Easier Fly Fishing

By David Hulsey

Over the years, I’ve seen a few things that can make your next fly fishing trip a little easier and more fun. To start with, knowing your own limitations and the folks you are fishing with will sometimes keep you, and them, out of trouble. When doing guide trips, having family groups with aging parents or grandpa along, and also twenty something year-olds, there will be a wide gulf of mobility between the two. Fishing a stream with easy access will close that gap and open up more water that can be fished together. Big slick rocks are not the friend of bad hips, knees, or big beer bellies! Some days, it’s almost impossible to get folks where they need to be to make a decent cast. Even crossing the stream may not be an option, which can eliminate half the fishable water. Saving the mountain climbing for the more agile will sometimes avoid an injury and give you more fishable opportunities.

Having the right wading gear can also help tremendously. Felt soled or studded rubber soled boots will help to keep you moving along. A big piece of polished rock can be like walking on ice, so make sure you have some footwear designed to stick to the bottom of a rocky river. Good fitting, breathable waders reduce drag in the water and are also cooler than the old neoprene waders. A good wading staff can give you a third leg in heavy current, check the depth of holes, get flies out of trees, fight off a rabid raccoon etc…! I see a lot of junky ones on the creek so get a good one and you won’t be sorry.

Having an adequate fly rod in hand when you step into the river cannot be over emphasized. Try to resist the urge to fish granddads old piece of crap fiberglass fly rod/broomstick from the seventies. In the hands of an excellent caster, they can get by trick shooting with some weird equipment. If you are just starting out, believe me, a difficult to use fly rod or reel combo will work against you. Get a medium fast action fly rod and a balanced fly reel to go on it. A matched weight forward floating fly line of good quality will have you tossing flies out on the river in no time. Longer fly rods are easier to cast and easier to move your line around on the water. A fly rod nine feet long, and designed to cast a five weight fly line, will have you worlds ahead of a shorter stick and string. Visiting your local fly shop will get you hooked up with some easy to use and correct equipment. While you’re there, pick up a dozen patterns of standard flies as recommended by the folks in the shop or a trusted friend. Learn to use these 12 or so flies and build your confidence in them. Use as short and stout a leader as the fish will let you get by with. A 7.5 foot 4x leader is a good place to start. Learn a couple of basic knots.

Take a fly fishing/casting class by a certified casting instructor with many years on the water. This will put you light years ahead of trying to learn on your own and save a lot of frustration. Make sure you spend a good amount of time in the stream casting to likely trout lies during the school. There’s a world of difference between casting on grass and casting in the water. These are just a few of the many things you can do to make fly fishing easier and more enjoyable! Give us a call at 770-639-4001 to book your space in our fly fishing classes or for a memorable day on the river.

Give David a call to book a class or trophy trout guide trip at Noontootla Creek Farms. We can make learning to fly fish easy and fun! You can make the switch.