“How Do I Get Started In Fly Fishing?”

By Becky Hulsey

I think the most common question we get regarding fly fishing is, “Where do I start?” David and I recommend most folks start off with our 3-hour intro class. It gives folks an opportunity to see if they will like fly fishing without investing much time or money. We get you out on the water with a fly rod in your hand. No parking lot or grass casting. You need to be in the water with waders and boots, or wet wading if possible. Flailing a fly rod in the air on grass does not give you a true experience. Another option would be a 4-hour guided wade trip on waters. Make sure when you are looking for a guide or instructor that they have plenty experience teaching. Just because you can do, does not mean you can teach!

Another popular question David and I get is, “When should I book a class or trip?” We provide services all year-round. Fortunately, here in North Georgia, fishing is typically available all year round. It just depends upon weather conditions. Have we had enough, or too much, rain? Has it been too hot, or just too cold for comfort? We put all these weather conditions into consideration when determining whether/where to do a class or trip.

Public or private water? Most clients ask us, “What is the difference and why is one better than the other?” Private water gives you a piece of catch-and-release, trout water to yourself for a certain amount of time (4 hours/8 hours). These trout are typically larger because they are allowed to grow without being caught out and, most of the time, they are supplementally fed because there are so many larger fish in a smaller area. These fish will not stay in the private waters if they do not have enough food to survive. Public waters allow access for you to go back and fish. Trout stocking typically occurs in spring to summer months for public waters. Delayed Harvest season offers another option for public waters during fall to spring months. There are marked sections on specific trout waters that have special regulations, like catch and release, for anglers to enjoy during this season. It is a great time to learn to fly fish on these waters because of these regulations.

“Should I do a full day class or a wade trip?” You should think, “What do I plan to get out of this trip/class?” Do you want to go out on your own? Or do you want to develop your skills? Our full day class is focused on helping you be able to fish on your own or be self-sufficient. After years of teaching, David and I have developed a great outline for our full day class, which has proven to be a great success. We are very blessed to have clients still fishing for over 25 years. A wade trip can also be instructional. However, you will probably focus more on types of rigging like nymphing or streamers and how to fish them. I would recommend this for someone with some experience but other factors might come into play when making a decision.

Are your classes with a group of folks or can you do them independently? We offer both options. We can put together a class for a group of folks but most of our classes are booked for a client and a family member, or friend. David and I believe you do get a better experience with a less client-to-instructor ratio. Just be sure your gear is provided for your class. We like for new clients to use our gear for classes. We can give you plenty of insight into what gear you will need to get started, so you are not buying gear that you do not need. This can be a bit overwhelming for folks.

Visit Becky and David at http://www.blueridgeflyfishingschool.com for more information about the classes we offer and other information.

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