Flyfishing 101

Photo credit: Okuma Fishing USA

By Zachary Garcia

These days there is so much changing in the world of fishing, from the way we boat down to the way we fish, but what happens when people get discouraged because of the experience they have with a new style of fishing. Today, modern flats fishermen are looking towards to adding a new challenge to their fishing that’s not exclusively associated with salt water. Fly fishing is the next logical step for those anglers who take pride in their ability to take flats fishing to the next level. The only problem is that people get scared of learning a new style of fishing, something different than your everyday spinning reel. I’m here to tell you: Take the dive!

There are just a few things that you need to keep in mind when finding the perfect reel and rod for yourself. High-end expensive rods and reels don’t necessarily catch more fish, and people that stay away from the fly fishing world do so because they purchase the wrong type of equipment. Nowadays anyone can walk into a large store, buy a $20 rod and reel, and believe they’re good to go. Little do people know, the rods and reels that you buy at these large franchises are designed for nothing more than stream fishing up North. These rods and reels don’t meet the standards that you need to kick off your saltwater fly fishing career.

I started where almost everyone else did, the aisles of one of those big box stores. After more time and experience I learned there was different equipment you could buy that could give you the edge without emptying your bank account. When I first started fly fishing I visited a place called Fishin’ Tackle Outlet where a salesman named Jeremy introduced me to a company named Stafford. The rod was built solid and at a price that wouldn’t empty the pockets of a weekend fisherman or career fisherman, alike.

With the appropriate direction and education, I ended up with a great Okuma reel and Stafford 9-foot rod setup. My first salt water fly fishing configuration was a 20-pound backing with an 8-weight line. The best way to become comfortable with your new equipment is to practice, and a great way to practice is to find a field, attach a leader line and a small weight to the end and just cast. Don’t become discouraged because you’re not perfect the first time. Persistence is the key and with practice you will get better. Study up with YouTube and perfect your skill at your own pace and before long you will be downwind pulling in red fish or anything else that enters your flat.

I’m 29 I have been fishing from about 24 years I have been a guide for about 12 years. I specialize in kayak fishing, deep water, down to flats. I have my own business called Eat This Customs, which I do custom reels rod, lures, and other custom tackle. I learned most of what I know today from fishing Fort Myers Pine Island all the way down to the Keys. You can contact me at 239-471-9167.

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