Starting Fly Fishing

Spreedizzle

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Plenty of outdoorsmen here, so I’ll try and tap into some knowledge.
I’m going on a fly fishing trip in Western PA, and have never done fly fishing before.
Initial thoughts are a 9’ 4wt rod and moderate action. I’m someone that “does it once and does it right”, so I’m not looking fir a bargain basement setup, but one that is of good quality that I can use for decades to come.
Anyone have any experience and want to shed some light on things to look for that I would want and pitfalls in some brands or styles?
Thanks!!

 

Rjk300

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I can’t help you with the fly stuff just never did it but what are you fishing for Steelhead up by Erie or their smaller relatives further inland?


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Ladd

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I was asked by an HVAC sales rep to go fly fishing this August in Idaho. Guided, all gear provided. I’ll probably be looking for deer and elk. Fishing to me is watching a red and white bobber with a worm while I doze in a lounge chair. Is fly fishing fun?


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Spreedizzle

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I was asked by an HVAC sales rep to go fly fishing this August in Idaho. Guided, all gear provided. I’ll probably be looking for deer and elk. Fishing to me is watching a red and white bobber with a worm while I doze in a lounge chair. Is fly fishing fun?


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HVAC rep....too funny. That’s the business I’m in, albeit on the wholesale distribution side with Ferguson Enterprises. One thing is for sure.....our industry loves to entertain, hunt and fish....all are good with me.
 

DirectDrive

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Plenty of outdoorsmen here, so I’ll try and tap into some knowledge.
I’m going on a fly fishing trip in Western PA, and have never done fly fishing before.
Initial thoughts are a 9’ 4wt rod and moderate action. I’m someone that “does it once and does it right”, so I’m not looking fir a bargain basement setup, but one that is of good quality that I can use for decades to come.
Anyone have any experience and want to shed some light on things to look for that I would want and pitfalls in some brands or styles?
Thanks!!
You should ask whomever you're going with some key questions.
1) Rod length - 9' may be too long if your area is brushy.
2) Dry fly or streamer or nymph ? (the 3 main types of presentations)

A 5wt would be easier for a beginner to cast - more mass
Practice casting before you go - taking a lesson from a pro should be on the table
Learn to mend - very important if you actually want to catch fish.
Learning to roll cast would be very useful - Use this when there is no backcast room.
Floating line only - much easier to manipulate

The more practice you do, the more enjoyable your trip will be.
Good luck
 

Ladd

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HVAC rep....too funny. That’s the business I’m in, albeit on the wholesale distribution side with Ferguson Enterprises. One thing is for sure.....our industry loves to entertain, hunt and fish....all are good with me.

True that. I’ve been pig hunting in Oklahoma and Florida after some training at Aaon and ASHRAE. Good times for sure.

Good luck on your fly fishing trip.


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RBanta66

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So I'm just south of you in Virginia. I have been fly Fishing for about 10 years now. Not knowing your budget here are some 4wt or 5wt suggestions. I fish a Fenwick Aetos 9ft 5wt, it's highly recommend by Yellowstone Angler on there youtube 5wt shoot out. I also fish a 4wt 8-6ft TFO Professional 2 and love it (on smaller streams). I really like TFO rods. Another great option if your starting out is the Echo Base, they are I believe $100 and come with rod tube and are highly recommend by South River Fly Shop in Waynesboro Virginia. There is a great group there in PA called Lively Legs fly fishing, check out there youtube channel lots of info and there flys are great. Hit me up any time for info.

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RBanta66

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Also I fish Waterworks Lamson reels, made in Idaho. I have 2 a Liquid and Remix, both 5wt and they were there 3 pack (3 spools for different line)

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RBanta66

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Forgot to include pics from Jan 13th 2021.

Ladd. Fly fishing is awesome, like hunting sometimes when you have the right glass on your eyes. Just enjoy another way to get outdoors. IMG_20210113_142109966.jpg IMG_20210113_142140457.jpg IMG_20210113_143525547.jpg

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Ladd

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I haven't given him an answer yet. I should say yes. I turned one down a couple years ago that was a float plane trip to a remote lake in Canada where it was all inclusive. I should've done that one but I didn't. You guys just might talk me into it with these cool pictures and talk.
 

Spreedizzle

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So I'm just south of you in Virginia. I have been fly Fishing for about 10 years now. Not knowing your budget here are some 4wt or 5wt suggestions. I fish a Fenwick Aetos 9ft 5wt, it's highly recommend by Yellowstone Angler on there youtube 5wt shoot out. I also fish a 4wt 8-6ft TFO Professional 2 and love it (on smaller streams). I really like TFO rods. Another great option if your starting out is the Echo Base, they are I believe $100 and come with rod tube and are highly recommend by South River Fly Shop in Waynesboro Virginia. There is a great group there in PA called Lively Legs fly fishing, check out there youtube channel lots of info and there flys are great. Hit me up any time for info.

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Good stuff. Thanks!!
Any thoughts or experience with Orvis? I have a friend pointing me in that direction with their Clearwater line.
 

RBanta66

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I just bought my first Euro Nymphing rod, a Moonshine Epiphany 10-6 3wt. Here are some of the lines I fish. Orvis products are great but I think once you do your research you'll be able to make a better decision for yourself. IMG_20210220_121954847.jpg

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Rjk300

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When I fish up in the Allegheny’s I don’t see many fly fishing but when I do it has a certain cool factor!


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scottrod338

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I can add 3 things
1 Don't buy high end stuff unti you're sure you really like it (the rabbit hole is deep like long range shooting)
2 Make sure your curse word Bank is full (and apply liberally)
3 Take bourbon in case 2 doesn't work
I used to fly fish
 

RBanta66

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That is hilarious but so true

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Spreedizzle

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I can add 3 things
1 Don't buy high end stuff unti you're sure you really like it (the rabbit hole is deep like long range shooting)
2 Make sure your curse word Bank is full (and apply liberally)
3 Take bourbon in case 2 doesn't work
I used to fly fish
Ha. Yeah....finding you can easily spend a thousand on a rod and reel setup. That’s a new CF barrel....so nah. #2...I’m well equipped. #3....my wife would say I am over equipped (finally she says something like that..ha!!)
 

RBanta66

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My first TFO was $169 professional 2, the new Legacy looks great and feels awesome $269. I believe the Orvis Encounter outfit is $199, that includes rod,reel and line, TFO NXT Black Label kit is $229. Two great options and both can be bought from Cabela's online( no gas wasted, save gas for getting to the stream). Just so many options. You do not have to break the bank to get into fly fishing. I didn't and I enjoy it.

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OSOK - Crash

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I can add 3 things
1 Don't buy high end stuff unti you're sure you really like it (the rabbit hole is deep like long range shooting)
2 Make sure your curse word Bank is full (and apply liberally)
3 Take bourbon in case 2 doesn't work
I used to fly fish
"Rabbit hole is deep like long range shooting" -You aren't joking! And down I went.

I second the bourbon suggestion as well.
 

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Then there are the "big brother", the steelhead. Here on the west coast, about 4 pounds up to 30. But that is another and very deep rabbit hole. It sure can get the adrenaline flowing.
 

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My first fly rod was a 8.5' 4wt Orvis, one of there lower level rods. I bought that rod over 30years ago when i was going through the Police Academy, I met a classmate that did a lot of fly fishing and since I grew up an Ca. and did a lot of fishing from trout in the Sierras to Tuna 60-70 miles out the Golden Gate he wanted me to take him on the weekends and show him around. I bought the Orris on his recommendation and taught myself how to fly fish. i now have probably 15+ fly rods, Orris, TFO, a bunch of GLOOMIS, all top notch rods but I can honestly say my first Orvis rod I started out with still gets fished often and catches lots of fish. The main thing is make sure you pick the right weight and length of rod for the area and type of fishing you are going to be doing, thats the most important thing, second is getting a good blank for the rod, a great blank with a mediocre handle and real seat is way better than a mediocre rod with a fancy handle and real seat. The quality and action of the blank dictates how the rod is going to perform. I have been making custom fishing rods for about 45 years, since I was about 7 years old and the one thing my mentor taught me when I first started out was in fly fishing the most important part of the setup is the rod blank, the second is picking the right line to fit the plank. He taught me those to things are what dictates the performance and ability to cast well. I was 7 years old when I saw a new fly rod he had just built in his shop and asked him about it, my dad didn't fly fish and couldn't afford to start a new hobby. The gentleman saw I was interested and handed me the rod and told me to take it out in the yard and cast it. After fooling with it a bit I finally figured it out. I asked wit had an old well worn cheap real on it and he replied for most fly fishing you don't even need a reel, it only holds the line. A week later he took me out on the Delta and we fly fish for crappie and hammers them but the kicker was when he stopped the boat and handed me the fly rod it had no reel, the line was wound on a beer can and he proceeded to show me that until you get into the bigger fish the reel is just holding the line, you are working the fish by hand both drag and retrieve.
So i guess what I was getting at is buy the rod with the best blank and done fall for the fancy BLING BLING, also you done need the most expensive reel until you start getting into steelhead and salmon fishing where you need a good drag system. For most trout you will be working the line with your hand. Good luck and enjoy!
 

RBanta66

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Muleystalker

Great advice and great post. I wanted to say the same thing about the reel but you said it way better than I would have. I started with a couple Cabela's Prestige Premier reels, guess what they still work.
 

Spreedizzle

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Funny how things seem to work out sometimes.....
Talked to my dad that lives and fishes back home in Western NC, and he went and checked out his gear. Come to find out that he has the fly rod and reel from my late brother that we lost in July of 2019. He shipped it to me, and pictures are below. I’ll certainly do my best to do it justice as he did, and have a bit of memories of him along the way with every cast, reel, bourbon sip, blatant use of curse words, tree snag, and hopefully fish landed.
Thanks to all for the advice. Looking forward to getting into it.
 

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muleystalker

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Thats Great! And just so you know that is a solid rod and reel, both good quality and you wii not be under gunned, good overall wt and length too, very versatile and being it belonged to your late brother is a bonus, you can keep that rod fishing in his honor. Your first fish caught on a fly rod is always special, catching it on your brothers rod will make it priceless!
 
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RBanta66

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That's awesome, but your right funny how things sometimes workout. I recognized the reel Waterworks Lamson, made in ,USA Idaho to be exact and I knew it was a decent rod but no experience with it. Now you need some running water. I'll be heading to Escawtaba Farms Fly fishing for a day of fishing May 1st. It's close to Covington Virginia. Great place for a day of relaxation and fly fishing. It would be a great place to go try your hand at some larger fish, even for someone just starting out. Good luck on the stream!

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I have one of the first carbon fiber models Fenwick made in an 8 foot medium weight fast action.
Bought it back in early 80's and it has stood the test of time. I also live in WNC and a 9 ft. would
be cumbersome in one of the many smaller streams under a thick forest canopy. Much like Pa.

As for flies, a Royal Wulff dry and a Tellico nymph for wet. Nuff said. Both #14.
 

RBanta66

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I have fly fished on WNC Spruce Pine to be exact. I also caught many many trout on that tellico nymph in WNC. Great fly for that area.

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Spreedizzle

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Lived a handful of years in Asheville, and my parents retired in Hendersonville. Such a great area for families with countless outdoor activities at your disposal.
 

Proud Vet

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I have fly fished on WNC Spruce Pine to be exact. I also caught many many trout on that tellico nymph in WNC. Great fly for that area.

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If you follow the water up from Spruce pine to the base of Mt. Mitchel you will be in the
upper South Toe River and tributaries. From around the golf course up is all single hook
fly only, catch and release water. A 20 inch native brown is not uncommon. Rainbows are
healthy also but tend to run smaller as throughout the region. Plenty of them though.

Around early June when the inch, bag, hemlock...all the same worm, are hatching, any
nymph in that bright green color and profile fished below the surface where the fat lazy
Browns lurk....Yeah
 

RBanta66

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Took my elderly brother in-law fly fishing yesterday for his first time. Took him to the Rapidan river, for those unfamiliar president Hoover would go there to get away and fish. The cabins he had built were restored several years ago and now can be rented. The river/stream by some standards hold native brook trout. Only caught a couple each but had a great day. Here's a couple pics of the river. We did have 6 deer cross the river behind us after they walked down the same trail we had walked down. IMG_20210330_160209811_HDR.jpg IMG_20210330_160152374.jpg

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Spreedizzle

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Took my elderly brother in-law fly fishing yesterday for his first time. Took him to the Rapidan river, for those unfamiliar president Hoover would go there to get away and fish. The cabins he had built were restored several years ago and now can be rented. The river/stream by some standards hold native brook trout. Only caught a couple each but had a great day. Here's a couple pics of the river. We did have 6 deer cross the river behind us after they walked down the same trail we had walked down. View attachment 7111 View attachment 7112

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Great looking spot. I’m getting pretty good at “catching” specific leaves on the lawn right now that I am targeting. So that is encouraging.
 

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I skipped a lot of middle and high school flyfishing the Davidson and Mills River. No waders either... Just waited a few minutes to go numb and went at it. Got my first set up at Hunter Banks Orvis and I still have the reel. An old scientific angler made in England. Now I primarily use a 5wt Ross Evolution on a reddington rod which is not wonderful but all I could afford at the time (pre-TFO) era. My big rod is an 8wt Orvis Battenkill mid-arbor on an early 7wt TFO (which where pretty stout but well made). As mentioned above, I also really like the Lamson reels.
 

RBanta66

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Great looking spot. I’m getting pretty good at “catching” specific leaves on the lawn right now that I am targeting. So that is encouraging.
Hey need to look up the "roll cast" not all streams are you able to cast in a traditional manner. You'll be glad you added this cast to your arsenal. On YouTube just type in "roll cast flyfishing" found a great Orvis video on this cast.

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I just stumbled on this thread, and I to recently decided to take-up fly fishing. The wife and I bought a place about 4 years ago on a local river and sadly enough I have yet to fish behind the house until recently. I have always salmon, steelhead, and Kokanee fished with various methods but never fly. I guess I was always intimidated a little by it and never had a teacher to start me out. I met a guy through friends whom ended up at our house for a BBQ and long story short offered to give me lessons. He is a good teacher, and I feel like an idiot but am having a blast. Picked up a used Lamson lite speed, a sage foundation 5wt, and some rio gold elite line last week. Eagerly awaiting my next lesson with my new gear. There is a lot more to this fly thing than I ever imagined…
 

Spreedizzle

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I just stumbled on this thread, and I to recently decided to take-up fly fishing. The wife and I bought a place about 4 years ago on a local river and sadly enough I have yet to fish behind the house until recently. I have always salmon, steelhead, and Kokanee fished with various methods but never fly. I guess I was always intimidated a little by it and never had a teacher to start me out. I met a guy through friends whom ended up at our house for a BBQ and long story short offered to give me lessons. He is a good teacher, and I feel like an idiot but am having a blast. Picked up a used Lamson lite speed, a sage foundation 5wt, and some rio gold elite line last week. Eagerly awaiting my next lesson with my new gear. There is a lot more to this fly thing than I ever imagined…
Literally almost the same setup that I have. Glad you have a good teacher….as I thought fly fishing was only the majestic flipping back and forth of a dry fly. Now that I have learned nymphing and having that wet fly 24” below surface and fishing trout holes as opposed to the surface dry flies…..it is awesome and a great and entertaining way to catch fish.
 

RBanta66

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Literally almost the same setup that I have. Glad you have a good teacher….as I thought fly fishing was only the majestic flipping back and forth of a dry fly. Now that I have learned nymphing and having that wet fly 24” below surface and fishing trout holes as opposed to the surface dry flies…..it is awesome and a great and entertaining way to catch fish.
Told ya you would enjoy fly fishing. The wife took me to Escawtaba Farms up by Covington VA first of May for my birthday. I fished with my new Euro rod a Moonshine Epiphany 3wt 10'6, I caught fish all day. However I did have the two biggest fish I hooked school my butt 😂, That's why it's called fishing. Check out there FB page you might end up down there.
 

RBanta66

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Here's a couple pics
13866b04be5fb55fa96c17feb298d05a.jpg
b85070c74e43a1c63f2dcfb1faed7289.jpg
830b3b720024768b56f55038d3c5ea18.jpg


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Spreedizzle

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Awesome stuff. Ironically enough…..my first fish in my fly rod was the elusive Palomino trout. My friend and “guide” has only caught 2 in his life……maybe it was a bit of the magic left in my late brothers fly setup to get me hooked on the sport.

 

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