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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Central virginia

Posts: 1
DrMarlboro9 on Oct 11, 2016October 11th, 2016, 12:12 pm EDT
HI all,

To start this off I have never fly dished before, but have always wanted to. I was gifted a fly tying kit and have been playing around tying flies and now I would like to get the things I need to fish.

Trying to figure out what I need has been pretty difficult. There are many resources for learning to cast, but unlike other types of fishing there seems to be very few guides on what to buy to get started. I've also noticed that almost everything is quite expensive. I've been bass fishing for many years and only recently started paying over $100 for rods because I know I enjoy it; I'm not sure that I can say the same about fly fishing since I have never done it.

So I guess my main question is, what all will I need to start fishing, and can I do it without liquidating my life savings? Any help you guys can give is greatly appreciated. Looking forward to trying a new type of fishing.
Roguerat's profile picture
Posts: 456
Roguerat on Oct 11, 2016October 11th, 2016, 1:36 pm EDT

IMHO there's no need to break the bank just starting out or dipping in; lots of rod/reel/line combos are out there, at all levels of of investment- as well as online videos on how to cast and tie (better visuals here, I learned from books but the Nuts on this site clued me in to YouTube and all) . I'd say purchase what is reasonable and learn some basic casts, and spend time on the water and tying. Its all a learning curve no matter ones skill level, but that's the fun- and challenge- in this sport of ours.

tight lines, and have fun!


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
TimCat's profile picture
Alanson, MI

Posts: 121
TimCat on Oct 14, 2016October 14th, 2016, 9:31 pm EDT
Get a decent, but not too expensive rod/reel combo, some waders and learn to cast. I still use a cheap Cabela's rod and reel combo I got for about $120 on sale. The coming winter months should have some good deals on the web on a bunch of sites.

Orvis has some really good intro videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcfzUK-MaCdAyv-WkLOGIYcaJEzaqYQ2e Check out the first one and get some ideas for what you are going to be fishing for before you buy anything.

Like Rogue said, you don't need to brake the bank at all. Also, you don't need to tie flies to fly fish. I didn't start to tie my own flies until about a year after I began. Plus, Flyshops are a great resource on techniques, the right flies, and where to fish.

I think if you put in a little time and effort, you'll realize that fly fishing is really a fun way to go. Welcome!
"If I'm not going to catch anything, then I 'd rather not catch anything on flies" - Bob Lawless
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Oct 16, 2016October 16th, 2016, 6:04 pm EDT
As TimCat mentioned there are many combo outfits available with a nice rod, reel, line, sometimes even a leader and some flies. You first need to know about how big the rivers and streams are that you will be fishing. That can help you decide how long a rod to buy and also to a lesser extent what line weight you will choose. Most guys that are starting out, and I would also recommend, will choose a #5 or #6 weight line. As I mentioned the size of the waters you will fish most of the time should dictate how long the rod is you buy. You wouldn't want a 9', or longer, fly rod if you plan on fishing narrow streams 20' wide with a canopy of trees over them. Conversely you wouldn't want to be buying a 7' rod if you plan on fishing bigger water that is faster and deeper. It is much easier to cast, and fish, larger nymphs and streamers with a longer rod.

I haven't looked at prices recently for combo outfits but $120 - $150 sounds very reasonable. If you look at Sierra Trading Post you might be able to find a nicer rod and reel that is a close-out. I buy fishing pants and shirts from STP and have always gotten very good pricing.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Oct 17, 2016October 17th, 2016, 4:50 pm EDT
I'd also invest in a casting lesson from a good instructor before you get too many bad habits ingrained. It shouldn't be that expensive, and if you can find someone who teaches Lefty Kreh's method, I think it's the easiest. Best of luck.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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