How to Fly Fish for Beginners

You might’ve heard that fly fishing is too advanced for a beginner angler. However, once you learn a few basics of fly fishing, you’ll feel less intimidated by this opinion. Plus, the proper gear will set you up for great success. We’re going to cover all the tips and tricks that you’ll need to know to get started fly fishing. When you’re fly fishing, the idea is to catch fish by getting them to bite on an imitation of a bug or bait fish on, or just below, the water. If you take the time to nurture the experience, you’ll attract fish at various stages of maturity such as trout, salmon, pan fish and carp, as well as species such as tarpon, bonefish, and striped bass. 

When you’re learning how to fly fish, remember that this method of fishing uses techniques that are more challenging than other types of fishing you’re likely used to. The most important thing to know when trying to master fly fishing, is that casting involves a very light-weight fly instead of a heavier lure or natural bait. 

Gear for Beginners

Before we get into technique, we need to discuss the proper gear to ensure a successful fishing trip. These will be the most important to getting started. You’ll need additional gear such as appropriate clothing that we will not mention in this blog post. Mainly due to the fact that the opinion on that type of gear is subjective to you. 

First, you’ll need to start with a fly fishing rod. Most are made of graphite, fiberglass, or bamboo. Typically, inexpensive graphite or fiberglass rods tend to be the best for beginners learning the sport. Keep in mind that when it comes to rods, you get what you pay for. Quality and strength are very important for shopping for a fly fishing rod to use in saltwater. On the contrary of freshwater rods, saltwater rods need to be able to catch fish that are faster and stronger. The fish in saltwater are usually capable of fighting longer. It’s important to note that there are “all water rods” that are capable of being used for both fresh and saltwater fishing trips.  

Second, your focus should be on locating the best fly fishing reel for your fishing rod. Typically, they’re operated by stripping line off the reel and wrapping it around the fingers with one hand, whilst casting with the other hand. Normally, you hold the rod in your dominant hand and operate with the other close to the reel. Additionally, you’ll be pulling the line out in small increments as the energy in the line, generated from backward and forward motions, increases. We recommend consulting with a fly reel associate to find the perfect fit for you. 

Third, in fly fishing, the weight of the fly fishing line being cast (the main line attached to the fly line backing, carries the fly to the fish.) With that being said, the line you cast and the way you cast it creates the presentation of the fly. Therefore, to successfully catch fish, you have to present your fly in the water column the way the fish expect to see their prey. So, the fishing line you use is highly important when it comes to your fly fishing set-up. 

Fourth, finding the right tippet is equally as important as the gear listed above. It’s the thinnest part of the leader, and attaches to the fly. However, if you’ve taken a look into fly fishing, you’ve likely discovered that there are no less than a dozen sizes of tippet to choose from. Sometimes they’re sold in single-size packages. However, other times they’re sold on spools with a variety of sizes available. 


Now that you’re prepared with proper fly fishing gear, it’s time to start practicing your skills to best gain experience. Learning how to cast while also trying to catch fish can be totally frustrating. The good news here is that you don’t have to have water to practice casting. As long as you have enough clearance, like your backyard, you’re free to begin practicing. We recommend to keep practicing as long as possible to feel more confident when you head out on your fly fishing trips. 

Fly Fishing Store

Depending on where you live, you might find it hard to locate a nice fly fishing shop in your area of residence. However, a quick Google search should help you to find a spot near you. We recommend finding a good fly fishing shop to locate all of the necessary gear and baits that you’ll be using on your journey to become a more advanced fly fisherman. 

Looking for the Perfect Spot

As you’re starting to feel comfortable with your practice casting, you’ll want to look for an ideal location to go on your first trip. Many believe that fly fishing is best enjoyed in mountain streams. While these locations are great for fly fishing, you can also enjoy great fishing in the warm waters of ponds and lakes, and in salt water. Usually, you can find a great fly fishing area close to you, especially if you’re just a beginner. 

Wrapping it up

Fly fishing doesn’t have to look like a daunting activity. If you take the time to master the art of fly fishing and continue to practice your skills, you’ll come to find that it’s really a peaceful hobby. Especially if you are able to take a trip to beautiful mountainous terrain to explore fly fishing. Stay tuned for more blog posts on fly fishing and exactly how to master the sport. 

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