By Eddie Hudon

For those of you that picked up this magazine because you have an interest in fly fishing but can’t get started, this article is for you.

Before July 2005, I only tried fly fishing a couple of times by myself and, due to not having any luck, I lost interest. The, in July of 2005, while looking for a log cabin to buy in Bryson City, my wife and I made a side trip to Asheville. While there, I came across Hunter’s Bank Fly Shop. I went in and said I wanted to fish the Davidson River. I mentioned that I had very little experience. The owner said, “That’s ok, I will set you up with Forrest Marshall. He knows the Davidson real well.

I met Forrest at the fly shop two days later. We proceeded to the Pisgah Forest in Brevard, NC. Once we got there, we started to fish next to a bridge. Right away, I started catching fish in the 12-14’’ range. I was having a great time. While this was going on, Forrest kept looking up the river where two other guys were fishing. He said, when they leave, we’re going to take that spot. A half hour later, they left and we moved up.

We fished that spot for approximately 45 minutes and I didn’t catch a thing. (I was happy where we started, why move?). Forrest changed the fly to a smaller size. In fact, he changed the fly 5 times. I was a little frustrated, but he was the guide. I really got nervous when he said, “We are not leaving here until I make the fish eat.” (What fish?) He changed the fly again, for the 6th time, and on my first drift I caught and landed an 18” Brown Trout. I was excited, surprised, and impressed. That fish made my day! Forrest said, “What are you waiting for, there’s another one in there”. Well, I was a believer so I made my cast and drifted in the same spot and SMASH! Another fish, this time it was a 22” Rainbow Trout. (I didn’t get a photo of it because, while holding it up for the picture, it flipped out of my hands. ~ The one that got away.)

So, a few things I want to share with you about that day:

1. If you ever wanted to try fly fishing, give it a try – SOONER rather than later.

2. If you are inexperienced, hire a guide that knows the local waters, it makes all the difference,

3. Once you get “hooked” and start to fish on your own, experiment with different size flies, tippets, etc.

4. Share your fly fishing experience with a son, daughter, or a friend.

I’ve been guiding for 5 years. I love what I do, especially when I have new people that have never fly fished before, have a great time, and want to come back and do it again – next time even better. HOWEVER – you must first start.

Eddie Hudon is the Owner of Blue Chip Fly Fishing headquartered in Whittier, NC.