Making The Switch

By David Hulsey

Trying to fly fish for the first time can be a daunting task for the life-long spinning or bait caster. I love telling these folks that they already have half of the fly-fishing mystery solved. The trout are in the same locations in the stream whether you’re tossing bait or a dry fly. For goodness sakes, nymph fishing with a fly is very similar to letting a couple of kernels of corn tumble down the creek; it’s just a different way of doing it.

Casting the fly usually evokes this statement from the beginner “ I’d spend all my time hung in the bushes”! To be sure, someone watching all that line flying around would assume that you’d be tangled in the trees all the time! Learning a couple of casts, such as the water haul and the roll casts will go a long way to prevent this. It is not necessary to cast more than just a few feet on most of our Southeastern trout streams.

The casting motion for the fly rod is somewhat different than that of your old trusty spinning rod. You may have to unlearn some things. With a fly rod, you cast the weight of the line not the weight of the lure. That being said, bending the wrist dramatically is normally a “no-no” when flinging a fly. Too much wrist bend results in your fly going in a circle not toward your target. On a basic fly-cast, for best performance, you have to pause during the cast just enough to let the fly line straighten behind you before going forward. This will usually result in a decent cast.

The month of May is one of the best times to try out your new found interest in fly fishing. The water temperatures are favorable to the fish and the insects are hatching enough to bring the trout to the surface. Dry, fly fishing is arguably the easiest form of the sport. Get a handful of bushy, easy to see, flies such as a Yellow Stimulator, Royal Wulff, Elk Hair Caddis, and an Adams dry fly. Get them all in sizes 12 or 14. Purchase a 7 ½’ monofilament 4x or 5x leader, tie on one of those patterns, and go fishing.

Check out the delayed harvest streams in North Georgia and Western North Carolina and you won’t be disappointed! Don’t get me wrong, there is a world of details in the sport that will make you more effective, but these simple clues will catch you a fish or two.

Give David a call at 770-639-4001 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.