So, you want to start fly fishing?

Be prepared, it’s not only the fish that bite; once you start you too will be hooked!

This is a sport that you can delve into in as much detail as you like.

Before you begin you will need to get some equipment: a rod and reel, waders, fly line, and a whack of knowledge. Don’t worry, the knowledge will come over the seasons as you become more proficient at the art and sport that is fly fishing.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Here is a tip; avoid asking what fly was used and where that big fish was caught. You are much better served by telling others of your experiences on any given day. You will find that if the shared experiences emanate from you in the first instance others will only be too keen to add their pennies worth.

Let’s start with equipment.

Rods are made of many varied materials. The most difficult rod to manufacture is made of split cane; however, you should be able to find a very affordable rod made of composite materials at your local fly-fishing store.

You are best served by getting the feel of a rod before you buy it. Hold it, have a reel installed on it, and find the balance point; balance the rod at right angles on your forefinger as you point your outstretched finger away from you. The balance point should be just below the top end of the cork handle. The rod should not weigh more than a few ounces; remember you will be spending many hours casting with it and the better balanced and lighter the rod, the less muscle pain you will feel at the end of the day. Save the arm flexor muscles for lifting that well earned pint in the evening!

Fly rods are made in different lengths and weights. The higher the weight of the rod, the sturdier it will be.

As a guide: if you wish to fish small streams with small riffles, you should choose a 3 or 4 weight rod, about 7 1/2 feet long; this rod is perfect for catching brook trout.

For larger streams, a 5 or 6 weight rod will do the trick. These are usually in the 8 to 91/2 feet lengths. These rods will be great for Browns, small Rainbows and Bass.

And finally, for lakes and fast flowing rivers, you may wish to go for an 8 or 9 weight rod. These rods will cope with the bigger Steelhead, Lake Trout, and Muskie.

You can find the specs for your rod printed just above its handle:

If you gently press a rod against a ceiling or pull on the attached line, the rod will curve in one of the following arcs:

The fast rod action allows for accuracy; the slow action of a rod will allow sensitivity in detecting a bite.

In general, dry fly fishing is best served by a fast rod and nymphing with a slow but elongated rod.

Don’t worry, we will delve into these different methods of fishing in later lessons.

Next Lesson: The Reel