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View Full Version : Fly Fishing: An Absolute Noob


Jason762
05-21-2010, 3:39 PM
Well... I'm heading up to Alaska in less than a week, and was thinking about borrowing my father's fly rod & reel and giving fly fishing a shot.

I don't know the anything about fly fishing, so I was hoping for some advice and/or sources and such.

The reel is a "System One Scientific Anglers/3M" with a line weight of 7-8-9.

The rod is a 2-piece Pflueger Summit. Also marked on the rod is "IM-6 Graphite Construction" and "SFY 85-78 8'6" (2.59M) #8 Fly Line"

That's about all I know. I'm hoping to fish for trout, but Alaska also has grayling and artic char. I'll be around Juneau, Alaska.

lewdogg21
05-21-2010, 5:33 PM
Well, I can't tell you where to go since I haven't been and aren't in tune with what's happening up there right now. Fly Fishing is harder than it looks but maybe you will take a liking to it.

novabrian
05-21-2010, 6:14 PM
Just watch "A River Runs Through It".

olhunter
05-21-2010, 6:14 PM
You just whip it back and forth and try not to get it in your eye. That's all I know.

Jak1
05-21-2010, 7:15 PM
Wear a hat to protect the back of your head and ears from the hooks.:D

ScottB
05-21-2010, 8:23 PM
Take a spinner.

Take the fly gear too and learn how to use it. Its a nice way to fish once you get the hang of it. There 's lots of "how to" books. A video or two is even better for the actual casting/mending part. Grab one or two of each and figure out what you have, what its good for and how to use it - and have fun.

When it stops being fun, break out the spinner, catch dinner or whatever your after and don't apologise to anyone. FF snobs can ruin your day if you let them.

I always buy my flies and incidental tackle locally and have a nice chat with the proprietor. Those guys know whats working and where the bite is. Plus, they are glad for your business.

Fireguy
05-21-2010, 11:50 PM
Try out your gear before you go, there are some free casting ponds on Carson at the Warren freeway in Oakland. The local fly casting club will be there this weekend in the am, they are very helpful. Good luck.

johnthomas
05-22-2010, 12:18 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0QXMWcW6J0
You said graphite rod, I saw this on tv last night, how a bamboo rod is made. At least you will have something to talk about while your pulling hooks out of your face, lol.

m98
05-22-2010, 1:22 AM
Just watch "A River Runs Through It".

^^^^^^..Hehehehe:rofl:

Dekker
05-22-2010, 1:32 AM
You just whip it back and forth and try not to get it in your eye. That's all I know.

The things I could do with this quote.....but it's 2:30AM and I have a toothbrush in my mouth getting ready for bed...I'll let this one slide. I was thinking something like "That's what I said". Giggity.

duckman1
05-22-2010, 5:39 AM
Stop by a fly fishing shop and get the basic cast movement. You are using an 8 wt. rod and reel. Are you fishing at a lodge? If so ask if that's a useable wt. for the fishing you'll be doing. It's not hard to learn, but it helps if you start with someone that know how.....

Jason762
05-22-2010, 6:28 AM
Take a spinner.

Take the fly gear too and learn how to use it. Its a nice way to fish once you get the hang of it. There 's lots of "how to" books. A video or two is even better for the actual casting/mending part. Grab one or two of each and figure out what you have, what its good for and how to use it - and have fun.

When it stops being fun, break out the spinner, catch dinner or whatever your after and don't apologise to anyone. FF snobs can ruin your day if you let them.

I always buy my flies and incidental tackle locally and have a nice chat with the proprietor. Those guys know whats working and where the bite is. Plus, they are glad for your business.
Thanks! I was planning on taking my spinner. Got a 4 ft pole (behave now!) that I was going to bring with some panther martins. I figure I'll get the rest of the tackle up there. Martins work well around here, but probably not up there.

EDIT: The FF snobs & spinner reminded me of something I heard in Alaska.

Some guy was out fly fishing and was getting skunked. 2 other fly fishermen (who were also having bad luck) had come into the area as he was flyfishing. They enjoyed good conversation, and generally got along well.

Tired of being skunked, "some guy" went back to his truck and got a spinner. Took it out and started catching fish like mad. The fly fishermen were giving him the stink eye and generally being unfriendly. Eventually the two fly fishermen left. When "some guy" went back to his truck, he found his tires slashed. :eek:

Try out your gear before you go, there are some free casting ponds on Carson at the Warren freeway in Oakland. The local fly casting club will be there this weekend in the am, they are very helpful. Good luck.

Thanks! Unfortunately I'm busy this weekend and can't make it, but I'm going to get with my father on Monday and he's going to show me what he learned. Hopefully I'll make it out to Lake Anza and practice. They have fly fishing classes there too, but the next one is when I'm up in Alaska and the previous one was on Mother's Day (of all times!)

Stop by a fly fishing shop and get the basic cast movement. You are using an 8 wt. rod and reel. Are you fishing at a lodge? If so ask if that's a useable wt. for the fishing you'll be doing. It's not hard to learn, but it helps if you start with someone that know how.....

No, not fishing at a lodge. Will be traveling around Southeast Juneau working for Americorps and hoping to fish on my off time.

I've been reading around and it seems that an 8 wt rod & reel is a bit heavy for trout? Apparently more for salmon, steelhead, surgeon, etc. Can I make it work for trout/arctic char/grayling?

ScottB
05-22-2010, 12:57 PM
8 wt for salmon, 4-6 wt for trout.

Bob Marriot's fly shop in Fulllerton CA. They have everything you need:

http://www.bobmarriottsflyfishingstore.com/

Abesnake
05-23-2010, 11:52 AM
I didn't see anyone offer you the technique so here's my $.02. Did a lot of flying back in N.J. and I'm sure Cali is much different, because the flies are different. However, generally, the trick is to know the season. The trout bight at flies because they are in season and they mature and change as the weeks go by. So take a variety of flies and check the creek for what is floating when you get there. Best is to check what insects are in the area and look up their larval stages. Then, match the fly to what is on the water or they will not bite. The best way to practice with a rod is on land. Just use a line with no hook until you get good. It may tear up a few feet of line, but cut it off before yo go out. Reel out about 10 or 12 feet of line on the ground, and about 5 feet out of the end of the rod. As you bring the rod back behind you with your right hand, pull the line in a little with your left hand moving away from you. When you cast forward let the line flow through your left hand and the weight of the line will pull more line through the rod. When its forward, pinch the line again and pull the line back through the rod as the rod goes behind you again. Repeat this until you have about 10 or 12 feet of line in the air. Maybe three or four motions with a gentle touch. When you have enough line in the air, slow your stroke and lay it on the grass. The real trick is to gently lay the line on the water like a fly falling from the trees. If it hits the water to hard the fish won't bite. It has to be a natural drop so practice on grass for a while to get the motion. When you get really good you'll be able to side cast from under trees.

ScottB
05-23-2010, 12:12 PM
I thought the match the hatch stuff was too technical for a guy just starting and advised hime to buy flies locally at a decent sporting goods/ff store and let the guy there advise.

As far as technique, IMO, you really need to see it to understand it and that's why i suggested getting some decent vids or dvds. Ideally, an on-the-water clinic is the way to go.

Super Spy
05-23-2010, 12:56 PM
I used to fly fish a lot as a kid in Eastern Washington......as others have said the trick is practice, practice, practice.....if you don't practice ahead of time, you'll end up really frustrated. I would practice in a large empty field and slowly add more and more line. Start off with your rod overhead going back and forth, once you have that down lower the rod to your side and practice keeping the rod closer to horizontal (Maybe 10-15 degrees tip up) this is very useful if there are obstacles overhead like trees. It is important to learn how to get a smooth delivery so the fly gently lands on the water. Do not practice with real flies, the weight on the line is enough to cast with. When I went fishing in a new spot if anyone had caught a fish I would ask if I could clean one of their fish so I could check out it's stomach contents and then pick a fly that resembles what the fish has been eating. Start out with a new fly line leader (clear lightweight monofilament) when you go fishing, and learn how to tie this before you go. If there is one on the fly line it will get thrashed doing field practice and will need to be replaced, this is also the weak place in the line and will be what breaks. Start off with cheap flies so you can buy lots as you will lose many. The suggestion about buying local flies is a good one. They will know what works best. Have Fun and Good Luck!

Abesnake
05-23-2010, 10:36 PM
Now there's some good tips for you, Jason. CD's and classes are fine. I just think nothing replaces practice, so dig in and find out what your own style is before you go.

Super Spy
05-24-2010, 1:24 PM
If you do field practice put something like a bucket away from you as a target to practice delivering the fly where you want it. After you can drop the tip of the line in the bucket, move back and keep practicing. Dropping the fly up current of where you think fish are hiding is useful, but if you don't have good aim and control you'll catch a lot bush and not many fish.