April 4, 2014 at 3:38 pm #3179
Dry Fly GuyKeymaster
If you were asked to provide only one insight, tip, or piece of instruction that you consider to be the single best piece of advice you could give an individual learning the art of fly fishing, and dry fly fishing in particular, what would it be?
~ DFGApril 4, 2014 at 6:15 pm #3183
Practice casting and do so someplace other than where you are going to fish.April 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm #3185
Hard to say, but I think it would be hire a guide. They can teach you the basics of casting, mending, etomology, water safety….
Tough question because there is so much but yet it can be so simple as take time to watch the water to see what is going on. But then you need polarized glasses to do that. Is that two pieces of advice, have polarized glasses and take time to see what is happening in the water?
I cannot think of just one thing…
ObviouslyApril 4, 2014 at 7:03 pm #3186
Don’t take yourself, or the sport, too seriously.
BrentApril 4, 2014 at 8:10 pm #3188
Get some casting lessons before you develop bad habits.April 4, 2014 at 8:56 pm #3191
Dead Drift.April 4, 2014 at 10:19 pm #3193
If you want to catch fish on dries you have to fish dries – be patient and don’t wade right into the creek and begin chucking lead and a bobber. Who knows if that trout you dredged off the bottom might have started to feed on the surface if you’d waited a bit?April 5, 2014 at 8:57 am #3194
Spend a lot of time watching the water, the food on the water, and the way the fish eat that food, and figure out how to imitate the way the food looks with a presentation of the fly.
EricApril 5, 2014 at 9:47 am #3196
Learn to read a river. You don’t have to cast too far.April 5, 2014 at 11:01 am #3197
I was going to say what Djfan just said. Learning to read water is critical. You can make perfect casts all day, but if you’re not near fish, it doesn’t matter.
Beyond that, don’t be in a hurry. Slow down when you get to the water and observe. And don’t think you need to learn everything all at once. It’s a lifetime sport. You have plenty of time to learn.
BrettApril 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm #3199
Yes, that’s true, but if you can read water, and can’t cast you’ll be frustrated. I think someone new to fly fishing who wants to be a dry fly fisherman. Casting should be learned first.
As opposed to nymph fisherman who get away with being the worlds worse caster. 😀April 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm #3202
My immediate reaction to learning fly fishing is always “Learn casting first.”, but then I remember a story told about Gary LaFontaine when he was a rookie guide at The Complete Angler (IIRC) on the Big Hole.
A family of six experienced fly fishers had arrived at the lodge and had brought with them a friend (or fiance’, again IIRC) who had never fished, let along fly fished. All the experienced anglers were booked on float trips, and they asked for a guide to accompany the rookie on a “learning” trip. Gary, as the “new guy,” was given that unenviable task.
To make a long story short, at the end of the day the floaters returned with one fish caught among them. Gary and his rookie charge were the last to return to the lodge. The rookie announced he lost count of the number of fish caught, but he had kept one, and displayed a lovely 22″ brown. Gary had taught the young man to stalk, how to spot feeders and basically how to get the fly in the feeding lane without too much casting. The bulk of the fish were taken on dries, the balance on nymphs.
Not typical, I know, and not everyone has a guide/teacher of LaFontaine’s caliber, but nonetheless proof that it’s doable if you can find the fish.
EricApril 5, 2014 at 9:38 pm #3203
I agree that knowing where to put the fly, and what fly to use is very important. Maybe more important than casting. It certainly is not easily learned. If it’s ever learned completely.
However, I still don’t think it should come before casting. Get all the basics down before you get into the technical stuff.April 6, 2014 at 1:07 am #3205
Eric: nice story about Mr. LaFontaine. To this day, I still wonder how much more we all could have learned from him were he still among us.April 6, 2014 at 5:18 pm #3207
What Brent said x2 …it’s just a pastime, if it don’t work out no need to take tranquilizers … But if one takes up the sport seriously, like all things to become proficient you must practice, practice, practice!! Read up on the subject, especially on a forum like this, it has a multitude of life long experiences and superb useful information on all facets of the sport … My advice if your going the above route and IMHO the most important aspect of fly fishing is learning to present the fly on the water in the most natural way ..you must assimilate the conditions that the fish is feeding under …a natural drift of the fly over the feeding zone of the fish is successful fly fishing adventure ..
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