. Matter of fact the following list of tackle seems to cover most situations we could possibly get ourselves into here in the South. Always get the best quality you can afford. Here’s a good starting point.

First, select a nine foot five weight fly rod. This size rod can cast medium size poppers to bass and bluegill, and also toss dry flies, nymphs, and streamers to trout on your nearby stream. It needs not to be expensive most will start a little over a hundred dollars and go up from there. The length and weight of the rod will usually be printed on the blank of the rod just in front of the handle.

Second, get a decent fly reel. Make sure it’s light enough not to be a problem to cast. A smooth usable one can be had for around $50 and go up from there.

Third, purchase a weight forward floating fly line matched to your rod weight. Get the best one you can afford. This is probably your most important investment. You can put a great fly line on a real dog of a rod and make it cast like a dream. The formula on the line box will read as follows WF-5-F.

Fourth, a seven and a half foot 3x, 4x and 5x leader will suffice in a bunch of situations. Your leader is a tapered piece of monofilament that provides an invisible link between you and the fish. Use the 3x for streamers and bass flies, the 4x for nymphs and the 5x for dry flies.

Fifth, grab a spool of 4x and 5x tippet. Tippet is used to repair your leader that will be snagged in the trees a few times.

Sixth, a small selection of flies that will produce trout almost anywhere are as follows: Olive Wooly Bugger Size 10, Pheasant Tail Nymph Size 16, Hares Ear Nymph Size 14, Prince Nymph Size 16, Parachute Adams Dry Size 16, Elk Hair Caddis Size 14, and a Yellow Stimulator Size 14. Add a chartreuse popper and you will be ready for almost any situation. More gadgets will come over time.

Lastly, get professional instruction it will increase your fun level tremendously!

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