Have Flies, Will Fish – The Essentials of a Fly Fishing Fanatic

1. Fly rod. You, of course, need a fly rod. Quality fly rods and reels can be purchased for reasonable prices from many manufacturers, such as, Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, Orvis, and many towns have locally owned fly fishing outfitters. The weight of the rod is determined by the fish you are going for, talk to the staff at your local fly shop to get assistance.

2. Tapered fly line.

3. A fly reel. The reel is also dependent on the fish you hope to get. Most reels that are designed for trout fishing or bass fishing are simply there to hold the fly line, not to fight the fish. Less expensive fly reels have been effective for trout and bass anglers. But for the hard hitting, charging freshwater or saltwater species, a high quality reel with a superb drag system and plenty of backing is necessary.

4. A leader.

5. The fun stuff, some flies. You will now be known as “The Fly Guy.” The successful fly angler – regardless of the species being fished for – must learn to choose the right fly from the fish’s point of view, not their own point of view; shop like a hungry fish.

6. Fishing waders. Go ahead get wet. A breathable material, like neoprene, or nylon, will allow much greater mobility. Depending on the type of water that you fish, you may want to purchase either bootfoot or stocking foot fishing waders. (Boot foot waders are convenient, but stocking foot waders with separate fishing boots give you better support and allow you to be athletic in your wading.) SAFETY TIP: If you use chest waders, for safety reasons you should always wear a wading belt.

7. Sun block and insect repellant. Duh.

Now let’s add a little bit extra, for the angler who already has the basics. Here is a list of should haves:

1. Polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses will cut through the glare on the water and allow you to more closely follow your fly. This allows you to detect strikes more easily and, hopefully, catch more fish. In addition, you look like one cool mo fo out there with some killer shades on.

2. A wide brimmed hat. A hat with a wide brim will help stop the sun from burning your ears to a crisp, and sneaking in around the edges of your sunglasses. It will also help protect your ears and the back of your head from your fly on an off the mark cast.

3. Fly accessories. There are so many gadgets and gizmos out there. Some of my picks are, the Worlds Lightest and Most Indestructible Fly Box, a hook hone to sharpen your flies, fly floatant for dry flies, a selection of small Non-Toxic split shot or sink putty for fishing nymphs.

4. A fly fishing vest. They have much cooler ones now than your Grand Daddy wore back in the day.

5. Fun stuff to hang on and put in that vest: The possibilities are endless; on the outside of your vest or shirt pockets you should attach a snip and zinger so that you can easily reach them. The snip is the tool you will use the most and it needs to be conveniently placed. You can also hang a pair of forceps to the flap of your pocket if you click the handles to the second notch. Oh, and lets not forget a net. We are fishing with the anticipation of catching.

I hope you found these lists useful. If you have a great product recommendation, add it to the comment box. If you feel my list is incomplete, help a brother out and add your comment. Remember, beginning to fly fish is a time when getting some help can be of great assistance – you can consult a local fly shop, fly fishing club, or a certified casting instructor. The services of a guide or fishing with a fly angling expert can help to expedite the learning curve most new fly anglers face. While this story has perhaps over-simplified a fascinating sport, put these building blocks into place and my guess is that you’ll be well on your way. Gear up, get out and fly fish.

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